We knew that painting walls and trim would be a huge endeavour which would help to transform the space but you must also consider the ceiling when repainting a house, especially one that is outdated. If you don't repaint the ceiling then your paint will appear dull and dingy.
We wanted to get the ceiling painted before we moved in. It would be much easier to do it then rather than when all of our furniture and possessions were scattered about.
Before you begin this huge task, do some research first regarding your ceiling. Ours was called a knock down which means that it's been sprayed and then a trowel was dragged across it. I know this isn't everyone's favourite kind of ceiling but here in Canada it's pretty common. It's done to help hide any imperfections in the drywall application. It's not so bad but ours wasn't just white, it was multi-coloured. We have the pleasure of having a light dusty rose colour underneath the white. There was no question it NEEDED to be painted.
Here is some advice you must take: DO NOT JUST BUY PAINT AND START PAINTING. Your ceiling will fall down if you don't research and know if your ceiling was primed ahead of time. Ours was not primed so we couldn't use latex paint. We had to use oil-based which meant it would leave an odor. I didn't mind the odor because it would help to cover up some of the old owners smells. I've got a real issue with past smells in houses, especially kitchens. That's another post for another day.
We used KILZ primer in an oil-base. We needed to use oil-based paint because it contains any water. Water will destroy the mud and flatten out the knock down look and then it will collapse on your head. You do not want this to happen. Please research your ceiling composition before you begin painting. We just used the white primer color because it was the purest colour. We were not worried about it matching or blending in. Pure white is fine with us.
We went to Home Depot and looked at renting a sprayer. I wanted to roll it on because I thought it would be easier, I was out voted and I'm glad I was. As it turns out Home Depot does not rent paint sprayers, at least not here. People don't do a good job on cleaning them after they are finished and it causes all kinds of problems. So back to the paint aisle we went to investigate which paint sprayer we should buy. Our criteria was simple, it had to be able to do oil-based and latex paint. It also had to handle a large space. We had 1400 square feet to cover. Instead of buying a cheap one we spend some money and purchased one that would fit into a 5 gallon pail and work continuously without having to refill the holding container. We went with one that looks similar to this. We figured it would come in handy for other jobs, perhaps spray painting the kitchen cabinets.
After collecting our supplies, oh yes, don't forget rolls of plastic wrap to cover the rest of the walls from the over spray, we went to work covering the walls with plastic. This was time consuming and tedious work. It took a good day to cover all of the walls and railings in the house. We called it our Dexter house at this point. You'll understand why when you see the photos.
We used inch and a half painters tape first and taped it along the wall as close to the ceiling as we could get it and as straight as we could. Then we attached another strip of tape to the plastic and attached this to the row of tape on the wall. Voila! Our house of plastic.
The next day, I had to travel to Edmonton so Darcy was given the task of spraying the ceiling. It took him most of the day but the results we worth it in the end. It looks crisp and clean and new again. The paint on the walls looks clean and fresh looking. I'm sorry I don't have a direct picture of the ceiling colour but please take my word for it, it looks amazing.
Peeling the plastic off wasn't that difficult, it did leave behind little bits of oil paint scrapings but nothing that can't be cleaned up with a vacuum or broom and dust pan.
Good luck with the painting of your ceiling if you're venturing into this task.