How To Paint A Ceiling With Less Mess In 4 Easy To Follow Steps

You Can Freshen Up Rooms In Your Vista, California Home By Painting Your Ceiling
Man painting a ceiling with a roller on a pole

How to paint a ceiling starts with finding out what paint is on your ceiling. Then you prep the room, prime if you have to, and then get to painting!

Find all the steps and more in the post below-

At Least It Isn’t The Sistine Chapel

“What, you don’t want to hang from the ceiling while you paint like Michelangelo?” Michelle jokes.

David snorts. “Absolutely not. That’s way too high, and thankfully our ceiling is not. I can reach it with a roller on a pole if that’s what’s needed.”

Sistine Chapel ceiling

Michelle giggles. “Yeah, I know hon, I’m only teasing. So, what’s your gameplan for painting the ceiling? I don’t know how to paint a ceiling so I can’t really help.” David smiles. “Looks like we can learn together, then.”

David gets out his phone and starts typing. “Whatchya doing hon?” asks Michelle. “I’m looking up the steps to painting a ceiling on Google. I did this when looking up how to touch up wall paint too.”

Here is the process the couple finds:

Tools & Materials

Safety glasses
Low nap roller for smooth ceilings (extender optional)
½-inch or ¾-inch nap for textured ceilings
2-2½ inch brush
Drop cloths
Ladder tall enough for you to reach the ceiling

How To Painting A Ceiling In 4 Steps

  1. Examine your ceiling
  2. Prep the room for painting
  3. Prime the ceiling if needed
  4. Paint
Roller on pole painting a ceiling

You’ll want to know the condition of your ceiling before you prime or paint it. Any damages need repairing or it’ll get in the way or get worse. This is especially true for water damage. 

If the paint is oil-based you can paint over top of it with any kind of paint. If it’s acrylic (latex or water-based) then you can’t paint oil over it or it’ll chip and peel quickly.

You can learn the steps for preparing a room for painting. It involves moving objects, covering them, and painter’s tape.

Now comes the priming part. You only need to prime your ceiling if it’s bare drywall or wood, stained or repaired, a high-gloss finish, or an extreme color change.

Man preparing a ceiling for painting

As for painting, here’s where it gets a little complex. Paint in 4-foot by 4-foot sections starting in a corner. Using your brush, start painting a few inches out from the edge and paint inwards towards the tape. This is called cutting in. It’s like creating a border for you to paint in. 

Then, use your roller to paint that section. Roll one way first in straight lines, covering an entire section. Then roll the opposite direction.

Quick transitions from brush to roller help prevent lap marks. Roll a little slow so the paint won’t splatter.

Finally, use a blank roller and lightly smooth out the paint after you finish a few sections.

How To Avoid Roller Marks When Painting

You can lessen or avoid roller marks by feathering the edge. This means as you roll the paint on, you lighten the pressure so the paint isn’t as thick.

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“And now we know how to paint a ceiling! Should we start or should we consider hiring a professional painter?” asks Michelle. David rubs his beard. “I’m not sure. Let’s look around this site a little more while we think it over.”