How to paint a ceiling? Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more
How to paint a ceiling?
Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more
You have spent a crazy amount of time up and down a ladder to paint your ceilings, and after it dries, you notice that it looks patchy. Why is my ceiling patchy?!? What has caused this problem? Will you have to start the paint job all over again, or will it eventually look smooth?
To find the answer to that question, you will need to look at the different reasons this result could happen and rule out the ones that are not the cause.
- Why Does My Ceiling Look Patchy after Painting?
- Challenges Associated with Painting Your Ceilings
- 1. The Surface Is Not Prepared Correctly.
- 2. Flashes
- 3. Equipment Issues
- 4. Sloppy Edges
- 5. Lack of a Primer Coat
- 6. Bubbling and Peeling
- 7. Time Lapse
- 8. Too Little or Too Much Paint
- 9. Application Done Improperly
- 10. Different Colors
- 11. Mixing Paint
- 10 Tips to Ensure a Smooth Ceiling
- Can You Spray Paint A Guitar?
- Is Acrylic Paint Toxic to Cats?
- Do You Have To Be 18 To Buy Spray Paint?
Why Does My Ceiling Look Patchy after Painting?
Nothing is more satisfying than completing a home improvement project, but the joy can turn to frustration if it does not turn out how you expected it to.
Just like when you paint your walls, there are many reasons why you could have a patchy ceiling. It could be that you did not use a primer first, did not use enough paint, or the ceiling had not been cleaned.
Getting a painted ceiling to look nice can be challenging, and even professionals agree that ceilings are challenging to paint. You will need to go up and down a ladder, moving it as you paint each section.
Some use an extension roller, but you still have to look up at the surface you are painting to ensure the paint is going on evenly.
Challenges Associated with Painting Your Ceilings
1. The Surface Is Not Prepared Correctly.
Even before you begin to paint, you can cause a ceiling to have a patchy look if you dont prep the surface. To have a good painting job, you must ensure that the ceiling surfaces are smooth, clean, and free of flaws. Any dirt, debris, or cobwebs on the ceiling will look patchy.
To prep, the ceiling makes sure that the ceiling is clean of all debris. Sometimes you may need to sand the rough areas. This is especially true if you removed previous textures, like acoustic (popcorn ceilings). After sanding, make sure to wipe away the drywall dust.
Once that is done, you will need to use a damp, clean towel to wipe off the ceiling and let it completely dry before you begin painting. Some areas may require soap to clean grease spots, especially in kitchen areas. You also need to be sure that the ceiling is level.
Paint flashing is where the paint appears heavier in some areas than others. This can happen when changes in sheen, which can happen when you paint over repair patches without putting on primer first.
Another cause can be that you did not wait long enough for the paint to dry/cure before you put on the second coat.
It can also happen if you put the ceiling paint on too thick. To take care of this problem, wait at least 24 hours before putting on the next coat, but make sure the second coat is a little thinner than the first one. When you keep it thin, it will give you the best chance of avoiding roller marks.
3. Equipment Issues
The paint roller is one piece of equipment you must look at first. Is it a new roller or one that you have used before?
Using an older roller that has been used is okay, but if it is not cleaned properly, it can cause your ceiling to look patchy. This is especially true if the old paint roller had any lingering paint from the previous use.
Another issue could be using variations in the brand of equipment you used or using different kinds of equipment for painting, such as a roller vs. brush. Professional painters recommend using a 12-inch microfiber nap roller when painting your ceiling.
You should only choose brushes and paint pads on the edges of the ceiling, using even strokes. If you use them to paint the entire ceiling, it can cause it to look patchy.
4. Sloppy Edges
It is hard to get an even line when painting a ceiling, even if you use the best painters tape. To fix this problem, tape off the ceiling in a straight line.
Do it exactly where you want the edge to be. Yes, you will be taping where you just painted. Use a color that matches the wall where the ceiling paint bled.
Touch the edge using a detailed brush using thin coats to ensure the paint does not bleed under the tape. Doing this is a bit tedious, but it is the easiest way to clear up sloppy edges.
Wait eight hours for the paint to dry before removing the tape. Once you remove the tape, you should have a clean and crisp edge.
5. Lack of a Primer Coat
There are different ceilings, and some require that you apply a sealer and/or primer before you apply the paint. If it is an older home, you may need to put a sealer on the ceiling first.
Just be sure that whatever product you buy is made to use on a ceiling. You should also make sure it is a high-quality primer or sealer.
