How to Clean a Ceiling

Just like any other surface, ceilings should be cleaned and prepped before painting. Consider the following tips to find out how to clean a ceiling properly.

  • Do use a non-skid, moisture-proof drop cloth to cover the floor, and make sure that you securely tape it in place. If it’s non-skid, you can concentrate on handwork, not footwork; and a moisture-proof barrier prevents liquids from seeping through to the floor.

  • Do wear goggles and protective clothing, including a head covering, to protect your skin from strong detergents and paint products. Tape the cuffs of a long-sleeved shirt so that nothing runs under the sleeves.

  • Do use a short-handled squeegee to remove excess water so that the surface dries quickly. Warning: If you have a popcorn ceiling, don't use a squeegee. It will damage the texture.

  • Don’t overload your sponge, if you’re using one. Drips increase cleanup time and cause paint to spread unevenly.

  • Do divide the ceiling into strips or areas and progress from one to the next in an orderly fashion in order to thoroughly cover the ceiling. (You don’t have to tape off the areas — just eyeball them.)

  • Do use a sturdy stepladder, preferably one with wide treads to keep you from slipping off the rungs.

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