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How to paint a ceiling: tips and tricks

Discover how to paint a ceiling safely with a step-by-step guide and ceiling painting tips.


By Cleanipedia Team

Brush and tin of white paint for painting a ceiling

Key steps

  • Fix ceiling cracks
  • Move frames, photos and more to another room
  • Cover furniture and the floor with tarpaulin
  • Keep the room well-ventilated
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Use flat paint
  • Sand the ceiling
  • Use painter’s tape on edges and lights
  • Apply primer
  • Paint the ceiling

The ceiling is one of the most awkward areas to paint; but for a fresh and smart result, it's important not to miss it out when redecorating. Here we'll share top tips for achieving a professional result including the best way to paint a ceiling and safety advice to prevent accidents.

Make sure that you keep a good quality cleaner like Cif Cream to hand to clean up any accidental paint spillages after you finish painting your ceiling.

How to paint a ceiling: A step-by-step guide with ceiling painting tips

When it comes to understanding how to paint a ceiling without roller marks, we’ve got you covered with our step-by-step guide.

  1. Before you start to paint, make sure your ceiling is in an appropriate state to add paint to it. For advice on fixing ceiling cracks, click here.
  2. Make sure that you move any items such as photos or artwork to another room and cover larger items like your sofa or furniture in tarpaulin or old sheets.
  3. Cover the floor beneath the area you are painting with tarpaulin or old sheets.
  4. Make sure the area is well-ventilated.
  5. Wear protective clothing while painting and cover your face. This will protect your skin and prevent you breathing in the fumes.
  6. You can use a roller on an extension pole or a ladder. If using a ladder, make sure that it is stable and stood on a flat surface.
  7. Use a flat paint. You can purchase ceiling specific paints, many of which will help to cover imperfections.
  8. Sand down the surface of the ceiling.
  9. Put painter’s tape around the edges near walls and light fittings to protect areas you don’t want to paint.
  10. Apply a primer. This will let the paint go on smoother and help to prevent roller marks being left behind.
  11. Now you are ready to paint the ceiling. Start by using a good quality paintbrush to paint the corners and edges. This is called, “cutting in”. Next, use your roller to cover the surface in paint. Read the label to check how many layers are recommended, leaving time for each layer to dry before painting over it.

Now you have our ceiling painting tips, you have all the tricks you need to give the ceilings in your home a new lease of life.

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Originally published