8 Best Paintbrushes for Ceilings (+ Rollers vs. Sprays)

Last updated: December 15, 2020


A photo of a beautiful kitchen that is angled to showcase the ceiling

Painting your ceiling is no easy feat, especially if it’s your first time doing it yourself. You might be wondering what the best paintbrush for ceilings is or how to go about the entire process. If you need answers, you’ve come to the right place.

In order to get the most out of your project, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the available rollers and sprays and tips for the actual process of painting your ceiling. This article will help you by covering the following:

Before we dive into the best ways to paint your ceiling, let’s explore the best roller brushes for ceilings. If you’re working with a textured ceiling, you might also want to check out our guide to the best paintbrushes & roller for popcorn and textured ceilings.

Top 4 roller brushes for painting ceilings

If you’re thinking you’d like to use a roller brush for ceiling painting, you should get to know your options. Here are our top recommendations for the best roller brush for painting ceilings.

1. Jaina Paint Roller Kit

Jaina Paint Roller Kit

Image credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $35.99

Quantity: 1

Size: 9 inches

Material: Polyester

Best Feature: Beginner friendly

If you’re painting for the first time, you’ll want to check out the Jaina Paint Roller Kit. This kit comes with everything you'd need to make painting the main surface of your ceiling a breeze. The roller covers are also made with a quality material that will help painters create a smooth finish with no debris left behind.

2. Magimate Paint Roller Kit

Magimate Paint Roller Kit

Image credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $29.99

Quantity: 1

Size: ⅕- to ½-inch nap, 4- to 9-inch length

Material: Polyester, acrylic

Best Feature: Variety

A great option for first-time DIYers who are looking for some variety in their rollers is the Magimate Paint Roller Kit. This kit includes multiple roller sizes and roller covers to fit all your ceiling needs. These rollers have also been approved for use with multiple types of paint.

3. Wooster PRO/DOO-Z FTP Roller Covers

Wooster PRO/DOO-Z FTP Roller Covers

Image credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $17.54

Quantity: 3

Size: ⅜-inch nap, 9-inch length

Material: White fabric

Best Feature: Quality

This 3 pack of Wooster PRO/DOO-Z FTP roller covers is an ideal choice if quality is your top concern. The roller covers are designed with a no-shed fabric guaranteed to give you a smooth finish. Don't forget to purchase a roller frame separately.

4. Purdy Pro-Extra WhiteDove Roller Cover

Purdy Pro-Extra WhiteDove Roller Cover

Image credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $9.67

Quantity: 1

Size: ⅜-inch nap, 9-inch length

Material: Dralon

Best Feature: Versatility

The Purdy Pro-Extra WhiteDove roller cover is another great option for painting your ceiling. The covers are made with woven Dralon fabric, allowing it to be used on multiple surfaces and with a variety of paints and achieve a smooth finish every time. These covers are sold separately from roller frames.

Top 4 paint sprays for ceilings

Another option when painting the main surface of your ceiling is to use a spray gun. If you’re thinking you might want to invest in one of these handy tools, these are our recommendations for the best sprays for your ceiling.

1. Titan Tool ControlMax High Efficiency Airless Paint Sprayer

Titan Tool ControlMax High Efficiency Airless Paint Sprayer

Image credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $459.80

Quantity: 1

Size: 19.4 lbs

Best Feature: Easy to use

The Titan Tool ControlMax sprayer is a great choice for painting the bulk of your ceiling. The airless component makes it an ideal choice for DIYers looking to work on larger projects with ease. The technology also ensures that you'll be using the perfect amount of paint.

2. Wagner SprayTech Control Spray Double Duty Paint Sprayer

Wagner SprayTech Control Spray Double Duty Paint Sprayer

Image credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $115.25

Quantity: 1

Size: 1.88 kgs

Best Feature: Controllability

For a spray that will work well indoors, check out the Wagner SprayTech Control Spray Double Duty sprayer. The air turbine is designed to allow for a perfect finish on any surface. The sprayer can also be used with any paints and other materials.

3. Graco Magnum Project Painter Plus Paint Sprayer

Graco Magnum Project Painter Plus Paint Sprayer

Image credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $347

Quantity: 1

Size: 6.8 kgs

Best Feature: Quality

If you want to invest in a spray specifically for ceilings and other large projects, you need the Graco Magnum Project Painter Plus. The sprayer distributes paint with adjustable pressure and makes it easier to paint for longer. It also supports up to 50 feet of hose to help you safely reach your ceiling.