6. Bubbling and Peeling
This could be caused by accidentally painting over oil-based paint with latex paint. This is a common mistake with older homes and is an issue that will take the most time to repair.
It is recommended that you start sanding any visibly peeling and bubbling areas. Make sure you wear a mask, so you do not breathe in any paint you sand off.
Once you have sanded the peeling paint, wipe it down with a tack cloth. Next, apply a primer made specifically to create a barrier between latex and oil-based paint. Once this is done, then you will need to repaint your ceiling. This is necessary to prevent the issue from becoming worse.
7. Time Lapse
It is a fact that most ceilings require more than one coat of paint. Always ensure that the first one is completely dry or cured before putting on the next coat. You could have patchiness if you rush the painting job and put more coats on before the first coat is dry.
Most paint has a recommended drying time, but how many hours are advised to wait between coats will depend on several factors. These include humidity, ventilation, and the paint you use.
Always read the label on the paint for the recommended drying time. Latex paint takes about three hours to cure or dry, while oil-based paints need a day.
8. Too Little or Too Much Paint
If you put your paint on too thick, it will settle in some areas making it look patchy. On the other hand, if you apply it too thin, it can also cause the ceiling to look patchy.
Sometimes how thin or thick it goes on is because of the type of paint you bought. It could be you are using paint for your ceiling from an older can of paint you had previously used for a ceiling.
It could have been watered down too much. You could have also bought a cheap grade of paint. In either instance, the paint will be hard to apply, giving you an uneven finish. Always use good quality paint for your ceiling.
If left not primed, newly plastered walls and ceilings would suck up paint at a faster rate than anticipated. Make sure you have properly prepped your surfaces.
9. Application Done Improperly
Some ceiling paints will state on the can that all you need is one application, and you will be finished. This direction is not always the case, particularly if you are not using quality paint or painting over old paint.
You should also ensure that when you start painting your ceiling, you are not tired because that is when you can get sloppy, doing a poor painting job and causing a patchy ceiling.
Make sure you have good lighting in the room where you are painting. If there isnt a window or the lighting is poor, it can cause you not to be able to see the ceiling correctly, leading to sections being blotchy or overpainted. Take the time to do it right initially so you do not have to do it over.
If you have little to no experience with painting ceilings, be sure that you keep the edge wet, or you will have patchy-looking paint roller marks. To ensure adequate lighting, use a small lamp to shine it toward the ceiling as you paint.
10. Different Colors
This generally happens if you run out of paint halfway through the job. Yes, you may go to the store and purchase a new can of paint that is the same brand, but it may not be the same color, although it states on the can that it is. If you use it, then you could wind up with a ceiling that is two different colors.
To fix this issue, you can repaint the first half of the ceiling with a thin coat of the new paint and feather the edge into the rest of the ceiling. This is done to limit lines. To get the smoothest finish, you will need to go over the whole ceiling with the new paint, but you must keep it thin.
11. Mixing Paint
When painting your ceiling, make sure that you do not apply oil paint or latex. It would be best if you did not mix paint types. Good paint mixed with bad paint will not be a good outcome for you.
Also Read: Can You Use Ceiling Paint On Walls?
10 Tips to Ensure a Smooth Ceiling
Considering everything that could go wrong with painting your ceiling can make it a challenging experience. Use these tips to make the job less challenging.
- Prepare the ceiling correctly: Before you start to paint the ceiling, make sure that you have sanded, cleaned, and rinsed the ceiling. It should also be completely dry. Usually, this is done the day before painting.
- Get all the equipment you need beforehand, including the paint and primer. Make sure it is high-quality paint and that you have any brushes, rollers, drop cloth, etc., before you are ready to start painting.
- Read the labels: This is something many people fail to do, but you should always read the labels before you start painting. This can help to prevent patchy ceilings.
- Give yourself time to do the job properly: To get a ceiling that is not patchy looking, ensure that you do not rush the job and have enough time to do it properly.
- Add enough light: Doing this is important because if you do not have the right lighting, you may paint some areas too thickly or too thinly, giving them an uneven look. The right lighting will let you see any mistakes so you can fix them immediately.
- Use primer or sealer: Sometimes, this is not needed, but it is advisable to use one of them to give your ceiling a better finish.
- Keep the edge wet and roll half the ceiling: Your rolling movements should be quick and consistent. Do half the ceiling, and check to see if it looks okay before starting on the other half. If you see any mistakes, you can fix them before starting on the other half.
- Be sure to have enough paint on your roller: When painting the ceiling, you must keep enough paint on the roller. This will help to keep the paint evenly spread on the ceiling as you paint.
