This is The Only Guide You'll Ever Need For Painting Your Ceilings

Photo credit: Matthew Roharik - Getty Images
Nice from the house
Ceilings are the middle child of design canvases - they're often forgotten, but have tons of untapped potential to make your home stand out. A ceiling can bind any room together, whether it's painted a bright white, an unexpected pattern, or a bold and bright color of your choice. Once you've figured out exactly what your ceiling will look like after painting, it's time to take the first steps - and we're here to help with expert advice from Sherwin's Vice President Marketing, Jeff Winters. Williams and the designer Rasheeda Gray of Gray Space Interiors. So read through all of Winters' advice and check out Gray's simple, step-by-step guide to painting a ceiling in the video above for a visual demonstration.
What should I do to prepare the area?
Before tackling what is known as the fifth wall of your room, make sure you paint it first if you plan to paint the walls of the room as well. "You want to paint your ceilings first and then your walls," Winters said. “You sure don't want to splash your ceiling paint on a freshly painted wall.” As for your furniture, you'll either want to remove it completely from the area or move it to the center of the room and cover it with plastic sheeting.
According to Winters, the best drape is a linen sheet with a rubber back. "The canvas can absorb the paint so you won't have to chase it around the house," he said. "And the rubber back makes it slip-proof." If you use a plastic towel - which you shouldn't - the drip from the ceiling can run across the floor and create a mess.
You'll also need a paint roller, roller frame, and hand brush to paint spots like tight ceiling corners where the rollers won't fit.
What other materials should I get?
While you might think you need a ladder for the entire project, Winters says it doesn't. While a 6 foot ladder is a good thing for the hard-to-reach places in this project, like the corners, in fact, you won't be using it much to paint your ceilings. The best thing you can buy to get to the top is a paint roller extension rod. Extension poles that are 6 to 8 feet tall, depending on the height of the ceiling, are recommended.
When it comes to primer, the type you should use depends on whether you have water or nicotine stains and what color you have chosen to paint your ceiling. You should use oil- or shellac-based primers if your ceiling is stained, and a gray-shaded primer if you want to paint your ceiling a bold color, such as a blanket B. in a marine or a sable. Believe it or not, the gray is actually better to paint over than a white primer for lighter colors.
"It's almost like painting a car," said Winters. "Most car primers are gray, either light-medium or dark gray. We've found that they also work very well with architectural wall paints."
If a white primer with a light color is used, Winters said you may need to apply up to four coats to get the color you want. With the gray, you only need about two coats for your desired look.
The perfect paint job is flat. Smooth ceilings tend to have some ripples and waves, so the flat surface helps minimize these imperfections. Winter says the flatter the finish, the better - and the less likely your eye is to spot those blemishes on the ceiling.
"When we think of painting a ceiling, technology is everything."
What about painting?
The technique that Winters and the rest of the Sherwin-Williams team are behind is painting in 4 foot by 4 foot sections.
"We like to work on 4-foot squares. Always try to keep something called a wet edge. Work back into the wet area you just painted and try not to let the areas dry and then roll back in - hold on." the wet edge. "Winters explains. "This really helps with the lap marks and imperfections that sometimes appear at the end. Even if you work in those 4x4 areas and overlap, you won't miss a point that can be easy to do."
Follow these tips and your ceiling will look professional - you might even fool some of your house guests.
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