They’re usually much larger than a single wall and are often illuminated with raking light that accentuates even the smallest flaws, which means ceilings present some unique painting challenges.
Add to that the difficult task of working overhead and things can get messy in a hurry, so we’ve grilled a pro to help you get the best result.
Bill Nunn is the owner of William Nunn Painting, which specialises in painting older houses.
We’ve called on his 35 years of experience in the business to find out the best ways to paint a ceiling, so you get a top-quality finish every time.
1. Sand before painting
Over time, and as the layers of paint build up, lumps and bugs can get stuck to the ceiling.
On ceilings that aren’t textured, start with a quick once-over, sanding with 100 grit abrasive paper.
This helps ensure a perfectly smooth paint job and also increases paint bonding.
Use a sanding pole to make working easier, then wipe the ceiling afterwards with a damp sponge to remove the dust.
2. Use a good primer
Roof leaks, overflowing sinks and tobacco smoke can all leave ugly stains that are hard to conceal with regular ceiling paint.
Apply stain-blocking primer to cover any stubborn ceiling marks.
Try Zinnser Smart Prime, which is formulated for this purpose and water-based for easy application.
3. Cut in and then roll
Use a paintbrush to cut in at the edges of square-set ceilings.
Doing this before you roll means the majority of the brush marks will be covered with the roller.
Carefully brush paint along the edge of the ceiling in 3m sections, then roll that section.
This keeps the cut-in section wet until you roll, which allows the paint to blend in better.
Bill says it’s also less boring to alternate between cutting in and rolling, making the task of painting a whole ceiling less tedious.