How to Whitewash a Ceiling

How to Whitewash a Ceiling

There are many different options for modern finishes: stretch ceilings , suspended ceilings . However, a simple and budgetary way is still relevant – to whitewash the surface. Fresh finishes will help freshen the room and add more light to the room with the white color. We will tell you how to whitewash the ceiling with your own hands and what is needed for this.

How to prepare the ceiling

In order for the whitewash to lay flat on the surface and stains of dirt or grease do not appear through it , it is imperative to prepare the ceiling first. Usually the process takes place in stages and looks like this.

Removing the old layer

To do this, you will need a regular sponge or dishwashing brush, a spatula, and a soap solution. The process of getting rid of the old coating will be easy or difficult depending on the material used. If you don’t know what the surface was painted with, run a damp finger over it. The chalk will rub off easily, the lime will just get wet, and the water-based paint will remain unchanged. The last two coatings will have to be scraped off with a spatula; it is enough to wash the chalk with a sponge.

Treat the ceiling piece by piece with soapy water. If you wet it all at once, the surface will dry out and you will have to repeat the procedure several times.

The more thoroughly you clean the surface of the old layer, the better the new one will lay down: the adhesion will be stronger and will not allow unwanted bubbles to form. Whitewashing the ceiling using the old whitewash is also possible, but in this case the result may not be the best.

Before work, it is worth covering the floor and furniture with waterproof material. It is best to use construction polyethylene for this.

Getting rid of dirt

After you have cleaned everything, inspect the ceiling for mold , rust or other dirt. If you find rusty streaks, wash them off with water, and then treat the places with a 10% solution of copper sulfate. The mold must be removed using a special solution that can be found at any hardware store.

The rest of the stains should also be removed with a regular wash. The fat can be wiped off with baking soda. If the spots still stubbornly show through, paint over them with a solution of synthetic drying oil and lime. The substances must be diluted in a ratio of 1 to 20. The resulting gruel should be applied to the spots 3 times until they disappear.

Surface leveling

You can do this yourself at home, you just need to understand the required technology. If you decide to whitewash the old layer, then the surface imperfections should be filled with the same solution as the ceiling was whitewashed. For example, if you have a layer of lime plaster, then the cracks need to be treated with it.

Use glue putty to treat the cleaned ceiling. It is easy to use and keeps well after. Use a normal spatula for application. First treat all cracks and grooves across, then apply the putty along. After that, you can walk on the surface with a pumice stone or fine-grained sandpaper – this way you get an even base for applying white.

How to whitewash the ceiling in an apartment with your own hands

Various substances can be used to treat the ceiling. Each of them have their own pros and cons.

Piece of chalk

Chalk surface treatment gives a snow-white finish. Accordingly, the room will look brighter than it was before the renovation. However, the coating has disadvantages: the chalk will peel off a little, so more dust will appear in the room . You will need to do wet cleaning more often. Also, the material is not resistant to moisture, so you should not process the bathroom with it.

How to make a chalk solution

Add 30 grams of glue or grated laundry soap to a container with 5 liters of warm water. Then add 3 kg of chalk in portions, stirring constantly. To whitewash the ceiling with chalk without streaks, the material should be sieved in advance. For a whiter liquid, you can add 20 grams of blue. The proportions are calculated for a surface area of ​​10 square meters.


Lime whitewashing has a lot of positive qualities. It is moisture resistant, therefore it is suitable for processing both the bathroom and the kitchen, where it is often humid. In addition, it kills the fungus that often spreads in damp rooms. Lime is also able to correct minor flaws: sinking into the cracks, it evens them out a little. The disadvantages of whitewashing include the fact that it is capable of causing allergies, and that which does not have a crystal snow-white shade, therefore loses to other finishing materials.

How to dilute lime

For 10 square meters, you need 1.7 kg of lime and 40 grams of blue. Dissolve them in warm water. Watch the consistency: put a metal part in a container with a solution, remove it, if the whitewash flows from it, then it turned out too liquid. Add a little more lime until you get a thick consistency.

Water-based paint

The water emulsion looks good after drying. It can be applied to old coatings as it adheres well to the existing layer. Users note its durability: over time, it does not fly off the surface in flakes. The disadvantages of the paint are quite insignificant when it comes to finishing work inside the apartment: it should be applied only at temperatures above 5 ° C.

Whitewashing technology

You can apply paint with a roller, brush, spray or vacuum cleaner , which has an air blowing function. But the last two devices are not suitable for non-professional processing at home, since it will not be possible to do this accurately and quickly – the spray will fly in all directions.

The method of whitewashing all solutions is identical. Before painting, you need to walk over the surface with a damp brush, so that after the solution is carbonized and becomes stronger. Then you can start the main process.

To begin with, paint over the corners and joints with a brush. Next, we process the remaining surface. You should start from the window: perpendicular to the rays of light. Apply the first coat and let it dry completely. The second layer should be applied perpendicular to the strokes that we applied before. Cover overlapping areas with mortar to avoid unpainted areas. If done correctly, you will have a flat ceiling .

How to whitewash the ceiling on an old whitewash

If you decide to renew an old layer, it is worth considering that some materials cannot be applied on top of each other. For example, you should not put lime on chalk and vice versa, and you should not cover them with enamel or oil paint, otherwise you will get an uneven surface  with dirty stains. It is better to apply a chalk solution on chalk or use a water emulsion. Whitewash can be covered with the same paint or another layer of lime.

Precautionary measures

Do not forget that working with paint is a dusty job. Therefore, be sure to purchase protective gloves and a respirator that will keep you from chalk and lime particles. Eyes must be covered with transparent construction glasses.


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