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Tips for Ceiling Painting

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Ceiling painting can be an arduous task, but the following tips will help the job go more smoothly.

Tool Selection

  • For ceiling painting, the best tool to use is a paint roller with an extension handle. Painting from the floor is much simpler (and much less exhausting) than balancing on a ladder.
  • Textured ceilings have bumps and irregularities that can be difficult to paint, so be sure to use a roller with a thick nap to get full coverage. For a smooth ceiling, you can use a roller with a short or smooth nap.

Paint Selection

  • Use good quality paint. Cheaper paints often require additional coats before they look acceptable.
  • Most ceilings are painted white or off-white to give an illusion of height. Medium and darker colors make the ceiling appear closer and may make the room cozier. Generally speaking, dark colors should only be used on high ceilings (twelve foot or taller). Painting an eight-foot ceiling a dark color will probably give the room a claustrophobic feel.

Room Prep

  • If possible, move any furniture out from under the ceiling being painted. Use drop cloths or sheets of newspaper to cover the floors and any furniture left in the room.
  • If the walls and trim are a different color than the ceiling, use quick-release painter's tape to mask around them.

Ceiling Painting

  • To begin, you'll need to "cut in" the edges of the ceiling. Use a three-inch brush to paint a strip along the ceiling where it meets the wall.
  • While the cut-in line is still wet, begin painting the ceiling with the roller. If you wait too long to begin, the cut-in line will dry and you may end up with a visible line.
  • Always dip the roller in the deep portion of the paint tray, and then roll it back and forth in the shallow end to squeeze out the excess paint. This will ensure an even coverage of paint on the roller.
  • Mark out a small section on the ceiling by painting a zigzag pattern. If you are right handed, start on the right and work your way left. Go back over the pattern with straight strokes to even out the paint.
  • In most cases, one coat should be enough. If you feel a second coat is warranted, be sure to let the paint dry between coats. Otherwise, you'll find yourself dealing with peeling and flaking paint.

With these simple tips, ceiling painting can be a snap!

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