Paint - Ceiling White ?

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

It's time to repaint our ceilings. The paint that the builder used is no longer available...we found that out when we ran out about 5 yrs ago - when we were doing touch ups.

So, i'm going to start in the bathrooms.... the kids bathroom has 2 small areas of mold. and things are peeling where the dry wall joints are, like the tape is pulling away... looks really crappy.

Home Depot is closest to me, so i have been looking on their web site... they carry Behr and Glidden.

I do recall there is a ceiling paint out there that is slightly purple when you put it on, and it dries white.. so you can keep track of what has been painted or not.

I want to 'do it right' as long as i'm doing it... and do not want to do this again ... probably be here another 5-6 yrs. [hopefully less]

can anyone recommend a good - one coat paint for ceilings?

thanks in advance,


Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Sorry, can't help you on ceiling paint suggestions, but if you've got mold, peeling, etc going on in the kids' bathroom it sounds like you may have some moisture issues that ought to be addressed before you paint, otherwise you will find yourself redoing it in a few years regardless of how good a paint you buy. Or if the moisture issues have been fixed already, for the mold spots you may want to prime with a stain-blocking primer like Kilz at least in those spots, otherwise the mold can start to show through again. There are some paints you can buy with primer already in them, but I don't know that those are as good for stain-blocking. I think you'd want to do the extra step with the good primer first. If it's just a few small spots hopefully that doesn't make too much extra work!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

thanks e... i do believe we have Kilz in the basement... had issues are our OLD house too.

the one Behr paint i've been looking at has primer in it.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

TSC - Would be better to use the kilzs first. Do you have popcorn or textured ceilings or are they flat? Also agree that it sounds like you have some kind of moisture issue that has to get dealt with first.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I found a "do it yourself" forum and got help there.

seems I need to scrap, repair the drywall tape at the seams, a few layers of joint compound, sanding after each layer.... then prime then paint..... boy i'm gonna be busy for a while.

he also said use Latex Enamel.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Okay. If you need any more help let me know. I painted all the ceilings when I moved into my house.


Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

this was the photo i had posted on the other site... you can sorta tell what i'm dealing with.

Thumbnail by tcs1366
Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Have the same problem in a bathroom. I fixed the wall when I moved in and it needs it again. It's due to too much moisture in the bathroom. We are having to add an exhaust fan.


Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Susan... what brand paint do you use?

I was thinking of getting Behr because i thought it was a good brand, but on the message boards i've been reading, the Pro painters say it is one of the worse....

one quote was... "Leave the walls bare instead of using Behr."

I've looked up Zinsser, that is sold locally.

and many said to stay away from "big box" stores and go with a "paint store" as you will get better advice and supplies.

There is an Ace close by, but then there is a JC Licht - which is strictly paint and supplies.... so i may wander over there for advice, and probably a can or Primer.

It does seem that - with the reading i have been doing the past 24 hrs or so, i need a primer no matter what.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

TSC - Everyone has an opionion on what to use or not use. I've always gone with whatever Consumer Reports has rated highly and been happy. I looked at the site and it looks like Behr Premium is rated in the top two levels in the different type of paints this year. Benjamin Moore is what I used in the past.

I do use a specialty shop but that is because I used Benjamin Moore in that past and that is who handles it in this area. You can get advise from the specialty shops but there is a lot of advise on-line with either This Old House, similar web sites, or the paint companies web sites. Our local Home Depot also has classes occationally.

If the room has an oil based paint on it already and you are using a water based paint then you have to prime everywhere the oil paint is. If you are just changing colors then you only have to prime where you have patched the walls/ceiling. Be sure to feather the primer at the patch location or the paint ridges will show up when you paint the final coats.

Other cases where you might have to prime is if you are painting stained wood for the first time, covering up a dark color, painting over mold, or painting over a water stain. In those cases you need to use something like Kilz. Make sure that the room is well ventilated. It's been a while since I used it but it stinks and I think there is a headache issue with it.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

So far, it will be the ceiling... but the boys bathroom is a med blue, which is sorta dark... so that i will be lightening... either going with a pale blue/green or a nuetral color... but all the accents are blue, towels, rugs, etc... so i wanted to say in a blueish theme.

not sure what i will be doing in the Master... it's bigger, so that will require a lot more time... A few yrs back DH and I talked about re-doing the tub and shower area.... but now i cant really see sinking more money into the house. 1) with him on medical leave from work, the cash flow isn't where it once was, 2) would i recover my renovation costs with the way housing has plummeted, say in 5 yrs time. I already can't sell my home for what i have into it....

but -- i'd still love to do it, since there are a lot of things i dont like about the room.

so... maybe just a fresh coat of paint.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Paint is a fast way to change the way a room looks. We have that issue also. I am in transition and looking for a new adventure.

