How to Get Paint Off the Ceiling

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Things You'll Need

  • Safety goggles

  • Chemical-resistant rubber gloves

  • Commercial paint remover

  • Rag

  • Paintbrush

  • Paint stripper

  • Paint scraper

  • Paper towels

  • Trisodium phosphate

Old paint is harder to remove than fresh paint.
Image Credit: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Painting is a cheap and effective way to bring new life to a room. However, when unwanted paint comes in contact with your ceiling it causes the surface to appear old and dull. If possible, wipe the unwanted paint off the ceiling with a damp cloth before it has a chance to dry. Once the paint dries on the ceiling, removing it is a bit more difficult but not impossible.


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Step 1

Open windows to vent the air. Paint removers typically produce fumes that can cause dizziness, headaches and fatigue. Put on safety goggles and chemical-resistant gloves.

Step 2

Apply a few drops of a commercial paint remover to a rag. Blot and gently rub the paint for several seconds until it is no longer present on the ceiling. Continue with the remaining steps if the paint does not come off.

Step 3

Dip a paintbrush in paint stripper and carefully brush the chemical over the remaining paint until thoroughly covered. Allow the paint stripper to soften the paint for 20 to 30 minutes.


Step 4

Scrape the paint gently off the ceiling with a clean putty knife. Take care not to damage the surface of the ceiling when scraping. Remove the debris from the paint scraper with paper towels.

Step 5

Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have removed the paint off the ceiling. Clean the ceiling with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of trisodium phosphate dissolved in 1 gallon of water.


Always follow the specific directions and warnings recommended by the manufacturer of the chemical used.



Amanda Flanigan

Amanda Flanigan began writing professionally in 2007. Flanigan has written for various publications, including WV Living and American Craft Council, and has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. Flanigan completed two writing courses at Pierpont Community and Technical College.