- Do not go back over an area: Once you have painted an area, move on to another area. Do not keep going over and over an area. This will give you an uneven painting job, causing your ceiling to look patchy.
- Dry or cure the first coat before putting on the second one: The first layer of your primer and paint will need to dry/cure for the required time before you apply the second layer. Yes, you want to finish the job, but if you want it to look good, you must wait the required time.
Also Read: Difference Between Ceiling Paint and Wall Paint
Why does my ceiling look patchy after painting? After reading this article, you can see that this can happen for many different reasons. With these tips, you can have rooms and houses with perfect paint jobs.
How Long Does Paint Stay Mixed after Shaking?
Can You Sleep in a Room After Painting?
How Long After Painting Can You Tape?
Randy CharlesProfessional Painter
Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.
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Good technique with the roller is also most important to achieve a good finish, make sure the roller is well loaded with paint and work a small area at a time (couple sq m) get the paint on the ceiling, don't over roll it and then finish by going over it with very light strokes before moving on to the next area always ...How do you fix a patchy painted ceiling? ›
Lowe's recommends starting by sanding any areas that are visibly loose or bubbled, wearing a mask, and wipe it down with a tack cloth. Then, apply a primer specifically meant to create a barrier between oil based and latex paint. Let this dry, and then repaint your ceilings.Why does my newly painted wall look blotchy? ›
Mistake: Uneven or blotchy paint
Why it happens: Uneven or blotchy paint occurs when you've either skipped priming or not adequately primed your wall before painting. This can also result from not applying enough coats of paint to get a uniform finish.
The best way to paint a ceiling is to use a paint roller and work in grid-like sections of 3 square feet to 5 square feet each. This helps keep edges wet and allows you to see your progress to ensure an even coat. For smooth ceilings, use a low nap roller.Why does my ceiling paint look blotchy? ›
Lack of a Primer Coat
In many instances when painting over a previous paint job, a primer-sealer needs to be spread across the ceiling first. This is especially true in old houses and if don't use a sealer, then the ceiling might appear patchy afterwords.
Lightly sand the troublesome area with 150-grit sandpaper, then tack the walls. That's painter lingo for “Wipe it with a cloth to get rid of dust.” (Easier than the lingo makes it sound!) Then re-paint the area, maintaining a wet edge—meaning, don't let the paint dry until you finish the wall.How do I stop ghosting on my ceiling? ›
- Be sure gas or wood stoves are properly adjusted and vented.
- Keep the indoor relative humidity below 55% in the winter. ...
- Replace furnace filters often.
- Seal around doors and windows to eliminate cold air drafts.
- Stop burning candles, incense, and wood-burning fireplaces.
Generally, you will want a minimum of two coats of paint – this is a good rule of thumb for any wall or ceiling you're painting. You'll rarely get a seamless finish from just one coat of paint, and even if you do, coverage isn't the only goal when it comes to painting a room.Is it better to paint a ceiling with a brush or roller? ›
Is it better to paint a ceiling with a brush or roller? 'We recommend using both a brush and a roller,' says Helen Shaw at Benjamin Moore. 'A brush is needed for painting the edges of the ceiling and the roller to paint the rest of the ceiling.Why are my 2 coats of paint still patchy? ›
Patchiness usually happens if you don't use enough paint, or apply it unevenly. Using a touch more paint, and painting in small sections one at a time, usually does the trick. Also, rolling in a grid fashion will get you an even finish too. But, sometimes, changes in the gloss level leave things patchy.
The term 'chalking' refers to the formation of a white, chalky powder on the surface of the paint film. This condition often occurs as the paint weathers and the binder is slowly degraded by sunshine and moisture, releasing the binder's hold on the pigment.How do you get rid of paint blotches? ›
Use a plastic scraper or putty knife to gently scrape away paint (tip: vegetable oil can be used to soften up the paint). Denatured alcohol or acetone will work on tougher areas but be sure to spot test beforehand.How do you paint a ceiling without missing spots? ›
- Use a Flat Paint Sheen.
- Use a Thicker Roller Nap.
- Use Less Paint On Your Roller.
- Add Another Coat of Paint, In the Opposite Direction.
- One Final Tip, Spray Your Ceiling.
