How Long Does it Take to Paint a Ceiling?

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Time can necessitate giving the ceiling a new look. Painting the ceiling is not a rigorous process once all the needed materials and information are at hand. One piece of information that may be left to find out is in answer to the question; how long does it take to paint a ceiling?

Painting a ceiling does not take more than a few hours. This is inclusive of the moments of wait for primer and coats of paint to dry before applying another. The real painting can take less than an hour. The overall time is affected by the size of the ceiling being painted.

The time for painting a ceiling is pretty short, but that is not all to know about the project. Read on to find out about the other steps that are needed in getting the ceiling painted. How easy is the painting, and how should it be done?

What do I need to paint a ceiling?


Painting the ceiling can come off as a challenging task, but it is not such a challenge. The process becomes easy when all that is needed are made available. The height involved in the painting may be one of the reasons it appears hard. The right tools and equipment will sort that out.

Here is a list of important things that will aid the process of painting a ceiling:

Paint and primer

These are the main materials for the ceiling painting. The primer is needed to help the paint retention and to give it a good surface to lock onto. Get paint and primer of choice from the paint shop.

Set ladder

A set ladder is best for ceiling painting as it allows enough room for the job. It is better than a wall-leaning ladder. It is also easy to move the set ladder as the work progresses.

Drop cloth

It is practically impossible for paint not to drop off the ceiling as the painting is being done. The drop cloth is used to cover the floor and things that may be too heavy to move out.

Painter’s tape

This is used for the edges where the wall meets the ceiling. It may not be used if the walls are still going to get painted. It prevents the paint from touching the wall edges or crown moldings.

Paint and extension roller

These are used to apply the primer and paint to the ceiling. The extension roller is necessary to Paintbrushght even with ladder use.


A paintbrush is still needed to perfect the strokes from the roller. Tiny edges and details are added using the brush.

Soap and Water

A bar of dish soap and water is needed for cleaning up any mess when the painting is done.

How do I paint the ceiling?

The first step in painting a ceiling is to prepare the surface and workspace. Get the furniture and other movable things in the room outside. This allows for easy movement and protects them from paint drops. The ones that can’t be moved should be covered with drop cloths as well as the floor.

Painter’s tape is used to cover the edges where the ceiling meets the wall. The crown molding, if any at these edges, is covered with the tape. It’s time to start the painting but not first with the paint. The paint primer is first applied to set the tone for the paint.

Fill the paint tray with the primer, not to the brim, to avoid spilling. Glide the roller over the primer and apply it to the ceiling. A coat of primer is enough for the priming process. Waiting about 2 hours for the primer to dry before adding the layer of paint. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for the appropriate drying time.

The next step is to apply the paint. It is best to start with the edges where the wall meets the ceiling. This part of the painting is to be completed with the brush as it is hard to use a roller here. Apply the paint inwards towards the ceiling center about 2 inches.

After the edges have been sorted, then the other parts should be painted. This is best done with the roller to cover more space per time. A layer of paint should be enough after applying the paint primer. But this does not mean another layer cannot be added if you desire it.

Cleaning of the tools used is the final stage of the ceiling painting project. In case you choose to add more than a layer of paint, you will need to wait for the first layer to dry. About 2 hours should be enough. A bar of dish soap is used to wash the paintbrush, roller, and paint tray before they dry.

Is it hard to paint a ceiling?

There is a big difference between painting the walls and a ceiling. There is more stress with the ceiling, mainly because of the height. It will put more stress on the eyes, neck, and hand. It becomes more difficult if the ceiling has patterns and textures.

The stress can be reduced when the right tools are available for the job.

Can I paint the ceilings and walls on the same day?

If the wall also needs a painting, both the ceiling and walls can be painted on the same day. The ceiling should not take more than 3 hours if one layer of paint is added. An extra 2 hours may be added if the painting is with two layers.

The wall is a bigger space than the ceiling, but it is not as hard as the ceiling. Painting both ceiling and walls can be done in a day, but it will be almost a whole day job. It is possible to paint both in a day.

How many coats of paint does a ceiling need?

When a paint primer is used, a layer is good enough for the ceiling. Adding an extra layer is more of a personal choice. A single coat layer may not be enough for the desired look. An extra coat of paint will not hurt if it is available.

Should you paint the ceiling or wall first?

When both the wall and the ceiling area are to be painted, the ceiling should go first. This would ensure that the wall is not too messy by the spills from the ceiling if it was done first. The wall will still receive spills from the ceiling, so let it be the last one to be painted.

Final thought

Painting a ceiling is not a hard task, but it is not a piece of cake at the same time. Get the appropriate tools, and the job will be made simpler. It takes between  2 to 3 hours to get the job done with a single coat of primer and paint.

More coats may elongate the time, but it’s all going to be within a day. One coat layer is enough for a modest look, but nothing stops an extra one. Remember to clean the brush, roller, and paint bowls before they dry. It’s easy then than later.

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