Friday, December 30, 2011

An update on the rug quest:  I rolled up the dirty rug and decided to go rugless for a while...thanks to the commenter who mentioned this to me in the previous post. I don't know if it will work long term since we like the warmth of a rug, but at least I feel free from dirt and decision making for now! :)

I have painted many walls that had soaring ceilings. I was happy to go back to having a small house with 8 ft. ceilings because it is sooo much faster to paint. I just had to paint the stairwell, however, and I thought this would be useful.

Here is how I do it with limited tools, no help, no scaffolding, without dragging out the extension ladder, and without a lot of time and energy.

First you need a telescoping extension pole. The aluminum rods are lightweight, cheap, and can extend long enough to paint the highest ceiling. You might need a basic ladder, as well, but not an extension ladder.
Then you need an edger. I've tried many of these:

With one of these and a telescoping pole, you can paint anything.

Now you still need to paint the corners. These edgers don't get paint into inside corners very well, so next you need some strong tape or a couple of zip ties, a regular paintbrush, and your telescoping pole:
(You can't see the tape because all I had on hand was some clear packaging tape.)

Voila! You're done. Very easy and fast. I have painted a soaring 20 ft foyer in the past with this method, and some cathedral ceilings. I once used a very dark red paint that had to be meticulously applied along the ceiling line, and it still worked. You just have to be steady and careful!  (FYI -- don't paint cathedral walls with red paint, for the love of all that is Holy, what a nightmare that probably was for the next homeowner!)
Posted by Katy On 3:47 PM 18 comments


  1. Um, Hello???? How did you know I was standing in my 2-story hallway, looking up, trying to figure out how to edge up there?

    I have the wrong kind of edger. I thought about using the extension pole but wasn't sure this edger would work because it always rotates on me. And the bit about taping the brush to the extension pole to reach the last bit of corner = YAY!

    You just saved me from having to hire someone or rent scaffolding. I need to paint this filthy hall and stairway, but I 've not tackled it because of the edge at the top.

    Merry New Year!

  2. I needed this! We have painted three walls of our hallway and left the remaining wall because of the 20 foot ceiling and one wall...LOVE this idea! You're so smart.

  3. Oh my gosh! I thought I was the only one to tape a paint brush on to a telescoping paint stick. Great minds think alike

  4. This is great!!! Thanks! I need to paint my garage and I don't care if it's not perfect but I didn't want to get out the big ladder. Perfect!

  5. I still get a white line on the wall using the edger cause it doesn't go all the way up to the ceiling. Do you also?

  6. Geez Louise! thank you so much. For days I've been pondering and pondering how I was gonna do this without scaffolding. You saved my sanity. Stopping at Lowe's tomorrow to pick up edger. Whew! I love when a plan comes together.

  7. THANK YOU!! I just bought a new house about 6 weeks ago, and have been trying to figure out how the heck I'm going to paint my living room and stair well that have 1,000ft ceilings/walls. Now I know how I'll do it. Thanks!!

  8. What a great post! I was using your "not so favorite edger" and thinking about all the touch-up I had to do. I came across this post and I will finish the job with the cheaper chicken edger. Thanks! I use a 1-inch roller with a longer nap for my corners. The end screws into the telescoping pole and makes for a much faster paint job. I also use the 1-inch roller to trim out doors, baseboard, and such. Here is to all Moms that have a drill!

  9. love your review about what "does not work", very helpful

  10. I am so happy that I came across your post!! We have been living with builders paint for way too long! I can't wait to get this done on my own!! Thank you!

  11. I did this last night thanks to you. I do even know how much money I saved not paying a professional painter and am so proud. Thank you a million times over.

  12. High ceilings are truly breath taking, but they are often hard to decorate around. You could end up making the focal point too high or turn the room into a set of large blank walls.

  13. Great tips! I really need this. Hope I can find the "good" edger!

  14. Thank you so much, I was just thinking what to do, and you have helped me so much!!!

  15. How can i get pollyfiller into a 20f cracked ceiling ?

  16. You've inspired me. A painter wanted--get this--$1,575.00 to paint my ONE room with 18 foot ceilings. It might take me a little while, but if I take my time and use your method I can save about $1,200 on this job.

  17. What color paint should i choose for a room long and narrow?


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For many years I was a mechanical engineer and a single mom of 3. Suddenly I am now a married mom of 4 and I'm working full time on remodeling my latest gigantic project (lake house). I previously built a tiny house on Tybee Island that I sold in 2015, and I'm always designing and building the unexpected. Stop by for the house stuff, stay for the panic attacks. (kidding. maybe. ha. ha....)

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