It can be very rewarding to do your own decorating but also hard work. One of the issues with painting ceilings and walls in stairwells, is that the height is often too great to reach with a conventional ladder. Propping a ladder against the wall can be unsafe and still needs to be moved in order to paint properly. In order to properly and safely paint a stair well, the proper setup is needed, especially if you have kite winder stairs like those I’ve been eyeing up from Fontanot shop.

Setting up for painting ceilings and the tall portion of the walls

First, take an extension ladder and prop it up on a stair so that the ladder sits at roughly 10-20 degrees. This will hold the ladder in place when pressure is applied. Then extend an adjustable plank that sits on the upstairs floor and extends to the extension ladder where it sits on a rung that is even with the upstairs floor or slightly higher. This plank will allow you to safely support your weight as you paint the ceiling and the upper portions of the wall.

Start with your rolling of the main portion of the ceiling. Then do a coat of cutting in (using a brush to go along the edges where the wall and ceiling meet). On the second coat, do the cutting first. This will help blend the paint better. Make sure to use a random roll stroke when painting the ceilings. This will reduce lines left by the roller.

Once the ceiling is completed, start painting the upper portion of the walls. Perform both coats of cutting along the ceiling and corners before taking down the extension ladder and planks.

Setting up to paint the remaining portion of the stairwell

Using an adjustable ladder, set the legs on the portion of the ladder going down the stairs longer than the legs on the upper portion of the stairs. This will keep the ladder stable during the painting process. Perform the remainder of the cutting in order to complete this portion of the project. Then roll the rest of the walls with the paint roller.

Painting the ceiling above the stairs with no ladders

If you don’t fancy using ladders near the stairs, you could always opt with an extendable pole. Connect the pole to your paint pad edger to do the cutting in and then swop the pad to a roller for the larger areas.

Tricks and tips

To prevent drips when painting, spin the roller 180 degrees before applying to the ceiling. This will prevent the paint on the end of the roller from dripping off.

To prevent paint splatter when painting, paint in even, long strokes. Painting is not about speed. You will be able to tell a fast paint job easily because there will be lines everywhere where the roller was pressed into the ceiling or wall too hard. A medium pace is sufficient for completing your paint job and having it look professional.

Use a plastic bag to keep your rollers and brushes from getting dried out between coats. Wrapping the rollers and brush in a plastic bag traps the moisture and keeps the paint from curing.

Using these techniques will help you successfully paint a stairwell and give you professional results.



How to paint ceilings and stairwells

Collaborative post


7 Comments on How to paint ceilings and stairwells

  1. Thanks for the tips and tricks. I honestly only hate painting because the finish never looks right but it is fun and relaxing.

  2. Great advice. I definitely didn’t realize there was so much pre work that went into it! And that’s why my walls looked like a third grader painted them!

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