This article will cover some ceiling painting tips from a number of questions that I have gotten this summer on how to paint a ceiling.  As a professional auto body painter and part-time house painter, I am often asked a variety of questions from my students and colleagues on painting tips.

As most of my co-workers are off in the summer, I get bombarded with e-mails on how to paint a variety of things.   One of the most frequently asked questions are ceiling painting questions and the best ways to paint a ceiling.   It seems that many people have trouble painting ceilings the correct way.    Let’s take a look at some of these frequently asked questions about painting ceilings correctly.

What is the easiest way to paint a ceiling?

Sometimes the easiest way to paint a ceiling is often not the best way to paint a ceiling, so I will break this question up into several questions depending on a few factors.  The first thing to look is to look at what type of ceiling that you are dealing with.  If we are looking at a typical home we are USUALLY dealing with 1 of 3 ceilings.   The majority of homes have a flat ceiling, while older homes typically have a textured ceiling or a popcorn ceiling.  Each of these is a little different so IT DEPENDS on what type of ceiling that you have.   We can take a look at all 3 below.

Best ways to Paint a Flat Ceiling?

A typical flat ceiling can be painted with either a roller or a paint sprayer.  Many people choose to use a paint roller because it is cheaper an

ceiling painting tips

Painting a ceiling with a paint sprayer is my preference.d works well on a flat surface.   If you are short for time we suggest using a paint sprayer, if you are short on money you should go for a paint roller.

What Type of Sprayer Should I use?

While there are many sprayers that I recommend,  I would go for a trusted name such as Wagner or Graco.  Check out this post here and here for some more reviews on the most popular sprayers that you can use to paint your ceilings.

What is the easiest way to paint a popcorn ceiling?

Anyone who has tried painting a textured or popcorn ceiling with a roller will soon realize how difficult it may be.   A paint sprayer is by far the easiest way to paint a textured ceiling and a popcorn ceiling.  Not only are does the paint sprayer reach the areas that a paint roller cannot, but it allows you to complete the whole process in a much shorter time period.

What is the best paint to use for ceilings?

Choosing a ceiling paint for your home should be dependent on what type

of material you are painting and what effect you are looking for on your ceiling.   Let’s look at some of the most common types below.

Flat Surfaces–   Flat Acrylic Paint with a roller and/or brush

Textured Surfaces– Flat Latex Paint with a paint sprayer

Best Ceiling Paint BrandsBenjamin Moore Waterborne Ceiling Paint, Sherwin Williams Ceiling Paint, Valspar Color Changing Ceiling Paint

Alternative Ideas–   Super glossy paint,  chalk paint 

What color should I paint my ceiling?

One of the best ceiling painting tips I learned from one of my first mentors in the painting business.  He said that painting is about moods, but don’t make swift decisions.   If you are painting a ceiling it is wise to take a few days and go over the various options that you may have, discuss it with anyone else living in the home and then make your choice.   Here is typically how colors affect your room.

White– White ceiling paint brightens up rooms and tends to make them feel larger.  White is by far the most typical ceiling paint color and blends well with any other paint.   If you are looking to sell your home, it is recommended that you paint your ceilings white so that you can appeal to all buyers.

Light– If you are choosing a light color besides white, it must be used in conjunction with your walls.  Light paint can compliment many colors both light and dark.  It is wise to talk with a paint professional at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot and ask them to give you a list of what colors complement each other the best.

Dark– Whenever a dark color is added to a ceiling it can have a dramatic effect on the room.  Dark typically makes rooms feel more cozy and comfortable, but also makes them feel smaller.  If you are looking for an intimate feel, a dark color would be your option.

How many coats of paint do I need for my ceiling?

As a rule of thumb most of my painting jobs require 3 total painting.   Because I am a bit of a perfectionist, I have been known to do 4 coats of paint, but this is probably more of a personal issue that I have.  As a teacher, I recommend that the first coat of paint will always be done with a primer.   The next two will be with the paint of choice.   A fourth coat is only used if I use a paint roller, but is almost never necessary when using a good paint sprayer.

Why does paint always get in my eyes when I paint my ceiling?

Well a paint sprayer is an easy alternative if you are having issues with paint getting into your eyes.   If you are using paint and a roller you are putting too much paint on at one time.  Always make sure to wear safety glasses when painting a ceiling and if you are using a roller to ease up on the paint.

What is the best way to paint a cathedral ceiling?

Painting a cathedral ceiling is a completely separate beast on to its own.  Depending on your budget, there are many options to what tools you can use to paint a cathedral ceiling.  Let’s take a look at some of the options.

  1. Rent a Scaffold– Depending on our painting skills and budget, renting a
    how to paint a cathedral ceiling

    An extension pole is the cheapest way to paint a cathedral ceiling

    scaffold might be the best way to paint a cathedral ceiling, especially a large one. Instead of paying big bucks at a tool company or a home improvement store, a good piece of advice is to call around to various painters in your area and ask them if you can rent one of their scaffolds for a low price.   Usually you can get one this way for as little as $20-30 a day.

  2. Buy or Rent a Ladder– Ladders increase in price the larger they get.   Because you are painting the centers of a room, you will need a step ladder and not a traditional ladder.  Because prices of tall step ladders can approach $500 or more, it is wise to find a place where you can rent a ladder.
  3. Extension Poles– The cheapest way to paint a cathedral ceiling is by using a long extension pole with a paint roller. The con of using a long extension pole and roller is that you cannot use a paint sprayer.   If you are short on money, but have plenty of time an extension pole with a roller is easily the best option.
Final Thoughts

The tips above are just some of the most common ceiling painting tips from the questions that I get on a regular basis. Painting a ceiling can be an adventure if you have never done it before, but   hopefully these tips can help you become a better painter.    Whether you are using a paint sprayer or a roller, make sure to read all the instructions and safety guidelines and you should have no problems.