How to Paint Your Ceiling

Woman painter worker protecting ceiling moulding with masking tape before painting at home improvement work

When it comes to home improvement, painting seems to be the easiest aspect and the one most people undertake. However, there are some hard bits when it comes to painting and painting the ceiling of a house is one of them. The fact that painting your ceiling requires some high climbing and manipulating body movements is enough to make it difficult. However, there are ways to make it less difficult and to get results worthy of a top professional.

Before you start, you will need the following items:

  • Paint (of course)
  • Nap roller
  • Primer
  • Roller tray
  • Drop cloth / tarp
  • Stepladder
  • Edger
  • Extension pole
  • Wet cloth or sponge
  • Paintbrushes (2 inch and less)
  • Sanding sponge
  • Painter’s tape

Now you can begin the painting.

Step 1

Protect your furniture: Take all the furniture and decorations you can move out of the room and cover the rest with the tarp or drop cloths. Use the tarp to cover the floor as well, to protect it from paint splatters. Besides protecting them, moving furniture gives you more space to move around during painting.

Step 2

If your ceiling is not textured, lightly sand its surface with your sanding sponge. Before you sand, check to see if there are any bits that require some fixing. If there are, use joint compound to fix any holes or cracks that you have found. When you are done sanding, wipe off the ceiling with your damp cloth.

Step 3

Cover the edges of the walls with painter’s tape to protect them from the paint- you only need to do this if you are not painting the wall as well. Also, cover any lights and fixtures with tape.

Step 4

Cutting in: Using your small paintbrush, cut in all the edges and other areas such as lights, fans, and the woodwork.  Go along the perimeter of the room and cut in about a three inch wide area with your brush.

Step 5

Cover the ceiling with one coat of primer- this is not compulsory but it gives the advantage of a stain barrier. Then you can begin rolling the ceiling, a 1.5 inch nap roller (to which you have added an extension pole) is preferred for this as it holds more paint- thus enabling you to paint faster. When painting, do not roll directly over your head, instead roll towards yourself. You should start from an end of the room and roll to the opposite end of the corner in parallel, straight lines.

After you have coated the entire ceiling, wait for it to dry and once it does, lightly sand the surface again- this is to even out the surface of the paint. Add a second coat of paint to the ceiling, painting in parallel lines and from end to end just like the first coat. Make sure your second coat is painted perpendicular to the first coat. Note that if you are going ahead with a second coat, you will have to give the cut in areas a second coat as well. Once you are done with all of these, your ceiling will be as good as new and ready to show off to visitors.