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How to Paint a Straight Ceiling Line

My Mom cringed when she saw our orange dining room.

She just isn’t use to strong colors but after a few years she decided it was a great choice.

Painting walls any color other than white can be a real challenge.

Especially if the colors are bold like orange, yellow, blue, or even RED!!!

The tricky part, at least for me, is getting a straight line between the white ceiling and wall.

Good news, you don’t have to be Picasso to learn this.

And you can cheat a little by using the right supplies – which cost only $27 and can be used for years!!

Last weekend I had to paint a bathroom ceiling. So I decided to share all my tips and show you how to paint a straight ceiling line without using painter’s tape.

I’m fired up because I think you’ll get a better paint job after this tutorial. Plus I’ve got a special surprise at the end. Let’s get started 🙂

Paint Supplies

Here’s your supply list

Here’s what you’ll learn

  • How to paint a straight ceiling line between a white ceiling and bold colored wall
  • How to preserve paint brushes so they last for years

I love sharing this stuff because I know it’s going to help you with your own project.

Let me show you how to accomplish that.

Paint a Straight Ceiling Line with These Awesome Supplies

If you want a good paint job you need to use Purdy paintbrushes and rollers.

Yes, paint type is important too.

But the best paint will look terrible if applied with an el-cheapo brush & roller.

I’ve been using Purdy supplies for years because they give the best-looking results.

The specific brush you need to cut in a straight ceiling line is a Purdy 2.5 inch ClearCUT glide brush with an angled edge.

Use Purdy Clearcut Brushes

While you’re in the paint supplies section you’ll want to pick up a Purdy 4.5 inch Jumbo Mini Roller.

Purdy Jumbo Mini Roller

This little dude is fantastic because it rolls smoothly without any choppiness. Which is critical for straight lines.

And the White Dove paint rollers that you use with the Mini Roller are as lint-free as they come.

White Dove Mini Rollers

This is important if you have smooth walls that will show every imperfection.

If you’re using a roller please try a bucket with a wire grid versus a tray.

Bucket & Wire Grid

I’ve used trays before but love the bucket/grid because it’s much harder to step in a bucket of paint.

Plus, you can use the bucket for both the brush and the roller. Way cool.

Just as an FYI, I chose Valspar Ultra paint plus primer for the small bathroom ceiling I worked on.

Valspar Ultra for Ceiling

Primarily because it’s scrubbable, mildew resistant, and has a lifetime warranty – all great reasons to use it in a kid’s bathroom!!

Now, how do you use these items to get a straight ceiling? I’ll show you.

Painting straight ceiling lines by hand with no painter’s tape, oh my!!!

Dip your brush about 1 inch into the paint.

Dip Brush 1 Inch into Paint

Tap the brush on the side of the bucket or wire grid to remove excess paint.

Place your brush on the ceiling so that it’s about 1/4 to 1/2 inch away from the ceiling/wall transition.

I like to have the brush on its edge when cutting in, i.e. all the ends of the bristles touch the surface.

Position Brush on its Edge

Paint in one direction about 12 inches then switch directions and lay the brush flat (not on its edge).

This back brushing will cover about 2.5 to 3 inches of the ceiling edge that meets up with the wall.

Do this until you cover 2 to 3 feet.

Now you can load up your mini roller with paint.

Place the mini roller on the ceiling where you stopped painting with your brush.

Roll on the paint with the mini roller so that you cover the brushed on paint.

Roll Paint after Cutting In

This will smooth out any marks made by the paintbrush.

The key to success is not letting the cut-in made by your paintbrush dry. Thus, it’s best to roll on paint right after using your paintbrush.

Here’s the complete step-by-step video tutorial that will show how to paint a straight ceiling line using only a brush & roller.

Here’s a great tip for preserving your Purdy paintbrush: clean it with water then wrap it with Glad Press’n Seal.

Press N Seal

I’ve literally been able to use paintbrushes for 2 years because of this little technique.

What’s Next

Our tutorial that discusses how to paint a bathroom fast has great tips – don’t miss it!

If you’re doing a bathroom remodel and need help, join one of our online courses – they’ll make your bathroom renovation much easier!

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help.

Thanks as always for reading, watching, and being part of our awesome community.



Paint Straight Lines