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Painting Ceilings and Tight Spots

© 2007 Publications International, Ltd. When using a roller, work in strips across, always working over the wet edge of previously painted strips.

You might think that how well you paint the walls in a room will make the most impact, but it's important to also take care when painting the other areas in a room, such as ceilings. The following tips will address painting ceilings, as well as the tight spots in a room.


When rolling paint on a ceiling, maintain a wet edge at all times to avoid creating lines and ridges. If you're using fast-drying paint, you may have to work faster than you anticipated and without taking a break. Both speed and ease can be achieved by using an extension handle so you can paint from the floor instead of from a stepladder that has to be moved around the room. Many roller handles are made to accept a screw-in extension that you can buy at the paint store, but you may want to see if the threaded end of your broom or mop handle will work.

Tight Spots

You probably won't have enough room to use the zigzag technique (see Painting Walls) over and under windows and above doors and doorways. Instead, just roll the paint on horizontally. For areas that are narrower than the standard 7- or 9-inch roller, use a 4-inch roller or a paintbrush. (The little roller is best because it will give you the same surface finish as the rest of the wall.) Brushes apply paint less evenly and tend to leave trails.

Not what you're looking for? Try these helpful articles:

  • House Painting: Ready to tackle a house painting project? Gather helpful tips on both interior and exterior painting in this home improvement article.
  • House Painting Tools: Before taking on any painting project, make sure you have the tools you'll need to do the job well. This article will help.
  • Painting Interiors: Learn the essentials of painting walls, doors, and everything inside the house on this page.
  • Paint Rollers: Find out when a paint roller is the best tool for the job on this page.