How to Paint a Ceiling with a Color Block Design

Do you consider the ceiling a fifth wall? Until about a year ago I never thought I would want to paint a ceiling anything other than white. Since then I’ve noticed more and more painted ceilings and you know what- they are stunning! Let me take you through my journey of how to paint a ceiling with a color block design.

My daughters room has had a few different looks. If you’ve been following me on social media you know I’m once again transforming it. She used to have a peel and stick wallpaper accent wall with two twin beds that sat against it.

peel and stick wallpaper accent wall

I loved the look, but she needed more room.

P.S. Head to the bottom of this post or YouTube for a detailed video where I walk you through how I painted my daughters ceiling with a color block design.

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We removed the twin beds and instead purchased this bunk bed to save space.

I’ve been gathering some painted ceiling inspiration via Pinterest and brainstorming how I wanted the room to look.

Ultimately I decided on creating a painted ceiling with a color block design. When I say color block what I mean is rather than painting the whole wall, only a “block” of it will be painted.

The idea is to paint the entire ceiling and a small portion of the top of the walls. Let me show you a fun picture I found on Pinterest that inspired me.

So where do I start?

Materials to paint a ceiling with a color block design

How to paint a ceiling with a color block design

  1. Determine the dimensions of the color block design
  2. Remove any fans, AC vent covers, or outlet covers
  3. Lay the drop cloths over any furniture
  4. Using your laser level, mark where you want the paint to end
  5. Apply the Frog Tape on the laser level line
  6. Wet a damp washcloth or paper towel and wipe the Frog Tape down
  7. Pour paint in the paint sprayer
  8. Using the paint sprayer, begin by spraying in long even strokes in the opposite direction of how you look into the room
  9. Let the first coat dry and apply the second coat of paint
  10. Remove the Frog Tape before the paint is fully dry

Seems fairly easy, right? There are a few tips I want to discuss before we dive into painting a ceiling in more detail.

Tips on painting a ceiling

  • Always use a flat paint for a ceiling
  • The best tool to paint a ceiling with is a paint sprayer. That being said, if you don’t have one then a roller will work.
  • Apply the paint in long even strokes in the opposite direction of how you look into the room. This helps eliminate the look of “brush strokes.”
  • Frog tape is the best painters tape to get a smooth, crisp line. Make sure you wet it to activate the bonding technology.
  • Make sure to remove the painters tape before the paint dries so it won’t bond to the outside of the painters tape. If it does, use a knife to score it so it won’t pull the paint up when you remove it.

This is the current state of her room now after I applied the Frog Tape.

You can see her room includes a small vanity area that I’m also painting.

Once the Frog Tape was up, everything on the ceiling was down and the furniture was protected, it was time to paint!

Remember to apply a wet washcloth or wet paper towel to the Frog Tape before painting. My friend Morgan at Charleston Crafted was the one that gave me this little tip when I read her post about how to paint a color block wall. She has a ton of great tips!

Now it’s time to paint!

I chose the color from Magnolia Home in Dutch Tulip because it was just enough color to accent the pinks in my daughters room. I felt like it added just enough color without making things look too dark. After all, her ceilings are low so I didn’t want to make the room feel small.

The folks at Wagner were kind enough to send me a sprayer for this job. They gifted me a Wagner Flexio 5000 and it made the job so much easier than having to roll the ceiling with a roller. I would highly recommend using a sprayer to paint a ceiling rather than a roller if you can.

Wagner Flexio 5000

This sprayer made the job so much easier!

I sprayed the top of the four walls first before moving to the ceiling. You can see in the picture I used a large piece of paper for the “overspray.” I worked in sections and moved the large piece of paper as I went.

Note; always think about overspray when you are using a sprayer (even a roller too). Obviously I didn’t mind the paint spraying into the ceiling but I wanted to keep a crisp line below the Frog Tape.

After I finished two coats of paint on the top of the four walls, I moved quick to remove the Frog Tape. Like I said earlier, it’s always a good idea to remove painters tape before the paint dries and bonds to it. That’s when you have issues with the paint pulling off the wall.

Look at that crisp clean paint line!

Once I removed the Frog Tape I worked in sections to spray the ceiling.

I ended up applying two coats of paint to the ceiling. The first coat looked streaky but the second looked good.

Ready to see my newly painted color block ceiling?

how to paint a ceiling with color block design

I love how when you walk into the room your eyes are drawn up to the ceiling!

painted ceiling with color block design

We moved the fan from our cottage style bedroom into here because it was too small for our bedroom anyway.

painted ceiling in pink
painted ceiling in bathroom

I love how the subtle pink color on the ceiling ties in all the other elements in her room. Remember the closet reading nook I created?

closet turned reading nook
how to paint a ceiling
how to paint a ceiling with color block design
How to paint a ceiling with a color block design

My little girls room is coming together! I’ve got one more fun project to the wall on the right when you walk in her room. Stay tuned!

Lindsey**

How to Paint a Ceiling with a Color Block Design

using frog tape to paint a ceiling

Learn the best tips on how to paint a ceiling with a color block design.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Active Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Estimated Cost 30- 100 dollars

Materials

  • Frog Tape
  • Wet rag
  • Paint in a flat sheen
  • Laser level or level
  • Drop cloths

Tools

  • Paint Sprayer

Instructions

  1. Determine the dimensions of the color block design
  2. Remove any fans, AC vent covers, or outlet covers
  3. Lay the drop cloths over any furniture
  4. Using your laser level, mark where you want the paint to end
  5. Apply the Frog Tape on the laser level line
  6. Wet a damp washcloth or paper towel and wipe the Frog Tape down
  7. Pour paint in the paint sprayer
  8. Using the paint sprayer, begin by spraying in long even strokes in the opposite direction of how you look into the room
  9. Let the first coat dry and apply the second coat of paint
  10. Remove the Frog Tape before the paint is fully dry
  11. Replace fans, AC vent covers and outlet covers

Notes

  • Always use a flat paint for a ceiling
  • The best tool to paint a ceiling with is a paint sprayer. That being said, if you don't have one then a roller will work.
  • Apply the paint in long even strokes in the opposite direction of how you look into the room. This helps eliminate the look of "brush strokes."
  • Frog tape is the best painters tape to get a smooth, crisp line. Make sure you wet it to activate the bonding technology.
  • Make sure to remove the painters tape before the paint dries so it won't bond to the outside of the painters tape. If it does, use a knife to score it so it won't pull the paint up when you remove it.

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