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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
if you want a textured ceiling, do it with color, not actual texture. you
can create almost the same effect.
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.
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
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.
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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