Ceilings and Drywall - Medium 3/8″ nap roller covers work best. Walls, Wood, and Metal - Small 1/4″ nap roller covers or foam rollers will produce the smoothest finish.How do I paint my ceiling with a roller evenly? ›
Just like a vertical wall, begin by cutting-in where the roller won't reach. Using a brush, paint around down lights and edges to create a border. Once you've loaded your roller evenly, begin in one corner and move fluidly in a parallel motion. For best results, work in 1 metre sections painting across and then down.How do you paint a white ceiling evenly? ›
Cut-in the corners of the ceiling by painting them with a paintbrush, then roll the rest of the ceiling before the corners dry. It's easier to avoid streaks if you roll over paint that is still wet. For the same reason, you should roll the entire length of the ceiling at once.What does a bad paint job look like? ›
Visible stains and flaws throughout the paint because of poor wall preparation. Uneven and inconsistent colors – a common issue when only one coat of paint is used. Blotches and streaks caused by applying paint on a dirty or wet wall. Bubbles on the new coat of paint, which occur when the wall isn't allowed to dry ...What happens if you apply second coat of paint too soon? ›
Applying the second coat too early will result in streaks, peeling paint, and uneven color. Not only will this ruin the entire project but it'll cost additional money to get more paint in some occasions. It's best to wait for the first coat to dry.How do you blend patchy paint? ›
Prime the area and then paint it with the same paint and using the same applicator (brush or roller) that you used to apply the original coat of paint. Use the smallest amount of paint that is needed and apply it little by little.What does ghosting look like on a ceiling? ›
Ghosting happens when mildly damp, warm, and possibly sooty interior air condenses on the sections of walls and ceiling that are colder because part of the wood frame is uninsulated. This results in black sooty stains on your walls and ceilings that follow the patterns of your home's framing.
Simply painting over the spackle spots often allows them to bleed through the coat of paint in a manner that is commonly referred to as “flashing.” It takes a few extra steps after repairing your wall to ensure that the spackle spots can be well-hidden and unobtrusive.Can you paint over ghosting on ceiling? ›
Can you paint over ghosting on ceiling? First, it's essential to understand that simply painting over ghost streaks and stains (even if you can cover them completely) is little more than a temporary solution. While repainting is an eventual part of the process, you have to stop the root causes for any long term relief.Why is my ceiling paint not covering? ›
This happens mostly due to moisture. Moisture gets between the paint and the wall, causing it to peel. The brand of paint may not be high enough quality. Ceilings in high moisture areas need a paint that sticks better and is flexible.What is the best way to paint a ceiling without streaks? ›
Step 6: While the ceiling is still damp, use an unloaded paint roller in a corner of the ceiling and lightly pull it in a straight line without pressure. Continue this action, slightly overlapping each line. This will prevent ceiling paint streaks.Do professional painters use 2 coats of paint? ›
As a rule of thumb, you should always expect to apply two coats of paint regardless of what the label says. Colors such as reds, bright yellows, and oranges may require three or more coats. However, there are situations where one coat of paint is perfectly acceptable.What is the best paint for ceilings? ›
Eggshell paints offer a low sheen while still absorbing most light and hiding ceiling imperfections. Satin finish: Satin paints are slightly more reflective than eggshell paints but still have a low sheen overall. Paints with a higher sheen than satin finish paints tend to highlight nicks on the ceiling.Should ceilings be painted flat or satin? ›
Flat Acrylic Ceiling Paint
As the most common type of ceiling paint, this is best suited for low-humidity rooms, such as the bedrooms and living spaces. Flat paint does not reflect much light, which is appropriate for most ceilings.
Ceilings should almost always be painted in a flat, matte acrylic paint. The reason for this is that: Flat paint will not reflect light or draw attention away from the wall and room furnishings. Ceilings don't receive much wear and tear, so a glossy, durable paint is not necessary.How do you fix poor paint Sheen uniformity? ›
Use a roller brush that was designed specifically for the type of surface being painted and apply the paint with a soft, even rolling motion. If the substrate is overly porous, seal the entire surface with a high-quality primer that is designed for use on that particular surface.How do you paint a ceiling without roller marks? ›
Use a 2- or 2-1/2-inch angled brush to cut in a 3- to 4-inch-wide band of paint around the edges of the ceiling. This allows you to roll on paint afterward without getting too close to the walls and accidentally getting paint on them from the roller.
Adding a Second Coat
After your first coat of paint is dry, it's safe to recoat typically after four to six hours. A good rule of thumb is to wait at least three hours to recoat your paint or primer if it's water-based. Waiting 24 hours is best for oil-based paint and primer.
