Ceilings tend to be overlooked when it comes to DIY painting, but a fresh coat on the ceiling has the potential to really add to the look of the room. If you’re interested in painting your ceiling, you’ll need to make sure you have the right tools to do so.

With the number of painting products on the market, it can be tough to know what ones will work best on your ceiling. This article will help you find the right ceiling painting tools by covering the following:

Before we can get into the best tools for painting ceilings, let’s dive into everything you’ll need for a DIY ceiling painting project. If you plan on painting the entire room, check out our guide to the best paint brushes for drywall.

 

Ceiling painting tools: 12 tools you need to get professional results

Before you can get started, you need many different tools for painting a ceiling. Here is a list of everything you’ll need to successfully paint your ceiling:

  1. Paint brush: A small, angled brush should be used to cut-in the edges of your ceiling.
  2. Roller cover: Paint rollers are ideal for applying paint to the main surface of the ceiling.
  3. Roller frame: You’ll need to purchase the roller frame separate from the roller cover.
  4. Paint sprayer: You can choose to invest in a sprayer instead if you’d like to paint quickly and efficiently.
  5. Extension pole: These can be attached to roller frames to help you reach your ceiling from the floor.
  6. Paint tray: Using a tray is great for dipping into paint and rolling out excess paint.
  7. Bucket: Also great for holding paint while you work.
  8. Painter’s tape: Can be applied to protect the edges around your ceiling from paint.
  9. Drop cloths: Can be used to cover the floor, furniture, and walls while you paint.
  10. Ladder: Needed to reach high ceilings in situations where an extension pole can’t be used.
  11. Duster: Important to use to remove dust particles before you begin painting.
  12. Safety goggles: Ideal for protection while you’re painting.

 

Top 3 brushes for painting ceilings

Paint brushes are one of the best ceiling paint cut-in tools, but the amount of brushes on the market can make it hard to choose the right one. Below are some of our recommendations for the best paint brush for ceilings. If you want to see more options, check out our guide to the best paint brushes for cutting in.

1. Purdy Clearcut Glide Angular Trim Brush

Purdy Clearcut Glide Angular Trim Brush

(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $20.19

Quantity: 1

Size: 2.5-inch

Material: Nylon-Polyester

Best Feature: Designed for cutting-in

The Purdy Clearcut Glide Angular Trim Brush is the perfect brush for ceiling painting. Their Tynex nylon and Orel polyester bristles help to create well defined lines as your paint. It’s very precise and works with all paints and primers, including those with a latex base.

2. Wooster Shortcut Angle Sash Paint Brush

Wooster Shortcut Angle Sash Brush

(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $9.18

Quantity: 1

Size: 2-inch

Material: Nylon-Polyester

Best Feature: Flexible Shergrip handle

A popular choice for cutting in ceilings is the Wooster Shortcut Angle Sash Paint Brush. This brush is made with quality bristles to help you achieve an ideal coverage with all types of paint. It’s also made with a flexible handle, which helps you to maintain comfort and paint at any angle.

3. Purdy XL Dale Angular Trim Brush

Purdy XL Dale Angular Trim Brush

(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $17.96

Quantity: 1

Size: 2.5-inch

Material: Nylon-Polyester

Best Feature: Versatility

For painting smaller surfaces, like the edges of your ceiling, another great choice is the Purdy XL Dale Angular Trim Brush. The bristles of this brush are made of high-quality material, which will help you to get a great performance out of this brush. It’s also approved for use with all paints and stains and is recommended for a variety of medium-sized projects, so it’s sure to be well worth the investment.

 

3 best paint rollers for ceilings

While brushes are great for cutting-in ceilings, paint rollers will help you paint the main surface much faster and with better coverage. Here are a few of our picks for the best paint rollers for ceilings. If you want to see additional picks, they’re covered in our guide to the best paint brushes for ceilings.

1. True Blue Premium Microfiber Paint Roller Covers

True Blue Premium Microfiber Paint Roller Covers

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Price: $50.63

Quantity: 6

Size: ⅜-inch nap, 9-inch length

Material: Microfiber

Best Feature: Maximum pick-up and release

The True Blue Premium Microfiber Paint Roller Covers 6-pack is perfect for anyone looking for a great product and great value. These microfiber paint roller covers are great for providing great coverage on your ceiling. They’ve also been approved for use with all paints, which will allow DIYers to get good use out of the value pack.

2. Purdy Contractor 1st Roller Cover

Purdy Contractor First Roller Cover

(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $14.55

Quantity: 1

Size: ⅜-inch nap, 9-inch length

Material: Polyester

Best Feature: Even coverage

If you’re working on a ceiling with a smooth to semi-smooth surface, try the Purdy Contractor 1st Roller Cover. This roller cover is made of high-quality polyester, making it a great choice for latex and oil-based paints and primers. They’re known to hold paint well, reduce splatter, and release paint evenly.

3. Purdy Colossus Roller Cover

Purdy Colossus Roller Cover

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Price: $32.10

Quantity: 1

Size: ½-inch nap, 18-inch length

Material: Polyamide

Best Feature: Smooth finish

For those working with a textured ceiling, the Purdy Colossus Roller Cover is a great choice. This roller cover is made with woven polyamide, which helps you apply paint smoothly to semi-smooth to semi-rough surfaces. Like the Contractor 1st, it’s also approved for latex and oil-based paints and primers.

 

4 best paint sprayers for ceilings

If you want to speed up the time spent painting your ceiling, you can consider investing in a sprayer. These are our picks for the best paint sprayer for ceilings. You can also check out more choices in our guide to the best paint sprayers for ceilings.

