Applying a fresh coat of paint to a ceiling is one of those jobs that freshens up a room, and requries a bit of time, but doesn’t involve much painting.
Like any home decorating project, the secret to attaining a quality job lies in the preparation. Here’s our six tips for successfully painting a ceiling.
1. The job will only be as good as the ceiling.
In last week’s blog we talked about the practicalities of replacing a ceiling. If the plasterboard panels have been damaged by moisture or the ceiling line is warped, you might be best to replace the ceiling with new material. Check out last weeks blog at https://www.upperhutthire.co.nz/seven-tips-for-a-new-ceiling/ for more information.
2. Paint before you move in.
If you are moving into a new house, the best time to paint a ceiling is before the furniture arrives. A few hours head-start by an eager volunteer will often get some of the higher traffic areas, such as the lounge or kitchen, completed and looking fresh.
3. Mask up.
Despite everyone’s best efforts, paint drips will always find their way to the wall or floor covering. Grab some dropsheets and cover everything. The disposable plastic sheets from hardware stores are great for covering walls, while fabric or canvas dropsheets are usually best for floors.
4. Sand and clean
Sanding will remove any loose paint, which will probably flak off at some future time. Sanding also provides a suitable base for the paint to adhere to. If the ceiling has an oily feel to it (perhaps caused by residual cooking fumes in a kitchen), a good wash with a suitable detergent and water (followed by drying and sanding) will remove most of the residue and help with paint adhesion.
5. Start with the brush
Our preferred paint method is to paint around 2 square meters at a time, starting with a brush to ‘cut in’ around the coving, then use a roller. We’ve also found that applying a roller full of paint often leads to excessive paint around the edges, so it’s best to run the roller in the middle of the intended paint zone to remove some of the excess paint, then move towards the brushed edges, then in both directions to spread out the paint and give an even paint coverage.
6. The right roller technique
Rollers are great for painting larger surfaces quickly, but do require good technique. Avoid placing too much paint on the roller, and always roll off any excess before lifting the roller towards the ceiling. The best application of paint is usually achieved by running the roller in two different directions, and feathering towards the end of your paint zone. Take your time, and try not to spin the roller too fast. As you move towards the next 1-2 square meter paint zone you should be able to overlap the paint without any noticeable marks. Most ceilings require at least two coats, so it’s best to start from the opposite direction, ideally towards a window so that you can see the reflection of wet paint and determine where you have already applied the second cost.
There are several different types of ceiling paints available. We’ve always found that it’s best to buy good quality paint as it usually goes on easier and has a better finish. There are also specific ceiling paints for bathrooms, which contain anti-mould ingredients to prevent the growth of black spots on the ceiling. Have a talk to your local paint supplier: they usually can provide some good advice to help you get the job done quickly and effectively.