How to Minimize Streaking When Painting a Ceiling

Written by sienna condy
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If you've ever had to paint a ceiling, you know it can be a difficult and tedious process. Streaking can be a problem. However, with a few simple steps, you can have a ceiling that looks like it was done by a professional.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Ladder
  • Cloth or sponge
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Drop cloths
  • Painter's tape
  • Plastic sheets
  • Paint tray
  • 2 paintbrushes
  • Primer
  • 2 rollers
  • Extension roller
  • Paint

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Instructions

    Prep the Room

  1. 1

    Remove all furniture and anything hanging on the walls. Furniture can be pulled away from the walls and covered with drop cloths, but be sure it's completely covered. A single splatter of paint can ruin your upholstery.

  2. 2

    Wash the ceiling. Using a sponge or wet cloth and soap and water, wipe any dust, cobwebs or other dirt and grime off the surface. Removing dirt prevents streaking.

  3. 3

    Wait for the ceiling to dry, then put painter's tape along the edges in the areas where the wall meets the ceiling.

  4. 4

    Put up sheets of plastic to cover the walls, especially if you tend to be a messy painter.

    Priming

  1. 1

    Paint a cut-in line around the edge of the ceiling with the paintbrush, using a stain-blocking primer like Kilz to eliminate streaking. Your cut-in line should be two to three inches wide.

  2. 2

    Prime your ceiling while the cut-in line is still wet. With an extension roller, use the primer to coat the entire ceiling. To get the best primer coverage, move the roller in a W motion and then even the coverage out with straight strokes.

  3. 3

    Make sure the primer dries completely before painting.

    Painting

  1. 1

    Paint a cut-in line around the ceiling with the paint, using the second paintbrush. The cut-in line should be two to three inches wide.

  2. 2

    Paint the ceiling while the cut-in line is still wet. Using an extension roller with a new, clean roller, coat the entire ceiling. You want to move the roller in a zigzag motion and then even the coverage out with straight strokes.

  3. 3

    Examine your work. With the roller, go over any areas where the paint seems too thick. Allow the paint to dry completely.

Tips and warnings

  • Clean your brushes and rollers between priming and painting. You may only need one of each.
  • Remember to roll your roller along your paint tray a few times before touching the roller to your ceiling. This will minimise or eliminate any dripping.
  • Use a longer-nap roller for rougher, uneven surfaces. Use a smaller-nap roller for smooth surfaces.
  • Wait until your paint has completely dried before removing the painter's tape, plastic or drop cloths.

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