How to paint a high ceiling

October 7, 2020
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How to paint a high ceiling

It may be a little difficult to paint a ceiling on your own, even in rooms with lower or standard height ceilings. However, it's much more complicated if you happen to have extra tall ceilings. But painting a high ceiling yourself is doable, although specific supplies and some skills are needed. But if you don't want to waste hours spending your free time on a tall ladder, hiring a professional house painter may be the best way to go.

The first step in knowing how to paint high ceilings is to decide how to reach them. An extension pole and roller can help, but in order to get to very high ceilings, you're probably going to need a ladder or scaffold.


A typical eight-foot ladder may not be tall enough for the job, although most paint jobs can be done on a ladder. You will need a ladder that helps you to reach where you are painting quickly. To reach the region you're painting, you never want to over-extend. Overextending means that you have to stand on one of the top three rungs to paint, so if that happens to you, you need a higher ladder.

Instead, search for platform ladders that reach more than eight feet, articulating ladders or step ladders. You can need an extension ladder in order to reach a very tall ceiling. 


Consider a scaffold if you're operating at a height for longer periods of time. The platform provides you with a robust place from which to work and manage your equipment and paint supplies.

Scaffolds are more difficult than ladders to set up and carry around. They are often used less frequently in the home, so you can want to rent one instead of buying one if you go this route.

Prep the Room

Protecting the floor and furniture from splatters and spills is the first thing you'll want to do. Use a drop cloth to cover the furniture and surfaces. Moving the furniture to a different space could be easier. As well as your ceiling fans and light fixtures, take down everything on the wall. Before taking down the light fixtures, be sure to turn off the electricity.

When the room has been prepared, wash the ceiling with a clean rag, warm water, and a mild detergent. Before going to the next stage, let the ceiling dry for at least one hour.

Prime and Paint

Mask the place where the ceiling meets the walls with painter's tape prior to painting. Then, roll on a primer layer.

Wait for the primer to dry for 24 hours. Start painting the ceiling in six-foot square pieces. Using "W" strokes that overlap, operating from right to left. Then paint back using horizontal strokes from left to right to fill in. When you get to the edges, use less pressure so that you do not create a line where the paint squares overlap.

Clean It Up

Immediately after you finish working for the day, clean your brushes, and close the paint cans. Remove the painter's tape at a 45-degree angle when the ceiling is done. Wait 24 hours before the drop cloths are picked up, move furniture back into the room, rehanging artwork, ceiling fans, and light fixtures. 

Instead of buying or renting the painting equipment to paint the high ceiling, it’s better to hire a Residential Painter in Glastonbury CT

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