How to Spray Paint Interior Walls and Ceilings

Published on: January 4, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

A painted wall looks like a piece of artwork. In today’s world, wall painting placed its name on the top as one of the exclusive beautification preferences of the houses. Through wall painting, your house can get a distinguished look which actually influences the rest of the decoration preferences of your house. Therefore, if you want to remodel your interior, wall painting is the one which neither has alternatives nor is comparable to other beautification options. 

how to spray paint interior walls and ceilings

There are a variety of paints and painting equipment kits available in the market, painting shops or hardware stores. Painting with a paint sprayer is much more favoured among the professional painters compared to traditional paintbrush and rollers for its versatile features. However, wall painting is a pretty easy job nowadays because of the existence of the paint sprayer. Painting with the sprayer gives such a finish in the walls which creates a delightful atmosphere in the entire house. 

For a large project, either residential or commercial interior wall and ceiling painting, professional painters always prefer spray paint to achieve a smooth finish in a faster way which gives the clients highest level of satisfaction. But, if you are an amateur, you may need to go through a trial for two to three times to be trained on the spray painting before commencing your project. The painting technique with the sprayer is pretty easy to grasp. 

However, I have designed this article outlining all the steps and procedures on how to spray paint interior walls and ceilings.      

Preparing Walls Before Painting

Before painting, preparing the wall and ceiling surface is important to have a great finish. You may find cracks, holes, old painted walls, newly plastered walls, stuck wallpapers, greasy substance etc. You have to take care of every situation in order to prepare your surface before painting. A few simple steps could be followed to have the working walls and ceilings accurately prepared to apply a smooth paint over. 

To do this, first dust the wall and ceiling with a clean duster so that there is no dust, dirt etc. Make sure the painting surfaces are completely dry and moist free. 

If you find any tads of the wallpaper, flaking paint, crusty plaster, holes, cracks etc. they must be repaired beforehand with a high quality putty to make the wall surface smooth and even for painting. 

For fixing the holes and cracks, clean them with the sugar soap and use putty to fill the gaps and make the walls even. Then leave them to completely dry off. It’s good to sand the walls lightly and flaking paint with a fresh piece of sandpaper to produce a smooth texture on the wall. Use a sugar soap solution to remove all the grease substance, pastel or messy fingerprints etc. Then finally clean the wall surface with the warm water and allow a few hours to dry them off completely. 

If there is any wallpaper, use the stripping knife or orbital scorer to score the wallpaper in a way so that it does not damage any plaster.

Splash hot water over the wallpaper to get them softened and use a stripping knife to pull them out. If necessary, the remaining bonded wallpaper can be removed by sanding slightly with a piece of sandpaper.  

Remove all the furniture from the room to keep your painting room free so that your painting work can be done without any hassle. Cover the floor with drop cloths to save the floor from the paint dripping and running. 

Masking Surface Before Painting

Before starting painting, cover the surface including doors, windows and all electrical fittings with the masking tape or the quality painter’s tape to protect them from painting drips and runs. 

Preparing Spray Paint

Prepare your spray paint in a way so that they have the recommended runny or thinner consistency for your painting. Its density should be always lighter compared to the paint density used for the brush or roller painting. Most of the paint usually needs to dilute in the water to give it a thinner consistency. To maintain consistency, always follow the instructions of the paint-box provided by the manufacturer. 

Also properly fill your sprayer to have an uninterrupted spraying performance. If it deviates, the paint will get stuck inside the sprayer and won’t be able to spray evenly and smoothly. In case of previously used paint can, sieve the paint and make sure there are no lumps. Lumps might block the paint in the sprayer or cause paint splash and hamper the smooth spraying. Read more: Finding Top Scores Wagner Paint Sprayers  

Trial Before Starting Painting  

Before starting your spray painting, first make sure the sprayer works properly without any obstruction. If the spray gets blocked, then recheck the paint consistency and dilute it again with the thinner solutions for oil or solvent-based paints.   

If you are an amateur, I would suggest you first try your painting work on the newspaper or other disposable surface to get familiar with the painting work. 

When you are quite confident, then go for your main painting job. Otherwise your painting quality may ruin your whole project. However, there is nothing to worry about as it’s not a difficult job at all. 

Start Painting Ceilings

When your painting project combines walls and ceilings, it is strongly recommended to start with the ceiling painting as it has some advantages. If you paint your ceiling after painting the walls, then it would mess your painted wall with paint spatter while painting the ceiling. Consequently your painted wall will end up with no outcome leading them to be repainted. To achieve an optimum finishing result, you might need to combine a paintbrush or paint roller to paint with too. Don’t forget to get a quality stepladder to use while painting ceilings and walls.

It’s recommended to use the spray gun for the spray painting to have a faster and professional accomplishment. If your project includes only ceiling painting, then your upper walls will need to be masked off with the adhesive tape to protect them from the drips and runs while painting the ceiling. 

Now, fill your paint sprayer or paint spray gun with the diluted paints and get ready to start painting your ceiling. Move your sprayer parallel to the ceiling in a back and forth or vertical motion and try to slightly overlap each of the strokes while moving the sprayer across the ceiling. 

Following the painting with the vertical stroke, then spray in a horizontal motion or side by side for the next coat. Let the first round of the coat dry off. Then apply the same method for the second round of coating and repeat it until you get the desired result. This painting method is called cross-coating which is extremely vital for smooth finishing. Once the desired result is achieved, leave the painted ceiling to dry off completely.   

It is recommended to keep your spray gun at a low pressure at the beginning, then gradually increase the pressure until it reaches the right pressure level. Too much pressure at the beginning may cause excessive runs and hamper your painting to have full coverage because of the wastage of the paints. Keep your nozzle of the spray gun twenty centimeters away from the ceiling to achieve the perfect painting result. 

In case of different color preferences for the ceilings and the walls, cover the edge of the surroundings of the wall with a plastic sheet and fasten it with the masking or painter tape onto the wall to make sure the cover does not move away. 

Painting Wall

For wall painting, hold the sprayer at about 300 mm away to work comfortably. Then start painting from one corner and then paint across the wall. Once the corner is done, then paint one wall at a time instead of the multiple walls. After completing one wall, then go for the next one.  For interior walls, hold the spray gun at 90-degree angle and spray as far as you can reach.  

While painting, slightly overlap the strokes both vertically and horizontally. This method will help you evenly coat your walls and produce outstanding finish. Once you finish, leave the painted wall to dry off completely. You can repeat the process until you get the desired result. Read more: How to Choose the Accurate Ladder for Painting


Follow the standard cleaning procedure as per user’s instruction manual to clean your painting sprayer after each use to ensure its durability. 

Maintain your own safety by wearing all Personal Protection Equipment like disposable suit, respirator, goggles, gloves etc. to avoid workplace hazards and injuries. Remember, even a small amount of fumes and particles of the paint may cause severe coughing and other respiratory problems.  

Final Words

As discussed, spray painting involves pretty simple procedures to color your wall, ceilings which you are already familiar with through this article. If you adhere to all the steps and procedures, your painting project could turn into an exclusive art-piece and give your interior a distinct look. There are only two minor drawbacks of the spray painting system. One is that it may over-spray and the other is more paint consumption. 

However, always maintain safety protocol as painting deals with chemical substances which could be a little hazardous compared to traditional oil-based painting. 

It would be great for us if you share your feedback and comments so that we can refer to them for our next course of actions and offer you more efficient service in the coming days. It will be highly appreciated if you share this article with your friends and relatives which would help us reach out to more people to bring them under our umbrella of excellent client service. 

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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