How to paint a textured ceiling

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If you've got a textured ceiling that's starting to show its age, the easiest way to make it look new again is to paint right over the existing texture.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Brushes
  • Paint Roller Pans
  • Paints
  • Plastic Sheeting
  • Rollers
  • Staplers
  • Paint Sprayers

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Pick a color for the ceiling. Feel free to pick something other than white if it suits your taste.

  2. 2

    Measure the area of the ceiling and buy paint from a paint store, home improvement center, lumberyard or hardware store. (See Tips.)

  3. 3

    Pick up masking tape, plastic sheeting, and paint rollers or a paint sprayer while you're at the store.

  4. 4

    Remove as much furniture as possible from the room you're working in.

  5. 5

    Cover all floors and any objects left in the room completely with plastic sheeting.

  6. 6

    Cover the upper 3 feet of the walls with plastic sheeting. (Tape or staple it in place - this is a lot easier with a second set of hands.)

  7. 7

    Vacuum as much dust and cobwebs as possible from the ceiling. Avoid dragging the vacuum attachment directly over the texture.

  1. 1

    Decide if you're going to use a roller or a spray machine. The roller method is tidier, so you won't need plastic sheeting on the walls, but it's also more strenuous, and it's more difficult to achieve full coverage. Using a machine is faster and provides better coverage, but it's messy and requires a little practice.

  2. 2

    Cut in (edge with a brush) around the circumference of the ceiling if you plan to use a roller. You can cut in the edges with a bristle brush or a disposable foam-rubber brush.

  3. 3

    Roll paint into the field of the ceiling with a long-nap roller. Apply one or two coats of paint.

  4. 4

    Cover yourself well and use a mask if you're going to use a spray machine. Use even strokes and maintain an even distance from the surface as you paint. A couple of light passes with the sprayer is better than a single pass that is too heavy. (See "How to Use a Paint Spray Machine.")

Tips and warnings

  • The store clerk will be able to tell you how much paint you'll need, depending on the paint you select. We recommend standard ceiling paint - some other types of paint can cause problems down the road when another coat of paint is applied.
  • Have mask, goggles, hair covering and work clothes ready for yourself and any helpers before you start painting.
  • Paint sprayers usually have enough hose to allow you to leave the machine in another room, making cleanup much easier.
  • Wear goggles and a mask to protect your eyes and lungs. Hair covering is a good idea as well.

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