Top Tips for Painting a Ceiling

Want to paint your ceiling but worried about the messy you might make? Then why not take your time to absorb these top tips before you get started!

Transforming your home or a particular room with a lick of paint can be a great way to save money on an extensive refurbishment project and still get the place looking that little bit neater – not to mention brighter and more lived-in too! But what if it isn’t just the walls, but also the ceiling that needs a facelift? Are you up to the task?

Well, painting a ceiling is a bit (but not completely) different to painting ordinary household walls, and there a few tips and bits you should familiarise yourself with before you plunge straight in with an ordinary domestic paintbrush and get started. So what do you need to know?

General Painting Tips

Before you get started on any kind of painting refurbishment project, it is always a good idea to brush up on your skills and techniques too; after all, it isn’t just the ceiling you want painted perfectly. So what things should you be on the lookout for in every part of the project?

  • Before you begin, cover all items of furniture or delicates with dust sheets to protect them from paint for the duration of the project.
  • Next, rub down the walls with the sandpaper to ensure you have a smooth and even surface to paint on. This means rubbing off any bumps, grit or dirt in the wall and making sure they are as clean and dry as possible.
  • Check you have all the necessary equipment – from paint brushes and drip trays to buckets of water, a radiator brush and white spirit.
  • Finally, use masking tape to mark all the necessary edges and door and window frames before you start edging near them; that way you can cut-in with a little more ease and spend more time keeping the perimeter of your room as neat and streamlined as you’d like.

Painting a Ceiling Advice

So you have gone over all the usual bits of advice; but what tips are specific to painting a ceiling? Well, there are a number of things you should consider when starting to paint a ceiling, including the following:

  • Firstly, wait for all the walls to dry completely before you get started. This may sound blindingly obvious, but it is all too easy to rush to get finished and end up with paint everywhere before you know what you even did wrong.
  • As with a wall, scrape any debris or bumps and grooves from a ceiling using sandpaper or some kind of abrasive (but not damaging) material; in fact, glass-paper is what works best for slightly rougher ceiling patterns and designs.
  • Again, check you have all the right tools; for a ceiling this will usually mean a wide roller as well as a roller handle extension; a small step-ladder; a filling knife; a paint kettle; and a 200mm pad in place of your usual brush for cutting-in against the upper skirting and crown moulding that runs parallel to your ceiling.
  • With a ceiling, it is always good to start from the corner furthest from the entry door and work your backwards from there. This helps to maintain even surface coverage and gives you room to make mistakes that you can easily go back and correct (without worrying about messing up any paintwork you’ve finished).
  • Finally, if you are going to attempt to paint a ceiling, you should always have an extra pair of hands ready to spot-check you when standing on a ladder, or to simply guide the extended roller as you go. If you can’t find anyone to help, then it might be worth hiring a professional painter and decorator to do the work for you; it might mean forking out a little extra in labour costs, but it will ensure a smooth, pressed-on look for your ceiling’s paint-job – and they should be finished in just a few hours too!