Liza Greis

Do-it-yourself projects and Home Decor

Stenciled Ceiling

I have been so excited to share this project with you!!! I loved my bedroom before but now I LOVE love it :)

I stenciled a damask pattern on the entire ceiling!!! Why should walls have all the fun???

I wanted to show you a bunch of the after shots first but if you keep going you will see the before and a tutorial on how I did it. I was loosing daylight fast when I took these pictures. I was in a big FAT hurry and I didn’t really pay attention to the setting on my camera or the angle of the shots. I wish they were a tiny bit more clear. My paisley pillow that I hand painted is hard to see. You can get a better look at that HERE.
And more bedroom pictures HERE.

I also made a chandelier. I just couldn’t put that ugly ceiling fan back up after the ceiling got a gorgeous makeover! I will have a tutorial showing how I made it on Wednesday.

Okay, here is the before. I know you all know what a white ceiling looks like, but I needed a before so that the after would be more dramatic :) So here you go.



Cutting Edge Stencilssent me a stencil of my choice to review. They also sent me a foam roller. I have stenciled a fair share in the past so I thought I was pretty familiar with stencils. I was pleasantly surprised to see that theirs was extra thick. And  the stencil was really large which helps when you are painting a big area.

Because I was doing my ceiling and I had gravity working against me, I used a spray adhesive on the back of the stencil along with painters tape.

I started in the corner above my door so that if I messed up, no one would really notice  when they looked in my room. The 2 things you need to remember are a) don’t overload your roller with paint! b)don’t push too hard. Both of these things will cause the paint to bleed under the stencil. If you are nervous, practice on cardboard or a garage wall. I found that I had to roll in all directions to get paint into the nooks and crannies. The first one I did 2 coats of paint. It was nice and even but I decided I like the look of one coat of paint better. It looked like fabric.

I know you are lovin’ the shower cap. I was totally channelling my inner lunch lady. I knew when I saved the free shower cap from my last hotel stay I could use it for something. Not a speck of paint in my hair!

The stencils have these points ( shown by arrows). When you go to paint the next row, you line up the stencil to these points and it keeps everything straight. Pretty genius if you ask me.

Okay, now for the low down. Was this project easy? Yes. Was this project time consuming? Yes. I have four kids so that equals about 49 million interruptions. Because I was doing this on the ceiling I couldn’t just peel it off then move it in place and immediately start on the next one. I had to wait for the paint to dry on the stencil (5-10 minutes) before I could place it again. Why? Because I had to press on the stencil to get it to stick to the ceiling. Not fun when it is all wet. But it wasn’t too big of a deal. I would stick it up, paint it, take it down, and then go do something else for a bit. Change the laundry to the dryer, unload the dishwasher, play Go Fish with my 3 year old (you get the idea). Then I would run down and do another one. So in total, it took four days.  

IF I had been doing a wall like a normal person, it would have been MUCH faster. And IF I didn’t have any children at home to interrupt it would have been much, much faster.

Overall it was TOTALLY worth it! I have no idea how I lived with a white ceiling before. And I have plans to use this same stencil upstairs in my hall. I am thinking cream and chocolate brown. . .

On Wednesday I will show you how I made this chandelier!!!

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  1. Hi, I'm Suz!! says

    That's AWESOME but OMG did that kill your arms and your neck?? WOW Wonderful Idea!! Can wait to see how you did the chandy!!!

    Hugs ~~ Suz

  2. Lisa says

    No way! I cannot believe you did that! Just looking at those pictures makes my neck ache! It's absolutely gorgeous! Your room is just beautiful!

  3. amy says

    Love it! Makes me want to put my four kids to working scrapping off the popcorn ceiling (which I HATE) so I can do this! ;)

  4. Pink Satin Sashes says

    A wonderful turnout for such a tedious job. I admire your grit and determination.

    I know how time consuming, and painful home renos can be and this is a testament to your strong character. Your neck must have been sore.

    I am glad you can lay in bed at night and enjoy the fruits of your labour! Well
    done. It is beautiful.

  5. The Loops says

    This is so gorgeous I'm almost speechless! I wish I could try, but alas the icky extreme popcorn ceiling strikes again.

