Tips for Painting an Exposed Basement Ceiling

We didn't have a drop ceiling in our basement, and we weren't about to spend the money to put one in. So what we had was an exposed beam basement ceiling that was all wood, ducts, pipes, cords, and so on. What it needed, in my opinion was a good paint with a decent paint sprayer.
Painting the exposed beam ceiling with a light color made all the difference in this basement.
This was how the ceiling (basement) looked before.
After the painting was all said and done, we had learned plenty about what worked well and what didn't. Here a some tips on what worked really well for us:

- Use an airless paint sprayer (we used the Homeright Powerflo Pro 2800

- Get familiar with the paint sprayer, by reading the general instructions. (No one likes to read instructions, I know, but it works in your favor when the paint starts flowing)

- Have a helper. Sure, some people can tackle a project like this on their own, but having a second person to be on hand to move items in the way, share the work, etc.. is highly suggested.
Cover all outlets, electrical boxes, light switches and ceiling lights with plastic and/ or paper/ cardboard and tape.
- Have a construction light handy. We weren't able to use the lighting from the ceiling because were were painting the ceiling, so the construction beam was our only lighting.

For the additional tips, click on the full blog post link below.
Now the ceiling is not a distraction. It looks so much brighter and cleaner. We still have work to do in the basement, we are loving it the freshly painted ceiling.

For the rest of the paint tips, please check out the blog post:

Thank you ~ Amy
Amy Ellis @ StowandTellU
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Teri Teri on Jan 07, 2016
    What kind of paint did you use that would adhere to all these different surfaces? Also one that is safe around kids or animals.
  • Penny Penny on Feb 01, 2016
    My basement has rolled insulation between the floor joist. can I paint over that too.
  • Luke Luke on Mar 13, 2016
    How did you treat copper pipes prior to painting? Did you paint all the exposed wires as well?
Join the conversation
3 of 7 comments
  • Sandra Staton Sandra Staton on Jan 21, 2016
    What a difference a little paint and a lot of hard work can make. Love it!
  • Leslie Leslie on Feb 02, 2018

    Amy I know this is a late comment but I want to thank you so much for posting how you painted your cellar from top to bottom. This is a project I have been dreading to do but with your tips and instruction it is less daunting to me. I am going to see if Home Depot has a sprayer I can rent. Again thank you for a wonderful post and for sharing how you did it. :)