I have had many requests for the instructions on how to paint a gingham ceiling like the one that I did in my master bedroom and bathroom. This gingham pattern adds interest to the ceiling and looks so much like fabric that a lot of people ask if it is.
Click Next to find the step by step instructions for how to paint a gingham ceiling.
What You Need To Paint A Gingham Ceiling
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3 colors of paint – 1 lighter, 1 medium and 1 darker tone in the same color (I used 3 from the same paint card which ensures that they have the same color undertones)
Step 1: Paint the Background Color
The first step to creating a gingham ceiling is to paint the ceiling with the background color. This should be the lightest paint color that you have chosen.
It may take 2 coats of paint to fully cover.
Step 2: Paint Stripes In One Direction
1. Decide how wide you want the gingham stripes to be. I chose 9″ mostly because that was the width of the paint roller.
2. Establish the center point along the length of the ceiling. To do this, measure the length of the ceiling and divide the number in half to determine where the half-way point is. For example, if your ceiling is 10′ long, the half way point would be at the 5′ mark. The reason for starting in the center is to have your pattern equally spaced on the ceiling at the edges.
3. Mark this point on both of the end walls.
4. Your first stripe will be centered on this measurement. Divide the stripe width in half to determine where the center of the stripe is…this will determine how much of the stripe will fall on each side of the center line. In my case, the stripe was 9” wide, so the sides of the stripe will be 4½’’ on each side of the center mark.
5. Mark where the two sides of the stripe will be at each end of the ceiling.
6. Use a chalk line to draw a line from one end of the ceiling to the other between those two marks. It is easiest to do this if you have a helper to hold one end of the chalk line while you hold the other end and snap it. If you don’t have a helper, you can put a small nail in the ceiling where the chalk line should start, hook the end of the chalk line over the head of the nail and then stretch it across the ceiling and snap the mark.
7. Repeat the chalk line mark for the other side of the 9″ stripe.
8. Repeat the chalk line every 9″ across the ceiling.
9. Paint the stripes with the medium color paint. Since I have a popcorn ceiling, I did not tape the lines but used the roller to paint between the lines (I figured since it was supposed to look like fabric, it didn’t matter if the lines were perfectly straight anyway). If you don’t have popcorn on your ceiling, you could tape along the lines to make it easier to paint.
10. If necessary, you may need to do a second coat of paint.
Step 3: Paint Stripes In The Other Direction
After the first set of stripes have completely dried, repeat the Step 2 instructions to create stripes going in the other direction.
Step 4: Fill in the Cross Points
Once the paint for the stripes has dried, you are ready to complete the look by filling in squares where the medium colored lines cross.
1 Use a straight edge to draw the lines for the squares where the lines cross.
2 Paint the squares with the darkest color of paint.
Step 5: Enjoy!
Enjoy your new gingham ceiling!
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This post was originally published on October 5, 2015 but was updated with new content on February 28, 2022.