  6. MICHELL says

    lOVE IT!! Great blog! I'll be linking up some of my stuff tomorrow….

    I see ya got the dreaded bandwidth exceeded!! That means lots of traffic to your blog…Hooray!! I got that to and have to change all my pics and have yet to fix some stuff:( Congrats it's a good thing:-)

  7. Katy says

    Stupid stucco ceilings! I would love love love to do this in our bedroom, seeing as the theme is damask, but that dang stucco gets in the way.

  8. [email protected] says

    WOW! It looks amazing! I remember I started sponge painting a ceiling one time I thought my arm was gonna fall off so I only got a quarter of the way done and left it. My Hubby was so annoyed when a year later he had to paint it white again when the house sold. You did a fantastic job! Great photos too.

  9. Clara says

    So nice! I just discovered your blog and it is fantastic and have become a new follower. I'm hosting a $50 CSN gift certificate giveaway for those in the US and Canada so drop on by!

  10. JoandDoug says

    Doug looked at this and all he could way was "that is amazing". I love it too. You seriously never cease to amaze me. Way to go!

  11. ellie g says

    What the….you did WHAT???? Oh my gosh! Is there a Love button? I would push it 10,000 times! This is so amazing. I love that it's on the ceiling. I love your subtle color choices, and how together, with the pattern….it makes a bold statement.

    Most of all I LOVE your head covering. And I will need a version of the lunch lady song next time I see you. (you tube it…if you're unfamiliar….)

    You are seriously getting some huge KUDOS from me! Way to go!!!!

  12. Mary says

    This is an awesome post, I would really love it if you linked this up to Masterpiece Monday at Boogieboard Cottage as well! Have a nice Week! Mary :O)

  13. Corn in my Coffee-Pot says

    whoa! I love this. What a great idea.
    I'm thinking this is worth copying… you're flattered right?
    I hope so. Cause if I copied you …it would just be the best form of flattery I could muster up via the internet…
    So so pretty.
    Glad you took your sweet time to do this otherwise you'd be a happy happy housewife with lifeless arms! lol

    thanks for sharing this …

  14. Beverly @ says

    I am sooooo impressed with this!! It turned out so beautiful – and that chandelier is a great touch!! Wow. Wow!!! I love it. :)

  15. Magic Brush says

    Ok so I own a faux finishing company and we have never, ever stenciled an entire ceiling! I hope you had a massage after!!!! hahaha! Wonderful job! I would just lay in my bed and look at it all the time!

  16. [email protected] Decorating says

    This turned out just awesome! I have rough ceilings so no go there but I do plan to do something similar on the wall behind our bed and in my closet! Love the idea of a shower cap when painting the ceiling. I have had paint in my hair for months sometimes after splatters and oops bumps!!!

  17. Judy says

    This looks absolutely amazing. I stenciled one wall of my daughter's room so I totally get how time consuming the project is. I can't imagine doing a ceiling. Your neck must have been hurting you after this. I linked over from Domestically Speaking. If you have a chance I'd love if you would check out my blog at Thanks.

  18. Maridith @ Strictly Homemade says

    Amazing!! Love it. You know you wake up every morning an even a happier housewife looking at that each morning. Great job!

  19. RayDay says

    Love it, Liza! It's beautiful!…both the ceiling AND the chandelier. I'm so impressed with every project that you do. You are amazing.

  20. Custom Comforts says

    Love your ceiling and your bedroom. Great calming and simple effect with such class and style!!! LOVE it! I'm your newest follower.

  21. Jennifer @lifecraftsandwhatever says

    Liza, that's gorgeous! I can't imagine how much your arms and shoulders were aching why the time you were done though, but well worth it!

  22. laxsupermom says

    Beautiful! Gorgeous! Stunning! I don't know that I have enough adjectives to describe your ceiling. It has to be the most satisfying thing to open up your eyes in the morning and see that gorgeous stenciled ceiling first thing.

    I hope you spent an hour at the spa getting your neck rubbed after. Thanks for sharing this.

  23. Jenn says

    Okay, that is totally amazing!! I need to develop a little more patience before tackling a job like this but it sure looks fantastic!

