By Kerry Hale

How To Paint Your Bathroom Ceiling

  • Thursday 01 December 2022
  • 4 minute read

Whether you’re painting your bathroom walls in a new shade or refreshing the current colour, don’t forget to paint the ceiling.

In bathrooms, ceiling paint deteriorates quickly due to moisture and humidity, leading to bubbling, peeling and mould. Keep your bathroom looking its best when you follow our step-by-step guide to painting your ceiling.

How to paint your bathroom ceiling

Explore our top tips for painting bathroom ceilings, from preparing the surface to the necessary tools.

What you’ll need

When painting your bathroom ceiling, you’ll need the following tools and equipment:

  • Dust sheets
  • Step ladder
  • Sandpaper
  • Sponge
  • Sugar soap
  • Masking tape
  • Water-resistant paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller
  • Roller tray

Preparing the ceiling

Before painting your ceiling, prepare the surface to ensure it is smooth and clean.

  1. Wash the walls and ceiling with sugar soap, warm water and a sponge. Ensure no traces of soap are left by wiping the area down thoroughly.
  2. Use sandpaper to smooth the surface if the existing paint is peeling or bubbling.

Step-by-step guide to painting your bathroom ceiling

Once the ceiling is clean, smooth and ready to paint, follow these steps to get a precise finish:

  1. Remove fixtures like mirrors or shelving, then use masking tape to cover any you can’t remove, such as tiles, sinks, taps and handles.
  2. Place dust sheets down over the bath, shower, toilet and flooring to protect them from paint splashes.
  3. Use a paintbrush to cut in around the edges of the ceiling first.
  4. Then, empty some paint into the tray and use your roller to apply the first coat, working in W-shaped motions.
  5. Let the first coat dry completely before applying a second coat.
  6. Once you’re happy with the results, remove any masking tape.

The best paint for bathroom ceilings

To achieve a long-lasting finish, waterproof or water-resistant paint is essential for bathroom ceilings and walls. You could use mould-resistant paint or primer if your bathroom is prone to mould or has poor ventilation. Discover our top tips for ventilating your bathroom to protect your new paintwork.

Questions about painting bathroom ceilings

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about painting bathroom ceilings, including how to remove mould and prevent paint from peeling.

Why is my bathroom ceiling paint peeling or bubbling?

If you notice your bathroom ceiling paint peeling or bubbling, this could be for several reasons. High humidity is the leading cause of peeling paint but using the wrong type of paint or applying it over water or soap scum can also cause problems. We recommend using water-resistant paint on your bathroom ceiling and walls. In addition, follow the steps outlined in this guide to clean and prepare the surface before painting.

Can you paint a mouldy bathroom ceiling?

Never paint over mould without cleaning it, as this won’t fix the problem. Instead, follow the steps outlined in this guide, including cleaning the area using sugar soap and sanding down any old, flaking paint. Once the ceiling is clean and dry, you can apply a mould-resistant primer or waterproof paint, which should help prevent mould from returning. In addition, ensure your bathroom is well-ventilated with an extractor fan or windows to reduce the risk of mould.

Should you paint bathroom walls or ceilings first?

Always paint the ceiling first, whether you’re going for an all-white bathroom or painting the ceiling and walls in different shades. This ensures no paint splashes from the ceiling onto the walls.

Looking for more bathroom renovation ideas? Check out our essential bathroom layout tips to find a suitable configuration for your space.

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