How To Paint A Ceiling

Follow these steps for a professional look

Do you need to paint a ceiling in your home? By following these steps, you'll be able to get the professional look and quality you expect.

Preparing The Ceiling

  • Make sure the room is clutter-free. You're going to be spending the majority of your time looking up. Don't have anything in the way to trip over.

  • Lay out dropcloth(s).

  • Remove any hardware (plant hangers, eye-hook screws, etc.) and repair all holes with filler. Let dry, and lightly sand.

  • Remove any light fixture glassware before you paint a ceiling. This is usually a globe or some decorative glass cover. Do this only when you are prevented from painting around the base of the fixture, by the cover itself. Apply blue masking tape around the base cover whether it's a light, ceiling fan, or whatever.

    blue tape around ceiling fan

  • Apply blue painter's masking tape around the perimeter of the walls, right where at the joint (where wall meets ceiling). Secure tightly. Always use the wide (2 1/2") tape.

    applying blue painter's tape for ceiling paint job

  • Now, paint a strip (where the ceiling meets the wall) around the perimeter of the whole room.

    *Note* If you are going to paint your room later, you can be a little flexible with wild brush strokes that overlap ceiling paint on the walls. You're going to repaint them anyway, so don't bother with being extra careful at this point. That "carefulness" will come later, when you're painting the walls.

    You're Ready To Paint

    Start out in any corner, and work you're way outward. Roll a strip of paint of paint about 3 to 4 feet long. Roll back and forth only a few times to ensure coverage.

    (Roll somewhat lightly. Do not press hard on the roll itself. You'll only create "ridges" that will require constant re-rolling. Just let the roller itself do the work.)

    This will ensure that you are getting good coverage from your paint. Continue to do this until you have finished the entire ceiling. Let dry.

    (Here's a good hint - use you're 6" roller to cover the area around the fixture in the center of the room. Brush immediately around the base, then, with the 6" roller, paint to about 24" on all sides. This will help you to keep paint off the fixture)

  • Clean and replace glass cover on fixture.

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