BTW - forgot to say to do a thorough job on the tape, joint, and compound jobs. The better your wall work looks the better the paint will look. Also the higher gloss you uses as paint the better you can see the wall imperfects.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Susan... i'm in the process of chipping away the stuff that is loose or flaky...

the tape underneath does not seem to be an issue.

Can i just sand it all, mud it up, sand some more [repeat] until it's flush with the existing ceiling/wall?

or do i need to take it down to the tape, replace it, then mud & sand, repeat?

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Only take the tape off if it is loose and only remove the area that is loose. If the tape is not loose then leave it and mud over it.

BTW - You don't want to have to sand a lot so don't put too much of the mudding compound over the area. I try to get the compound as level with the wall as I can, let it dry, use a sanding sponge to help cut down on the dust, and then follow up with sanding. I'm trying to find out what they call the sanding thing I use so as soon as I find it I will post it

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks... and i've got the "patch" almost done on the ceiling. I've completely my, hopefully last coat. there were just tiny places where it didnt get in the crack all the way. and i'm cleaning as I go... so the dust isn't too bad.

I was gonna ask DH if we have a power sander... i dont think we do... but it would be nice.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

As tempting as it is, don't use a power sander. You'll have drywall dust all over. A sanding block that allows you to replace the sandpaper is what I used. One with a handle and not a pole. The pole sanding block tended to roll on me and then the thumbscrews would gouge the wall.

Make sure it looks flat and smooth. No air bubbles, uneven spots, cracks, etc. Anything like that will show up when you paint and I found it harder to fix some of those once the area was painted.

One way to check your work is to turn off the lights and angle a light along the patch. You'll be able to see the imperfections better.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks for the tip on the sander.... so far, the ceiling seems pretty flat.

this was my latest photo of the 'hole'

I'm taking my time making sure it's done right... that's all that matters.

Thumbnail by tcs1366
Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

A late entry -- you probably got the paint. Some paints have mold/mildew retardant in the paint. I've often thought about using an exterior paint on the inside - those are really built to resist mold/mildew and are tough.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

missing... actually, no i haven't bought paint yet, and yes i will be getting a mold/mildew one.
First i need to prime .. which i've never done before, but will now.
I was looking [on line] at Zinsser's Gardz for sealer and Perma White, primer in the paint... but i'm still undecided on paint for the walls too.

**edit for typo

This message was edited Dec 20, 2009 4:22 PM

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

From the photo it looks like you still have areas that are puckered. Best to take those out. From the size of the area, it looks to me like you need a large (12") drywall knife with a drywall mudding tray. It helps to smooth out large areas like what you are showing. It takes a little bit to get used to but is worth using.

BTW - On most of the area I patched in my bathroom, only the paint had to be removed from the wall.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

susan... from the image, were you referring to the portion on top? where you can still see the puckering on the ends??

I hope that is it... I did do the width of the bathroom and only pulled up what was loose.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Top has it on both ends. The bottom looks like it has a crack on the right. It maybe a trick of the light and because it's a photograph.

I use a wide putty knife to slide along the wall under any loose paint. If the paint was cracked then I would proably have tried the putty knife on it to see if it is loose. If the drywall is cracked then I would slightly widen the crack by running a pencil tip (or knife blade) along it and then fill it in with compound.

It's a judgement call when working on the area if the new paint will cover and fill any cracks, etc or it is going to become loose and cause it to be fixed a couple of months later.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

OK... well for that top pic... I scraped almost the full width of the room... all but about 6 inches, only because it was not cracked. I just ran a putty knife all the way down the seem until the paint stopped flaking.

Now the huge task of the paint around the top of the tub/shower. It's not coming off as easily. It is fully butted to the ceiling and not wanting to come off... but it's slightly cracking. One minor seem on the wall by the edge of the tub i was able to lightly sand and just putty up the seem and sand... you can't feel a thing.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Sounds like a good idea. If it's not coming off then sand and then prime those areas.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I've patched the chipping paint the best i could.... sanding, mudding, more sanding...

used Gardz to seal, Bulls Eye to Prime. The ceiling currently has 1 coat of paint. I just grabbed the best Ceiling white that the hardware store had. It was $25 for the gallon.

I can't do another coat til 5pm... and it looks pretty good, I just may have to touch up around the edges and the ceiling exhaust fan.

I did use the primer all around the tub/shower ... but i did not do the rest of the room.

I'm going from a med-light blue to either a lighter blue or a very light neutral color.. still undecided.

I'm figuring that i will need 2 coats of paint for the walls [whether i prime or not] ... so i was not planning on priming the rest of the walls, since it will save me one coat or work.

Is that wise? or should I just prime then paint the 2 coats?

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

I was wondering how you were doing.

It depends on the type of paint already there (latex or oil) and how dark the color is. If you put latex over oil without primer then you may have paint peeling problems. If you put a very light color over a very dark color then you'll have bleed through. If the house is fairly new then it should be latex. There is a way to test what it is but I would call and ask a paint store.

