The most difficult part of a paint job is that painting a ceiling can be challenging given its awkward angles and high elevation. Painting a ceiling may seem simple enough (hey, I’ve painted plenty of rooms in my day), but it’s not as cut and dry asyou might think. If you mess up the technique, the ceiling or walls could end up blotchy, or there could be drips and overspills. To help you to avoid those common mistakes, we gathered a few tips from painting experts that will ensure your next painting project goes smoothly and looks great.

So, don’t let it intimidate you yet. By following these expert tips from professional painters, you’ll be equipped with everything you need to paint your own ceiling. So, let’s see how to paint ceilings without making common mistakes in the initial stage.

10 Best Tips About How to Paint A Ceiling Without Making Mistakes

After completing the other work, ceilings are often painted at the end of a project. But if you have a sliding ceiling or you are doing painting over insulation and drywall, it makes sense to paint the top before moving on to the walls. You may not want to paint your walls and then wait around for a week or two while the ceiling dries. It’s much easier to do it all at once. Experts prove fast, simple, and easy methods to paint a ceiling to give excellent results every time. Here are 10 tips on your top questions about painting ceilings. These tips can help you achieve a professional-looking paint job in no time…!

Section: Preparation is Key

Tip 1: Start with the Right Equipment

Before you even think about your paint color, make sure you have the right equipment for the job. Ensure your ladder is steady and secure, mainly if you’re working on an upper floor or a tall ceiling. A poorly balanced ladder can be dangerous for you and your home. Also, consider renting a scaffold or rolling platform to give yourself more room to move around (and make cleanup more accessible). Be sure to consider what kind of paint roller will do the best job on your ceiling. Generally, an angled brush does the job best (you can use a regular paint roller on sloped roofs). A good-quality bent brush has built-in moveable flaps that help paint flow over uneven surfaces smoothly and effortlessly. Plus, they’re easy to clean!

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Tip 2: Start with a clean, smooth surface. 

It may seem like an obvious starting point, but preparing your ceiling is very crucial to avoid mistakes. This means thoroughly cleaning the ceiling before you paint it. Anything from fingerprints and dust to cobwebs and dirt can get trapped in a layer of old paint, so be sure to wipe the ceiling down with a cloth or vacuum it first. You’ll also want to sand any rough patches of paint or scuffs on the ceiling, as those can prevent your new coat of paint from adhering properly.

Tip 3: Always protect yourself while painting

Paint fumes are dangerous to breathe in, so it’s important to make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated area. If there’s no window nearby that you can open for fresh air, make sure you use a fan or open the door to create airflow. Also, don’t paint when it’s too cold outside, or your home will be too cool, and your paint won’t dry properly. If you’re planning to paint your ceiling with a roller, cover nearby objects and furniture with sheets to protect them from splatters or drips. Also, wear clothes that are designated for messy work; don’t wear your nicest clothes while painting.

Section: Measure, Mark, and Tape

Tip 4: Know Your Ceiling 

The thing that you need to do first is to encounter the joists in the ceiling. If you don’t understand where to start, then it will be hard to paint around them, and make sure that the paint doesn’t drip onto your furniture below. Use a stud finder or tap along the ceiling to see if you can find where the joists are located. Then, tape off an area around each joist so that you have a clean edge when you pull down your roller or paintbrush.

Tip 5: Mark Off Your Work Area

Painting ceilings can be tricky because of all of the awkward angles and high elevation. To avoid making mistakes, use blue or pink painter’s tape to mark off the area that you plan on painting, which will help keep everything neat and professional-looking.

Tip 6: Taping off the Ceiling First 

Before using a coat of paint on your roof, you’ll need to cover all exposed surfaces with painter’s tape. This will prevent any unwanted overspill or drips from staining your walls or flooring. We recommend using blue painters’ tape for light-colored ceilings and brown for darker ceilings to ensure that everything is covered. Make sure that the total surface is protected and well adhered to the ceiling. Marking off an area (using painter’s tape) can save you from having to repaint an entire wall or ceiling. For example, if there was an imperfection in your paint jobs, such as a drip or missing spot in the paint coverage, marking the area off will keep you from having to repaint the entire wall or ceiling.

Section: Materials You’ll Need

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Tip 7: Ladders & Stairs with a Long Reach

First up is the actual ladder. This will be an essential tool in your arsenal and one that you’ll use often. It’s best to have a sturdy ladder with a top rail that isn’t too wide. The narrower the rail, the less likely it will be for you to slip off. Make sure the rungs are smooth, as sliding on a rough-edged one can cause you to lose your footing. Also, make sure you’re using the right kind of ladder for the job at hand. It’ll most likely have to be an extension ladder if it’s high enough because they have higher weight capacities than standard step ladders.

Tip 8: Use a Paint Stick and Find the Right Paint Roller Cover Size

Paint sticks like the Behr All Purpose Paint Stick ($4 for two) are super simple to use and help you get a smooth coat without overworking the paint. Simply deep the stick into your color, then swipe it across the ceiling, wall, or trim. The roller covers are double-sided, so you can smooth out any drips or sags as you go. Plus, removing them is as easy as unrolling them across a trash can and peeling off the excess paint. Dip, roll and repeat—it’s that simple! If you are using a roller cover on your paintbrush, then make sure that your cover isn’t too big for your ceiling.

Section: After Painting Precautions

Tip 9: Use Drop Cloths—and Plenty of Them

When painting ceilings, one mistake painters make is not laying down enough drop cloths. While one or two might do the trick in some cases, it’s always better to have more than you need than not to have enough. Using four or more layers will help ensure that you don’t accidentally get any paint on the floor or walls as you work on your project.

Tip 10: Don’t Forget about the Corners

While the center of your ceiling may be relatively easy to reach, doing corners can be tricky. If you’re using a roller, try using a paint tray rather than trying to hold it in hand while standing on top of a ladder. This will give you better control over where the paint ends up going and prevent drips from ceilings.


Don’t forget to research the type of ceiling finish you’re looking to achieve. Your local paint store will have all the necessary information that you will require for your task, so don’t be afraid to make quires before heading out and buying the paint. Also, if this is your first time painting a ceiling, we highly recommend practicing in an inconspicuous area, like a closet (be sure to use a drop cloth to catch any splashes or drips). When it comes down to it, knowing how to paint ceiling without mistakes can save yourself some heartache and money.