Painting ceilings isn’t difficult but no one seems to want to do them. If you have a ceiling that needs a fresh coat of paint or maybe you have some water stains you need addressed, the first step it to determine what type of ceiling you have. In the Omaha market textured ceilings are very common but smooth ceilings are gaining in popularity in the Midwest. You want to determine the ceiling type to know the best approach to painting it.
If you happen to have a sprayed popcorn ceiling that has never been painted then it will need to be sprayed. The popcorn texture will come off as you try to roll a coat of paint on it. If it has been previously painted then you may be able to roll it but I would suggest not going back to areas you have rolled to touch up until it is completely dry or the texture will come down. When you roll a coat of paint on it the paint loosens the popcorn texture bond and it doesn’t take much for it to come down.
Regardless of the type of ceiling you have the two big challenges are drips falling down onto your belongings or carpet and the cut around the perimeter of the wall. It is easier to paint a ceiling when you are painting your walls too. If you are only painting the ceiling then you are doing what is called a reverse cut. Only cutting in the ceiling which can be an awkward angle. If you are painting the walls as well then you aren’t concerned about the walls and you cut the wall color in after the ceilings are done. This is a more natural angle to run a cut line. Doing a good cut line just takes practice regardless of the angle.
As far as dripping on anything below the ceiling, the best approach is to remove as much of the contents as possible, use drop cloths on the carpets and a lightweight plastic on furniture. When painting ceilings the fewer obstacles on the floor the better.
If you have water stains you will need to seal them with an oil based primer prior to painting.
When rolling a ceiling you will want the right equipment. as previously mentioned drop cloths, plastic, a good paint frame and pole, brush, etc.
The easiest approach is to systematically roll from wall to wall working you way to the other side of the room. If you have very high ceilings, skylights, ceilings over stairs, etc. you may consider having a professional do it for you.