How to Paint High Ceilings: Tips from the Experts

It’s not easy to paint high ceilings without professional help. Even if you are great at DIY painting, it’s hard to reach up that high, especially if you have extra tall ceilings that are difficult to reach. Things can also get messy. Here’s a little help from professionals to make it a bit easier.


The first step is to prep the room. Move out the smaller pieces of furniture to another room if possible so the paint doesn’t splatter and ruin them. If you are painting the room, try to paint the ceiling first so that drips and splatters don’t ruin the furniture or the floor.

Next, round up all the equipment so you don’t have to get down from a ladder midway to search for them. Nothing will slow you down and reduce your focus than constantly getting down to find small items or attend to errands. Make sure you are prepared with your colour, brushes, standard roller, rags to wipe away spills, a ladder to help you reach the ceiling. If the room is large, you may want to consider scaffolding or some kind of safe, temporary structural support. Don’t have a ladder or scaffolding for your DIY job? Don’t worry! You should be able to rent these at your local hardware store.

If time is of the essence and you need to finish things fast, you may want to consider a sprayer. These are especially effective for hard-to-reach ceilings but can be expensive. If they are not worth your investment, just look for a roller with a longer handle than usual to hold your rollers or an extension pole to reach those distant spots or edges. They work well for smaller rooms where ceilings measure below 10 feet. If the room is really spacious, you may want to consider professionals to do the job for a smooth, neat finish. Even with a ladder and scaffolding, it’s easy to lose control.

When you’re painting the room yourself, first start with the ceiling.

  1. Look for cracks or holes in the ceiling. Patch with spackle.
  2. Use an oil-based stain-blocking primer to prevent water stains in the future and shellac-based primer to prevent smoke stains.
  3. Remove furniture, turn off the power and overhead fixtures such as fans. Cover the plates with plastic bags or wraps or drop cloths.
  4. Cover the floor, windows and door with drop cloths or plastic wraps.
  5. Tape the edges of the walls where they meet with the ceiling with a 2-inch blue painter’s tape.
  6. Work around the perimeter first.
  7. Use your paint brush to do the edging where the ceiling joins the wall.
  8. Use your roller over the well cut-in strip of paint, rolling slowly in one direction first then, the other way to blend smoothly. Avoid a “W” pattern and rolling directly over your head.
  9. Work in a grid-like sections so you keep the edges wet, then use a brush to blend the areas. This makes the task uniform and faster.
  10. You may need a second coat for a smooth finish. Once done, prepare for the clean-up.

Take all paint equipment to the garage sink or your bathtub to wash and dry.

Just make sure your paint is of premium quality for the perfect finish. At Monarch Paints, we have over 50 years of experience in selling quality, environmentally-friendly paint products and accessories for the perfect tone for your decor for your home or office. Browse through our extensive collection of wallpapers on our online gallery for a unique look.