How to Sand a Ceiling before Painting

lady painting the roof

by Daniel Law - April 26, 2019

Painting a ceiling has its own unique challenges. The ceilings are normally wider than a single wall and after painting, even the smallest flaws are exposed. Painting overhead is not an easy task also, not to forget the chances of making everything messy as you paint the ceiling. However, this does not mean that the ceiling should be ignored from repainting. Over time, ceiling paint gets old and start peeling, or the roof leaks leaving ugly patches, or lack of proper ventilation can cause moulds and dead bugs get stuck on the ceiling. All these leaves unpresentable ceiling that cannot be easily covered with a new layer of paint. So how can you sand your ceiling before painting in order to achieve a smooth top-quality finish?

Prepare the area

Since you do not want to end up with a beautiful ceiling and messy walls and floors, make sure you have covered the area. Remove all the wall hangings and furniture before starting to sand your ceiling. Electrical outlets should be well covered to avoid accidents. The floor and the walls should also be covered with a heavy duty plastic paper that covers from end to end. Use painters tape to ensure the plastic bag is safely secured on the floor to avoid dust and any other debris from seeping through.

Protect yourself

Sanding the ceiling can get very dusty. Protect your eyes from getting the dust by wearing goggles. You should also wear a respiratory mask to ensure you do not breathe in the dust that can result to health issues. Finally wear protective clothing to cover yourself.

Wet the ceiling

There are different types of ceiling texture. If your ceiling is popcorn textured, wet the ceiling with a spray pipe. The aim is not to saturate the wall with water but to make it slightly wet in order to make it easier to scrub off. Spray a part of the area of the ceiling that you are scrubbing rather than the whole area to avoid drying before you scrub. There are some ceiling textures that will not require to be sprayed with water before sanding.

Scrape off the ceiling

Scrape off textured ceiling with an abrasive paper. This will remove peeled paint, moulds, dust debris, dead bugs and moth stuck on the ceiling. For popcorn ceiling, you are required to use a rounded joint knife on a wet ceiling to remove debris.

Use a sanding pole

After scrubbing off the ceiling, use a sanding pad to smooth out the surface. Since working overhead can be tiresome and frustrating, use a sanding pole to make it easier for you to reach the ceiling. The pole should be lightweight since you will be crying it over head for a period of time. The pole is attached to a sander, such as sandpaper. However, you can use an electric sander that has an attached sand bag. Move the sander on the ceiling surface back and forth slowly several times to remove stipples. After using an electric sander, use different types of grit sandpaper to achieve a smooth texture.

Let it dry

After sanding the ceiling, use a damp cloth to wipe off the ceiling and to remove any remaining debris. Let the ceiling dry for a period of time before painting. To achieve a smooth paint ceiling that will not peel off after sometime, do not paint on a wet surface. Use special ceiling paint for best results. Ceiling paint is specifically made to dry slowly, not to spatter and is flat rather than glossy.

To achieve excellent painting on your ceiling, it all lies on how you sand and prepare the ceiling before painting. A well prepared ceiling will turn out smooth with a high quality finishing. On the other hand, a wall that is not properly sanded will end up with bumps and uneven spread paint that is not presentable. If you are planning to paint your ceiling yet you do not know where to start, contact Newline Painting. We have over a decade of experience in interior painting.

Contact us for professional painting work on 1300 044 206!