painting a ceiling in room with wallpaper

WendyBMarch 15, 2011

I got a couple of water stains from ice dams this year (This winter was the perfect storm for ice dams. I am 98% protected, but this year was worst ever.) So I need to address the ceiling stains.

THe room has wallpaper that I would like to save (effort-wise, money-wise). But I would think the risk of painting a ceiling and not getting any on the wallpaper is pretty high. Even if I covered them with thin plastic sheeting (pita), I wonder about the risk of painters tape (even the low-tack kind) affecting the wallpaper.

The only other option is to try to match the current ceiling color. It might be hard but probably do-able, ya think?. THere are three separate stains in the same area, kinda large... a dinner plate size, and 2 zucchini size (joist). one is just very faint beginning of stain.

The other fact against painting the whole ceiling is there is super-heavy large furniture pieces that would have to be moved. Not an easy thing logistically in this household.

Another reason for painting the whole ceiling is that in the area nearby is a ceiling a/c register and there are signs of light soot around the register. NOthing, I can't live with, but it does tell me its time to paint the ceiling.

I know I have to ultimately make this decision myself, and I know what the right answer is, but can you provide any insight one way or the other?

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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

Be sure the water stains are dry before you prime them.

I recommend the Cover Stain in a spray can to seal/hide the water stain.

Regarding the wallpaper, you won't be splattering that much paint on it. Here's an easy preventative solution.

Mix up a bucket of warm water. Using a moist grout sponge, wipe down each wall area immediately after rolling the section of the ceiling adjacent to the wall.

If your ceiling is textured, use a 3/4 nap and roll slowly. If it's smooth, use a microfiber nap and roll slowly.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 4:07PM
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(1) so I guess you are not supporting matching the stain cover-up to the existing ceiling color?

(2) I have some BIN shellac based primer on hand in a can. (used it for knotty pine priming). Is that okay to use for this?

the wiping down each wall area immediately after rolling sounds hard logistically with 1 person. rolling a ceiling (in a room with furniture stuck in the middle) is hard enough as it is.

I'm leaning more towards going for the match. I suppose it can't hurt to try...

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 9:06PM
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You could test the painter's tape on the wallpaper in an inconspicuous area. Most wallpaper is fairly durable. But rolling slowly and being prepared to wipe off any spills immediately is an easier way to go about it. I recently painted two of my ceilings without major spotting on the walls - it can be done. And I am not an expert painter.

If you cover the massive furniture with plastic and use a roller on a pole, you may not have to move the furniture. I strongly suggest you use a 7 inch roller in place of the 9 inch. It is lighter and easier to control when it is at the other end of a pole. You will have to buy a 7 inch roller frame - it won't fit on the standard 9 inch frame.

I assume you will paint the perimeter of the room with a brush and then use a roller (called cutting in). Best painting tip I ever received: paint the perimeter with the brush and let it dry completely according to the paint can recommendations. Then use the roller. It lets you work slowly and carefully with the brush and avoids "hatbanding."

It's funny that you posted this today. I was looking at my bathroom ceiling today, having painted it a couple weeks ago, and thought how good it looked and why did I wait so long to do it.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 10:37AM
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Maybe this is just because I am a pro, but painting a ceiling that has wallpaper on the walls is not that hard. Because of gravity, roller spatter falls down. In order to actually get roller spatter on the wallpaper you would have to roll fast towards the wallpaper and then allow the roller to spin freely...of course, don't do this. Just roll very slowly when you are rolling up tight to the wallpaper, and don't use cheap paint. The thicker flat paints designed for ceilings hardly spatter at all. You can try to touch up the ceilings (yes BIN will also work to kill stains) but ceilings are difficult for touching up even when you know the exact color because that is where all the light goes.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 3:37PM
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Thanks for the tips. The cutting in with the furniture in place could be really hard. I have to do cutting in real close to see well. Ditto just for even putting up blue tape. When I am doing that task on walls, I can only go about 4' at a time with my stepladder flush to the wall.

How about this idea? If I use a thin 6" roller (on extension pole) along the perimeter do you think I could avoid cutting in altogether? Those skinny rollers can get darn close. Maybe that will be good enough if my final color is close to current color.

Those rollers don't hold a lot of paint, but I would just use it for the perimeter.

I also have some leftover wallpaper still in partial rolls. I can use that to experiment with a pretend spill to see how it wipes up, if I am fast enough.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 5:02PM
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I think even the experts cut in with a brush.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 8:14PM
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of course.... I'm just speculating on how it might be if I don't cut in.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 8:58PM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

It is not the way I would do it, but , try it, if it works, great, if not, you have to cut it in properly. It is only paint

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 7:00AM
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follow up:

I see why spray sealer was suggested. The non-spray is very thin. I had to be really careful about drips. The spray might have been an issue too close to the wallpaper though.

color matching:

Is it conceivable that builders (circa mid-80's) would prime a ceiling and NOT paint it? The primer color is an incredible color match. Its still drying a bit more, but it is amazingly good so far.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 12:05PM
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