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How to Paint Ceilings and Walls – Now that the preparation is done and you have the right painting equipment, you are ready for tips to paint the walls and ceilings of your home.
Cleanup – Always clean painting tools immediately after using them. It’s easier on you and easier on the brush or roller.
Table of Contents
How to Paint Ceilings and Walls
- When painting a room, begin with the ceiling. First paint the edges of the ceiling with a brush, trim roller, or pad painter to make a “frame” about 5-inches wide.
- This is called “cutting-in.” Now you can paint the rest of the ceiling with a roller, beginning in one corner and working across the width or narrowest part, then back.
- Extension poles (or “extension handles”) can make roller painting faster and easier for hard-to-reach areas like ceilings.
- They range from 1-foot to 16-feet in length. Some, like the Wooster Quik-Lok® fiberglass pole, telescope or adjust for a multitude of painting situations.
- With an extension pole, you can probably stand on the floor instead of a ladder when painting ceilings.
- To paint the walls, follow the same procedure. Paint the edges, then start in an upper corner of the wall and fill in the area.
- Finish one wall completely before you start the next. Don’t stop painting in the middle of the wall, or you could end up with lap marks.
Try an Extension Pole for Walls
You may find that you like to use an extension pole for painting walls as well as ceilings. Many pros use a short pole to paint walls with long, sweeping strokes—saves time and energy because you can use two hands to hold the pole.
If you are painting a “popcorn” textured or acoustical ceiling, the best roller to use would be something called a split-foam roller.
It is made of thick foam with multiple slits in it. The roller provides gentle yet complete coverage, without crushing the popcorn texture. It can be used with all paints.
To add a textured finish, there are a few specialty rollers on the market that produce the effect that you are looking for.
For instance, a “Stippler” roller has twisted, carpet-like fabric that creates a subtle stippled effect with all paints.
Use it with texture paints for a moderate stippled texture. Also, Wooster Texture Maker™ roller has looped plastic material for applying sand-finish or smooth-texture paint and creating patterns in one step.
Remove tape from the woodwork with a slow, steady pull. A damp rag wrapped over a scraper can be used to remove any latex paint drips that sneaked under the tape onto the woodwork.
To preserve the high quality of your paint applicators, clean them immediately after use. Make sure the paint has dried completely before refurnishing the room. Congratulations on your successful painting project!
Cleaning Up After Painting
Use Separate Brushes and Rollers for Oil- and Water-Based Coatings
Any residue of either paint left on the filament or fabric acts like a glue for the other.
Changing back-and-forth between paints makes cleaning progressively more difficult. Make cleaning easier by using separate applicators for each type of paint.
If You Used A Water-Based Coating…
Wash the brush or roller with warm water and detergent. Use a detergent that contains petroleum distillates (check the labels of household cleaners or laundry soaps).
They do a better job “dissolving” paint than plain hand soap or dish soap. But any soap is better than none! Finish by rinsing with fresh water until the applicator is clean.
What if your applicator just isn’t coming clean? Many water-based paints today contain special resins that improve adhesion to the surface, gloss, and durability.
The resins are similar to those used in oil-based paints! You may need to rinse the applicator with mineral spirits or paint thinner in order to clean it completely.
Follow by a final washing with detergent and water in order to remove all of the thinner.
If You Used An Oil-Based Coating…
Wash the applicator with the solvent recommended on the paint can label, or use mineral spirits if that information isn’t available. Continue rinsing with fresh solvent until the applicator is clean.
Finish with a final washing in detergent and warm water in order to remove all of the solvents.
However, if you’re using a natural bristle brush do not give it that final washing—water makes bristle brushes flare and lose their shape (not good).
Spin or shake the water out of your brush or roller, then squeeze it dry with a cloth. Stand roller covers on end to dry completely.
Do not put them back into their plastic bags if they are still damp. Hang brushes until almost dry, then wrap them in their original packages or tin foil.
The package restores the brush shape, helps prevent flaring, and protects the brush from damage. You’ll also find the brush will cut-in more precisely if you store it in the package.
Following all these steps for proper cleaning and storage is time well spent.