How to remove paint from a ceiling

Paint on ceilings is difficult to remove, especially if you do not have a ladder or scaffolding. In addition, the height of the ceiling makes it difficult for someone to reach the paint safely. While chemical solutions are designed for this purpose, they must be performed by professionals because they can prove harmful to your health and may require special equipment. If you choose to remove the paint yourself, follow these steps:

How to remove paint from a ceiling, Zazzy Home

Tape off any areas of the wall that have been painted with a different color from the rest. This will need to be done before starting so as not to accidentally wipe away any wet paint while removing it from your ceiling. Also, make sure no loose items hang nearby, such as pictures or wall hangings. These could become projectile if they fall as you work on your ceiling, creating a potentially dangerous situation for the person working and those around them.

Takedown all light fixtures from your ceiling, or at least disconnect them from their electrical source so they will not be turned on while you are working on the paint removal process. Wires may need to be removed from wall outlets near the ceiling before any work can begin. Place anything that is being taken off the walls in a safe place where they won’t get damaged or dirty during this process.

Carefully remove everything from your ceiling that cannot easily be moved out of the way, such as stuffed animals, photos, calendars, and posters. This should include things that have been glued onto the ceiling, such as stickers. Any items that have been glued to the ceiling may be difficult or impossible to remove without causing damage. Instead, use a putty knife or scraper tool designed for ceilings to pry off smaller objects safely.

Use a drywall taping knife to scrape down any paint on your ceiling that is peeling up from the surface, including insulation paint used by some contractors during the construction of the house or room. You will need an electric screwdriver or drill with a compatible bit for this process since scraping often creates quite a bit of vibration, which can make it difficult to grip things with your hand properly. Make sure you are sitting on an extra chair if you lose control of the screwdriver and it falls over onto your leg.

How to remove paint from a ceiling, Zazzy Home

Work in small sections when scraping so you can avoid damaging the drywall underneath. You do not need to scrape down all of the paint in one area, just the peeling parts to avoid extra damage in other areas. Keep working your way along with the ceiling until it is completely free of paint that has peeled up or glued objects.

Pack out any broken bits of drywall that have been knocked loose during this process. Use a vacuum cleaner or broom to remove larger pieces and dust from the crack between the walls before packing them out with spackle compound (leave enough room for this material but do not pack it too tightly). Let this dry fully before starting another section.

If any part of the ceiling has been damaged by paint drips or other means, cover it with spackle compound mixed to the consistency of toothpaste. Make several passes over the area until the ceiling is flat and smooth without large cracks or dents. Let this dry fully before starting another section.

Wipe down your entire ceiling using a damp rag to remove any excess dust particles that may have fallen out of the cracks between walls during this process. Use a vacuum cleaner once this job has been completed to suck up any remaining bits that are too small for you to see easily. If there are still paint spots on your ceiling after doing all of these steps, use mild soap and water with a sponge to clean them off.

How to remove paint from a ceiling, Zazzy Home

This should provide you with enough information on how to remove paint from a ceiling so you may safely proceed with this process on your own.


Meet Jeff. For the last 10 years, he's been repairing and fixing problem homes - from leaky roofs to faulty wiring. He started blogging about his experiences as a way to help others who might be struggling with home repairs, and he's become something of an expert in the field. Jeff is always up for a challenge, and he loves sharing his tips and advice with others. When it comes to home repairs, Jeff knows what he's talking about. So if you're looking for some help and guidance, be sure to check out his latest guide!

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