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How To Paint A Ceiling

Part 2

  • Paint Tray:
  • I recommend that you purchase a metal paint tray and a number of paint tray liners. It avoids the problems and time associated with trying to clean out a paint tray.

  • Stir Stick:
  • Do not use any old piece of lumber that you have lying around. Raw lumber has sap in it and it could easily blend with the paint if you use it as a stir stick. As well, pieces of lumber that have been lying around are probably dirty!

  • Masking Tape:
  • There are all sorts of masking tapes currently available in the market. You should use a high quality painter’s masking tape (usually blue in color), as shown in Figure 3. The inexpensive light yellow masking tapes will not release from the wall and some will allow the paint to bleed through.

    Painter's masking tape

    Figure 3 - Painter's masking tape
  • Drop Cloths:
  • Buy a quality plastic, as shown in Figure 4 or canvas drop cloth – enough to cover the entire room. You do not want to have to keep moving the drop cloths as you are painting.

    Painter's plastic drop cloth

    Figure 4 - Painter's plastic drop cloth
  • Rags:
  • Always have a rag readily available, a back pocket works very well. Inevitably a drop of paint will end up where you don’t want it. As well you will want to place a rag over the lid when hammering it shut to catch any paint splatter.

  • Paint Can Opener
  • Hammer/Mallet
  • You will need a hammer or mallet to seal the lid back on the paint can.

  • Ladder
  • Although the roller extension handle will allow you to paint the majority of the ceiling while standing on the ground, you will need a step ladder to paint a cut-in line around the perimeter of the ceiling, to apply the masking tape and to remove the ceiling light fixture if there is one in the room. A 6 foot step ladder is usually sufficient.

  • Goggles
  • You are painting overhead and the splatter from the roller is likely to land in your eyes!

Step 1:

If at all possible remove everything from the room. Furniture or other items left in the room become obstacles that are easy to trip over – remember you are painting a ceiling and continually looking up as you move around the room.

Step 2:

Remove any light fixtures that may be in the room. It is much easier to paint the ceiling if the light fixtures have been removed. As well, there is a difference in finish when using a brush and a roller. If you have to paint around the light fixture, the paint strokes may be noticeable. It is also highly likely that if you paint the ceiling with the fixture in place, that you will end up with paint splatter on the light fixture.

Cap the wires from the light fixture with wire connectors and tuck them into the electrical box. By doing so, you will be able to paint right over the electrical box.

If you need additional light in order to paint the room, use an old table lamp, without a shade on it.

Removing the light fixtures is one difference between a professional paint job and an armature paint job.

Remove window treatments such as window blinds and drapes. This will prevent them from being covered in paint splatter from the paint roller.

Any light fixtures and/or window treatments that have been removed should be taken out of the room and placed in a safe location.


Part 1

Part 3