Painting ceiling... not going well

Howdy all. I'm trying to paint the ceiling in my house. It's an older house, built in 60's, and the ceiling is plaster, I do believe. The problem I'm having is that the paint just isn't coating evenly, no matter what I try. I'm using plain white "ceiling" paint with a roller brush. My guess is that this type of paint just doesn't work well on this plaster. Any suggestions? Different brush? Replaster rather than paint? Thanks for your input.
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John wrote:

My first guess is you did not prep the ceiling before painting. In this case prep usually means cleaning it. After years of dirt and crud on it you can't expect to just slap some paint on.
Next step might be a primer. That really depends on the condition of the surface and what has been done to it in the past.
Last note. If it had the original paint from 1960, you should expect to prime it and do two coats of good quality paint. Those old jobs just absorb paint like a sponge.
BTW "Different brush?" Your not using a brush to do all the painting. Use a roller.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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@hotmail.com says...

Yah... it looks like it's just soaking up the paint. It's been cleaned up as best I can, but I never thought to prime it first. I'll do that. Thanks for the tip.
Oh yeah... I am using rollers, not brushes. My bad.
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says...

this
it
of
expect to

absorb
painting.
I found it was hard to apply even roller pressure in the weird positions I had to get into to paint the ceiling. Get back to the paint store and get a tool made just for ceilings. I found a roller on a broomstick. It has a plastic thing to help catch drips. This tool made the job MUCH easier.
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snip...
to
absorb
I'll second that about old paint jobs. I recently painted the circa-1963 ceiling in my 25X13 living/dining room figuring that it would be pretty straightforward. Well, three coats later it DID start to look pretty good but I never did figure out how many gallons of paint it took overall since it was soaking it up so fast and I kept driving back to the Borg for "a couple more gallons". This was not the first time it had been painted but probably wasn't more than the second and the skim-coated brush-pattern plaster just wasn't going to go down without a fight. And to make it even worse the only way I could tell if I was getting anything like an even coat without missing too much was to have a pair of 500W halogen worklights illuminating the ceiling at a glancing angle -- made even that big room like an oven.
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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Not an easy job, but prep cleaning is important for a good paint job. At the very least, use a brush attachment to a vacuum. Use a long pole with a long nap roller. A primer helps, and could save you applying two or three coats of expensive paint.
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wrote:

we're talking latex paint here right?
people keep saying 'primer helps'. primer doesnt 'help'. it absolutely makes the difference between a good paint job and a crappy one. primer is essential. and cheaper than paint. any paint that said it doesnt need primer is lying.
i would recommend two coats of it followed by two coats of paint. after the first prime coat you can see the surface and do whatever 'last minute finishes' need to be done. since things are properly primered you'll use about as much in those two coats of paint as one coat would have taken before. it will look great and clean easily with water.
randy
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wrote:

than
the
True, true, and more true. And, all of this illustrates why textured ceilings are only for crazy people. He should feel lucky he doesn't have THAT problem, too. Or, carpet in the kitchen. :-)
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i helped a friend 'de-popcorn' the ceiling once, man that was a friggin nightmare. almost as much of a nightmare as painting it in place would have been <g>
if you want a textured ceiling, do it with color, not actual texture. you can create almost the same effect.
randy
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the "only" way to paint a popcorn ceiling is to spray it...
xrongor wrote:

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Got that right. Act like you know what you are doing and cover whatever you don't want painted with plastic and wear a respirator. Do it right-- go one direction and then the cross direction (essentially 2 coats) and it will be well sealed and covered and will use 1/3 to 1/4 of the paint that a person rolling it would.
Jo wrote:

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wrote:

I know someone who has carpet in their kitchen. Scary. No worry about breaking stuff if it falls. That is until the stains crust over into a shell.

Our ceilings have *wallpaper* on them and popcorn that was added later. Some of it is cracking, but not enough to warrant my doing more than: 1) cleaning 2) priming twice 3) painting twice 4) cussing a lot. The mrs loved them until I made her get up on the ladder for an hour. :)
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Hello everyone,
I'm a professional painter. I've been doing this for about 32 years in the San Diego, California area.
I have a few suggestions:
First question is; Does it have smoke damage? Cigarettes, etc? Or water stains. If so you will need to use an oil base stain sealer. Nothing else will work to keep the staining from coming back through your coat of finish. You could paint it 20 times and the stains will still come back through. I have tried many different brands and can tell you from experience that latex (water based) stain sealers, at least the ones I've tried, do not work to block out cigarette smoke damage or water stains, even though they claim they do. If not then I would suggest using a PVA or acrylic primer over plaster, they clean up easier and don't smell as bad. The primer/sealer will help it adhere to the surface and help to seal it.
The other thing you have going on here is that you are using a straight white ceiling paint. Straight white ceiling paint has absolutely no pigment (color) in it. Because of this, it never covers well, especially using a roller. A roller by it's very nature will pull some of the paint back off when it is applied, as opposed to spraying it on, which lays it right over the top. Being that the house is over 40 years old, the plaster is going to darken with age, so after the prime coat, I would say you can expect to need several coats using a roller. If you sprayed it, probably 1 coat of primer and 1 or 2 coats of finish. Since you've already applied the finish coat, maybe you can get away with not priming it. Once again, look for stains coming back through.
Good luck with your project!
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