How To Paint A Ceiling

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Little do you know that over time your ceiling paint can fade. Adding a fresh coat is easy and can really help freshen up your room. I've got some tips and product picks that will help avoid the drips and splatter for this project.


Before we get started, I need to clear everything out of the room and spread out drop cloths to cover the floor. No matter how careful you are, paint splatter has a way of getting everywhere.

I'll be using Benjamin Moore's ceiling paint which is slightly thicker paint that is designed to better grip the ceiling for fewer drips and conceals comment surface imperfections for fantastic results.

Next, we need to mask off the tops of walls and any crown molding with painter’s tape.  If you have a ceiling fixture make sure you tape off those areas as well. I like using the Ace Clean Release painters’ tape, it’s strong adhesion makes it ideal for painting ceilings. Make sure to really press down on the tape to ensure no paint seeps through it. Here’s a tip- take a damp cloth and run your finger across the tape, this will ensure there’s no paint coming through.


The next step is to cut in around the ceiling using an angled brush. I like to use a 3 or 4 inch angle synthetic brush.  Cutting in before you roll allows you to cover most of the brush marks with the roller. Carefully brush paint along the edge of the ceiling a section at a time.

To paint the ceiling, a lightweight, easy-to-use extension pole will save your body, and especially your back, while you are reaching to paint that ceiling. To load the paint roller start from the ribbed section of the paint tray, slowly roll your roll it into the paint. You don't have to go all the way to the bottom of the well of the paint tray, just go into it enough to saturate your paint roller. Do this five to six times and evenly distribute the paint. Continue to go back and forth until your roller is evenly saturated with paint. Once it feels heavy and the paint looks even on the roller, your ready to paint.

Use the fully extended extension pole and paint in a zigzag pattern measuring 3 to 4 inch square. I like to start in the corner of the room and work my way to the other side. Now, if you ask a painter how to paint a ceiling you’ll get 10 different answers, but this is what has worked for me to make sure I cover the entire ceiling.

Use a low-nap 1/2-in lambs wool cover roller for smooth ceilings and thicker nap 1/2-inch or 3/4-inch nap for textured ceilings. Those textured ceiling need more paint is to get into all those grooves. Click the shoppable link at the top for all these products!

Next, go over the same area using straight, controlled strokes to even out the paint. Avoid leaving paint lines from the edge of the roller. Since you need to work while the paint is still wet, tackle smaller sections and be sure to feather the edges to reduce visible lines between sections. With such a dark color you might need two coats.

With the paint a little tacky, it’s time to remove the painters tape and enjoy that fresh coat of paint on your ceiling.
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Published on 2/24/2022.

Always follow manufacturer's instructions before using any product.
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