Painting a Ceiling – 7 Essential Steps for a Fabulous Ceiling
During room renovations, the walls often get the most attention. After all, the walls are right at eye-level so you can’t really miss them. However, there is another key component to painting a room properly – the ceiling. So in this article, we’ve put together a list 7 essential steps to follow when painting a ceiling. That way, every part of your room is fabulous, not just the walls!
Not sure if you want to go the DIY route? A professional interior painter can lend you a helping hand!
Step 1: Find The Best Ceiling Paint
Beyond choosing a colour, there are a few different types of ceiling paint that you will want to look out for. Depending on the paint you choose, you can add a unique texture, hide cracks in your plaster or add a glossy sheen. To help you decide which type of ceiling paint is best for your home, we’ve outlined some of the most popular ceiling paint options below!
Textured Ceiling Paint
If you have plenty of bumps, cracks or any uneven areas in your ceiling then a textured paint presents the perfect solution. Commonly known as popcorn ceiling paint, this type of paint will easily cover any uneven areas in your ceiling.
Flexible Ceiling Paint
Do you have small hairline cracks in your ceiling’s plaster? Then flexible ceiling paint is a top option. Also known as crack-free ceiling paint, flexible ceiling paint will stretch over any hairline cracks present in the ceiling’s plaster. It is also designed to prevent these cracks from reappearing after the paint has set, leaving a smooth and beautiful finish.
Glossy paint is highly reflective. So, using a glossy paint to finish your ceiling will result in a ceiling that strongly reflects light. As well as being highly reflective, this type of paint will also show up any imperfections in your ceiling. If you have hairline cracks or any uneven areas it is best to opt for something that is more matte. However, if your wall is even and smooth, a gloss paint can add a touch of elegance.
On the other side of the spectrum from glossy paint is matte paint. Matte finishes are very soft and won’t reflect light the same way that a glossy paint will. For this reason, a matte ceiling is more likely to create a cosy atmosphere. This type of paint is also far more forgiving to ceilings with imperfections.
The eggshell finish offers the perfect compromise between matte and eggshell. It has a slight gloss which is perfect for brightening the room yet it is also matte enough to cover any imperfections. If you’re struggling to choose between gloss or matte then opt for eggshell for the perfect blend of both paint worlds.
Keep in mind that no matter which paint you choose it is a top idea to opt for white, or a light shade. White paint easily reflects light, making the room feel larger, more open and spacious. This can work wonders in a small room.
Step 2: Clean up Cobwebs
Before you go ahead and eagerly begin to paint your ceiling take the time to clean up any cobwebs first. The easiest way to do this is to pick up a vacuum and as odd as it may sound, vacuum your ceiling. A vacuum will quickly pick up any cobwebs tucked away in the corners of your ceiling, plus it will also catch any dust that might be lingering about. To ensure that the ceiling is extra clean, use a damp cloth and ladder to wipe it down after you have finished vacuuming.
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Step 3: Protect Furniture with a Drop Cloth
The simplest way to ensure that your furniture is protected from paint splatters is by removing it from the room. Most chairs, tables and furnishings can be easily located to a nearby room.
However, there may be some pieces which are either too large or too heavy to remove from the room, like pianos. Instead of attempting to move items like this and risking injuring yourself, use a drop cloth or tarp to cover these pieces. These cloths are made of a plastic material which will safely cover all your belongings. Just because you want to paint your ceiling doesn’t mean you want your furniture to be painted as well!
Step 4: Scuff Sand Glossy Ceilings
Are you painting a glossy ceiling? Then chances are you will need to scuff sand it. Scuff sanding is an essential step to priming glossy surfaces.
Without scuff sanding, the glossiness of the ceiling will make it difficult for a new coat of paint to adhere properly. So, if your ceiling was previously painted with a glossy paint this is a step you simply cannot skip.
However, don’t stress, this process is actually relatively simple. Scuff sanding is essentially just the process of gently sanding the previous coat of paint. You can generally effectively scuff a ceiling by hand with a piece of sandpaper. If you happen to own an electric sander then this can be used instead to speed up the process.
Step 5: Tape and Prime
If you are not going to be painting the walls after you have painted the ceiling, then taping is your next step. Smoothly place your painter’s tape along the edges between the ceiling and walls for the best results. When you are finished painting you can remove the tape slowly to reveal smooth lines between the ceiling and wall.
Once you have finished taping then it is time to prime. Some paints may come mixed as a blend of primer and paint. Check your paint to find out whether or not you will need to prime the ceiling before you paint it. If you do need a primer, then simply follow the techniques described in the next section except using primer instead of paint.
Step 6: Techniques for Painting a Ceiling
Now that your ceiling is dust-free, sanded and primed you can actually begin painting it!
Paint The Corners First
The corners are the first part of the ceiling that you should tackle with your paint brush. The easiest way to get at these is with a 2 inch trim brush.
While a roller brush is extremely useful for painting the central area of the ceiling when it comes to the corners a roller brush is simply too bulky. Painting the corners requires a particular attention to detail that makes a trim brush the perfect tool.
Choosing The Best Roller Brush
Once you have finished painting the corners then you can begin painting the central area of your ceiling. For this part of the project, a roller brush is your best option. The roller brush will allow you to cover large areas of the ceiling with ease.
It is best to shop around for a roller brush that has an extendable handle. This will allow you to comfortable paint the ceiling while standing on the ground. There’s no need to try and balance on a ladder while painting the middle of your ceiling.
Paint in Parallel Lines
As you paint, angle the brush so that it is slightly in front of you. Then, move the brush in parallel lines, pushing the roller brush away from you and towards the opposite wall. Remember to always keep the brush in front of you, you don’t want to paint directly overhead. Continue to paint in parallel lines across your ceiling covering it entirely with the paint.
Once you have covered the ceiling, leave it to set. Depending on the paint and temperature in your home this may take 24 hours or, it may take longer. It is best to read the package for specific directions.
You may also need to apply a second coat of paint once the first coat has dried. By applying the second coat you will prevent the colour of the old paint from peeking through. In case you do need to apply a second coat wrap your wet paint brush in a plastic bag to keep it from hardening.
Step 7: Tidy up and Relax
After your paint has set all that is left to do is tidy up. Clean your brushes and tools immediately. If you leave the paint to harden it may be impossible to remove and could ruin your brushes. Then, when everything all tidied up, your drop sheets are put away and your tape is carefully pulled off the edges between the ceiling and the wall, you can sit back and relax.
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