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The age-old question, do you paint ceiling or walls first? What’s the correct way to paint if you’re painting the entire room?

There’s always something around the house that needs to be painted.

Have you wondered how to paint kitchen cabinets or painting window trim? They’re much easier than you think and great DIY projects to tackle.

I’ve already shared with you how to fix paint drips but the order you paint your room is important as well.

A paint roller in a paint bucket with the text painting what comes first walls or ceilings over the photograph.

Painting the Ceiling or Walls First

So, does it really matter whether you are painting the ceiling or walls first? As long as it’s all done neatly, shouldn’t that be fine?

Believe it or not, the order really does matter when you are painting a room.

Prepare first


Before you begin, remove all of the furniture and lay down a dropcloth on the floor.

You don’t want to have to deal with removing paint drips from your carpet or hardwood floors.

Be sure that you have all of the tools you’ll need to complete the job.

Materials for painting a room

A paint brush dipped in paint.

Repair any sections of the wall that have been damaged or need to be smoothed out.

You can easily fix small imperfections with a tub of spackle, a putty knife, and 180 grit sanding block.

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Always paint from the top down


If you begin at the top, it will be much easier for you to correct any drips or splatters that happen as you’re painting.

It’s also much easier to begin with the large open areas and end with the sections near the floor or the windows.

This is the order that you should follow:

  • Ceiling
  • Walls
  • Window trim
  • Baseboard trim

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Can you paint the ceiling and the walls on the same day?


If you’re painting both the same color, you certainly can. This is especially true when using primer paint.

Just make sure you keep a wet edge, don’t make these painting mistakes!

However, if they will be painted in different colors, it’s best to allow the paint to dry before moving on to the next stage of your project. 

When you paint the walls, cutting into the ceiling could be messy if you do not allow the ceiling paint to dry completely.

Paint Walls or Ceilings First, Conclusion

We always paint the ceiling first and then the walls. Doing it in this order reduces the chance you’ll drip ceiling paint down the finished walls.

If you do drip ceiling paint down the walls, it’s easier to clean up if the walls have not been finish-painted yet. 

So start at the top, paint the ceiling, and then move your way down to paint the walls. 

After the walls are done, you can carefully cut in all your trim work and finish the room!

Don’t forget to check these household DIY hazards and dangerous DIY mistakes to avoid.

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