How to Paint the Ceiling

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated May 31, 2017)

Painting ceilings can provide some rather unique challenges, the most obvious of which is that if you aren't particularly careful you can end up with paint dripping into your face and eyes. That being said, if you follow these simple steps, you will not only learn how to paint the ceiling properly, but also avoid most of the mess that you could expect otherwise. Luckily, the process isn't all that difficult. Time consuming yes, but not difficult.

  1. Gather your tools. In order to paint your ceiling, you will need to gather together all of the tools you are going to use. Typically this will be things like drop cloths, paint brushes, rollers (particularly thick napped ones for textured ceilings), extension handles for the paint rollers, ladders, and a painting tray. Furthermore, you will need to have the proper paint to use, primer to help hold the paint, as well as painters tape to help protect objects and areas that you don't want painted. Depending on the size of the ceiling you may also want to try using a paint sprayer to help
  2. Prepare the work area. Before you start slapping paint on the ceiling, you need to prep y our work area. This means that you need to remove as much of the furniture in the room as possible. Anything that you can't remove needs to be covered with a drop cloth to protect it from any paint that could potentially spill. Once you have the drop cloths in place, clean the ceiling so that you have a dust and dirt free surface to work with. If necessary, you may want to also wash the ceiling, and allow it to dry before you finish prepping the area. Furthermore, you will also want to use some painters tape around things like lights, and have it help hold up newspaper on any skylights that you may have.
  3. Prime the ceiling. Using the paint sprayer (if you have one) or the paint brushes and rollers, prime your ceiling. Paint this in much the same manner that you would the walls with one minor difference. That difference is that you will want to use as little primer as possible so that it won't drip. Start by cutting in from the outside of the ceiling, and work towards the middle for at least three or four inches. This will give you a bit breathing room so that you don't accidentally paint the walls. Once you have primed the ceiling, allow it to dry, and then put on another coat, being sure that you allow it to dry completely prior to proceeding to the next step.
  4. Cut in. Since the ceiling is now primed, you can begin the actual painting process. As with the primer, you will want to initially cut in from the outer edges using a paint brush. Make sure that you don't put too much paint on the brush, or it will end up dripping down your arm or even on your face.
  5. Paint it. When you have done that, you will then want to use paint brushes, rollers, or a paint sprayer to ensure that you put it on smoothly and evenly. As you did when you put the primer on, and when you also cut in, you will want to use the least amount of paint possible so that it doesn't end up dripping down the walls, onto the floors, or on you. This will also help prevent any "stalagmites" of paint from forming.
  6. Dry, and double check. Allow the paint to completely dry, and then look over your work. Repeat the painting process described in steps four and five as often as necessary until you have the look and color that you want on your ceiling. Do not rush the project, and be sure that you allow the paint to completely dry between each coat.

Once you have finished, and are satisfied with the way that your ceiling looks, you are basically done. All you really need to do now is clean the area, and put everything away. Pay particular attention to any paint that may have spilled, and clean it up as quickly as you can. In addition you will also want to clean your tools so that you don't damage them, and properly store any excess paint that you may have remaining.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

MORE FROM LEE

Grill the Perfect Burger

When the weather turns nice and we begin to think about turning on that barbecue, there is one skill that becomes an ...

Discover More

Substitutes for Milk in Recipes

There can be all kinds of reasons that you might need to substitute milk in a recipe. It could be due to allergies, ...

Discover More

Creating Money Saving Menus

Everyone goes through tough financial times at some point or another, and one way to get through those tough times is by ...

Discover More

MAX Power! A powerful lithium-ion drill/driver that delivers 0-to-650 RPM and 115 inches-per-pound of torque in a lightweight, easy-to-use package. An anti-slip soft grip and LED worklight makes this tool a delight to use. Check out Black & Decker 20-Volt Cordless Drill/Driver today!

More Home Improvement Tips

Testing for Lead Paint

While everyone may know that lead based paint isn't exactly the best, do you know why testing for lead paint is so ...

Discover More

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Whether you are looking at taking the opportunity to change the whole look of your kitchen, or you are simply painting ...

Discover More

Opening a Paint Can Safely

Have you ever noticed just how dangerous it can be to open a paint can if you don't know how? Not only can you ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 - 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)