Repainting Your Home or Office Ceiling

Repainting Your Home or Office Ceiling

Repainting From the Top Down: Refurbishing the Ceiling of Your Home or Office

The biggest asset in your portfolio is your home. It's a large and lifelong investment. Comfy, cozy, and filled with memories, it's more than just walls and furniture. When you think about renovating, the plan doesn't just involve upgrading to more modern appliances. More often than not, it's about reinvigorating the entire look and feel of a home with vibrant colors.

Making Good Color Choices

Changing the color scheme can go a long way toward transforming a home. Repainting should be one of the first tactics you consider, because it is inexpensive and can be protracted over several weekends (making it a great candidate for DIY).

When repainting, most people aim unerringly for the walls - but you could alter the mood of your home entirely just by painting the ceilings. A new color overhead could change a room dramatically. It doesn't have to be radical. Just a hint of color can create an impact. A light peach tone on the ceiling will lighten a room far better than a cold white, giving it a warm, rosy shade.

Prepping the Job Site

As with any home improvement project, planning well is key. Repainting a ceiling requires the right tools and equipment, such as drop cloths, ladders, sponges, rollers, thinners, sandpaper, and so on. Don't forget the paint!

Before painting, you'll need to remove ceiling fans and lights, and be sure to tape off anything you don't want painted over. You also want to ensure you have a smooth, ready-to-paint surface, so you will have to repair any defects such as cracks, holes, or dents, and you might want to sand down any lumps.

A Painter's Body of Work

Painting a ceiling is more difficult, or more awkward, than painting a wall. Do some good arm, shoulder, and neck rolls before you start, and pause frequently to switch arms and/or stretch everything out, or just to give yourself a break. You're not trying to set any land speed records, here!

Be sure to set up adequate lighting so that you can really see what you're doing. Due to the angle and proximity, you might not always be able see the cracks and defects from the ladder that are distinctly visible from the ground. When you pause to do some arm and shoulder exercises, take a good long look at the ceiling to make sure you've eliminated or truly camouflaged any visible defects.

Remember, get off the ladder and move it. Don't reach! That's a sure recipe for disaster.

What Type of Paint Should I Use?

Today, there are an incredible variety of water- and solvent-based paints available, and a number of different finishes. Choose your paint wisely based on the type of surface, and the condition, age and type of the previous coat.

Most paints sold today are latex (water-based) paints, which dry faster and are less likely to mildew, but you should consider each type carefully for the job at hand. Oil-based (solvent-based) paints often look better on wood (think cabinets), and they have other advantages, as well, such as better adhesion and requiring less rigorous surface prep. Low VOC, eco-friendly latex paints are also increasingly available.

Choose your finish based on the type of room (including light conditions), the condition of the surface, and the desired durability. Glossy is the most durable and reflective, but also reveals more imperfections. Flat paint is more difficult to clean, but also hides more. Other finishes to consider are eggshell, satin, and semigloss. Some finishes, such as semigloss, lend themselves better to high traffic areas such as bathrooms, kids' rooms, woodwork and trim, and kitchens.

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