Painting vaulted ceilings

I had put off painting my main living area for 15 years because of the 19 foot ceilings.  I consider myself pretty brave when it comes to DIY (hello concrete countertops!) but the thought of renting scaffolding and painting that high for that long was daunting.  I am happy to report, it was NOT NEARLY as bad as I had thought!

Here’s the before pics, I refer to this color as “homebuilder beige”.

Living Room "before" pic









Renting your Equipment

Even though I own several paint sprayers, I made the decision to roll versus spray.  Spraying is really only possible if the home is vacant or you can contain the drift, with my open floor plan, that would not have been an option.

We rented scaffolding for around $150/per week or the daily rate was $55/per day.  Just fyi, at home depot there are also a variety of ladders for rent.  We ended up buying a multi-level adjustable ladder for the staircase, which was the only high area that wouldn’t be reached with scaffolding.

Assembling the scaffolding

Assembling the Scaffolding






Assemble Scaffolding

Our rental scaffolding fit easily into our Tahoe and was not that bad to get assembled.  Each side on each level is a single piece unassembled.  I will be honest, the hardest chore is putting the scaffolding together, which is most certainly a two person job.  We cheated a little by adding the top layer of the scaffolding (12 foot platform railing and gates), by using our spiral staircase instead of both my husband and I being on ladders and dragging both heavy pieces up and then installing while balancing on ladders.  If this is your only option you may want to get two relatively strong people to help, not sure I could have lifted it while on a ladder.  Here’s a youtube video covering basic set up:









Painting Tips

  • Start by removing all light fixtures and vents
  • Fill all nail holes and damaged dry wall – if it’s a large area, use drywall mud and add texture (available in a spray can)
  • If you are doing a large area like I was, take your time and quit when you are tired.  We thought maybe we could finish in two days but ended up keeping it a week.  Keep in mind, this includes multiple daily kid sports activities and social taxiing….
  • When rolling, use an up and down motion on the first coat and a side to side motion (opposite) on the second coat
  • Don’t use tape for cutting in the edges, use an angled brush
  • Have another person available to move the scaffolding while you work
  • Purchase all new light fixtures and fans to install while you have your scaffolding rented
  • If you have high windows, keep a bottle of windex and paper towel on the scaffolding to knock out dirty windows and cob webs

Finished Look
















































































I am so glad to be done and super happy with the results.  Amazing what paint and new light fixtures can do to update your space!

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