How to Paint an Outer Space Ceiling

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Things You'll Need

  • Painter’s tape

  • Drop cloths

  • Dark blue acrylic paint

  • Paintbrushes, varying sizes

  • Paint roller

  • Pencil

  • Acrylic paints in multiple colors

  • Glowin-the-dark paint


Suspend small painted Styrofoam balls from the ceiling as planets, or hang spaceships, space shuttles or stars to create a three-dimensional effect to go with the ceiling.

Painting an outer space ceiling can be as realistic or relaxed as you choose.

There are plenty of ways to create an outer space theme in a room of your house, but one of the things you can do that has the largest impact is paint the ceiling to look like the final frontier. A ceiling provides a large canvas to work with, having room for planets, galaxies and stars. Plan to spend a long weekend to paint an outer space ceiling, as you'll want to have as much time as needed to add details to the room beyond the initial base coat.

Step 1

Run painter's tape around the upper edge of the walls in the room. Place tape also along the edges of any ceiling vents, lights and fans. Move any furniture to the center of the room, if possible. Drape drop cloths over any furniture and cover the floors.

Step 2

Select a dark blue acrylic paint in the depth of color you prefer for the background of space. Pick a "flat" paint to avoid shine or "semi gloss" if you don't mind a little shine on the ceiling. Use "gloss" for kitchen or bathroom ceilings where moisture levels change frequently.

Step 3

Apply a border of dark blue paint with a 3-to-4-inch-wide brush alongside any places where you have placed painter's tape. Use long brush strokes, running parallel to the tape.

Step 4

Paint dark blue over the rest of the ceiling between any border areas using a paint roller. Work in 3-foot squares, running the roller in "W" shapes until the area is covered. Paint from one end of the room to the other until the ceiling is covered. Allow the base to dry for two to four hours. If the previous paint is showing through, repeat Steps 3 and 4 to apply a second coat.

Step 5

Sketch lightly over the dark blue with a pencil to mark where you want to place large objects like planets or comets. Make sure the sketches are spread across the ceiling evenly to avoid large groupings of items in one area and nothing in another.

Step 6

Use a variety of colors of acrylic paints and large or small brushes, as needed, to fill in the sketched planet areas. Paint the planets in different colors and use different patterns to make them speckled or streaked.

Step 7

Create stars on the ceiling using a fine-tipped brush and white or light yellow paint, or use a glow-in-the-dark paint for maximum effect. Apply small dots clustered together to form galaxies or keep the dots spaced out. Use orange or red paint to make comets shoot across the sky or paint small satellites or spaceships with silver as desired.

Step 8

Allow all of the painted areas to dry for six to eight hours. Peel away the painter's tape slowly and discard it. Pull up the drop cloths and replace the furniture around the room as it was before.

Amma Marfo

Amma Marfo is a higher education professional and writer. Presently, she shares her writing expertise in the Office of Student Activities and Multicultural Programs at Emmanuel College in Boston.