mission possibility: how to paint a vaulted ceiling without a ladder …

How to paint a vaulted ceiling without scaffolding.


Just me and my very long pole.

How To Paint A Vaulted Ceiling Without Scaffolding or Platforms

Okay, and a rickety, ancient small wooden ladder …

how to paint a vaulted ceiling 2
So here’s my “tutorial” of sorts …

1. Furniture and stuff moved.  Check.
2. Holes spackled. Check.
3. Drop cloths dropped. Check.
4. Ceiling Swiffered. Check.

how to paint a vaulted ceiling
5. Run out of excuses to get started. Check.

After I worked my way out of this corner, I needed a serious break …

how to paint a vaulted ceiling 3
… and started to wonder if I perhaps had bitten off a bit more than I could chew …

That whole craning my neck backwards while inhaling paint fumes was quite the dizzying experience.

When I got back to work, I decided that I should probably tackle the dreaded “cutting in” before my arms turned into wet noodles …

… and this attachment was invaluable (worth every last cent) …

… in helping me do this …

how to paint a vaulted ceiling 4
Let me tell you, that was pretty backbreaking work …

… and necessitated another break and a giant glass of water.

When I reached this point, I was ready to throw in the towel and reach for the Yellow Pages …

how to paint a vaulted ceiling 5
But after another break.  A little TV time with Ellen.  And some nourishment, I charged right back in …

… and at the end of the day, I am proud to say that I successfully turned this impossibility

2012 Impossibility.vaulted ceiling
Into this possibility …

how to paint a vaulted ceiling 6

My husband approves and says it looks like the sky. The kids love the color and my daughter … a future HGTV design star … tells me it makes the room feel so much warmer and cozier.

Though, I do have a little secret …

… you see …

… as I was revisiting the fabrics and plans I envisioned for the room four years ago I came across this…



And with dreams of bead board in my head, I didn’t take that blue hue all the way to the floor …

how to paint a vaulted ceiling 7
… but instead added a new “impossibility” to this project in the form of bead board wallpaper and cap molding …

bead board wallpaper and blue and brown fabric
I’ve never wallpapered before.  This should be interesting.


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  1. says

    Wow Linda! My neck and shoulders hurt just reading this post. It truly did come out so great, I love the color and am impressed you did it with that little ladder. We have one of those and refer to it as our “death trap”. haha
    This journey has been sooo fun to be a part of, I’m glad we did it together!!

  2. says

    FABULOUS!!!! What an incredible job!!! I can’t imagine doing this! The end results are picture perfect …love the color…just a fabulous and wonderful accomplishment!!!! It was such a great experience working with you and so glad that I have a new friend! Hugs!

  3. says

    I HATE painting ceilings! I can’t imagine painting that ceiling, eek. Great job; the color looks beautiful, and I am looking forward to seeing the wallpaper. I am still working on my impossible project…hopefully I complete it by 7 AM. 😉

  4. says

    You deserve a massage and a cocktail (or two)!! The color is fantastic and love that it covers the whole ceiling too. Me thinks it was definitely worth the effort – bring that pole and those attachments to my house – what’s your hourly rate?! Can’t wait to see the breadboard wallpaper (sometime this year please)!!!

  5. says

    When I get one of those arm-wrenching projects I always try to tell myself I’ll look better in sleeveless for it! Ceiling looks great and bead board can never hurt!

  6. says

    O.M.G. woman!!!!! I have no doubt in my mind if you could paint that ceiling you can hang wallpaper! Your challenge was a challenge for ANYONE!!!! And you dominated!!!!

    Don’t you dare take till 2013 to finish, this is going to look awesome and I want to see it long before then.

    You ruled the ceiling, oh yeah, you rocked the paintbrush, oh yeah, go Linda, go Linda……..


  7. says

    that looks fabulous! But I have my doubts about the wallpaper. After spending 6 weeks stripping down wallpaper from our current house, I absolutely detest the stuff. Maybe we need a year of impossibilities challenge :) One project a month ha ha ha perfect motivation!

  8. says

    Linda, this is just fabulous. My office has a big vaulted ceiling and I have been umming and arrhing about painting it for a while. Going to tackle it soon. By the way what was the name of the color you used?

  9. says

    omigosh! really great job, love the color…it does look like dreamy sky! that’s a cool tool you used. i have a staircase hall i want to paint and that could come in handy for the high ceiling and cutting in. the bead board wallpaper is going to look great with the wall color too…looking forward to seeing it all done!

  10. says

    Linda, congratulations! You did it! I am so grateful to you and the others for sponsoring the Impossibilities challenge! Everyone has gone above and beyond what they thought! Maybe you should host this more than once a year, since I have a lot more challenges that don’t need to wait another year! Blessings from Bama!

  11. says

    You did the hardest part and did it well. I painted walls in a room with 16′ peak ceilings, but didn’t do the ceiling. That had been done when a contractor doing our roof fell through the ceiling, making a hole they had to patch and sprayed the ceiling. Ready to be sprayed again, no. more. sand-texture-that-came-out-popcorn!! Proud? You should be!

  12. says

    Goodness me! I hate decorating and so I stand absolutely awestruck at how you got on and did this. I love the colour you chose – and your husband’s right…it does look like sky! You could have put some little fluffy white clouds up there!!
    I look forward to seeing your beautiful bedroom when it is all completed.

  13. says

    I would say you should pat yourself on the back, but I am afraid that as stiff as your neck, shoulders and back are after that project it would be another impossibility. And you probably aren’t quite ready to imagine another one quite this quickly!

  14. says

    Great job on a huge paint project. I’ve used that little brush attachment before and it’s so helpful. Before we had that gadget we duct-taped a “hockey stick” paintbrush to an extension pole. It worked, but looked hilarious.
    I hung that beadboard wallpaper in our basement bathroom (over paneling) a couple of years ago. It’s easy…no matching. And it really looks like beadboard. Good luck! So glad I found your blog.

  15. says

    I hate painting REGULAR ceilings…What an accomplishment! Can’t wait to see when the room is finished, now that you’ve shared your inspiration photo.

  16. says

    You did it!!! Oh my gosh, that ceiling (and ladder while we’re on the subject) looks terrifying. I can’t believe you were able to paint all those cooky angles with just a long reach brush. I’m so thankful you didn’t get your head and arm permanently stuck in a right angle position.

    The bead board will make the room totally POP once you’re finished. Can’t wait to see that all done. But for now just rejoice in the painting job! Congrats!

  17. says

    That looks fa.bu.lous!!! And with the bead-board wallpaper,it is going to be very beautiful. I can see that was a humongous challenge, but you met it and conquered it!!! Good for you.
    Hugs, cindy

  18. says

    Being a woman who HATES to paint – anything – except maybe gourds – I am in awe of your success! I painted a whole interior of a house once. Never again! But it does make me qualified to to say “job well done” and to have some idea of all those pains and hurts you talked about!

    You will LOVE playing with wallpaper! Honestly you will! Just be sure to start using a plumb bob in the middle of any wall and you are on your way to a beautiful job!

  19. says

    As a short person, this definitely caught my eye. My neck almost began to hurt reading about it, but was totally soothed by that beautiful blue paint.

    All worth it.

    Thanks for the peek ~
    Mary @ Sea Quilts

  20. says

    OMG I have that same wallpaper that has been sitting in my garage for almost 2 years bc I am afraid of it. Well it and the whole wallpapering thing.
    Please, oh please, come to the burbs and help me!!
    We could drink wine!
    And eat goodies!!


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