The Secret to Painting Tall Walls

Hello!  I hope you all had a great week!  I have my friend, Cindy, here with me today to talk about how to paint extra tall walls!

Cindy works as a part-time handy-woman and she is goooood!  In fact I hired her to help me paint my 2 story entryway a couple of months ago.

I held the ladder and helped move it around etc. while she was the brave one who climbed the ladder.  Here is a bad phone photo of Cindy helping me paint my 2 story entryway.

How to paint a 2 story space


Since helping me paint my foyer she has gone on to paint two other 2 story spaces. We worked together to create this tutorial for you on how to paint 2 story (or super tall) walls like a pro!

Take it away, Cindy!


Everyone loves a beautiful home with tall ceilings and lots of light, but when it comes time for a new paint color those tall ceilings can pose a problem. Most people end up hiring an expensive painter to tackle the very tallest rooms.

I’m here to tell you that as long as you don’t have a debilitating fear of heights painting a two story house can be a DIY project easily tackled! With the right tools and extra time allotted for higher walls you will be set for success!


Supplies Needed to Paint a Two Story Wall:
-Tall ladder that will reach to the height you need to paint to (a 26 ft. ladder has worked best for all of my jobs).  Plus a smaller ladder for all the lower just out of reach spots.
12 foot painting pole that easily adjusts  (aka the “The Secret Weapon”)
Cup for paint
-Paint brush ( My favorite brush for this is the Wooster Short Cut)
Drop cloth
-Paint pan and roller that will attach to paint pole
-Caulk for filling in holes and gaps
-A great friend to help you not die if you fall off your ladder  hold the ladder

(affiliate links used for your convenience)


Supplies for Painting a Two Story Room



Steps to Painting a Two Story Wall:

1. First, I used paintable DAP caulk (20 min dry time) to fill any nail holes or problem areas.

2. The area below the chair rail was dark brown so I used a primer since I would be painting it white.  The primer helps from the darker color showing through.

Primer for painting a dark room


3. Start by cutting in a nice straight line around all doors, windows, trim, and then the very top where the wall meets the ceiling (the scariest part).  Cutting in is done with a 2 1/2 inch angles brush. This video gives a very thorough explanation/demonstration of how to cut in.

How to Cut in when painting a room

How to paint a 2 story wall


Plan your ladder placement well so you can make as few trips up and down the ladder as possible.

Depending on the size of the room it can take quite a few hours to trek up and down the ladder with your paint brush and cup so be sure to get a nice coat on the first time so you don’t have much touch up to worry about later.

4.  Next comes the fun part!  Attach the roller to the 12ft. paint pole  (it twists on).  Starting from the highest points work your way down, rolling the rest of the wall all of the way to the bottom.   

Why do I say this is the best part?  After the tedious process of cutting in I love watching a wall get filled up quickly with paint (and it’s not every day you get to dance paint with a 12ft. pole).:-)  

5. After it all dries begin again with a second coat.  Sometimes I will do the entire first and second coat of cutting in before starting to the roll. The benefit of doing this is that you can put away the ladders and just do the wall painting with no obstructions.  

6.  Touch up the trim if needed and just like that you conquered a two story paint job!!

With the right tools, a trusted friend, and confidence you will be painting 2 story walls like a pro but without the expensive price tag!


Thank you, Cindy!

And here are some before and after photos of one of her recent jobs!:-)

Before Painting a Two story stairway

How to Paint a Two Story Entry copy

Before Painting Two Story Entry


How to paint a two story foyer

She did a beautiful, professional job wouldn’t you say!?

I hope you found this tutorial helpful!  Even if you don’t have any tall ceilings now,  you never know what the future holds.  Feel free to pin for later!

I’m excited to say I’ll be back next week to share my friend, Lolly’s , Master Bedroom Makeover Reveal!:-)  Have a good one and as always thank you so much for being here!:-)


Follow Provident Home Design! Subscribe to get the latest content sent to you via email.

* indicates required

The Secret to Painting Tall Walls

I Love Hearing from You!

  1. Hi Cindy! I like seeing all my friends via Tamara’s fabulous blog but it makes me miss you so! I’ve never been brave enough to cut in without tape. Maybe I just need a proper brush!

  2. Hey Wendy, I was just thinking I should call you and catch up on all your new projects. Go with the Wooster short cut it will have you cutting in like a pro in no time. Miss you too.

  3. How would you recommend painting the high spots over the staircase? I don’t have a good place to put my ladder to reach those spaces 🙁

    • Hi page, on this house I used a little giant ladder that will step up with the stairs. Stairs can be tricky. Sometimes I go from the top landing and work as far as my arms will reach to get the very tallest stair spots.