How to Paint a Stucco Ceiling

Ceilings that have a stucco or textured finish can be a bit daunting when it comes time to paint them. All those little indentations and swirls can be challenging to get completely covered with the new paint, or perhaps the ceiling has never been painted and is dingy and dirty looking. This article describes methods to achieve a professional-looking painted stucco ceiling in easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.

Stucco ceiling and walls

Things You'll Need

  • Dropcloths And Plastic Sheets
  • Primer Sealer
  • Long-Nap Paint Rollers
  • Soft-Bristle Paintbrushes
  • Finish Paint

Move as much furniture out of the room as possible. Cover the floors with plastic, and cover any remaining furniture with dropcloths.

Examine the ceiling closely from a ladder to determine if it has ever been painted. The stucco will be sealed somewhat if previously painted. Do not attempt to wash the ceiling, because water can damage or partially remove the stucco.

Prime ceilings that are water stained or dirty, or have never been painted. Apply one to two coats of primer. Apply additional coats of primer to water stains until they are no longer visible. Feather out the edges of the primer with a soft-bristle paintbrush when applying additional primer to water stains.

Apply the finish paint to the stucco ceiling using the long-nap roller. Roll the paint onto the ceiling, keeping as much paint on the roller as possible without dripping. Roll in all directions, crossing the lines of paint to get paint into all the swirls and indentations. Keep a paintbrush handy to get paint into any deep areas, and use the roller to keep uniformity in the finish. Apply at least two coats, adding a third coat if necessary.

Keep the room well lighted, and examine the ceiling from all angles when painting to catch any missed areas before the paint dries.

Remove the dropcloths and plastic sheeting, and return the furniture to the room.


  • Stucco ceilings can be sprayed, but the overspray can prove difficult to clean up.


  • Keep the room well ventilated when applying the primer sealer, because some brands have strong odors.