  24. Tausha says

    You win! Every award there is to win! I would not have even tried the ceiling, mostly because my arms would get tired and I am wuss! Thanks for the stenciling tips-I too get to use some of clear choice stencils-I am chomping at the bit for the package to arrive! Any other tips that you want to share with me would be awesome! I showed ur amazing stencil skills to my husband, he just said NO and handed the computer back to me!! Have a fabulous weekend!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  25. Heidi says

    Oh my goodness! BEAUTIFUL! I also just made a chandelier…well, it's a fake one…but it looks cute!
    I love the color of paint you used too!

  26. ann @ my life as prose. says

    what a great idea! i love it!! :) where did you come up with the idea??

    i also think that it really makes the white chandelier pop against the ceiling :)

  27. Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming says

    Wow Stacey – This looks amazing. I would have never thought to add a colored stencil to the ceiling like this – fabulous job! Hope you have a wonderful weekend ~ Stephanie lynn

  28. Jenni says

    OH.MY.GOODNESS! Wow! This is amazing. Absolutely gorgeous! (Not to mention so creative and original!)

    I need one of those shower caps! I'm always getting paint in my hair, and it is so, so hard to get it out!

    I hope you have a great weekend!

    belle & sparrow @ {beautiful nest}

  29. Samantha2818 says

    This looks fantastic. I would never have thought of stencilling a ceiling but it looks great. Love the colour too.

  30. Stephanie says

    Now this is truly a labor of love of stencils. My daughter and I painted a ceiling before, it was hard work just with plain old white paint, can't even imagine stenciling. Yeah and we ruined our caps that we wore, wish I would of thought of that stylin shower cap. A M A Z I N G !!!

  31. mary says

    this is awesome and would solve my problem
    i live in an older mobile home and the bedroom ceiling is less than lovely!
    thanks for the inspiration!

  32. The DIY Show Off says

    Wow, Liza – I never ever would have thought to stencil the ceiling but it looks so pretty! You did a fantastic job (and survived! lol) I love how it looks in your pretty room!


  33. [email protected] says

    I'm totally jealous! That looks fabulous! I want a stenciled ceiling now!!!! The chandelier makeover is fabulous too. Love how you added the beads. I'm featuring this tonight at

  34. Chelle says

    So, is your ceiling textured at all? I want something fun on my celing but I don't know how I'd go about doing it on a textured ceiling?!
    Yours looks great! Love the idea!!!

  35. Chari at Happy To Design says

    Hi Stacey…

    Ohhh my gosh…your stenciled ceiling is just the most awesome thing that I've ever seen! Of course, a beautiful damask is one of my all time favorite patterns and I love the pretty olive green color…also one of my favorites! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home and the great tutorial with us…this was such a treat!

    Warmest winter wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  36. freckled laundry says

    I ADORE the way your ceiling turned out! It's FABULOUS! I chose the Anna stencil too and I LOVE it but only used it in a small hallway nook. I'm dying to use it somewhere else. So pretty.

  37. Lisa says

    Gorgeous – add such an interesting detail to your house! Love it and thanks for being honest about how easy it is to do with kids underfoot…..easy but time consuming is okay with me!

  38. Mandy Lou says

    It looks awesome! well done! How is your neck?? I have stenciled a bedroom (walls!) with a large stencil, it is still very time consuming but the end results are cool. HOTEL SHOWER CAPS!!!!! A friend of mine uses them to cover plates of food (cookies) etc. Isn't that a great idea? and they are washable and reusable too!

  39. Elisa says

    I LOVE this ceiling!!!!! Do any of you crafty ladies happen to know if you can scrape a popcorn ceiling and get a smooth enough finish to do this? I would actually be willing to go the the work for this.

  40. Its So Very Cheri says

    Check out our TOP 10 Post and b e sure to check out EXCITING CHANGES at THE DIY CLUB post as well–REALLY EXCITING!!


