How to Paint a Bathroom Ceiling

Tools & Materials

Trade Tips

  • Use a really good quality paint brush
  • When using a roller don’t use haphazard strokes. Use even rolling strokes.
  • Between coats of paint, place your roller and brush in separate plastic bags and tie the bags at the top. This will prevent the roller and brush from drying out.
  • Wash your brushes outside on the grass. Don’t wash in the sink, it’s not good for the environment

The How To

Step 1

Lay out the drop sheets to cover floor, vanity etc. Ensure you cover all surfaces. You don’t want to get paint on surfaces that need to be cleaned off like benchtops, cabinets or floors.


Step 2

Add the mould and mildew inhibitor to your paint. Check the bottle for the amount to add as it will vary depending on the quantity of paint you’re using.  Note: Premixed paints containing mould inhibitor for bathrooms are available but they can be more expensive if you’re on a tight budget.


Step 3

Apply the blue painters tape to all the edges between the wall and ceiling. This allows you to achieve a nice straight finish and saves time cutting in if you’re not painting the walls. Painters tape has been designed to let you cut in straight edges without getting paint onto the adjacent surfaces. The tape has been designed to release easily without damaging the surface.


Step 4

Using a paint brush and nice long, even strokes, cut in all the areas you won’t be able to paint with a roller.


Step 5

Apply paint to the roller via the tray and paint the ceiling using long even strokes. Don’t push down too hard on your roller as it can create lines between strokes. When the paint dries, the excess paint that created the line will be evident and you don’t want that.


Step 6

Leave paint to dry for two hours before starting the second coat.


Step 7

Apply second coat


Step 8

When finished painting, carefully remove the blue painters tape and clean up.


Step 9

Clean brushes and rollers, using a hose, outside on the grass. Don’t wash brushes down the sink.

Note: If the bathroom ceiling is being painted for the first time a sealer undercoat with a mould inhibitor should be applied as a first coat to the bare cornice and plasterboard.


Then follow with steps 2 to 8

How to Stop Bathroom Ceiling Paint Peeling

Unfortunately if paint is already peeling on your bathroom ceiling it’s not an easy fix. This is because you’re dealing with someone else’s bad workmanship.


Why does it happen?


The correct surface preparation hasn’t been undertaken in the first instance. Sealer was not used on the bare plasterboard for the very first coat.


What’s the solution


Option 1 

You can try scraping off the paint on the entire ceiling and following these steps.


Step 1

Scrape paint.  Note: All paint must be thoroughly removed.


Step 2

Check for mold and wash ceilings with mold killer if needed. Allow to completely dry.


Step 3

If there’s any damage to the ceiling from removing (scraping) the paint, replaster the affected areas to achieve a smooth surface finish and then sand.


Step 4

Reseal the ceiling with a mold inhibitor sealer undercoat. Follow up with 2 coats of semi-gloss with mold inhibitor.


Important:  If the paint isn’t completely removed, it won’t matter what paint you apply, you’ll probably find paint will start peeling in another area within a short time.


Option 2

Sometimes it’s just easier to resheet the ceiling and properly prepare the bathroom ceiling from the beginning with a sealer undercoat with a mold inhibitor and follow up with semi-gloss with inhibitor.


A semi-gloss paint with a mould inhibitor.  This paint provides protection from peeling and moisture and is easier to clean. Having a mould & mildew inhibitor additive offers more protection against mold in a damp room.

Semi-gloss paint with added mold and mildew inhibitor

For general areas a flat ceiling paint because it hides imperfections on the joins.

I prefer to use a semi-gloss paint. Mold & mildew tends to grow quicker on flat paint and it’s harder to clean.

Use a product that is a mold-remover and follow the instructions. It’s very important to make sure the area is well ventilated when using these products and use a face mask when applying.


I like Dulux products because they are strong, durable and easy to use. However there are many excellent brands on the market.

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