How do I paint an unpainted beadboard wooden ceiling?

Lynda Wallis
by Lynda Wallis

The natural colored wooden beadboard ceiling has never been painted. Any tricks or suggestions how to paint the ceiling white without doing it by hand, with a brush to get into all the crevices? The walls and all woodwork will be painted white as well, but I need to begin with the ceiling. Please help.

I'm going to add floor to ceiling white gauzy curtains too. This will be a total transformation of the space. I'm stuck with how to paint to ceiling and make it a little easier than doing to entire thing by hand with my neck craned up and back...arrrrgh! Please offer your suggestions!

  12 answers
  • Morgan McBride Morgan McBride on Feb 07, 2019

    We used a paint sprayer to paint our beadboard ceiling!

    • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Feb 07, 2019

      you can rent or buy them for just a hundred-two hundred depending on use I get a better one it's worth investment makes painting MANY things faster,easier.

  • Rita Rita on Feb 07, 2019

    Get a really thick napped roller. May take a couple of coats, but will do the trick. Be sure and do all trim and cut in before. That's how I done mine. Time consuming ,but worked.

    • Susan Lewis Susan Lewis on Apr 16, 2023

      Was your beadboard the reguycolir of wood with a bit of shine to it? If so did you sand it first?

  • Use a thick mat roller, with the protector over it to stop it from dripping on you.

  • Emily Emily on Feb 07, 2019

    My husband uses a brush to paint our beadboard ceilings, but area might be less than yours. . . porch 7' X 14', kitchen slightly less. I might hesitate to paint a vintage beadboard though, but then again maybe not!

  • Lynda Wallis Lynda Wallis on Feb 07, 2019

    Hi Emily, Wow, I SO wish I had someone else to do this part of the task. The room is 12' x 28' so seems ginormous to me. I'm thinking of going for a whitwash which might take some of the pressure off the task. Your ceiling is beautiful BTW!! I'm painting to get ready to sell, so white is my ONLY choice. LOL.. Thanks for responding. Lynda

  • Jeff Jeff on Feb 07, 2019

    I agree with Freshcutky. The wood finish is wonderful. Maybe if you paint the walls white with the white curtains you planned, you might find you like it. Sometimes most white, looks more white than all white. Besides white woodwork especially around the floors shows every spec of dirt.

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Feb 07, 2019

    I say don't paint it

  • Seth Seth on Feb 07, 2019


    Home Talk Nation has spoken! We hereby relieve you of the need to paint your ceiling and overrule any suggestion by your realtor that you need to paint it. Your buyer may love it just the way it is or let them paint it a color they choose.

  • William William on Feb 08, 2019

    Leave it. The wood looks amazing. Let buyers choose what they want to do. They may like the wood and not the paint. They may even want to remove or cover it.

    • Lynda Wallis Lynda Wallis on Feb 09, 2019

      William, The wood certainly grabbed my heart strigns when I frist stepped foot into my place 20 years ago. I do think I won't paint the ceiling.

  • Dee Dee on Feb 09, 2019

    I would use a paint sprayer, Homeright makes a fairly inexpensive sprayer. I have friends who have that one. I have a Wagner paint sprayer. It will be messy because it is overhead, but easier than using a roller. You will need to prime it to make sure the tannins do not seep through.

    However, that being said. I think I would leave it. Certainly looks charming.

  • Carol Jackson Carol Jackson on Feb 09, 2019

    Just let the new buyer make their own changes. Lets you off the hook. I would assume you made changes when you moved in. Part of the fun of buying a new home is making it your own with your personal taste and style. Any change you make other than structural is just trying to out guess the new buyer. They may want wood ceilings with pink walls.