Home generalWood ceiling really white and colored paint - instructions

Wood ceiling really white and colored paint - instructions

  • Material and preparation
  • Instructions - Paint wooden ceiling
    • Prepare room
    • grind
    • mend
    • prime
    • To brush
    • Follow up
  • Costs and prices
  • Tips for quick readers

Although a wooden ceiling gives a noble impression, if the ceiling is below four meters, a brown, dark ceiling is an oppressive element. Each room looks much smaller and lower with a dark wooden ceiling. Therefore, we show in the instructions how a wooden ceiling is painted white or colored.

To make a beautiful wooden ceiling to a true beauty, it comes as so often in home improvement, on the careful preparation. The ceiling needs to be prepared for the paint to keep the paint on the ceiling for many years. Wood works relatively well with temperature changes. Under the ceiling, these temperature fluctuations are often much higher than usual in the room. Therefore, the blanket must not only be thoroughly degreased, but also carefully sanded and primed. In our guide you will find all the tips that can greatly facilitate the somewhat complicated job.

Material and preparation

You need this:

  • Malerrolle
  • Narrow brush
  • radiator brush
  • cover
  • Painters fleece
  • spatula
  • Breathing mask / cotton cloth
  • caulking gun
  • Orbital sander / eccentric sander
  • stepladder
  • acrylic mass
  • Putty wood
  • Acrylic paint / emulsion paint
  • abrasive paper
  • Color selection for the wooden ceiling

Colorful colors are very modern at times, but you should always keep in mind that you may not like the color next year. If you want to dare color instead of white on the ceiling, you should choose pastel tones. Darker or louder sounds push the ceiling down again and make the room very small. Unproblematic and always suitable, however, is a white ceiling made of wood panels. After all, you do not want to do all the work of sanding and glazing after one or two years, because you can not stand the paint anymore.

Tip: When choosing colors, you should play it safe. Stick a piece of wallpaper or large sheets of construction paper under the ceiling to check how the color in the room actually works. Some shades are simply too restless in the end, as the tread lumbers that are usually installed on the ceiling each have a small fugue, which then casts a shadow and thus changes the color with the light.

Instructions - Paint wooden ceiling

Prepare and paint the wooden ceiling

If you do not do a job, the do-it-yourselfer has to work as carefully as when painting a wooden ceiling. If you finish the numerous preparatory work carefully, you will be rewarded with a ceiling that lasts almost forever. Color chips, which otherwise occur when painting with white paint on wood, are a thing of the past for you. Take your time and stay patient.

Prepare room

Many do-it-yourselfers try to save some work by leaving the furniture in the room and merely covering it. But in the end, it makes more work when you leave the furniture, because you have to move the stepladder more often and difficult to get into the corners. Especially when sanding, painting and the preliminary work of a wooden ceiling, you must be close to the work, otherwise you can not see the little things.

The floor should be covered with paints fleece . Although film is also suitable, but slips quickly and can lead to accidents if you slip on it. If the wallpapers are to be preserved, foils should also be hung over a large area here. In any case, before the windows should always be glued foil, if you handle color. In the subsequent cleaning of the windows or frames otherwise easily damage and scratches.


With an orbital sander and paper of 100 grit you can make the first bevel. You should wear at least a surgical mask while sanding, but it is also useful to wear safety goggles, since the dust is very high. Instead of the orbital sander, you can also use an eccentric sander to abrade. However, you should always throttle this a bit at the start so that you do not have any sanding discs in the ceiling. Always use two grinders along the grain from one end of the room to the other. However, it is not necessary to continue sanding the wood with a finer sandpaper, as in this case it is not about smoothness, but about making the wood surface receptive to the paint.

Tip: If you can not handle big goggles while sanding because they fog up at work, you may want to wear your normal swimming goggles. This is made a little wet before. If you use warm water for it, the glasses do not fog up so much.

Most ceilings are made of profiled wood. As a result, you usually have for each board about one centimeter wide deeper joint. Unfortunately, this must also be sanded very thoroughly. Even with a delta sander you will not get into this fugue. So you do not have to bend and fold the sanding paper over and over again, you should choose an old piece of wood, which has exactly the strength of this small joint. Then wrap the sandpaper around this edge. So you can now easily grind the joints, because you have something more to hold than just the sandpaper. In addition, more pressure is exerted by the board than with paper alone.


In the course of time, wooden boards are apt to break the branches. These holes should be filled with a wood repair spatula . Other holes that have been created, for example, by the old ceiling lights must be filled with the appropriate filler before you can glaze the ceiling. The joints between the individual boards are often visible retrospectively when the ceiling is painted white or colored with emulsion paint. Therefore, the joints should be closed with acrylic paste . This is not difficult with the caulking gun, but it takes time and can be a little bit elaborate. You must be careful not to miss a joint or part of it. This is why you should work off the room board by board and close each joint from one end to the other, before moving on to the next joint.

