How to Paint Ceiling Without Paint on Walls

Knowing How to Paint a Ceiling Without Getting Paint on Walls

There are tips, painting ceilings, have clean professional edges on your walls. At corners, where ceilings meet the walls, highly important having sharp crisp transition lines, without dripping or splattering, getting paint on walls, after painting your ceilings.


This article will concentrate on just that, assuming you have already prepared the room you will be painting. Will not go into detail of all the steps leading up to painting in general, but targeting the common problem of not getting paint on your walls. A very common concern with uneven paint edges on your walls, when painting your ceiling.

I know in many cases, you just want your ceilings painted, and not your walls, which is why you are here in the first place. You do not want to be required having to paint your walls, because you got ceiling paint on them, specifically up in the corners. Ceiling corners, where walls meet is the mark of a professional interior painting job. The cleaner the lines are, especially with contrasting colors, the more dramatic, the paint scheme becomes, not having your eyes focus on drips, runs, and splatters at that ninety degree corner area.


And if your wife is only asking you to paint the ceilings, you got out of doing only half the paint job, but I can guarantee if your paint lines are not crisp and professional, you'll be painting your entire home! This goes for the husband as well, having the wife paint ceilings, so this is imperative you both listen up, not wanting this to turn into another I Love Lucy Show episode.


Steps Keeping Paint Off of Walls, When Painting Your Ceilings

Having painted 1000's of ceilings over the years, will give you our best tips keeping the unwanted ceiling paint off your walls, when painting the ceilings. First, think of the masking tape as your paint edge. Running masking tape say a dime's thickness away from very top of ceiling, on the wall, in a long arms-length at a time, will ensure a nice straight line from the get-go. The straighter the tape, the straighter the line.

Steps Keeping Paint Off of Walls, When Painting Your Ceilings-Eco-Paint-303-591-4978

This initial tape is used for several reasons, so placing this on first is critical. The first reason you need to run this tape is running a very small bead of caulk in corner, and thereby wiping off excess. This will not only seal the tape edge, not allowing paint to drip under the tape, on the wall, but will have a very professional look once all finished. Wiping this caulk is key, so that no caulk is visible up in the corner, once it's all painted. Another reason taping the corners up near the ceilings on the walls, is after you have finished caulking, you can either use a brown masking paper, or drop film by 3M, covering your walls further down, depending on your expertise. If spraying your ceilings, highly recommend using at least forty-eight inch drop film, if not seventy-two inch. Actually, depending on your roller-skin, and ceiling texture, you may want to use this anyway, if you plan doing this by hand, with brush and roller method.

Right Size Masking Tape Painting Ceilings

Having used a wide variety of masking tape widths over the years, especially painting trim and ceilings, will let you in on a little secret. Your particular painting job will most likely not require more than 12-36 rolls of tape of any width. Most common width used is one inch, which works ok with the 3M masker, however giving yourself just a little bit more tape on the wall, we use inch and a half width. Whether it be Blue low adhesive, or regular masking tape, the cost difference if very minimal per roll, but added working pleasure and ease, with the wider tape.

So when considering painting your ceilings, I would strongly consider buying 1-1/2'' wide masking tape, and not 1/2'' or 1'' tape. You will thank me later, keeping that unwanted paint off of your walls.

Having the Best Painting Tools Saving Time & Money

Mentioning 3M masking film, you will need a masker, and there are several versions out there, but the 3M masker is indeed the very best. 3M masker will cost a tad bit more than the lesser value ones, but well worth it. Every Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, Home Depot, Lowe's, and Ace Hardware stocks the 3M masker, so you will not be disappointed if you ever need parts for this. Having the 3M masker is not the only tool you will need, matter of fact, you will need approximately twenty or more tools at your arsenal, tackling the most simplest painting jobs. Having written an article just on that, you can find that list clicking on the Best Painting Tools most helpful, saving time and money.

Important Techniques Keeping Paint Off of Walls, Painting Ceilings

Ok, now you have gotten the proper masking tape, and tools, and your ready to start painting. Having suave, confident, and polished means accomplishing such task, knowing the proper techniques will ensure your walls are ceiling paint free, making your job that much more pleasurable.

