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Question DetailsAsked on 3/24/2018

how do I paint over a bee honey stain on a ceiling?

We had a bee nest in the attic and the honeycomb leaked onto the drywall above the bedroom ceiling.
Bees are long gone, but I would like cover the honey stain.
I have tried painting KILZ, satin killer on it as well as trying to touch it up with the original ceiling paint, but the brown stain still shines through. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

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1 Answer


My recommendation - paint will not cut it. I have heard of some specialty contractors using a fiberglass resin over the ceiling to provide a barrier (extending a foot or so beyond the stain boundary) then primer and paint over that - though makes for a significantly different texture on the surface because the fiberglass resin is so glossy, and hard to get paint to stick to - they use a spray can enamel as the primer.

Normally - because this is not a stain, but rather honey-saturated drywall which will continue to bleed (at least when warm), you cut out a piece of drywall and replace it. While it is possible to put in a small piece as a patch for small stains (using screwed or glued-in backing wood 1x3 or 1x4 strips overlapping the joint on the back to provide a mounting surface and something to screw into), for normal beehive stains you cut back to the centerline of the nearest ceiling joists on each side in the "clean" zone, and at least 6-12 inches beyond the stain in the other two directions. Then install 2x4 blocking along the "free" edges running between and joist-hanger fastened to the adjacent joists to provide a flush fit and place to screw into to support the piece. For large areas youmay have to remove insulation from the attic floor over the opering during the replacement so it does not collapse through the hole while putting in the backing strips of wood. On large openings you may need intermediate wood pieces across the opening too to prevent sagging of the replacement piece of drywall.

BTW - the attic should be vacuumed to remove any dead bees and framing/sheathing should be well cleaned up with soap and water and any honey-stained insulation replaced, because leave it in place and it is an attractant for other insects (especially ants, which normal attic bug screening and vent dampers and ridge vents will not stop - I have seen ant trails all the way up a house wall to the eave screening or ridge vent to get at attic honey scent), plus other bees (and maybe yellow jackets and hornets and such) will smell it and try to build a new nest as nearby as they can.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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