Painting a high ceiling can really be a difficult task even for a seasoned professional because it involves working in difficult height to reach all surfaces. Most professional painters agree that a ceiling is high if it is above the range for a single story level. Usually, such high ceilings could measure above 16 feet in height and sometimes up to 25 feet or even higher. Whether you choose to use extension ladders, extension poles or scaffolding for this task depends on the height of the ceiling and what you are comfortable with if you are looking to do the painting yourself. Painting high ceilings and walls takes longer time when compared with many other painting jobs largely because of the height involved and the preparations you would need to do.
Using a Roller Pole Extension
You should be able to reach two feet above your height when standing on the floor and painting. Therefore, if you use a roller pole extension and an extension pole with a brush attached at the end of the pole, you can paint a high ceiling depending on the height of the ceiling. Some extension roller poles can add up to 12 feet in height. Some paint poles have four sections of 8 feet per section which can help you paint high ceilings up to 30 feet. However, such extension poles could bend like crazy when used to paint heights above 12 feet and they may not even work well for painting high ceilings and walls. So, you might think of using either extension ladder or scaffold. But if you are not comfortable with going up the extension ladder or proficient with using a scaffold, you should probably think of hiring a professional for the painting project.
Extension Ladder v. Scaffold
Industrial painting is our forte, but we also know that if you are painting high ceilings in a residential home, using an extension ladder is preferable to scaffolding. This is because it takes a lot of time to set up a scaffold beside the cost of renting. Also, scaffolds can easily cause damage to wooden floors except where extra care is taken. Notwithstanding, in instances where an extension ladder can’t be safely used, you should opt for a scaffold. If you choose to use a scaffold for painting high walls and ceilings, always remember to rent and use safety rails.
Getting Started with an Extension Ladder or a Scaffold
When painting high ceilings inside a residential home, you will have to get some help before you can bring the extension ladder inside the building to paint the interior. This is because it is essentially meant to be used outside. Avoid having to stand on the last two rungs of the ladder because they are never safe to stand on. Remember that safety should first be your watchword! In addition to going up the ladder, you could use adjustable painting poles and pivotal tools. That way, you will be able to paint high ceilings and reach all surfaces without having to constantly climb the ladder.
Once you are ready to commence work, start painting high ceilings from the corner opposite the door with a broad trim brush of about 4 inches. Glide the edge of the brush slowly round the edges of the ceiling to cut in its perimeter and afterward, roll out the entire ceiling while ensuring you cover all surfaces evenly with paint. You may have to move the extension ladder round the entire interior except you have an appropriate paint pole and the proficiency that can help you cover the entire area from one spot. Using a painter’s tape to tape off the entire edge of the ceiling before you start painting is necessary except where the walls will also be painted subsequently.
The roller and extension pole will make painting high ceilings easier for you and also safe your back muscles from possible strain. If the ceilings are heavily textured, you may need to give it an additional coat for all surfaces to be properly covered.
Necessary Precautions When Painting High Ceilings
- To avoid breaking something when getting the extension ladder in and out of the interior of a residential building, due care is needed. You may need to ask help of someone to bring the ladder in and out of the home or to help you hold the door open while getting the ladder in and out.
- Use ladder mitts on the ends of the ladder to avoid damage to the walls when you set the ladder upright and against a wall.
- When painting high ceilings is completed, remove the painter’s tape slowly and avoid exerting a pull. This is to help you preserve the quality of the painting already done.
- Avoid using an extension ladder for any repair work especially when the repair work will have to be done in the middle of the ceiling. A tall step ladder is adequate for any kind of repairs you wish to do prior coating the ceilings with paint.
- Since paints usually splatter, wearing things like safety glasses for your eyes, a hat for your hair or a mask or any other thing that can offer you protection is advisable.