If you have enamel paint on the bathroom walls then you may also want to lightly sand the walls but again ask the paint store about this.

My house was painted with sanded, oil based paints when I moved in. I ended up sanding and priming all the walls. Not fun at all.


Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Susan... they are all latex paints. currently a med-light blue, going much lighter blue.
** just walked in from Ace Hardware.

went to look at the Ben.Moore Natura paints... YIKES $50 a gal!! and the aura?? was $56!!
went with a Premium Ace Sensations with scotch guard for stains. So far, paint and accessories, i'm up to $180 for one bathroom.... that isnt even mine

But the Gardz and Primer I'll use in my bathroom too. the only thing i'll have to buy is wall paint. That should be a January project.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

If it's good paint then it should last a while. Make sure you some extra also in case of patches or touch ups later on.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I'll have plenty left over from this gallon.

and I think I've decided that priming is a good thing. The wall that I primed, the paint went on really easily.
The wall i just finished working on, it's like when i was rolling over it, some paint was coming off back on the roller.

Also, the shower wall, it looks like ONE coat will do it. I had just a few tiny spots to touch up... but the color looks good -- nice and even.

DH was saying it was hard to judge, when comparing the other walls, as they were still wet. Time will tell.

I"m about 85% done in there... taking a breather.

OH,,, and the color is darker that it looked on the swatch. bummer.... and it's more green than i would have liked.
But it still looks better than the old blue.

Phoenix, AZ

Just to confuse things...
I had my entire (very smal) bungalow re modeled and painted etc. The GC used Kilz everywhere and Sherwin Williams paints. Very happy camper, here. I think the color you choose for your ceilings kind of depends on the config. of the room, height, size, volume. I have all white celings and several colors of walls.... works well.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

The color may change in the daylight and look more blue.

I am concerned about your discription and hope that the paint is adhering well to the non-primed wall.

On the shower wall, I would proably go ahead and give it another coat as it takes the most abuse from moisture and you will want it well sealed.

We had to replace tile in a bathroom and I had them go ahead tile up to the ceiling over the shower. I was really tired of standing on a ladder in the bathtub to paint and repair the wall due to moisture problems. We're working on a exhaust fan/light to address the additional problems due to the moisture.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Susan... i'm 90% done. it's 11:30 and i'm beat.
but i have to say, i'm quite satisfied with the paint.

ONE coat!! even on unprimed walls. tiny little touch ups, but the coverage was fantastic.
But i still may prime my walls from now on... the paint did go on easier, but i also think in the times it was 'coming off a bit' ... i was running out of paint on the roller. I'd go back for more paint, roll over the same area and it was fine.... some of it was after the fact, but all is well.

It's funny... i was just looking at the paint swatch, looks a bluegray to me... put it next to the paint, and you'd swear the kid mixed it wrong.. color is dead on.

it's ACE paint "Little Falls"

no windows in the bathroom, only lights for lightening.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

I'm glad it turned out well. Always nice feeling to get to the end of a job and be able to enjoy the effect.

I've had a number of times of paint not turning out the color that I thought. I have a "popcorn" colored bedroom that looks closer to goldfinch yellow or artificial colored popcorn. In otherwords bright and deep colored yellow. I like it but it is not what I was expecting when I put it on.

Could be a number of things with the paint or with the wall. If the wall was painted with enamel or has a dirt build up on it then the paint may have problems going on.

Happy Holidays!


Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I did the same thing tc with a color that went cooler than the warm I expected. My paint was restoration silver sage.... was really a blue grey in the eastern light. Sometimes you can find a light bulb in the right color to warm up the paint color. Experiement - you can take the bulb back if not working for you. .

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

OH.. for lighting... we've got those horride HUGE light bulbs.. you know the strip of about 10 globes that produce a huge amount of heat... Ugggg, i hate those things.

But the color is nice... seems like an aquamarine to me. kids probably dont notice... both are slightly color deficient in their vision anyways... so who knows what color they actually see.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Oh I thought you weren't happy that it came out different in appearance as compared to your swatch. Sounds like all is well then!

Yes, those long globe lights --- I know them well - the bulbs aren't cheap either. HGTV always making fun of them. I don't see anything so bad about the fixtures. A vintage piece!! (from the ...what...80's?) For not so much money can be replaced easily with another same length with down lighting to modernize.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

took me a bit to "warm up" to the color... but i like it... just wish it was a lighter color... small-ish room, no windows... seems a bit dark to me... but when i asked my one kid what color he'd like.. h e said black. those kids could live in a cave and not care... as long as they had their Xbox.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

here's the finished product....

Thumbnail by tcs1366
Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Very cool looking! Good job on the color match with the shower curtain and the rest of the bathroom.


Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I like that tangerine color in the curtain. It looks great with the wood. Get them tangerine/orange rug and towels --that will wake them up like the X box never could!

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