Tips for Painting Acoustic Asbestos Ceilings

Asbestos material is quite popular; especially in the 1960s which mostly contractors apply it by spraying it on. If you are a contractor, you should also know if asbestos texture is crumbling or coming off, painting it may only add weight and make it fall off faster. So, it may be easier and safer to enclose it with a coat of new paint. Due to a highly textured ceiling, spraying new paint with airless spray gun will be helpful.

Use screwdriver to remove all stuffs that sticks in ceiling, such as ceiling light. Wear a full respirator with interchangeable filters. Remember not to disturb the material as long as the asbestos is on the ceiling, since it can crumble into fine filaments. Inhaling these filaments is dangerous.

  1. Use a roll-out plastic drop cloth to tape off the top edge of adjacent walls with the type of painter’s tape.
  2. Before adding it to the reservoir of an airless paint sprayer, you need to strain stain-blocking primer through a paint sprayer, available for rent at construction rental stores.
  3. Apply a light coat of the primer to spray the entire ceiling, remember to keep a minimum distance of 12 inches away from the ceiling with side-to-side strokes. Don’t forget to wear the respirator and splatter-proof googles.
  4. Figure out, if there is any dry primer coat for areas that you may have missed, the missed area may appear as stains bleeding through. To cover these miss areas, you should apply another thin coat of primer.
  5. Let the primer dry completely. Fill the reservoir of the sprayer with ceiling paint that you have strained as you did the primer. To deliver a fine mist, you need to adjust the nozzle. Spray the entire ceiling and let it dry.
  6. Apply one or more light coats of paint to the ceiling, letting each coat dry completely before adding the next one.
  7. You may need to apply more than one light coats to the ceiling, so you need to wait each coat dry completely before adding the next one.
  8. Strip off the painter’s tape and reinstall the light fixtures.


  • Before painting over an asbestos ceiling, you should contact your local building authority. In fact, the authority may require an additional coat of a shellac-based solution.


  • Remember to consult your certified asbestos abatement contractor, if you are unsure about the stability of the asbestos on your ceiling or the possibility of asbestos in it.
  • Let each coat of primer or paint dry completely before adding another. In fact, the dampness which could encourage the bits of texture to fall will add weight to the textured ceiling.

Please, do not paint the ceiling if the asbestos is crumbling until a professional removes the texture.


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