  41. freckled laundry says

    Congratulations on making the Top 10 at the DIY Club. I love this project. It's so beautiful and unique…haven't seen it in blogville before. Fingers crossed for you! You're among some other really amazing talent this month. Following you now. :)

  42. Kira =] says

    Shower Cap- ingenious! and thank you for putting realistically how long it will take to finish with children. I've seen some others and they didn't say how often the kids interrupted them and I think I can't do it while I still have young children. Thank you for the hope! Now to go pick one out! =]

  43. Jane @ Jane's Junk and Treasures says

    How on earth……….that turned out so nice!
    How do have the patience?? There is no way I could that!
    Will you come do my bedroom?? Pleeeeaaase!!

  44. Holly says

    This might be one of my favorite projects of the year and it is still January! So beautiful. Congrats on making it to the DIY Club top 10!

  45. Colleen @ MuralMaker&More says

    Thanks so much for sharing your amazing ceiling on Passion for Paint! I hope you’ll drop by this weekend or join the party again soon.
    Enjoy the rest of your week!

  46. allenaim photography and design says

    LOVE this! Could NEVER do it though…not because it is bold, just because painting on the ceiling is so HARD! I am so impressed, so so impressed…

    you've got me wanting one of those stencils…like BAD>…

  47. Robin {keephomesimple} says

    I couldn't find your email anywhere to ask you, but I was wondering if I could have your permission to use a picture of your stenciled ceiling and a link to your blog. This weekend I wanted to feauture a few budget friendly home ideas to share on my blog and I'm in love with your ceiling! My email is: [email protected]

  48. mom of fab five says

    SERIOUSLY SO FREAKING COOL!!! I am glad to see that i am not the only weird person who has gone above and beyond with treating their ceiling. I have hung embossed wallpaper on mine–everything but my bathrooms due to the humidity–but i know what i am going to do now! LOVE IT!!! thanks for sharing

  49. Christine B says

    I totally admire you for doing this 1. because it is on a ceiling and after while I would think your neck would hurt and 2. because you are a mom of four kids! Go you!

  50. Gina @ Temporary Nest says

    holy mind blowing!! You have patience of STEEL! Hats off to you my dear, you really are amazing. Great job!

  51. Kate says

    SWOON! This is something you would see in a high end design catalog… or better. LOVE IT! If we weren't renting right now I would buy a stencil and get to work asap. Great job. Would it have been easier/faster if you had a few stencils to work with? Or is it too hard to line up the arrows like that?

  52. Anonymous says

    Complete awesomeness! I am totally impressed. I don't know if I would have been as brave as you; but, I think I would like to try in a smaller area.

  53. Steph @ somewhatsimple says

    I love this! I am going to feature it on this Friday! Thanks for linking up! Your site is darling!

  54. Moore Creatures says

    I am SO impressed!!! That is awesome! I definitely want to do that too as soon as my husband and I get our own house (wishing and hoping and thinking and praying, planning and dreaming…)

  55. Nancy says

    Another question, because I reallly want to do this, How much texture does your ceiling have? Is it perfectly smooth? Mine's not a popcorn ceiling, but it does have a blown texture to it.

  56. {twenty}something says

    I am DIYing (haha) to stencil something… either a wall or furniture or curtains or… I guess now…. a ceiling!!! Love it. Love it. Love it!!! Thanks for sharing!

  57. Debbie in Nashville says

    Oh, I love this! It turned out so beautiful! How am I living with just white ceilings? Now I want to try this…

  58. Heather says

    Wow that is amazing! Did you have a neck cramp after? I dislike painting ceilings so I have a lot of respect for ya being able to do that.

  59. Jen-CraftOManiac says

    NEVERMIND- FOUND it! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! Damask is my all time fav. pattern. I want to do it on one of my walls, but can't because I rent and it kills me, to not be able to express myself through more home decor/art. Your neck must of been killing too. lol. GREAT JOB! winks-jen

  60. Sue says

    I wish I had just a teeny bit of your drive! And you did it with four children under foot! I'll just call you Mrs. Michelangelo:) GORGEOUS!

  61. Inspire Me Heather says

    I just had to link this to my ceilings project post – totally beautiful, you did an amazing job!!!

  62. Julie says

    I don’t normally post on blogs, but I have to say thanks for sharing and awesome job. The ceiling with that chandelier looks simply beautiful. Great job!

