You are currently viewing How to Paint a Ceiling: A Beginners Guide

Are you ready to update a room in your home, but don’t know where to start?

Painting your ceiling can be an easy and cost-effective way to transform any room in your home.

With the right tools and helpful tips, you can easily achieve professional-looking results, even if you’re a beginner.

So if you’re looking for a simple way to upgrade your home, follow this guide to learn how to paint a ceiling like a pro!

Welcome to week 2 of the One Room Challenge!

I believe every room makeover begins with a fresh coat of paint.

It’s clearly the most economical way to update any room.

And on week 2 of this makeover for Aiden’s room, we’ll begin with paint.

Choosing a moody paint color is what clearly gave the home office library its cozy feel, along with encasing the room with color.

Not to mention the modern cozy feel that navy blue paint added to the bathroom.

Today we’re sharing tips for painting your ceiling like a pro, even if you’re a beginner.

As a reminder you can easily navigate through each week of this room makeover, by clicking on the links below.

Week 1 | Week 2 you are here! | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8

If you’re new here, we’re Michelle and Steph, a mom and daughter team.

WELCOME! You can learn more about us here.

Be sure to join our DIY community of doers and you won’t miss any of our DIY projects and ideas for your home.

In addition, you’ll want to follow us on Instgram for behind the scenes progress and updates!

Also on the One Room Challenge website, you’ll find lots of ideas for updating any space in your home.


Should You Paint Your Walls and Ceiling the Same Color?

When it comes to deciding whether or not to paint your walls and ceiling the same color, it can be a personal preference.

Some people prefer the look of a single color for both walls and ceilings, creating an even backdrop that pulls any room together.

In addition, when enveloping a room in color, it can make the room feel larger and that’s exactly what happened in my home office library.

On the other hand, painting your walls and ceiling different colors can add depth and dimension to a room.

In my small bathroom I wanted the ceilings to feel taller, so painting only the ceilings black made them feel lifted, almost like there isn’t a ceiling there at all.

So when it comes to painting a room, don’t forget about the ceiling!

It’s an essential part of creating your dream space and could be just the thing you need for extra drama.

So grab your supplies and let that fifth wall shine with new color.

Are you enjoying these ideas? Please pin it, save it for later and share it with a friend.

Sharing is caring!

Supplies for Painting Your Ceiling

Before you start painting your ceiling, it’s important to make sure you have the right supplies.

Using the proper tools will make painting your ceiling so much easier.

To begin, you’ll need a ladder, drop cloths, painter’s tape, extension pole, angled paint brush, paint tray, a roller frame and cover, and of course paint.

Primer is optional, depending on the surface you’re covering.

But if you’re trying to cover a dark paint or have stain marks on your ceiling, I’d definitely recommend applying primer first, plus it will help the paint adhere better.

What Paint is Best for a Ceiling?

When painting a ceiling I’d opt for a flat finish since it’s easier to work with and will help minimize imperfections.

Flat paint is not great for walls since it can be difficult to clean, but it’s the perfect paint for ceilings.

In our case we have a striped ceiling and by using a flat paint it will minimize the raised lines from the previous paint job.

One other thing I want to mention, is an extension pole for your roller frame is a must when painting a ceiling.

Without it you’ll be up and down the ladder hundreds of times to cover the entire ceiling.

When selecting an extension pole, look for a good quality telescoping pole that will easily reach your ceiling.

When painting my vaulted ceilings I selected a professional pole that would extend up to 17 feet.

Once you have all the necessary supplies, you’ll be ready to start painting your ceiling!

With the right tools and paint, you can make this project a breeze – not only saving money but transforming any area into something truly special.

Prep Your Ceiling

One other important step before you begin painting your ceiling is to do the prep work.

You’ll want the surface to be clean and if it’s in the kitchen make sure you use a degreaser.

Also you’ll want to repair any holes or cracks before painting as well.

Room before painting, Green and white painted ceiling with grey walls and a rustic, industrial light fixture.

If you remember from last week the boys are switching rooms and Gavin had placed LED lights around the ceiling.

