How to Paint a Garage Ceiling

Lead Image for How to Paint a Garage Ceiling
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-500
What You'll Need
Plastic drop cloths
Paint roller
Roller tray
Ceiling paint
Safety glasses

Painting is a simple way to finish your garage ceiling. If you have completed any other painting jobs, you will probably already own the necessary equipment.

Step 1 - Prepare

Move items from the floor of your garage so you can move freely when you’re painting the garage ceiling. If the ceiling is high, you’ll need a stepladder. Protect the walls from spatters with plastic drop cloths. Attach these to the top of the walls with pushpins. Cover the floor with plastic drop cloths to make the cleanup easier.

Step 2 - Complete the Edging

First, paint the edges with a 4-inch brush. Put your safety glasses on and keep them in place for the entire time you are painting. Go around all the edges of the ceiling with the brush and ceiling paint until you have painted an area of around 6 inches into the ceiling. Allow the edging to dry before you proceed.

Step 3 - Roll the Rest of the Garage Ceiling

Pour the ceiling paint into the roller tray to a small depth. Roll the roller in the paint to cover it. If your ceiling is high, you will need to either work from a stepladder or add an extension to the roller. An extension will allow you to work from the floor, and the painting will proceed much more quickly.

Use even strokes, going backward and forward. Ensure you have achieved a consistent covering of the garage ceiling. Work from one edge across the rest of the ceiling. Make sure you overlap the edging paint you’ve already applied to avoid gaps in coverage.

Refill the roller tray with paint as necessary. Keep going until you’ve covered the entire garage ceiling. Then leave it to dry completely.

Step 4 - Apply a Second Coat

In most instances, your garage ceiling will not need a further coat of paint. However, if you’re painting over a dark color or unfinished drywall, you may need two or three coats of paint to cover the ceiling properly. Allow the paint to dry between each coat so you can properly assess coverage. You will need to edge and roll each coat of paint.

Between coats, you should either clean your brush and roller or place them in a plastic bag so they don't dry out.

Step 5 - Clean Up

After you’ve finished painting, you’ll need to clean everything up. Start with the brush and the rollers. Wash them in cold running water until they’re clean. Wash out the roller tray in cold water, too. This is best done outside with the garden hose.

To clean up the garage, unpin the drop cloths on the walls and fold up the cloths from the floor. You can reuse these for other painting jobs in the house. Your garage ceiling is now finished, and you can move objects back into the garage.