White spots will go away within a week. There is no need to visit the doctor if symptoms disappear. Regularly warm salt water gargling at night is a simple way to prevent recurrence and eliminating the infection. Sometimes white patches may take a longer time to disappear.Do white patches go away? ›
White spots often clear up on their own. If they last longer than several weeks or you're distressed by their appearance, see your doctor. A doctor can help determine the cause and advise you on your options for treatment. Your doctor often needs little more than a visual assessment of the skin to make a diagnosis.Can white patches be cured? ›
There is no "cure" for vitiligo. Sometimes patches go away on their own. But when that doesn't happen, doctors can prescribe treatments that might help even out skin tone. Some of these treatments are things you can try at home; others are done by a doctor.How do you fix uneven paint spots? ›
- Mix paint with a stirring stick down to the bottom of the container.
- Apply a base coat to obtain a uniform surface.
- Make sure that the panels are straight and properly lined up, and that the joints are straight and even.
- Apply paint uniformly.
- Apply two finishing coats to ensure evenness.
What happens is that if you don't let the paint dry completely between coats, you'll end up with streaks. You can leave your surface smooth, use the best primer, and paint in one direction, but you need to let each coat dry properly. Make sure that each coat is completely dried before you apply the next one.How do you remove dry paint mistakes? ›
For dried paint:
- Pour a bit of hot water and dish detergent onto the area.
- Let it soften the paint.
- Scrape out the chips.
Fortunately, you can remove roller marks by using a wet sponge and some sandpaper. Once your paint has dried off, rub down the surface using your sandpaper. Be sure not to get rid of too much of the paint because the only goal is to even out the coating.Why do I have roller marks on my ceiling? ›
Roller marks are exactly what they sound like — evidence of where the painter used the roller brush. They are often caused by a painter putting a second coat of paint on the wall before the first coat has completely dried.Should you paint ceiling or walls first? ›
The ceiling should always be painted first. This allows you to effectively cover the surface with at least two coats while not having to worry about any over-spray (the effect of excess paint being sprayed onto the walls) by the roller. When painting the ceiling, you should always use a roller with a double arm frame.
Perhaps you're using a long-napped roller, loading too much paint on the roller or brush, or not spreading the paint well. The fix. Once the paint dries, use fine sandpaper to remove the run, then retouch the area with a brush and a little paint, feathering the edges.Are foam rollers good for painting ceilings? ›
Rollers are ideal for painting large areas, particularly ceilings. They are quick and easy to use. There are several types of roller to suit different paint jobs: foam, mohair or sheepskin, available in short, medium and long-pile.Why does ceiling paint look blotchy? ›
Thin paint – a cheaper grade of paint or a previously opened can of paint that is now watered down could cause a patchy look. Poorly done – if not applied with a 9-inch roller and not enough paint when applying your paint can cause you to have an uneven spread of paint on the ceiling.When I paint my ceiling it looks patchy? ›
Lack of a Primer Coat
In many instances when painting over a previous paint job, a primer-sealer needs to be spread across the ceiling first. This is especially true in old houses and if don't use a sealer, then the ceiling might appear patchy afterwords.
Fixing Raised Edge Roller Marks
These paint streaks are called raised edge roller marks, and they're caused by paint that's been applied too thickly or unevenly. The cause: This typically happens when the roller is full of paint and is pressed too firmly against the wall.
Eggshell paints offer a low sheen while still absorbing most light and hiding ceiling imperfections. Satin finish: Satin paints are slightly more reflective than eggshell paints but still have a low sheen overall. Paints with a higher sheen than satin finish paints tend to highlight nicks on the ceiling.How many coats of paint on ceiling? ›
Generally, you will want a minimum of two coats of paint – this is a good rule of thumb for any wall or ceiling you're painting. You'll rarely get a seamless finish from just one coat of paint, and even if you do, coverage isn't the only goal when it comes to painting a room.Should ceiling paint always be flat? ›
Ceilings should almost always be painted in a flat, matte acrylic paint. The reason for this is that: Flat paint will not reflect light or draw attention away from the wall and room furnishings. Ceilings don't receive much wear and tear, so a glossy, durable paint is not necessary.What ceiling paint does Joanna Gaines use? ›
Sherwin Williams – Alabaster
Joanna painted the main living areas of her own farmhouse Alabaster and she continually uses it in homes she designs on Fixer Upper as well.
On the contrary, flat paint offers a chalky, matte finish that doesn't reflect light. Therefore, flat paint is a good choice when it comes to applying on ceilings. Flat paint actually lowers down the light glare, making it an appropriate choice for ceilings.