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How to Paint a Ceiling

Learn how to paint a ceiling from Brushed Interiors founder David Sartori in this Howcast video.


Hi, this is Dave with Brust Interiors. We're up here in the ceiling now and we're going to paint this ceiling flat white. We're going to take a close look at it. Also be sure to wear some paint gear. You're going to have paint splatters coming down on you.

Now, let's take our scraper or our sand paper and get all these imperfections off, all these nuggets. Now, some of them you can't see from down below, but I like to get a really, really nice job up close. That way I know when I'm on the floor it looks fantastic. You'll see contractors also with a sanding pole and this can be done in a large area faster, but I'm taking a close look with this.

All right. I'm going to start with the paint. We have a Notura [SP] 0VOC flat paint for the ceiling. Always use a flat paint that way you get no reflection from the sun coming in the window. You want your ceilings to disappear unless you're doing some very custom color on the ceiling. Usually go with white.

Got one of my bigger brushes. This is not an exact, exact brush work. It's simply getting a thick coat into the corners. You see? Just prior to rolling we're going over a dark color here. It's probably going to take two coats and watch your paint when you're up high on the ladder. We'll just smooth everything out. All right. I'm ready to roll.

I have a double tray for durability and I like to use a half inch nap, a thick nap and I've got that here. I'm going to get that ready. Carefully pour my paint and clean off the can. So, this flat paint generally won't leave any streak marks as long as you put it on smooth, so you can go this way or this way. Again, I'm not being shy about getting a lot of paint down there to start with. Incidentally, you're going to get a workout. Your shoulders and your neck, so be prepared for that.

Now, I'm going to have a few minutes before it dries, so I can work it in. Again, I'm not being shy about the quantity I get up there. Now, I'm going to fine tune it. All right. You might call this back rolling. We're going white onto a dark color. It is definitely going to take two coats.

It isn't so much a W technique or anything like that. It's simply getting the paint onto my surface first. All right and then once it's up there then really smooth it out. You know? If you do this all day long, you are going to have huge shoulder muscles. You won't need P90X. All you need is to roll some ceilings.

These beams are really cool details in older buildings. The beam that's part of the ceiling blends right in, so it's also going to get your flat white paint. Now, you don't get these in your modern cookie cutter square box apartments. Okay, great. So, ceilings are no big problem. They take a lot of brute force, take a lot of strength. Always remember to use flat paint so you don't have a reflection from the sunlight and I like to use the half inch nap, the thicker roller covers to get more paint up there.

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