4. HomeRight Super Finish Max Sprayer

HomeRight Super Finish Max Sprayer

Image credit: Amazon.ca

Price: $125.02

Quantity: 1

Size: 1.5 kgs

Best Feature: Efficiency

For those who want to invest in a multi-purpose sprayer, the HomeRight Super Finish Max is a great option. The sprayer includes multiple tips and adjustable settings, allowing you to get the perfect amount of paint for your project. It sprays paint evenly and works with many types of paint.

What’s the best type of brush for painting ceilings

You might have asked yourself what’s the best way to paint a ceiling: brush or roller. It’s important to know that paintbrushes are not an efficient tool to use when painting the main surface of your ceiling. They are very inefficient when it comes to large projects, so you would spend too much time on the project and not necessarily see the results you want. Brushes should only be used for cutting in your ceiling and painting edges. For recommendations on brushes to use for this purpose, see our guide to the best brushes for cutting in ceilings.

You’re better to use either a roller brush or a spray gun when painting the main surface of your ceiling. While both options have some differences, you can’t go wrong with either. They’ll both help you paint more in less time, get a smooth finish, and stay safe while painting.

Best way to paint ceilings: rollers or spray

Painting the main surface of your ceiling with either a roller brush or a spray gun is a great way to paint efficiently and make the process easier on your body. However, there are a few differences between the two. Rollers are the more affordable option and are the ideal choice if you want to limit the mess left behind and take your time to ensure the quality of your work. Sprayers are great for getting the job done fast and easy and be left with a great looking ceiling, but you’ll need to be prepared to clean up afterwards and spend a fair amount of money to purchase or rent one.

An orange paint covered roller sitting in a paint tray

Choose a roller if…

  • You want to save money.
  • You have extra time to spend doing a quality job.
  • You want less mess to clean up afterwards.

Choose a spray if…

  • You have money to spend to rent or buy one.
  • You want the process to be as fast and easy as possible.
  • You don’t mind doing extra work to protect the rest of the room and clean up afterwards.

Best way to paint ceiling edges without marks

If you’re doing the work of painting your ceiling yourself, you’re going to want to make sure you’re happy with the results. These are our tips for how to paint the ceiling edges without marks.

  • Clean the entire surface first - Make sure to wipe down the whole area you want to paint. This will help your paint stick better and remove debris that could ruin the final look.
  • Use painters tape - This will ensure that no paint gets in areas where you don’t want it, allowing you to focus on doing a good job.
  • Prime the ceiling - Before painting, make sure to use a primer first. This will also help your paint stick and help it look beautiful.
  • Use an angular brush - For your edges, you should opt to use an angular brush. This is the best type of paintbrush for ceiling edges as it will give you the most control and make it easier to paint in line-free strokes.
  • Cut in first - Make sure to complete the cutting-in process before moving on to paint the main surface of the ceiling. This will cover the edges that your roller or spray can’t get to and blend it into the rest of the ceiling.

Best way to paint high ceilings

If you’re working with a high ceiling, the number one thing you have to think about is safety. Having to get up high to paint can be anxious to some, and the process overall can be tiresome. To keep the process safe and efficient, here are some tips.

  • Purchase a longer roller holder - Not all rollers come with long holders, but there are some available for purchase. Using one will allow you to paint your ceiling while staying on the ground.
  • Use an easy-to-move spray with a hose and/or wand-style gun - If you’re opting to use a spray instead, finding a sprayer with these functions will allow you to easily paint the ceiling while still on the floor.
  • Purchase a brush holder - If you want to avoid cutting in your ceiling on a ladder, you can buy a holder for your paintbrush. This will help you run your brush along the edges from the ground, but might mean sacrificing the quality.
  • Have a second person present - If you need to use a ladder to paint your ceiling, make sure to have someone else with you. They will be able to hold the ladder to make sure you don’t fall, and they can assist you by getting you more paint when your tool of choice runs out or even switch places when you need a break.

That’s everything you need to know about painting your ceilings. If you’re starting to consider hiring a professional instead, the City Painters are here to help. Contact us here or give us a call to get a quote for your project!