Well, when we removed the lights it pulled off some of the old paint and needed some repair and spackling before paint.

What is the Best Way to Paint a Ceiling

Prep Your Room

First clear the furniture out of room if possible.

It will make painting the ceiling so much easier.

In our case, we were able to remove everything except the bed.

It’s super heavy and difficult to take apart, so we opted to move it back and forth as we painted the room.

Protect your floors and any remaining furniture with drop cloths in the work area, nothing is worse than dropping paint on furniture or floors.

If you’re just painting the ceiling, apply painter’s tape around the edges of the ceiling and plastic sheeting to avoid any drips or splatters on the walls.

Cut In

When painting a ceiling, we like to cut in first with a good quality angle brush.

You’ll use the angle brush to paint any area that will be difficult for the roller to cover.

Women cutting in black paint around the ceiling in this bedroom with a green and white striped ceiling.

If you’re only painting the ceiling, cut in with an angled brush with the brush perpendicular to the wall or ceiling.

Using an angled brush can eliminate the need to tape off the ceiling, you just need a steady hand as you go.

Woman cutting in with an angled paint brush.

Make sure you don’t have too much paint in your brush to avoid drips and pull the brush, steadily across the area.

Roll Paint on the Ceiling

The best way to paint a ceiling is to use a roller and extension pole.

This will help you cover more area quickly and provide a smoother finish.

If your ceiling is smooth use a 3/8″ napped roller, and if you have a textured ceiling choose a 1/2″ nap on the roller.

Begin at one side of the room and work in an area about 3 feet wide and 4 to 5 feet long.

First begin rolling the paint onto the ceiling in a “W” or “M” pattern.

Use a roller on an extension pol to roll flat paint onto the ceiling over green and white stripes. Rustic wood and stainless steel industrial light fixture.

Then fill in the area with paint, rolling back and forth.

Once it’s filled in, position yourself back 3-4 feet and repeat the process.

Work in rows that are about 3 feet wide, so you are continually rolling onto a wet edge.

That’s one of the keys to no roller marks, the other is to use a light touch when rolling.

Don’t press the roller too hard, let the paint roller do the work for you.

This will ensure you get professional looking results.

Once that row is finished start a new 3 foot wide row and continue until the entire ceiling is painted.

A chalkline is placed around the perimeter of the room.

We’re also planning on painting the top 12″ of the wall black as well.

This is part of the design element of the room that we will be sharing with you next week.

If your ceiling is textured you’ll likely need a second coat of paint.

Allow paint to dry (check your paint can drying times) and then apply a second coat of paint.

Remove any painter’s tape while the second coat of paint is still wet.

This will ensure that you don’t pull off any of your newly painted ceiling.

Painted ceiling black with a white painted wall. The light fixture is painted black to blend the ceiling for this Stars Wars Themed bedroom.

Pro tip:: It’s best to cut in and roll the same day. That way you are working on a wet edge and it will ensure a professional looking finish.

Let’s stay connected! Follow us on social media!

And for more painting tips check out these posts:

Painting your ceiling is not as hard as it may seem.

With the right tools and some helpful tips, you can easily achieve amazing results without spending too much time or money.

So if you’re looking for an easy way to give your room a facelift, follow this guide to learn how to paint a ceiling like a pro!

Sharing is caring!

Pinterest image, The Secret to Paint a Ceiling with Professional Results, a beginners guide. White painted walls with black ceiling.

Thanks for spending some time with us today, we hope you’ve been inspired!

Please Pin this post, save it for later and share it with a friend!

If you’re new here, WELCOME! We love having new readers and friends!

You can learn more about us here.

Let’s stay connected! Join our DIY community of doers and you won’t miss any inspiration for your home.

Please PIN and save for later, and share with your friends! Sharing helps grow our following!

Thanks for stopping by and as always here at Sunny Side Design 


Retailers We Love

Be sure to follow us on Pinterest for even more home decor and DIY ideas.

To see what we are working on before it’s on our blog, follow us on Instagram.

You will also find our video tutorials on our YouTube channel.

Leave a Reply