Paint a ceiling

How to paint a ceiling streak-free with the best ceiling paint

Maybe you think that to paint a ceiling you need a professional who paints your ceiling professionally. But with the right preparation and high-quality materials like tape, white ceiling paint, brush, roller and sheet you can paint a ceiling on your own. To be able to paint a ceiling you need the best ceiling paint; what else you need to have and to know is what we show you in this guide on how to paint a ceiling.

Keep on reading, we make sure you learn all the important steps: We show you what tools you need, how to clean the ceiling, which ceiling paint to buy, how to paint a ceiling, and we look at painting special ceiling types, like a dropped ceiling/ suspended ceiling, and popcorn ceiling/ structured ceilings.


Guide: How to paint a ceiling

To paint a ceiling in order to be satisfied with the result and to have a nice long-lasting finish, these tools and materials are what you need to have:

paint a ceiling

When you want to paint a ceiling it is vital to first fill possible cracks and damages.

Tools and materials you need to paint a ceiling

Painting a ceiling with an airless spray application is also possible and very easy as well as hassle-free, plus you can use it time and time again. But you must invest in an airless spray.

Cleaning the ceiling

The first step before the actual rolling and brushing on paint on the ceiling, is thorough preparation of the ceiling. The first step involves cleaning. The way to clean the ceiling depends on the age and state of the ceiling (dirty/clean), and the surface material. Generally speaking, the following is what you need to do to clean the ceiling:

  1. Remove dust dry by brushing away with a dry, soft brush.
  2. Wipe remaining dust/dirt with a wet cloth.
  3. If necessary, degrease greasy surface and spots with a degreaser. Follow the instructions on the bottle.
  4. Let ceiling dry.

Exceptions:

  • Ceilings made of concrete or tile you must brush off with a hard bristle brush.
  • Wooden ceilings need to be sanded with rough sanding paper and dustetd off with a vaccum cleaner.
  • Non-porous layers of old paint are best washed with a mild neutral detergent

Make sure that damage, flaws and holes are filled and smoothed out before starting to paint the ceiling.

Next, you have to remove all fixtures and objects that are on the ceiling. Please disconnect power by shutting off the fuse first!

Buy ceiling paint

Below you find a selection of the best ceiling paint for streak-free result. For some ceilings a primer is needed. Feel free to click through, browse, and buy ceiling paint:

Dulux Trade Pure brilliant white High gloss Wall & ceiling paint 1L
Dulux Trade High Gloss
  • Wall & ceiling paint
  • Pure Brilliant White
  • 1L
Valspar Trade Magnolia Matt Wall & ceiling paint 5L
Valspar Trade Matt
  • Wall & ceiling paint
  • Magnolia
  • 5L
GoodHome Problem ceilings Brilliant white Matt Emulsion paint 2.5L
GoodHome Problem Ceilings
  • Emulsion paint
  • Brilliant White Matt
  • 2.5L
Polycell Crack free White Smooth Matt Emulsion paint 2.5L
Polycell Crack-free Ceilings
  • Emulsion paint
  • White Smooth Matt
  • 2.5L
Dulux Pure brilliant white Silk Emulsion paint 5L
Dulux Pure Brilliant White
  • walls and ceilkings paint
  • Silk
  • 5L

Step-by-step Guide: Paint a ceiling

After the ceiling has been cleaned, all obstacles are out of the way, the power is switched off, and you found the best ceiling paint for the job, it is finally time to paint the ceiling. The method how to paint a ceiling is generally about the same, but does differ slightly if you have a textured/ popcorn ceiling or a dropped ceiling. We look at the latter in a bit.

Follow these steps to paint your ceiling:

  1. Stir the paint well and pour in a paint tray the amount of paint you need for the following step;
  2. Use masking tape to mask outlets and other obstables that mustn¹t be painted;
  3. Lay out cover sheeting underneath the complete area of the ceiling;
  4. Wet the paint roller lightly, so it absorbs the paint more evenly;
  5. Start painting the corners and edges where walls meet the ceiling with a brush;
  6. If you fear streaks and visible stripes, use a small smooth paint to go along the edges before they are dry;
  7. Distribute the ceiling paint on the paint roller evenly and start rolling;
  8. Paint the first layer left to right, than right to left;
  9. Let the first layer of paint dry and apply the next one in the crosswise.

Paint dropped ceiling/ suspended ceiling, textured ceiling

If you want to paint your dropped ceiling/ suspended ceiling or a textured ceiling ceiling, read on about how to paint those ceiling types:

Painting a dropped ceiling/ suspended ceiling

There are several types of ceilings that we deal with in the following. Let’s start with the most important points of attention when painting a dropped ceiling/ suspended ceiling.

Dropped ceilings are that types of ceiling that are secondary ceilings; mostly they consist of panels inside a grid, and can be removed.
To paint dropped ceiling there are two options to choose from:

  1. Remove the panels/tiles from the grid one by one. Clean them and let them dry. Next, paint them with a water-thinned (max. 15% water added) ceiling paint and a roller. Ceiling tiles are porous, so they are absorbing quite a lot of paint. After letting the paint dry, and if necessary add a second layer, put the panels back in the grid system. Done!
  2. Another option to paint the dropped ceiling is to paint it as is in none colour. In order to do this, you need to mask and cover everything from floor to walls first. Then paint the whole ceiling with a paint roller or an airless sprayer.

Tip: If you go for the first option to paint the dropped ceiling, don’t forget to clean the parts of the grid the tiles lie on as well.

How to paint a textured ceiling – painting popcorn ceiling

Some ceilings have a texture, we call that a popcorn ceiling or simply a textured ceiling. They are a bit harder to paint because you have to follow the threedimensional structures and moisten it on the whole surface. To paint a popcorn ceiling therefore requires more litres of ceiling paint as well as a good eye for detail.

An easy option to paint textured ceilings that are rathetr small is to use an airless spray paint applicator.

Do you want to paint the whole surface of a biger popcorn ceiling? If it is a new ceiling, you want to prime it first in order to reduce its absorptivity before painting it with ceiling paint.

If the ceiling has been painted before, you can skip the ceiling primer and start painting. What appears is that a paint with a longer pot life comes in handy, because you don’t have to rush while painting every corner of the popcorn ceiling thouroughly.

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