How To Paint Your Ceiling In 6 Steps

 In Blog, Interior Painting, Painting Plans, Painting Tips, Planning a Painting Project, Residential Painting

When it comes to painting the inside of your home, one of the least favourite tasks is painting your ceiling. The ceiling is a large area to paint — in fact, it’s the largest surface area in your home.

Preparing to paint your ceiling requires some important considerations in order to get the best results. Here is how to paint your ceiling in 6 steps:

1. Get All Your Gear Together

paint bucket full of painting supplies, swatches, rollers, tape, brushes, etc.

Before you begin, you want to make sure that you have everything you need for your project. No one wants any mid-job surprises that require you to run out to the hardware store. Here’s what we recommend you have ready to go:

  • Drop cloths
  • Painters tape
  • Cleaning supplies and rags
  • Poles
  • Roller cages
  • Sleeves
  • Brushes
  • Sprayers (if applicable)
  • Trays
  • Liners
  • Cut cans
  • A ladder (make sure you’re comfortable with heights and take breaks as needed)

2. Practice Painting Before You Make A Mistake

If you don’t have a lot of experience painting, you will want to practice your roller and painting strokes in an area that won’t be visible (or on a piece of plywood or extra drywall) before beginning.

The key to a perfect looking ceiling is to apply your paint in a clean and consistent pattern. The consistency is key to ensure an even coverage and to avoid drips and overlapping paint lines. A consistent stroke or roll, with an even amount of pressure, will also minimize the risk of making a mess on floors, furniture, or any other undesired surface.

If you rush to paint and it looks uneven or layered, then it will catch the light and make your ceiling look dirty or damaged. This may require you to sand it down and start all over again. Pack your patience.

3. Warm Up

Man stretching before painting

You might be thinking…I’m not working out…why do I need to stretch before painting my ceiling? The truth is, painting your ceiling is a workout. Ensure you are feeling warmed up before working overhead. Painting over your head is not an everyday activity and it’s unlikely your body is going to love doing this work. Unless you have your chiropractor on speed dial, we recommend taking a few minutes to stretch and warm up.

4. Tape Your Walls

Take your painters tape and use it all along the edge where your walls meet your ceiling. Take your time with this step to ensure clean lines. This will pay off later.

5. Paint a Cut Line

hand with paint brush painting a cut line along a ceiling

Once your paint is nicely mixed and you are ready to paint, you will want to begin by painting what is called a ‘cut line’. A cut line is a line of paint that goes around the entire edge of your ceiling, where the ceiling meets the wall. You will want to paint a nice, even line that is approximately 2.5” all the way around. This will make it easier to roll without hitting the walls.

6. Roll Your Ceiling

You are now ready to paint your ceiling using your roller. Be careful to ensure that your roller is evenly coated with paint and that it’s not dripping. Carefully and evenly apply your paint. Don’t go too quickly or you will splatter. Roll from one side to the other until you are finished.

Then, once your ceiling is completely dry, you may need to consider applying a second coat of paint.

Your ceiling makes a big impact on the look of your home. Ensure you use high quality paints, brushes, and rollers for the best results.

Expert Tip About Painting California Ceilings & Popcorn Ceilings

Most California style ceilings are not actually painted, which means the California texture is not sealed. If for some reason you try to clean something off your ceiling, or rub something against the ceiling, you will damage the texture. If you seal a California ceiling with ceiling paint, then you should be able to wash off dirt and it will be an added barrier for scuff marks. The same is true for popcorn ceilings. The only difference when painting unpainted popcorn ceilings is that you must only roll one way and not back roll. If you roll backwards as you paint, you will remove the popcorn stippling from your ceiling.

If you decide that this process sounds tedious and will require more time and effort than you originally thought, contact us or get a quote online. The team at New Approach Painting are experts at painting ceilings and will be happy to help.

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