1. Wagner SprayTech Control Spray Max HVLP Paint or Stain Sprayer

Wagner SprayTech Control Spray Max HVLP sprayer

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Price: $151.16

Material: Metal

Weight: 9.8 lbs

Capacity: 1 to 1.5 qt.

Best Feature: Three spray patterns

The Wagner SprayTech Control Spray Max HVLP Paint or Stain Sprayer is a great option for painting ceilings easily and efficiently. The HVLP technology helps atomize paint particles, giving your ceiling a smooth finish with little to no waste. It’s approved for use with a variety of materials and can be used for many different projects.

2. Graco TrueCoat 360 Paint Sprayer

Graco TrueCoat 360 DS Electric TrueAirless Sprayer

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Price: $206.70

Material: Stainless steel

Pressure: 1500 psi

Weight: 3.5 lbs

Capacity: 32 oz

Tip Size: 0.015 inch

Best Feature: Reversible spray tip

For guaranteed efficiency, go for the Graco TrueCoat 360 Paint Sprayer. This sprayer includes a reversible tip, which allows you to continue spraying if the tip becomes clogged. It can be sprayed in any direction and allows you to spray unthinned paint.

3. HomeRight Super Finish Max Sprayer

HomeRight Super Finish Max Sprayer

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Price: $125.02

Material: Brass

Weight: 3.3 lbs

Capacity: 40 oz

Tip Size: 1.5, 2.0, and 4.0 mm

Best Feature: Versatility

If you’re looking for a sprayer that’s both affordable and high-quality, the HomeRight Super Finish Max Sprayer is one of the best options. This paint sprayer can be used on a variety of different projects and has adjustable settings to get the perfect spray for what you’re working with. It sprays evenly and can be used with multiple types of material.

4. Graco Magnum Project Painter Plus Paint Sprayer

Graco Magnum Project Painter Plus Paint Sprayer

(Image credit: Amazon.ca)

Price: $341.73

Material: Stainless steel and metal

Weight: 16 lbs

Capacity: 1 to 5 gallons

Tip Size: 0.015 inch

Best Feature: Sprays paint unthinned

Another great choice from Graco is the Graco Magnum Project Painter Plus Paint Sprayer. This sprayer also allows for continuous spraying and using unthinned paint. It also allows you to spray paint directly from the bucket.

 

What’s the best type of paint edger tool for ceilings?

Some DIYers might be tempted to use a ceiling line paint tool to cut in their ceiling instead of a paint brush. While many different ceiling edge painting tools exist, it can be tough to know which one would work best for your project. Follow these guidelines to find the best paint edger for ceilings that will work best for you:

  • Size: Paint edger tools can be purchased in different widths depending on the size of the space you’re working with.
  • Material: The fibers or bristles on your paint edger should be natural when working with oil-based paint and synthetic for latex and acrylic paints.
  • Roller: Some tools are designed to roll paint on like a roller while others are applied by smearing the padded tool against the ceiling. Which type you use should depend on the size of your ceiling and which option will be most efficient for you.
  • Pad or brush: These tools can be purchased with either a pad or bristles attached. Opt to use padded tools for smooth ceilings and bristled tools for textured ceilings.
  • Extender: You can use a paint edger tool for high ceilings that comes with an extender attached for comfort and safety.

 

Best way to paint a ceiling: brush, roller, or spray?

The best way to paint your ceiling is to use both a paint brush and roller. An angular brush should be used to cut in the edges and corners of your ceiling. This is done to cover the surface that the paint roller will be unable to reach and to be able to paint along the edges more precisely. The paint roller should be used next to paint the main surface of the ceiling. A roller works best for this since it will help you paint the ceiling much faster than a brush and help you achieve a smooth, even coverage.

A paint brush and rollers places in a paint tray

However, a paint sprayer can be used instead if you’re looking to speed up the process. Sprayers are great for helping you to achieve a beautiful finish in significantly less time than it would take to use a brush and roller. Despite the many pros, those interested in this route should be cautious that sprayers can be a bit messier to use and will cost a fair amount of money to purchase.

Choose a brush if…

  • You need to cut in your ceiling.
  • You want to use a roller to paint the main portion of your ceiling.
  • You need to do a minor touch-up on the ceiling.

Choose a roller if…

  • You want to paint your ceiling efficiently.
  • You want more precision and less mess.
  • You want to spend less on your project.

Choose a sprayer if…

  • You want to speed up the process.
  • You’re okay with a little mess.
  • You have the money to invest.

 

How to paint the ceiling like a pro

Knowing what ceiling painting tools to use is only half the battle. Follow these tips to help you achieve professional results when painting your ceiling:

  • Clear the room — If possible, remove all furniture and items in the room to keep them safe and get them out of your way while you’re painting.
  • Remove any fixtures — Remove any lights or fans from the ceiling that would be in the way.
  • Repair any damage — If there are any holes or cracks, be sure to fill them before you paint over them.
  • Protect the area — Use painter’s tape, sheets, and/or drop cloths to protect the walls, floor, etc. as you paint.
  • Do a second coat — Don’t be afraid to do two coats of paint on your ceiling to ensure you get an ideal coverage.
  • Plan accordingly — DIY paint projects are supposed to take a long time, so be sure to schedule enough time for your project and ensure your family is able to avoid the room.

 

Now that you know everything about ceiling painting tools, it’s time to get started on your project. If you think you’d prefer to have a professional work on your ceiling, the City Painters are here to help. Contact us here or give us a call for a free quote.

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