Important Techniques Keeping Paint Off of Walls, Painting Ceilings-Eco-Paint-303-591-4978

Besides, taping the walls using long straight masking measures, you must press the tape firmly on the wall, taking out any air bubbles, for a uniform adhesion, using all the tape's surface. Critical area to make sure tape is properly sealed is at the top, before caulking.

Once tape is firmly placed on the walls, next step is running a fine bead of painters caulk, coming right behind, wiping with a wet, damp rag. Again, this will ensure a tight, clean, uniform, nearly invisible seal from your tape's edge to the wall itself. This technique will ensure no paint migrating under the tape, on the wall when you paint the corners of ceilings.

If your like most, wanting to paint as soon as the caulk is wiped, don't. Next tip is to let the caulk set-up, and cure, before actually painting over it. This can take a few hours depending on the temperature in the room.  The warmer it is, the quicker it dries. 

Once your caulk is dry, you are ready to paint. The following steps are of critical mass you follow though completing, not getting paint on your walls. Paint the corner using brush, roller, or spray method, as application does not matter. Once edge is painted, you should carefully remove masking and tape, pulling it away at an angle, so that no fresh paint on masking does not touch wall surfaces.

If however, you wait until the ceiling paint is dry, before removing the masking, you had better have a sharp razor knife handy. This razor is used to carefully cut the tape edge at the caulk's surface, so the dried latex paint does not rip, and tear, causing even more headache for you.

  • Press Tape Firmly
  • Wipe Caulk Smoothly
  • Let Caulk Dry Properly
  • Paint Ceiling Surfaces
  • Carefully Remove Tape & Masking
  • Have Wall Paint For Touch-ups

Last Painting Tip When Painting Ceilings, and Not Walls

Ok, you have just finished painting the ceilings, and everything looks great! You got out of painting your entire interior, saving you time and money. You have many better things to do, you would much rather, like going skiing, fishing, going out with friends to a movie or dinner, or simply not painting your entire summer. Your final painting tip I can give you is... Pssst. Have a can of wall paint tucked away in the back, just in case you need a finger paint touch-up. That way, you can go on about your rat killing, enjoying what you do best, which is not painting walls in the first place.

Having the best painting tips, tools, and techniques, you are sure to keep paint off of your walls, when painting the ceilings, having a professional painting experience. Not only that, but you can go do things you would much rather do, than be stuck there a few more days or weeks, painting your walls. So you can thank me by making any comments below!

Now, after reviewing this article, and your home is like depicted in the photos above, and you say, "Screw it, I'm not getting up on a ladder that high, painting my ceilings''. We have Great News for You! Suggest you contact a reputable painting contractor, handling all this for you. If you are in the Denver area, Eco Paint, Inc. provides the best Denver painters, and interior, exterior painting services for all of your painting needs.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] Upload pictures of your home and see how it looks with new color. You'll know what looks great before there's paint on your walls. […]


[…] Finding the correct order to paint a room, several key points will need to be addressed. Leaving out ceilings is another topic all together. Knowing you do not want to get paint on the walls, when painting ceilings. […]


[…] more especially, having a smooth ceiling surface, flat ceiling paint works best, allowing you to paint walls with a flat, eggshell, satin, pearl paint…. Notice I mentioned flat walls? Yes, you are able to paint walls using same ceiling paint, same […]


[…] worry about getting ceiling paint on wall, as this will be cut in by hand if ceiling color paint is different than wall color. Painting […]


[…] Remembering no worry about getting a little paint near top of walls, as you'll soon paint those too. Knowing you don't have to be too careful without flooring, but allows you to concentrate painting ceiling su…. […]


[…] painting out a wall, marks still showing, it's most likely underneath, problems with drywall. Because let's face it, if painting ceilings, not wishing to paint walls, you'll need some other tips, besides not wanting any flash, streaks, or lap marks on ceiling […]


[…] trim paint with semi-gloss for walls, ceilings, and trim. However, if you have a very large closet, painting ceilings white, walls a different color is […]