These how to’s will show you how to paint a room with high ceilings the easy way!
Yesterday, I posted our living room reveal and was so tickled that you guys liked the paint color as much as I do!! It is gorgeous at all times of day and is such a true gray!
There were 2 things that I was stressing over leading up to this project:
1) Picking the right color
2) How we were going to paint these walls ourselves given that our ceiling peaks at about 18′
We absolutely did not have it in our budget to hire a painter. Even if we did, though, I don’t think I could have stomached that expense, especially knowing that we were perfectly capable of painting 90% of the room ourselves without much effort. I just couldn’t see paying someone to do the entire room when it was such a small portion that was seemingly “out of our reach”.
So with a combination of research and some frugal creativity, I pulled together some tips on how to paint rooms with high ceilings without scaffolding!
This might come as a shocker, but you will need a ladder! 🙂 Our 8′ one didn’t even come close to reaching, and we didn’t want to have to buy a longer one just for this project. So ask around! Put a call out on Facebook! I think you’d be surprised how many people you know who wouldn’t mind lending you a taller ladder. Think about whether you know any neighbors, co-workers, friends, etc. who might need one for their jobs (think insurance adjustors, electricians or even painters). We were able to borrow one from a neighbor, and I made him cookies as a thank you! Bartering is your best friend!P.S. Notice the angle that I’m taking this picture from. I keep my feet planted firmly on solid ground!
If you truly aren’t able to find one to borrow from somebody, call your local hardware store and see if they rent them. I checked with ours and it was a very reasonable rental fee for a 1/2 day rental, which is all we would have needed! But don’t make people talk you into splurging on scaffolding. Unless you’re painting a ceiling it really isn’t necessary. You’re painting walls, so just lean that ladder against the wall!
Buy yourself an extension pole for your paint roller. They are inexpensive and work well. Yes, if you have a ladder, then you might not technically need this. I still recommend it, though, because it feels a lot better to stand with both feet on the ground than it does to stand on ladder rungs for hours. It also will go faster to paint from the floor using this extension pole when you can easily refill from the paint tray on the floor. Painting from a ladder is a lot of up and down every time you need to refill your roller.
Personally, I love it because I am a little bit ridiculous when it come to heights of any kind. By using the extension pole, I can paint quite a bit of the room myself without having to wait for my husband to get home to paint the highest peaks. We have an old wooden pole that’s been in my husband’s family forever, by I really recommend a newer one because it fits all the standard rollers plus some of the edgers as well. Our neighbor who is a painter has this extension pole and said he uses this one on his professional jobs.
I used packaging tape to tape a paintbrush to my extension pole. This allowed me to get all the corners (and I even climbed up a few steps on the ladder to get the reeeeally high spots) even though I’m only 5’4″.
You could really do this with any brush, but if you use a high-quality one and have a steady hand, you could even edge up high using this method. I have a very steady hand (thanks to all my years of cake decorating!), and used this method quite a bit in this room on the sidewalls where they met the ceiling. I wasn’t able to get the main peak of the living room ceiling, because I was still too short, but my husband was perfectly capable of that with the ladder. I wouldn’t attempt edging like this with any old brush, though. I love these angled ones from Purdy (and I’m not affiliated in ANY way with them). The bristles stay together and don’t fan out, and I always get a nice, crisp edge.
Use a high-quality paint! I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes and thinking this is true no matter what height your walls are, and what does this have to do with painting in rooms with high ceilings!! I’m here to tell you that it matters! We chose Sherwin Williams paint for this room and it was so thick, that it didn’t splatter at all! Honestly! When you are rolling with that extension pole and the actual roller is so far away from you, it’s VERY easy to get splatters and drips as you move it around.
I have painted before with a brand that we won’t mention, that was a much thinner consistency. I chose it because it was cheaper. In the end, I ended up with so many splatters and drips that I wasted time having to clean all of them and ended up spending more money replacing things that got paint on them! When you’re painting at this height, spend a little bit more for a quality paint that will go on smoothly and not cause any extra headaches!
While you’re picking your paint, look for one that has primer built in and one-coat coverage. Again, I’ve used this before in other rooms, but with different brands, and have ALWAYS done a 2nd coat. This was my first time using Sherwin Williams paint and the ONLY time in my life I have ever stopped after one coat!! A pretty big deal considering I am a chronic painter! We touched up some spots that we had edged with the brush, but not very many, and we never rolled twice. We both walked around the whole room numerous times trying to find spots that would warrant a 2nd coat, and there were NONE! It went on so smooth and rich, that we truly only needed that one coat! HUGE time-saver and cost-saver, especially in a room this size!
The first time we painted this room, we used over 5 gallons of a different brand of paint. This time, we barely even touched the 3rd gallon of Sherwin Williams paint! We balked a little when we were shopping at the cost of Sherwin Williams, but in the end we saved money because we only used half as much! In a room of this size, the time savings is amazing! Plus, that means you really only do have to rent that ladder for half a day! Get that first coat done on the upper half of the walls and go return your ladder!
If you can, pick a color that is close to your ceiling color. When you’re painting up that high, it’s inevitable that your edging won’t be as clean as it is on shorter walls. If you pick a color that’s close in shade to your ceiling color, it will barely be noticeable that it’s not a clean edge. Especially when you’re looking at it from 18′ away! We used Sherwin Williams Worldy Gray #7043.
Check out all of the before and after photos in this post:Sherwin Williams. The opinions are 100% my own.