Welcome to our guide to painting a ceiling.

In this section we will take you through the whole process including the preparation through to the final coat.

Painting/decorating the ceiling should always be the first task if you are decorating a whole room, doing the ceiling first makes the subsequent tasks easier.

To complete this task you will need the following items:

  • Suitable Interior Paint
  • Small Brush (cutting in)
  • Large Brush or Roller
  • Paint Kettle
  • Suitable filler (if required) and Trowel
  • Dust Sheets
  • Sugar Soap and rag

When working at heights always ensure that the structure is safe and secure. Never stretch out, always get down and re-position the scaffold.


Preparing the ceiling

First remove curtains, fixtures and any light furniture, place all heavy furnishings in the middle of the room and cover with dustsheets. Remove any loose floor coverings and use dustsheets to protect any other floor covering from paint splashes and dust.

Wash down the wall with sugarsoap or a suitable detergent to remove all dust and debris.

Inspect the ceiling for cracks, holes and any loose plaster.

For small cracks use a suitable fine filler, for larger cracks and holes use a stronger more suitable filler (see manufacturer’s instructions).

When filling try and leave a nice smooth finish, it is better to leave the filled area slightly proud of the surrounding area and then sand down with a fine sandpaper until flush.

Cutting in the ceiling

The first task is to cut-in the ceiling, to do this take the smaller paint brush and fill your paint kettle so the paint comes halfway up the bristles of the brush (to avoid overloading the brush).

Start in one corner and coat the ceiling holding the brush as shown in Fig 1.1 ensuring to get right into the corner, if you are painting/decorating the walls after then you don’t need to worry too much about getting paint on the walls.

Then holding the brush at the angle shown in Fig 1.2 go over the paint to even out the coat.

To cut in around any light fittings you may find it easier to isolate the electricity at the main fuse box and then remove the fitting for painting.

Fig 1.1

Fig 1.2

Using a Brush

After you have cut in around the entire ceiling and any light fittings take the larger brush and coat the ceiling using smooth parallel strokes, if you paint in 1 metre sections you will find the wet edges stay fresher and therefore improve the finish.

Once you have finished the first coat, allow to dry thoroughly and then repeat the process for the second coat.

Using a Roller

After cutting-in around the ceiling fill your roller tray to a depth so that the paint doesn’t rise above the pile of the roller (to avoid overloading the roller). Place the roller in the paint then distribute the paint evenly by bringing the roller back and forth over the top section of the tray.

Now start in one corner and use the roller in smooth parallel actions (see Fig 1.4), if you work in 1 metre square sections you will find it easier to keep the wet edges fresh. Coat the entire ceiling and then allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

Once dry apply the second coat in the same way.



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