How to Paint a Knockdown-Textured Ceiling

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Affix the roller frame to an extension pole.
Affix the roller frame to an extension pole. (Image: paint roller image by Ana de Sousa from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

If you are planning to paint a ceiling, employ a particular application strategy if it is coated with knockdown texture. Because knockdown-textured ceilings are prone to heavy dripping, you must use care, or you could end up ruining the floor. In addition, because this type of ceiling contains heavy layers of texture, it tends to soak up paint unevenly. Apply the paint a particular way, or you could end up with a streaky-looking finish that appears slightly glossy in some areas and dull in others.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy-duty fabric dropcloths
  • Blue painter's tape
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Flat latex paint
  • Roller frame
  • Roller extension pole
  • Nap roller cover

Remove anything from the room that might interfere with your ability to paint the ceiling.

Cover the floor with dropcloths. Cover the tops of baseboards with low-tack blue painter's tape.

Fill the 5-gallon bucket with 2 gallons of flat latex paint. Attach the roller frame to an extension pole.

Coat the ceiling with a light coat of paint, using the roller and nap roller cover. Apply the paint relatively quickly. Don't worry about coverage. Wait one hour for this thin coat to dry.

Coat the knockdown-textured ceiling with two more coats of flat latex paint. Wait two hours between each coat of paint.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a 3- to 4-inch paintbrush, manufactured for use with water-based paints, to coat areas of the knockdown-textured ceiling, inaccessible to the roller.
  • Access the ceiling with a stepladder.
  • Do not try to coat a knockdown-textured ceiling with one or two heavy coats of paint, as this may lead to heavy dripping and a streaky-looking finish.
  • Do not use a stain or semi-gloss paint to coat a ceiling. Flat paints are appropriate for painting ceilings because they allow water stains to show through. Satin and semi-gloss paints may trap water stains, allowing a leak to cause extensive damage before it is noticed.

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