home decor

A Quick Guide on How to Paint a Ceiling

A new coat of paint on your ceiling can breathe freshness into a room and brighten the space. Painting the ceiling is an excellent home improvement fix with numerous benefits. Not only does a fresh coat of paint give the ceiling an updated look, but it makes the room feel larger and cosier. Besides, you can creatively blend in colours to create bold designs and give the room a dash of elegance.

In this guide, we highlight everything you need to know to achieve a clean ceiling painting DIY job.

Materials Needed

The first step when preparing to paint a ceiling is to gather all the materials needed to complete the job. Essential materials and equipment include:

  • Duster
  • Ceiling paint
  • Paint edging tool or angled paint brush
  • Primer
  • Paint tray and liner
  • Painter's tape (2-inch)
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Paint stirring stick
  • Paint roller cover
  • Paint roller frame
  • Paint roller extension pole
  • Spackle compound
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Medium-grip sandpaper
  • Vacuum
  • Drop cloth
  • Ladder
  • Latex gloves
  • Safety goggles

For a more efficient job, use the right nap roller cover size. If you want a smooth finish, get a low nap roller and vice versa (about ½ inch or ¾ inch nap) for a textured ceiling.

When sourcing paint, you should get one specially formulated for ceiling application. Ceiling paint is thicker and stickier, so it does not spatter and dries more slowly. The most common ceiling paint has a flat or matte finish, ideal for hiding imperfections. Though most people prefer a white shade, as it makes spaces look roomier, don't be afraid to try bold colours to achieve your desired effects.

Preparing the Room

Once you have all your painting materials and equipment ready, begin by preparing the room. Remove any furniture and obstacles out of the way. Whatever you're unable to get out of the room, cover it with plastic sheeting or drop cloths.

Remove parts of lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, and smoke detectors that you can. What cannot be removed, cover with plastic bags and fasten with painter's tape.

If you do not intend to paint the walls afterwards, use a plaster's tape to protect them. Also, hang plastic sheeting around the room to protect other surfaces, windows, doors, etc. Finally, use a rubber-backed canvas drop to cover the floor and protect it from paint splatter.

Preparing the Ceiling

Once the room is ready, prepare the ceiling for painting by following these steps:

  1. Clear cobwebs, dust, and any other foreign objects from the ceiling
  2. Use the spackle compound to make a paste and cover any cracks and holes on the ceiling (spackle usually takes about two hours to dry before the ceiling is ready for paint application)
  3. (For untextured ceiling) smoothen any paint build-up and rough spots using the medium-grit sandpaper and follow it up with the fine-grit sandpaper
  4. Vacuum the ceiling to remove any dust
  5. (For ceiling with flaws) apply a stain-blocking primer and wait for it to dry before painting

Painting Technique

To achieve a smooth finish, you need to use a roller and angled paint brush. Using an angled brush to paint edges produces a cleaner cut than the roller.

Start by cutting in corners first before rolling the paint. Cutting corners simply means painting the edges. Use a paint edging tool or angled paint brush for the edges. Ensure you maintain a wet edge to avoid lap marks by applying the paint in sections (about ten linear feet). For instance, cut in a small section, then roll it before proceeding to the next section.

Before using the roller, you can moisten it with a wet towel to allow it to soak in the paint more easily. Roll on the paint in small sections of 3-by-3 or 4-by-4 foot. To avoid lap marks, start a new section by overlapping the wet edges of the previous section. Once you roll on paint on a couple of sections, go over again and smooth them out.

To avoid losing track of the fresh paint, you can point a light to the ceiling for a clearer differentiation of the old and new paint.

Sometimes, the ceiling might require an additional coat of paint for a cleaner finish. Don't clean or set up the room yet. Wait until the paint dries, then apply a second coat if necessary.

Get Started

Adding a fresh coat of paint to your ceiling is a quick way of revitalising your space. Luckily, you don't need to be a professional painter to do the job. All you need to do is gather the materials needed, prepare the room and the ceiling, and then follow the painting tips we have shared.

However, you need to prioritise your safety during the process. Ensure you put in place adequate measures to guarantee your safety. Use safety goggles to protect your eyes and ensure good ventilation in the room. If you have low ceilings, you can use the paint roller extension pole. Otherwise, if you need a ladder, use it safely to avoid accidental slips and falls.

Be sure to check our decorating category to browse a range of paints for internal walls and ceilings, or check out our DIY and Decorating Hub for more inspiration and tips.

Author Name
La Redoute,