So you stated pressure was not the issue, which leads me to believe that you had the pressure pretty high, and or tested your spray pattern first and seen it was good. So we can rule out low pressure as that is one of a few causes.
Next you stated it’s a rental property so I’m almost positive without knowing for sure that you used a fairly cheap if not the cheapest paint you could find. Understandable, who is going to use a high dollar paint on a rental property? Here’s the issue with that. Even when spraying a low quality paint you can very easily get a patchy finish. There is a reason paints are priced the way they are. They are definitely not all created equal.
With that being said I stated that as an issue others might have when getting patchy finishes spraying and rolling. You have two issues though you’re getting a heavy tail mark and an uneven sheen as well. The issue with your tail mark is that your not leave two tail marks, which happens with low pressure during each pass. Leaving a line at the top of the pattern and one at the bottom of the pattern. I know that because when your leaving 2 tails each pass you will see them fairly close together.
This is where I have to question one of your statements. Respectfully, I feel you could be wrong when you say your tip was not clogged. Yes it may have been spraying out good but you have to understand them tips must be cleaned out VERY VERY VERY WELL. Even if you can see light through it, that does not mean it’s completely clean. Even the smallest obstruction in it can ruin the spray pattern. Think of it as your kitchen sink. Turning the water on and something being caught under the screen filter. It will no longer flow correctly. But it still flows, and if you stuck something in it to unclog it you might have scared the orifice of the tip. They need to be cleaned properly after each use or you can almost guarantee the tip is useless. I’m positive a new tip and a good quality paint will fix your issue. But hold on... don’t run to the store yet.
If you used a good paint, which again I don’t think you did just because the uneven finish look, and if your tip was not damaged from having dried paint scraped out and or having a small obstruction inside of it which I feel could very well be the issue since your only leaving 1 tail mark. If your positive those were not the issue then it’s with the angle your holding your gun at. Ceilings are harder to hold your gun at the correct angle and people tend to hold it at a slight angle which would cause the bottom part of your pattern to not have a line because it being sprayed in a way that it’s feathering itself, blending in with what you’ve passed over and the top of the pattern is leaving a hard line.
So to sum this up:
- Good paint - to get even sheen
- Good tip
- And hold gun at the right angle