How to Not Get Paint on Ceiling When Painting the Walls [4 Tips]

Have you ever wanted to paint a room but just did not know how to keep the paint from smearing on the ceiling? How do you keep the paint off your ceiling? There are many ways to keep this problem from happening. It may seem impossible, but it isn't.

Using painter's tape to block off the edge of the ceiling closest to the wall is the best way to keep paint from getting onto the ceiling. A wide-angle brush, along with the painter's tape, might be of some help. Many hardware and home improvement stores have other special tools that you can use as well:

  • Use an accubrush 
  • Apply 3M painter's tape
  • Use an angled paintbrush
  • Try out a pad edge painter

Many of these products listed can make your project a lot less stressful! Keep reading below for more information on how to use the products and where to find them.

A painter painting with a light green color to the wall and taped the ceiling corners to avoid smudging paint on it, How to Not Get Paint on Ceiling When Painting the Walls [4 Tips]

Methods To Keep Paint Off Your Ceiling

Blue tape attached to the wall to avoid painting the wall

In this section, we'll discuss how the following products help keep paint off your ceiling.

Use An Accubrush

An Accubrush, as pictured below, is a small paint roller. It has a piece of metal or plastic on the end of the roller to keep paint away from the edge of the walls or molding. In a few quick steps, you can rotate the roller and guard to use it in the other direction.

The paint will only go where it is supposed to and not on your ceiling. You may also buy replacement parts and extra components if you need them for a future project.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Apply 3M Painter's Tape

Painter's tape is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to keep any paint from transferring to your ceiling. 3M blue tape is preferred by many when taking on painting projects. It is the best type to keep the paint from bleeding and is waterproof.

This kind of tape has a medium adhesive and will remove cleanly for up to 14 days. The tape is also easy to restick if you need to reposition it at all. You can buy 3M tape as slim as 0.94 inches or as thick as 2.83 inches.

By lining up the tape on the wall against the ceiling, it creates a perfect edge. You can then paint up to the tape and have no worries about paint transfer. It is suggested to use an angled brush along with the tape.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Use An Angled Paint Brush

An angled brush helps keep clean and precise lines. Using it against the painter's tape helps keep the paint smooth and clean. This is known as "cutting in." The angled bristles on the brush help to get the paint evenly onto the wall. You can then use the "cutting in" method to get the paint right up to the ceiling.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Try A Pad Edge Painter

A pad edge painter holds paint in the handle. No dipping required! The paint is then fed into the pad. There will be no dripping paint down the walls with this device. As the paint is sucked up into the foam pad, you can directly line it up to the edge of the ceiling and paint precise lines.

There is no protective edge but it is designed to fit snugly against the line of the ceiling. There are many different sizes and variations of this product. You can also buy new pads and other attachments for this device if desired.

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Common Questions

Do you have a renovation project coming up? Maybe you have a few rooms that need fresh coats of paint. Here are some common questions and answers about painting that may help make this project go a lot smoother for you.

How Do I Get Dried Paint Off The Ceiling? 

You can take a clean putty knife and gently scrape off the paint. If this does not work, find a chemical paint remover at the hardware store. You can dip a smaller brush into the paint remover and brush over the paint. Or you can put some of the chemicals on a clean cloth and wipe off the paint. Make sure to open some windows and vent the area when doing so. The chemicals will give off fumes.

Do You Need To Paint The Ceiling When Painting The Walls? Which Do You Paint First?

This is all personal preference. If you like your ceiling, then leave it alone. If you want to spruce it up a bit, then by all means, paint it. However, it is recommended that you paint your ceiling first. This will keep the paint from dripping down your walls or causing a mess. It is suggested to always clear out the room first to lay a drop cloth to protect your floors from paint drippings or anything spilling.

Do You Cut In Before Or After Rolling?

You want to cut in the corners before rolling. This keeps the process clean and smooth. It also keeps the paint from pooling in that area. The rest of the molding can be done either before or after rolling. It is more of a personal preference. It is recommended to use a 2- or 3-inch brush when cutting in your paint.

Follow along with this YouTube tutorial to cut in a wall to ceiling line:

Do Paint Edgers Really Work? 

As with anything, it takes patience and time. The Accubrush, as mentioned above, is a very highly rated edger. These are typically used for painting around molding, windows, and doorways. However, they can be used to keep the paint on the walls and off the ceiling as well.

The edgers will do the job you want them to if you just follow the steps. Do not rush the process or it can result in a messy situation. You can even ask an employee in the paint department what they prefer to use. They may have some suggestions for you.

In Closing

Painting a room can be a nerve-wracking experience if you have never attempted it before. The good news is that there are plenty of products that can keep paint from getting onto your ceiling. Always make sure to vent the room you are working in so the fumes do not cause any health risks. Remember that you have many options when painting a room and keeping the paint off your ceilings!

Don't fret if you happen to get paint on the ceiling as there are other options to remove it or fix it. There is also the option of calling in a professional to help with the job if you feel that you are not up to the task. Always remember to tip your painter as well!

Here is another article you may be interested in reading regarding tipping installers and laborers: Do You Tip Floor Installers And Refinishers (And How Much)?

And if you're looking to spruce up your floors, check out Should Hardwood Floors Match Throughout The House?

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