How to Paint a Clean Ceiling Line


If rooms only had four walls and no ceilings, painting them would be much easier. But ceilings exist, and if you are going to paint a room to freshen up its decor, the ceiling should also get a new coat. When the wall color and ceiling color are different a straight edge along the wall and ceiling is mandatory for a good-looking paint job. With the right tool and attention to the proper technique, you'll have a clean, professional-looking ceiling line. A steady hand, good grip and the ability to reach over your head for extended periods is required.

Things You'll Need

  • Ceiling and trim edger (CTE)
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint
  • Paint pan
  • Step-ladder
  • Paint the ceiling first, with a cut-in line along the walls. This line extends the paint color of the ceiling down on the walls about 1 inch.

  • Add a small amount of wall paint to the pan and attach the paint pan to the ladder.

  • Move the step-ladder under a corner of the ceiling and stand on a step that is comfortable for you to easily reach just under the ceiling.

  • Dip the CTE into the wall paint, being careful to not get too much or too little. It may take a time or two to learn the proper balance of paint. Do not get paint on the rollers. If you do, wipe them completely clean.

  • Turn the CTE so the rollers are toward the ceiling and press it on the wall with the rollers touching the ceiling, about 1 foot away from the corner. Roll the CTE towards the corner to distribute paint, and then roll it back in the other direction 2 to 3 feet. Roll it back and forth several times, keeping a steady pressure against the wall and the rollers against the ceiling. After you finish you should have a straight, clean line of wall paint about 3 feet in length.

  • Feather the paint downwards with a brush so that it doesn't leave a noticeable straight line when you paint over the wall area. Feathering is done by dragging a paint brush through the wet paint and pulling downwards, leaving streaks on the wall under the edge that look like fine feathers.

  • Come down from the ladder and move it to the side of where you just complete the line.

  • Continue the steps being sure to start each line about 1 foot from the previous line and work back and forth along the wall.

  • Touch up the area where the wall corners meet the ceiling with a small brush, using just one corner of it dipped into the wall paint.

Tips & Warnings

  • Start the wall paint while the cut-in line is still wet for a smoother blend.
  • The CTE also works along doors, window frames and molding.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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