What You Need to Know About Painting a Ceiling

What You Need to Know About Paining a Ceiling

WORDS Rachel Homer and Stephanie Durrant PHOTO Magazinefeatures.co.za

Because your “fifth wall” needs a refresh – and you can give it the attention it deserves with a crisp, clean, non-drip finish.

Ceilings are an integral part of our decorating scheme – they can affect light, atmosphere and the overall professional finish of the room. If you’re planning to decorate, learning how to paint a ceiling properly will make all the difference. Make sure you tackle the ceiling first to prevent drips on newly painted walls.

PREPARE THE ROOM. Remove furniture from the room (or move it away from the walls), and cover the floor with dust sheets. Remove lampshades and all light fittings so you can get right into the edges easily.

MASK THE EDGES. Using decorator’s tape, mask off the edges. You might want to paint the coving at the same time, in which case mask off the area where the coving joins the wall.

CLEAN THE SURFACE. If the ceiling has been painted previously, ensure the area is free of crumbling and damaged paint by scraping away any loose bits with a hard-bristle brush, and cleaning the ceiling with a sugar soap solution. If it’s fresh plaster, apply a mist coat made of three parts paint and one part water.

CUT IN AT THE EDGES. Start cutting in with the paintbrush. Paint an area 3 to 5cm wide around the perimeter. If you want to paint the coving or mouldings, now is the time to do it.

PAINT THE CEILING. Working in small sections, apply the paint with a roller in a gentle zig-zag formation, slightly overlap the previous stroke. Don’t push too hard or you’ll end up with obvious lines in the paintwork. It might look slightly patchy at first, but this will be covered by a second coat.

Expert Tips

  • Use panelling to visually divide wall space.
  • To apply a second coat, wait until the first coat is completely dry, then cut in and repeat the process. Remove the decorator’s tape while the paint is still damp.
  • Small spaces can feel bigger when you use a bold, daring colour – especially when you paint the ceiling too.

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