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How to Paint a Ceiling

A fresh coat of paint can fundamentally alter the look of any part of your home. That’s especially true of your ceiling, something you take for granted when you’re not lying in bed. Painting your ceiling isn’t easy, though. You’re not Michelangelo, after all. Here’s a guide to painting your ceiling safely and effectively.

4 Steps to a Perfectly Painted Ceiling

It’s Dirtier Than You Think

How to Paint a Ceiling
Image via Flickr by Jemal

The ceiling is a room’s fifth wall, and it can grow very dirty over time. If there’s a smoker at your residence, the smoke rises to the ceiling. Inevitably, it creates an unsightly stain on this wall. Ceilings on the top floor can suffer from roof leaks, while ones on lower floors can stain due to sink and tub leaks on the floor above. Take a long look at your ceiling, and you’ll discover it’s likely in need of a paint job. But before you paint a ceiling, you’ll have to clean it and make sure there’s no structural damage.

Pick the Right Tools

Painting your ceiling doesn’t have to be difficult. You simply need to pick the right equipment before tackling the wall in question. Note that when you paint a ceiling it’s different from standard painting, because it drips very easily. You’ll want a loaded roller for most of the work plus a sash brush for the edges. You should cover the floor below to avoid accidental paint drips, and you’ll need a ladder to reach the area easily.

You also need painter’s tape if you aren’t painting the other walls. Finally, buy a stain-blocking primer to cover stains before starting the painting process.

Work Those Edges

Start with the hard part. Once you finish painting the edges, the rest of the job is a breeze. This is when you should apply the painter’s tape to protect the walls you aren’t painting. Also, if you have a ceiling fan or anything else hanging from the ceiling, remove it before painting.

The edges of the ceiling require a deft touch. Work about 3 inches away from the wall to make the process easier. Bring the paint to the wall carefully by using the sash brush. Note that it’s okay to overlap the paint some to create a transformational effect.

paint a ceiling

Roll the Rest of the Way

Your roller is the tool that will carry you the rest of the way. Once you have the edges brushed in, you’re free to get a bit sloppy. No, you shouldn’t splash paint everywhere, but you don’t need the same level of precision with a roller.

Simply remember a pair of obvious tips. The first is that you should never paint directly over your head. You want to change your ceiling’s appearance, not rush to the emergency room after swallowing paint. Roll toward yourself, and stop at arm’s length. Also, roll in the same direction with each stroke. Otherwise, the rows of paint will look mismatched in areas.

Painting your ceiling isn’t that difficult. Simply grab the right tools, do a bit of planning, and follow the tips above. You’ll freshen the look of your room and get rid of stains for good.

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