How to Paint a Ceiling

Don't forget about the "fifth" wall! Depending on the color you apply to your ceiling, you can convey a cozy, warm ambience or create an aura of expansiveness, and add visual interest to your home.

For Best Results:

Refer to our how-to for expert advice and techniques on painting your ceiling.

The ceiling should be the first surface you paint in your room.

  1. Aerial shot of tools needed to paint a ceiling

    Step 1

    Grab your tools.

  2. Person using painter's tape on a ceiling

    Step 2

    Using your painter’s tape, begin by taping off the places where the ceiling and the wall meet.

  3. Person removing a ceiling vent with a screwdriver

    Step 3

    Remove vents with a screwdriver.

  4. Person applying primer on a wall with a paint brush

    Step 4

    Use a stain-blocking primer to prep your wall and cover any stains.

  5. Person dipping a paint brush into a can of BEHR Paint

    Step 5

    Dip your brush in and pat the side to remove excess paint.

  6. Person painting a ceiling with a paint brush

    Step 6

    Cut in from walls by painting in and around the tape.

  7. Paint roller in a painter's tray full of paint

    Step 7

    Grab your roller and attach the extension pole before fully saturating your roller with paint.

  8. Painting a ceiling with a paint roller

    Step 8

    Start painting away from one corner in as straight of a line as you can until the ceiling is completely covered in paint.

  9. Removing painter's tape from a ceiling

    Step 9

    Remove tape while paint is still wet.

  10. Painted ceiling with a ceiling vent

    Step 10

    Replace ceiling vents.

  11. Person cleaning a paint brush in a bucket with soapy water

    Step 11

    Wash your tools with warm soapy water.

Color Smart by Behr with orange living room in the background
Suggested Tools & Supplies
  • Brush (2"-2½")

  • Extension Pole

  • Vinyl Gloves

  • Ladder

  • Paint Can Opener

  • Paint Tray

  • Paint Tray Liner

  • Protective Apparel

  • Rags

  • Roller Cover and Frame

  • Sandpaper (150-220 Grit)

  • Stir Stick

  • Drop Cloths

More How-tos
Additional Resources
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