What You Need To Know About Ceiling Painting

Painting your home's interior means doing more than just the walls. Don't overlook the ceilings, as they may also benefit from a new coat of paint.

How often should a ceiling be painted?

In many rooms of the home, the ceiling may not require painting as frequently as the walls. This is in part due to the fact that ceilings don't see the same wear and tear as wall paint since it's not regularly subjected to fingerprints and the grime of daily living. There are exceptions, though. Ceilings in rooms like the kitchen, where grease and cooking residue collects on the surface, may require more frequent painting. So, for example, if you paint your interior walls every five years, you may be able to only do the ceilings in most rooms on a 10-year schedule.

Are there specific challenges to consider?

The most obvious challenge is painting a surface directly overhead, but your paint crew will use pole rollers and ladders to make short work of the uncomfortable job. Drips are more common on ceilings, so using drop cloths is vital. It's also important to paint the ceiling before the walls, so any drips onto the walls can be repaired when they are painted. Finally, some ceilings have texturing, like popcorn ceilings, that make painting more challenging. You can have old popcorn ceilings removed, or your painters can use paint sprayers to apply paint evenly over the texturing. 

What colors are the best options for ceilings?

The ceiling color doesn't need to match the wall colors, and in fact, it is often best if it doesn't. A better choice for many ceilings is light colors, particularly neutral shades of white and cream. A lighter ceiling reflects light downward, making the room feel brighter. It also creates the illusion that the ceiling is far overhead, which makes rooms seem more open and larger. If you prefer to use a color other than white, consider a lighter shade of the main color used on the wall so you can still enjoy the illusion of brightness and size along with the color you prefer.

Are there specific paint products for ceilings?

The paint used for ceilings tends to be the same as that for walls, except it is not thinned as much so it is much thicker. The reason is simple — a more viscous mixture doesn't drip as easily, an important feature when painting the ceiling. Further, the finish of the paint for the ceiling is also often different from the walls. Although a slight gloss finish may be desirable on a wall, on the ceiling matte and satin paints are used as you don't want the high reflectivity of gloss to highlight ceiling imperfections or cause glares in the room.

For more information, contact a company like Elevation Painting LLC.