Change a Room with Updates to the Wall or Ceiling

painting walls

It is easy to take the walls and ceilings of a home for granted. After all, these structures don’t hold offer the views of a window or the chance to move in and out of the room like a door. Walls and ceilings can also be a bit boring. They don’t feature the curtains of a window. In many cases, the wall and ceiling simply provides the support and backdrop to the décor items in the house.

That does not always have to be true. Clever do-it-yourselfers can do wonders with the walls and ceilings of a home. In many cases, these home improvement projects offer a great return on investment and can drastically change the appearance of a room. Because the work is interior, the task is often less strenuous than an outdoor project.

As with any project, homeowners should plan ahead and do some research before undertaking any home improvement task.


Painting a room is one of the quickest and easiest ways to change its appearance. The first step in any painting project is choosing the paint. Select the paint type before choosing the color.

  • Acrylics are popular for walls because of durability and ease of cleanup during the painting process. These paints also are more pleasant smelling to work with than oil based paints.
  • Enamel paints provide a smoother and harder surface that is easier to wipe clean and is popular for kitchens and bathrooms. However, enamel paints are more difficult to work with and require turpentine or other solvents for cleaning brushes.

Ceilings are commonly painted with a flat acrylic paint often in a color slightly lighter than the walls.

Once the paint is selected, it’s time to start the work. Clear the room of furniture, if possible, or cover the furniture and flooring with drop cloths. Start from the top by painting the ceiling. Most people use a roller for interior projects.

Use tape to mask off door and window frames while painting the walls. Remove the tape after the paint has dried.

painting walls


Sometimes it takes more than a paint job to renovate a room. Major remodeling may require removing the plaster or drywall from a room. This is also an opportunity to upgrade the insulation in the wall cavity.

Hanging drywall often requires a few extra hands. Drywall comes in sheets four-feet wide and in lengths up to 12 feet. Place the drywall sheets against the ceiling joists and fasten in place with drywall screws. Continue to place drywall sheets across the ceiling and walls. Cut out openings for electrical boxes, windows and doors.
Drywall compound, often called mud, is used to fill the nail or screw holes and smeared over paper tape placed over the seams between sheets. Sand the mud smooth and apply a second layer and repeat. The ultimate goal is to produce a smooth surface before painting.


Wood Ceilings and Walls

Some people prefer a more natural look to the walls and ceiling. Wood clad walls can add warmth to the room. Before the wood cladding can be installed additional wood strips must be added at a right angle to the wall studs. The wood cladding can then be nailed to the strips allowing for the wood cladding to run from floor to ceiling.