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As you can imagine, painting a ceiling is a task that, without care, can prove quite messy thanks to our old friend gravity.
Thanks to the odd crack or unsightly stains, it’s easy for us to neglect our ceilings, but learning how to paint them like the professionals do, means you won’t have to deal with the sight of ugly stains or faded paint for much longer.
Like anything, the more prepared you are, the more likely you are to get it right first time.
If you have never painted a room yourself before, don’t worry – we are going to take you through it all in a simple and easy to follow step by step guide to get you started and on your way to becoming a decorating pro!
Here’s a list of what you’ll need to get started:
Pro Tip: Remember to use safety glasses when painting ceilings, so you don’t get paint speckles in your eyes.
Gathered all your equipment? It’s time to get prepping.
Firstly, remove as much furniture from the room as possible. Lay down dust sheets on the floor or drape over the top of furnishings left in the room - we have some fantastic polythene dust sheets available here.
Vacuum your ceiling. Yes, you read that right! Removing dust particles or fly away cobwebs means the primer and paint will adhere to the surface better. It is also important to choose the right paint for the ceiling as ceiling paint is thicker than generic paint so less likely to splatter. We also recommend using Super Leytex and Anti Reflex 2 which is available in both 5L or 10L if you have a bigger project to undertake, these can be colour matched to the colour and brand of your choice and can also help to avoid flashing, but we’ll talk more about that in “Divide & Conquer” section.
We always recommend to start painting your ceiling by cutting in the edges first with a handy 2" brush. If you're not as confident with cutting in then you can opt for an angled brush design just like this one or try using a masq masking tape. The Masq Superior Gold Painters Tape is ideal for achieving that smooth crisp flat line finish, whilst the Masq Low Tack Painters Tape Purple is better for more sensitive and delicate surfaces such as walls that have been recently painted within the last week.
The choice of roller for painting ceilings is key. A longer pile will cause more splatter meaning more paint on your face! We prefer a short/medium pile roller like the Prodec Contractor or Prep Microfibre. A shorter pile holds less paint and applies a neater coat, which is great when working on a ceiling to avoid splatter or for your neater second coat.
Paint the ceiling in 3-foot by 3-foot sections (a small enough area to keep track of what you've covered with paint). To prevent permanent roller marks, try to always roll your roller in the same direction and start each new section by overlapping onto the wet edges of the preceding section. To avoid flashing we would always recommend keeping wet edges, this helps to seamlessly blend your sections. Flashing is caused by the pulling of wet paint onto an already dried surface and once the light reflects against a freshly painted surface this create a shimmering striped effect to appear or as we like to call it in the painting word “flashing”.
Therefore when painting a large ceiling space with good natural light or spot lights, we always recommend using Anti Reflex 2 to help prevent this from happening, it has a 2% sheen level, helps to remove imperfections and is “anti-reflective”.
Apply a second coat of ceiling paint if you think it is necessary.
The next step is to think about the look of the room you want to go for. Take pictures of your room from each angle and think about the feel you want to get out of it. You can create lots of striking effects with complementary colours, your walls don’t all have to look the same.
When it comes to decorating your room, ceilings are often overlooked however coloured statement ceilings have become a huge trend this year and are a fun and alternative way to inject some interest to your room, helping to draw your eyes upward, they are a great way to help your room appear and feel bigger. If a bold coloured ceiling isn’t for you, chose a tonal colour that’s within the same colour palette as your walls, this will help your room to feel more light and open, whilst using deeper dark colours will help to create a more intimate and cosy feeling. For inspiration, check out decoratingcentreonline.co.uk or our Instagram @decoratingcentreonline
We’ve put together some key points to remember to make sure your first ceiling painting experience is a success: