Paint on ceilings is difficult to remove, especially if you do not have a ladder or scaffolding. The height of the ceiling makes it difficult for someone to safely reach the paint. While there are chemical solutions that 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:
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 there are no loose items hanging in close proximity such as pictures or wall hangings. These could become a projectile if they fall as you work on your ceiling, creating a potentially dangerous situation for the person working and those around them.
Take down 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 ontothe ceiling, such as stickers. Any items that have been glued to the ceiling may be difficult or impossible to remove without causing damage. 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 properly grip things with your hand. Make sure you are sitting on an extra chair in case you lose control of the screwdriver and it falls over onto your leg.
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 parts that are peeling off in order to avoid extra damage in other areas. Keep working your way along the ceiling until it is completely free of paint that has peeled up or glues 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 within 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.
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.