  63. Jackie C says

    I absolutely LOVE this ceiling! I want to do it so bad, but I have the dreaded popcorn ceilings. Really looks fabulous!

  64. Kim says

    So many comments on your ceiling! It is BEAUTIFUL! I just saw it on the last page of the August, 2011, Better Homes and Gardens. I had never been to your blog, and I love it. I have stenciled ALOT, but never a ceiling. I, too, had children all over when I did most of my stenciling. Definitly worth it, and I am going to think about doing this, too.

  65. Brandy says

    I just wanted to thank you for your post, and thank you for the spread in Better Homes & Gardens. Due to that article, I did the same stencil in my hallway, and have received rave reviews! You gave me the confidence to try something new, and I was so proud of the results. I have a nice chic feminine touch to my hallway that even my husband enjoyed! I have told countless people about your site now. Thanks again for an easy “summer project.” I really should have called it “weekly project” because it was so easy!!!

  66. Jeanine says

    Hi Liza I’m the visitor from Perth, Western Australia who just viewed your stencilled ceiling! It looks great! Have you ever wallpapered a ceiling? Not as time consuming but has its own challenges.Am inspired to try what you’ve done!

  67. [email protected] says

    Stacey, hi!
    Love what you’ve done on the ceiling! Amazing! Hard job right? I’m a new blogger and I just found your blog. I also joined in at Tuesday’s link party. I’d like to feature your post in my blog since I found it really interesting with a link back to you ofcourse! Is it ok with you? I’d love to hear from you soon!
    Love, Olga

  68. Kristel says

    Oh my lordy, how on earth do you not have neck pain? I did just ONE wall, took my about 7 hours, and I felt like dying after. You are the stencil queen in my book!!! Your ceiling is stunning!

  69. Erin @ His & Hers says

    Wow! My neck hurts just thinking about it. But your “after” is gorgeous. (So is the shower cap.) ;) I’m with ya on the white ceiling–too bad they aren’t as easy to paint as the walls! :)

  70. Susan Lazenby says

    Thank you do much for the inspiration, great directions, really nice photos (true) I can’t wait to check-out the website and get started. Perfect for my cottage house. I love you!

  71. FF says

    Believe it or not your blog was just read in Pakistan. I’m working here at present but I just woke up to the idea today of doing exactly this kind of ceiling work to my apartment in Chicago when I get back this summer and a google search later I found this fantastic post. I did a bunch of ceiling work in college in my fraternity and am looking forward to this project already.

    Your ceiling looks gorgeous, like a serious professional job.

    Thanks for sharing.

  72. says

    Absolutely LOVE this. And your blog. And your projects. And your sense of style. Oh, and the shower cap. :) Featured this on my blog this morning.

  73. Vicky says

    Thanks for the inspiration! I stenciled my ceiling in this pattern as well in grey. 2 weekends and 10 weeknights later and it’s all worth it!

  74. Diane Oliveras says

    My question is how did you do the edges? I started doing all of this to my bathroom ceiling but i have not finished the edges of the walls because the stencil paper bends & thepaint goes all over…

  75. Angela Wells says

    I voted for you on Shaw Floors. Saw your picture of your bedroom and thought it was just beautiful. I haven’t read your post yet of how you did it but I’m sure it was hard work.

  76. Lisa E says

    Hi. I have three individual trays in my living room in which I will be doing this, if I ever get around to it. I’ve had the stencil for almost a year already! Anyway, unfortunately I have textured walls. Is your ceiling textured? I’m thinking that’s definitely going to provide some challenges.

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  78. Lark says

    I think the idea of a pained ceiling is beautiful… one question- what spray adhesive did you use? I am actually thinking of doing this in our dining room and want to make sure we follow your instructions exactly.

  79. Kathy says

    I feel like I am commenting way too often, but I have to. You are a goddess no joke. I do not know how you do it all and still come up with fresh ideas even though this one is two years old. You always come up with the freshest ideas. I don’t know how you dream up all the cool ideas you have. You just keep getting better and better like a fine wine. Please continue to inspire us, don’t even think about retiring any time soon. Bless you and yours and keep growing and blessing us with the fall out of your blessings. Thank you for all you do.


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