I want to paint my bathroom ceiling, but there are some bathroom fixtures that I can't remove and that will be very hard to cover up.

What preparations can I do, and what should I keep in mind when painting? Is there anything I can do to avoid paint splatter on furniture, walls and floors?

My bathroom is shown in the picture below. I can not remove the shower walls, the lights above the mirror or the WC (obviously). (It's possible to remove the shower walls, but I don't want to do it in case I'll mess something up when mounting them back up)

The ceiling is made of drywall (though I don't think it's of any relevance).

enter image description here

Please feel free to edit my grammar / choice of words.

2 Answers 2


Any home improvement centre sells two essential things for this: painter's tape and plastic sheeting. Buy a thin plastic for the walls, and thicker one for the floor (or, better yet, use drop cloth for the floor). Buy wide painter's tape, it's much easier to use it to attach plastic sheets to walls, shower doors, etc.

  1. Tape and cover everything. There will definitely be splatter, so cover every square inch of every surface. It will take only a half an hour or so, for a bathroom of this size, especially if you have someone to help you to spread and hang the plastic.

    Just hang plastic sheets from top of the wall to the floor, completely covering any wall-attached fixtures, etc. Use painter's tape first to tack the sheet to the wall, and then use a long strip to completely cover the area where the wall meets the ceiling. Make sure sheets overlap, so there is complete coverage.

  2. Cover the glass shower walls completely, from both sides. Again, just hang a sheet of plastic on them, attaching it with painter's tape.

  3. Cover the floor completely. Use drop cloth, or thick plastic sheeting. Drop cloth is preferrable as it's not slippery, and will absorb any paint splatter or minor spills.

  4. Pull out potlights' trim. They are usually just spring-loaded, and will go out if you pull a bit. No need to remove the pot lights, and don't cover them completely so they won't overheat, but pull the trim out so you can paint around their holes freely.

  5. Use a brush to paint corners and along the wall border.

  6. Use a pole and a roller to paint the ceiling (and wear a hat, otherwise your hair will be full of paint splatter. Don't ask how I know this).

  • 4
    Excellent and thorough advice. If an accident occurs (something becomes uncovered by accident and a spot or two occurs), most of those surfaces will be easy to clean if done quickly, or scrapped carefully with a razor blade. Also, if you need to leave the room during or just after the painting, make sure to not track anything to the next room that splattered onto the drop cloth. (A smaller drop cloth just outside the room might be helpful)
    – JerryD
    Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 19:24
  • 4
    Don't know what type of bulbs are above the sink but you should probably keep them off so you don't melt the plastic to them. Use an old lamp with a 150W bulb to light the room while you work. Commented Apr 7, 2017 at 19:50
  • Pull down masking films are convenient when covering walls! Commented May 18, 2018 at 9:33

To expand a little on haimg's answer. Cover the floor first, even extending the covering up the walls a little to catch spills. Then cover the walls.

The most important step, is prepping the surface to be painted. Scrap and sand any rough spots. Use a cleaner, such as borax or TSP to clean any residues. Patch holes using a plaster material. Not rubber based spackling paste, that tends to shrink. After the surface is smooth, prime with a mildew and stain resistant primer to allow the final coats to cover evenly.

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