Painting a Ceiling Mural: A Guide to a Majestic Result

Ceiling Mural

Few things add more drama and flair to a room than painting a ceiling mural. It is not as difficult as you may think - in fact, the process really isn't different from any kind of wall painting you do in your home - and the results are destined to impress. Here is what you need to know about painting a ceiling mural.

What You Need

Before your ceiling painting project gets off the ground, here is what you will need to gather:

  • Ladder
  • Paint - all of the colors you will need for your mural, plus a base coat
  • Drop cloths/sheets
  • Brushes, rollers and a paint tray with liners
  • Stencils for creating your design
  • Masking tape or painter's tape
  • Pencils

Depending on the state of the ceiling, you may also need supplies to make repairs, like a scraper and spackle.

The colors and types of paint you need will depend on the plans for your mural. Interior eggshell, matte or semi-gloss paints can all work well, but for children's bedrooms in particular, you can even play around with fun things like glow in the dark paint.

Be sure you have an assortment of brush and roller sizes on hand. You'll need larger brushes and rollers to apply your base, but you will need small brushes to create detail - the more complex your design, the smaller the brushes you will need to complete it.

Painting a Ceiling Mural

Ready to get started? Here's how to take your ceiling from boring to a work of art:

Prepare the Room

Move all of the furniture out of the room, or move the big pieces to the center. If you decide to keep things in the room, be sure they are not going to be in the way of your ladder as you move around painting your mural. Cover the floor and anything left in the room with drop cloths or sheets.

Prep the Ceiling: Part One

Take down the light fixtures. Your ceiling is likely to have an accumulation of dust, so clean it well. If there are cracks, use filler and sandpaper to fill them in and smooth them out. Remove any loose plaster that will make your finished work look bumpy or flaky.

Create Your Design

Sketch your design idea out on paper. Be sure you know exactly what you want before you start painting. If you have some artistic ability, you may be able to then free sketch the design on a larger scale on your ceiling, or you can get stencils to help you put your final design into action.

Need a few ideas? Check out these articles on mural painting for inspiration:

Paint Your Base Coat

Add your base coat to the ceiling. You will need to let this dry completely before moving on to the next steps.

Get Ready to Paint Your Mural Design

With your design ready to go, it's time to get the ceiling ready for the actual mural creation. Start by taping off the edges of the ceiling to protect the molding and to define your workspace. Using pencil, sketch out your design on the ceiling exactly as you want to paint it, either free hand or using stencils.

If your design is very complex, using painter's tape to create a grid system on your ceiling may help you tackle the job. Just be sure that your grid lines aren't covering areas that need to be painted or break up brush strokes in your design.

Also, be sure that important parts of your design will not be obscured by the light fixtures.

Paint the Mural

Last but not least, fill in your sketch and paint your mural! Start with the largest parts of the design and fill in the small details with your small brushes last.

Wrapping It Up

With your mural painted, your job is done. When the paint is dry, reattach the light fixtures and your ceiling is complete.

Your Ceiling Murals

Have you painted a ceiling mural? Share your tips and mural ideas by leaving us a comment.

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Painting a Ceiling Mural: A Guide to a Majestic Result