Do You Paint Walls or Ceiling First?

Truth be told, you don’t often think about painting your ceiling unless you have to. But if you see water stains, cracks, and chips, it might be time to give it a fresh coat of paint or two.

If you’re thinking of giving your room a total makeover, deciding whether you should paint the walls or ceiling first can be confusing. Although picking to paint your walls first can be more convenient, it might not be the wisest choice.

To help prevent you from making a costly mistake, let’s discuss why pros recommend painting your ceiling first. 

Should you paint your ceiling before you paint the walls?

As any experienced painter would say – paint from top to bottom, so your ceiling should be your starting point when painting a room. That’s because the ceiling is at a higher point, so the chances of getting paint drips on the walls are greater.

Controlling the paint roller won’t be the easiest task considering you’ll be up on a ladder. So you might make a few mistakes painting out of the ceiling area, but it won’t be a problem covering them up later since you’ll paint the walls anyway.

But if you paint the walls first, the time you spend getting a smooth finish will only get wasted since you’ll just have to cover them up again after getting paint drips from the ceiling – doubling your time and effort in completing your project.

Should you paint the ceiling or trim first?

If you have wall trims, it’s better to paint your ceiling first since it’s easier to apply paint on it than on the trims.

With the ceiling, you just need to cut into the corners with a paintbrush before using rollers to cover the rest of the area. But painting trims require your full attention and a steady hand since you must go over every nook and cranny – especially if they have intricate details.

The same goes if you must paint the walls since they don’t require as much careful attention to get decent coverage.

Should you always paint the ceiling when you paint a room?

The decision of whether to paint your ceiling when you’re refreshing your wall paint will depend on the current state of your ceiling.

If you recently gave it a fresh coat a few months ago, you might not need to repaint it if it’s still in pristine condition. But if you see some stains or imperfections, a quick makeover may be necessary.

On the flip side, if you’re aiming to give your room a total makeover, it won’t be a bad idea to apply a fresh coat of paint on the ceiling. It helps match the sheen on your new wall paint so the entire room looks brand new. It also adds an extra layer of protection to extend your ceiling’s lifespan.

Can you paint the ceiling and walls on the same day?

Yes, you can paint the ceiling and walls on the same day, but make sure to complete the ceiling before moving on to the latter area. This will ensure the paint applies evenly, and you won’t go back and forth during the process.

If you like, you can also let the ceiling paint dry for an hour before moving on to the walls to ensure it will no longer drip down to the walls.

What type of paint do you use for ceilings?

Instead of using regular acrylic paint, you might want to consider using ceiling paint for your ceiling. It has a thicker consistency than the regular formula, which minimizes drips from going down to the walls. This way, the process stays neat, and you won’t have to worry about covering drips and splatters later.

Similar to regular paint, it’s also available in a variety of colors and finishes, so you can have your pick depending on the look and style you’re going for.

How do I get a perfect line between my wall and ceiling?

If you’re painting your walls and ceiling in different colors, you’ll want to make sure to paint a straight line in between them so the colors don’t bleed into each other.

One trick to ensure this is to place painter’s tape along the edges. This will block off the area you don’t want to apply paint on, so the lines appear crisp and neat once you remove the tape later.

Using an angled brush can also help you achieve a perfect line since it’s easier to paint a thin straight line with it compared to a regular brush.

Tips for painting your ceiling and walls

Now that you know the right order for painting a room, here are a few tips you can keep in mind to ensure your walls and ceiling look pristine:

  • Prep your home for painting by moving your furniture and removing light fixtures and wall sockets. Don’t forget to cover your floor with canvas drop cloths to protect it from drips or splatters.
  • Invest in high-quality paint brushes and rollers to ensure a smooth finish since cheaper ones tend to shed quickly and leave fuzz on the wall.
  • Don’t forget to prime your walls and ceiling before applying the paint to add an extra layer of protection and to provide a smooth surface for painting.
  • Make sure to cut in one wall at a time so the paint remains wet while filling the rest of the area. This makes it easier to blend the paint so it doesn’t appear blotchy.

Need help with painting your walls and ceiling?

If you’re doubting your abilities to give your walls and ceiling a professional finish, perhaps Soho Painters can help. They have a team of experienced painters equipped with the best tools and materials to provide your room with a flawless finish. They also offer wallpapering, commercial and exterior painting services. If you have questions or inquiries, feel free to contact them now to get a free estimate.

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