The grout should be of the same basic material as the emulsion paint with which you want to paint the ceiling. It therefore offers acrylic, because you will find both acrylic paint and acrylic material usually even from the same manufacturer. This is another reason why we recommend white emulsion paint rather than wood color. Because, if you paint the ceiling in color and later you have to work on a joint, you have to repaint the reworked area in any case. With white emulsion paint this is not necessary if you use white acrylic.

The acrylic must be smoothed with a small plastic spatula. Since this may not be possible because of the narrow areas in these joints, you can also work well with your finger here. But do not put too much moisture into the wood when moistening your fingers with soapy water. Otherwise you would have to wait another few days until the wood is completely dry. Normally, the acrylic material can be painted over after just a few hours if an acrylic-based paint is used.

Tip: If you filled in areas with wood putty or a wooden filler, you have to grind them again after extensive drying. Otherwise, after a few months, the paint may peel off at exactly this spot and leave ugly brown spots.


Acrylic paint has another advantage as a wooden ceiling paint, because you can dilute it with water and do not need to buy an additional primer. So you have the complete color design from a single source. Of course, this approach is also ideal if you want to design colored ceilings.

Tip: First, add very little water to the paint. Then stir well and check how easy and thin the paint is. So you do not accidently dilute a whole pot of paint too much, you should put some color in an old jam jar. Always stir in portions of your color.

The wooden ceiling paint is applied with a foam roller over the raised surfaces of the ceiling. Then brush the joints of the boards with a radiator brush. If you do not want to varnish each row twice, you can take a wide brush, which is held in the joints transversely.

To brush

The possibility of diluting acrylic acrylic wood paint with water completely blurs the line between priming and glazing. When painting wood, it is better to start with a well-diluted white paint first. Always paint or stain very thinly and apply several layers. The color lasts longer and does not peel off later when the wood is working through temperature changes. It is important that you take the trouble to stroke each board from start to finish and then paint the next board. Heels and breaks are very visible later and look really ugly on the wooden ceiling.

Follow up

At least two layers of paint should be applied. The better you work with thin paint, the more often you have to paint. What sounds like a disadvantage, but actually an advantage. The thin layers of glaze ensure that the paint can penetrate deeply into the wood surfaces roughened during sanding. As a result, hardly any paint will peel or peel off later, and your work will last for many decades.

For natural wood, the grain often breaks through after a while. Thus, dark spots form where the branches were sitting or dark stripes appear on some boards. These will disappear on the first coat of wood color, but will come back after some time. It is more effective to repaint these stains and stripes in winter. Due to the changed lighting and the temperature change, the stains are then particularly visible and can be better repaired.

Costs and prices

The basic things you need to paint are an orbital sander and a sturdy ladder. Both are available for about 50 Euros each in every hardware store. Both the orbital sander and the step ladder are much cheaper, but you can neglect. Sanding a wooden ceiling is not only stress for you, but also the orbital sander has to do a lot. Very cheap devices run quickly hot or burn through. In addition, the sanding pads often do not cope with the uneven surface of the wood profiles very long, if you buy cheap goods.

What happens to a cheap stepladder, if we do not put it upright in the heat of the moment or if we do not open it completely, we all know. A high-quality ladder can cope with these hectic and stressful moments without throwing us off. How much you need exactly from the individual products does not only depend on the size of the room. The more windows you have to glue on, the more material you need for the painter's crepe and foil. If you have a very uneven ceiling, the sandpaper will run out faster.

Prices for individual materials:

  • Painter's carpet 50 millimeters x 50 meters - about 4 euros
  • Painting fleece 1 x 10 meters - about 12 euros
  • Foil 4 x 12 meters - about 6 euros
  • Masking tape with foil 1.40 x 33 meters - about 13 euros
  • Sandpaper 11.5 centimeters x 5 meters - about 3 euros
  • Machine cut 10 sheets - about 3 Euro
  • Brush wide / spatula 12 centimeters - 10 euros
  • Brush narrow - about 3 euros
  • Caulking gun - between 3 and 15 euros
  • Acrylic paste white 310 milliliters - about 4 euros
  • 125 milliliters acrylic paint white - about 5 euros
  • 375 milliliters acrylic paint white - about 8 euros
  • 750 milliliters acrylic paint white - about 13 euros
  • Wood filler 500 grams - about 5 euros

Tip: When acrylic paint, there are also again very extreme differences. Here is at some hardware stores already a 2-liter can for two euros to get. The cheap color does not even have to be bad, after all you have to dilute the paint anyway with water. You only need a little more color then.

Tips for quick readers

  • Cover the floor - mask off the window
  • Protect walls with foil
  • Thoroughly grind the ceiling with orbital sander
  • Grind the recesses of the ceiling by hand
  • Repair damage with wood putty
  • Cast joints with acrylic mass from cartridge
  • Dilute acrylic in portions with water
  • Paint the ceiling with primer
  • Painting the ceiling with acrylic
  • Always let the blanket dry well
  • two to three coats of acrylic paint
  • rework dark spots again in winter
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