Painting problem at the ceiling

painterWhen I was building our house, (the one we are living in now) one of our decisions was to go with painting the ceilings, as opposed to a textured surface. I had not attempted any knockdown, or more elaborate types of texture before, and I am not fond of “popcorn stippling”. A lack of time also entered into the decision.

We used the usual method of painting on a primer sealer over the finished wall board which we then top coated. The First choice was a tinted “velvet” paint. We were not satisfied with the results. The color darkened the room too much, and the finish left much to be desired, with wide streaks of what seemed to be a different shade, that showed when the light struck It at the wrong angle.

We tried painting once more with a white ceiling paint, and were disappointed when the same type of streaks appeared, just in different places. Not one to give up easily, I tried coating it again, being very careful to get an even layer of paint. It looked fine until it dried. Once again, I had only succeeded in moving the streaks around.

Painting a strip along the ceiling the wall color can add interest and avoid those tricky corners

Painting a strip along the ceiling the wall color can add interest and avoid those tricky corners

Getting rather annoyed by this time, and using words like drat and darn profusely, I had almost reached the point of using texture after all. Of course, we were now living in the house, which would make this option that much more disrupting, what with protecting furniture and working around it. In the end, we decided to live with it for the time being. After all, the streaks only showed up from certain angles and in the daytime.

The sale of our house (mentioned in another post) had fallen through, and instead of placing it back on the market, we have rented it. This meant that the place needed to be freshened up by painting. Yesterday, I decided to tackle that annoying ceiling again (had to cover those squished bugs anyway).

I used a popular brand name white ceiling paint which offered a substantial mail in rebate. I purchased enough for my new house as well.

I thought that the streaks may have been dry lines that occurred because of warmth at ceiling level, and a large room, that caused delay in returning to the painted edge. (Did that make any sense?)

Since it is still winter here, I allowed the house to cool to about 18 degrees ( about 64 Fahrenheit). As a further measure, I made the roller strokes parallel to the light sources. I was as careful as possible to get an even coating of paint.

Voila!!! When the paint dried the streaks were no longer visible. In fact, there were only very minor imperfections, which were likely caused by my old eyes missing things. We are very satisfied with the result. Texture is not going to be necessary after all.

I think the temperature, when painting the ceiling was the major factor that affected the final appearance. I know that I will not again attempt to paint a large flat ceiling unless I have cool conditions. I likely have more paint on this ceiling than would normally be required over 20 years.

I have heard of others having this same problem when painting ceilings, and would be interested in any comments on their experience.

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