How to Paint Smooth and Textured Ceilings

Learn how to paint smooth and textured ceilings the easy way using a Wagner PaintStick EZ Roller and FLEXiO 3500 Paint Sprayer!
Project Type
FLEXiO 3500 Sprayer
PaintStick EZ Roller

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Whether you’re looking to paint a smooth ceiling, or a popcorn-textured ceiling, Wagner has a product that’s right for you! Learn how to get great looking results on a smooth ceiling using Wagner’s Paintstick EZ-Roller and on textured ceilings using the FLEXiO 3500 paint sprayer.


person cleaning and patching the ceiling before spraying and rolling


painter smiling look directly at the camera, yellow shirt


person cleaning and patching the ceiling before spraying and rolling

Clean and Patch the Ceiling

Make sure you patch any holes or cracks in the ceiling and wipe down any dust or cobwebs with a damp rag before painting.

Step 1

person painting, cutting in around the walls

Cut in Around Walls

Start by cutting in around the perimeter of the ceiling with a three-inch angled paint brush where the ceiling meeting the walls.

Step 2

preparing the PaintStick EZ Roller for painting

Prepare PaintStick EZ Roller for Smooth Ceilings

Let’s start with the smooth ceiling first. After cutting in, it’s time to start rolling on paint! We recommend using Wagner’s Paintstick EZ-Roller because it comes with a 3/8 nap, which is perfect for lightly-textured ceilings. If your ceiling has a heavier texture, ¾-inch nap roller covers are available.

This roller works twice as fast as a regular roller, because it draws paint directly from the can and holds it in the handle while you paint!

Step 3

person squeezing the trigger to the PainStick EZ Roller, preparation

Draw Paint Into Tube and Squeeze Trigger

Using the suction tube, draw paint into the roller from the can and pull the plunger until the handle fills with paint. After that, squeeze the trigger until you start to see paint fill the roller head.

Step 4

person painting a ceiling with the PaintStick EZ Roller

Paint the Ceiling

Now you can start rolling paint onto the ceiling. If you’re applying two coats, wait until the first one is dry before applying the second coat. For even coverage, roll perpendicular to the direction you rolled the first coat.

Step 5

person preparing the flexio 3500 for spraying, textured ceiling setting

Prepare FLEXiO 3500 for Textured Ceilings

Now it’s time to learn how to paint textured ceilings. We recommend using the FLEXiO 3500 sprayer for this application using the iSpray nozzle.

The FLEXiO 3500 is perfect for applying all kinds of interior and exterior paints, stains and clear finishes. It’s also the perfect tool for painting a textured ceiling, where it can be hard to get paint into all of the nooks and crannies without knocking bits of the delicate texture off.

Step 6

adjusting the airflow on the flexio 3500

Adjust Sprayer Settings

The sprayer’s iSpray nozzle is perfect for tackling large areas like this ceiling. Just twist the suction tube so it’s pointing down while you spray. That way it’s able to pull all of the paint from the container. Because ceiling paints are usually thick, be sure to also adjust the airflow on your sprayer so it’s near maximum and the flow control to about ten.

Step 7

painter masking the room up high, smiling while she is doing it wearing a yellow shirt

Mask the Room

Before painting, be sure to mask off the walls with plastic and painter’s tape.

Step 8

painter spraying the ceiling with the flexio 3500 paint and stain sprayer with glasses and a mask on

Spray the Ceiling

Now you’re ready to start spraying! Hold the sprayer 6-8 inches from the surface. Overlap each pass by 50% and spray away from you toward the ceiling. Start on one end of the ceiling and follow the length of a wall to create a starting edge. Then work out from that first pass, spraying at a 45- degree angle toward the unpainted part of the ceiling.

Step 9

painter achieving that popcorn ceiling with the flexio 3500 paint and stain sprayer

Spray All Sides of the Textured Ceiling

If you’re spraying a second coat, spray perpendicular to the direction of the first coat for best coverage. This is especially important if you have a heavy popcorn ceiling texture so you get paint on all sides of the texture.

Step 10

painter smiling look directly at the camera, yellow shirt

Enjoy Your Painted Ceiling

Before painting, be sure to mask off the walls with plastic and painter’s tape.Now you can enjoy your freshly painted ceiling, whether it was smooth or textured!

Step 11

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