How To Paint a Beamed Ceiling

Having exposed beams in the ceiling provides a very interesting detail for a room, and this is an especially good design piece if you have a high-ceilinged room. However, a ceiling with exposed beams may be a tricky thing to paint. So if you’re looking to find out how to paint a beamed ceiling, here are some tips to help you out:

  1. Prepare your materials. For this project, you’d need a stepladder with a platform (to hold the paint), the paint, a small 1-2 inch brush for painting around edges and corners, lots of newspapers, dustsheets, and masking tape. With regard to whether you’d use a brush or a roller, both have advantages over the other. A roller is easier to use than a brush and will let you paint faster and better avoid paint drips. However, a paintbrush allows you to paint in finer strokes, and this tool is recommended for textured ceilings.
  2. Prepare the room. Make sure that you take out all the curtains out of the room. If possible, remove all the things inside the room, to avoid it being splattered on with paint. If this is too inconvenient, you can just put them all in the middle of the room and cover them all with dustsheets. Also cover the floor with newspaper.
  3. Cover the beams entirely with newspaper.  If you’d want to paint the beams a different color than the ceiling itself, it’s very important that you protect the beams first so that the ceiling paint won’t get splattered onto it. Use newspaper with masking tape to cover all three exposed sides. Be sure to put the tape very close to the edge of the beam where it meets the wall. 
  4. Prepare the ceiling. Wash down the ceiling using a rag with water and detergent in order to remove all dust. You should also inspect the ceiling for cracks and knicks, and fill them up with plaster or special filling material. 
  5. Paint the ceiling. Do the painting one small area of the ceiling at a time (in imaginary 3 by 3 feet sections) especially if you are using an ordinary hand brush. Once you finish, you could go back and do over the ceiling for the second coating. If the ceiling is small, however, you should take a break and wait for the first coat to dry completely before painting it over again. Remember to use the small, 1-2 inch brush to paint the edges where the ceiling meets the beams.
  6. Paint the beams. Once the paint in the ceiling has completely dried, it’s time to paint the beams. You should remove the newspaper from the beams. Inspect the beam for knicks or cracks, and fill them up with plaster. Carefully paint the beams with a hand brush, being careful to avoid splattering paint on the ceiling itself. As how you’ve painted the ceiling, paint the beam one section at a time. Paint over a second coat once the first one has dried. To create a smooth transition between the ceiling and the beam, use the small brush to the paint the space between where the two meet.

There you have it! These are just some of the steps to paint a beamed ceiling. Once you see the depth and detail that a painted beamed ceiling will look, you’d find that all your effort was certainly be worth it! Good luck!


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