This Pretty Handy Girl can’t wear her good duds on a painting day (although I’ve been known to do that occasionally.)
Painting is a nice segue into the first secret for “Falling in Love with Your Home”. Our home started out dark and dreary on the inside. Most of the rooms had dark wall colors, but the biggest problem was the dingy white popcorn ceilings. Those suckers are light sponges! They absorb the natural light and keep it all to themselves.
Here is a good example of the light difference between a smooth ceiling and a textured ceiling:
Both pictures were taken minutes apart in adjoining rooms that have the same south facing windows. The rooms are identical in size. The room on the left (master bedroom) has popcorn ceilings and light blue walls. If you look closely, you can see how each pock has a shadow. The texture effectively stops the light from being reflected. Meanwhile the ceiling on the right is smooth but the walls are a dark blue (son’s room). Despite the darker walls, the ceiling appears lighter because the light is reflected due to the lack of texture.
As you can see, we are able to lighten our rooms about 10 – 15% by scraping and painting just the ceilings! (Imagine what painting the walls a lighter color will do!)
Two more benefits of a smooth ceiling:
- A smooth ceiling will visually raise the ceiling, while the textured ceiling draws your focus to the texture and makes the ceiling feel lower. You’ll have to trust me on this one.
- And, a smooth ceiling will not collect as much dust. I don’t have to tell you how important that is for allergy sufferers (ahhh- choo! I’m allergic to dust mites.)
In summary, why do you want a bright and smooth ceiling? Because, it will reflect more light and natural light is a mood booster. And during the seemingly never-ending winter months, we all need more sunlight to avoid mild depression or gloom. Translated: Better mood = Loving Your Room!
This is how we do it:
We have the popcorn (textured) ceilings scraped. Notice how I said, “Have” them scraped. I am handy – as you know – but there are certain tasks that I won’t do. I successfully scraped the ceiling in our pantry, but my neck was in pain for a week afterwards. I vowed never again. It is also a good idea to pay a professional if you live in an older home. Textured ceilings may contain asbestos. (Thank goodness ours didn’t.)
Now, even if you don’t have textured ceilings, you likely can still benefit from adding a fresh coat of paint. Ceilings are usually neglected for years. They are often painted with a builder’s grade white paint. The builder’s white is a dingy off white color compared to an Ultra Bright Flat White. It also doesn’t age as well and will tend to yellow or dull over the years. Here is an approximation of how a builder’s white might look next to an ultra bright white color:
AND, let’s say you really don’t want to mess with those texture ceilings, if you buy a thick nap roller and repaint the ceiling with an Ultra Bright White, you will still notice a big difference. (One word of caution when painting textured ceilings. Paint over one spot and move on. If you go back over that spot while it is still wet it can pull the texture down.)
Tutorial for painting ceilings like a pro
- Valspar Flat Ultra Bright White Latex Paint
(this is the brightest white we have found. Valspar is sold only at Lowe’s)
- Latex Primer
- Paint tray
- Paint roller
- Roller extension rod
- ScotchBlue Painters tape
- Fine grit sanding block
- Car Wash sized sponge and bucket
- medium size flat artist’s brush
Begin by covering every bare inch of floor with plastic or thick canvas tarps. And cover any furniture left in the room (although you should try to remove everything from a room when you paint, it is just easier that way, trust me.)
Remove blades on a ceiling fan, simply unscrew the arms from the motor:
Then cover your light fixture with a plastic bag and painter’s tape.
Next, apply painter’s tape around the top of the walls of your room. If you are going to re-paint your walls after the ceilings, you can skip this step.
Start with the primer (a must for newly scraped ceilings, but not necessary for previously painted smooth ceilings).
1. Use your edger around the perimeter of your room. I like this handy-dandy edger that has a hole for the extension pole (especially helpful if you have high ceilings or neck issues.)
2. After the perimeter of the ceiling is done, edge around any light fixtures or vents.
3. Reach for your roller. I like to work in 5′ sections. Start by rolling out a letter “W”. Then roll back and forth, up and down and in random directions until you have that section of ceiling covered.
This will insure that you don’t have racing stripes on your ceiling.
4. Continue working next to the section you just finished. Try to work into the previous section while the paint is still wet. Otherwise, let that section dry before trying to roll into tacky half-dry paint.
5. Allow the primer to dry, then lightly sand your ceiling to remove any specks that got into the paint. Wipe the ceiling with a damp sponge.
Now repeat steps 1-5 using the ultra bright white paint.
Let your ceiling dry and then add a second coat of the ultra bright white (yes, definitely use two coats to leave your ceiling looking like it was painted by a pro! Don’t skimp.)
When you are done, remove the painter’s tape and pull out a small flat artists brush.
Pour some wall color paint into a small cup (I like to keep spare paint for each room in small jelly containers or jars. That way if one of my boys (adult and child alike) should happen to mar a wall, I can fix it in a jiffy.) Use the flat brush to create a smooth line at the top of your wall. Then finish by touching up any ceiling spots that were missed.
Take a look at the difference in our office! The top picture shows the room right after the ceiling was scraped. During the day!
Wow, brighten my world! View more pictures of this room HERE.
Okay, so I really like the ultra bright smooth white ceilings, but I did come across this gorgeous ceiling over at Not Just a Housewife, that would also make you swoon over your room if you were to try it. Check out Stacy’s tutorial HERE.
P.s. If you are renting, please don’t despair. I will have some tips that don’t involve painting your home.
I leave you with a glimpse of hope for those of you snowed in this week:
|Daffodils Popping Through the Ground|
|Daphne Buds Getting Ready to Sprout|
I just took those pictures yesterday, February 2nd! I live in Raleigh, NC, so thankfully spring is on its way. (Don’t hate me.)