Any ceiling can be challenging to paint, but with the right technique and the right equipment, you can make short work of this task. In this article, we provide step-by-step instructions and tips to help you successfully paint your garage ceiling. Read on to learn more.
What You'll Learn Today
7 Steps To Paint Your Garage Ceiling
1. Clear the area
When you are painting your garage ceiling, you’ll be looking up most of the time. You definitely do not want to have odds and ends lying around the garage floor waiting to trip you up.
Additionally, you’re likely to have quite a few paint drips, so you’ll want to get anything you don’t want to paint out of the way. Once you’ve emptied the garage, give it a good sweeping and cover the floor with drop cloths to protect it.
2. Frame the area you plan to paint
Since you’ll be painting the ceiling with a roller, you won’t be able to paint the angle between ceiling and wall neatly.
For this reason, you need to go all the way around the edges and paint a border several inches wide. You’ll overlap this with the roller.
When you paint the edging on the ceiling, don’t give it a hard, straight edge because this is likely to show through when you paint over it.
Instead, sweep in toward the center of the room to leave an irregular, graduated edge that will be easy to cover thoroughly with the roller.
If you are only painting the ceiling, tape off the top edge of the wall with painter’s tape to make a clean separation between wall and ceiling.
If you are painting both ceiling and walls, extend the edging down the walls a few inches so that you can quickly roll over it when you paint the walls.
Let the edging dry overnight before you begin painting the ceiling.
3. Apply your first coat of paint
Use exterior latex paint to paint your garage ceiling. It’s easier to clean up than oil based paint, and it’s easier to work with. You can also use this for the walls, or you can switch to exterior oil based paint for the walls if you wish.
To make short work of painting your garage ceiling, use a paint roller with an extension so you can just stand on the floor and paint.
Reduce drips by being careful not to overload your roller. Just pour a small amount of paint into your paint tray at a time, and be sure to roll over the ridges in the tray a time or two to remove excess paint.
Work quickly and systematically, in rows, going from one side of the ceiling to the other. Be sure to overlap your strokes and overlap your edging for a smooth, even finish. Keep a wet edge.
This video provides general information for painting ceilings. The focus here is on household ceilings, but a great deal of this information can also be applied to painting your garage ceiling.
How To Paint Ceilings Fast And Like A Professional Painter
Always wear safety goggles when painting ceilings. Paint dripped in the eyes is no laughing matter.
4. Paint the walls
If you are painting the walls as well as the ceiling of your garage, now is a good time to do it. You already have all your painting equipment out, and painting the walls will not affect your freshly painted ceiling (unless you are quite clumsy!)
If you’re painting the walls the same color as the ceiling, just keep going. Otherwise, switch to a new roller brush. Remember to cover windows with paper. Tape off outlets and window frames if you don’t wish to paint them.
5. Clean your equipment
While you are waiting for your first coat of paint to dry, clean up your equipment. This is actually quite easy when using a roller.
It’s really not worth it to try to clean rollers, so you are better off just tossing the used roller and starting with a new one if you need to add a second coat of paint.
If you use a disposable paint tray liner, you can toss it and use a new one if painting with oil based paint. If you’re painting with latex, you can rinse it and use it again.
6. Decide whether you need a second coat
If the ceiling has already been painted, and you are painting it a similar color, you may not need a second coat of paint. Let the first coat dry completely and then examine it to determine whether or not you’ll need to apply another coat.
7. Enjoy your freshly painted garage
If you’ve only painted the ceiling, you can go ahead and clean up and move your belongings and your vehicles back into the garage as soon as you’ve finished with your second coat of paint.
If you’ve painted your walls, you may want to wait 24 hours to be sure everything is dry before you start moving around in the garage.