Painting a room in your house is always a hassle. Yet redoing the walls is child’s play compared to painting the ceiling. Those that have painted a ceiling before know that it most often ends in painful misery. But a sore neck and shoulders is the least of your worries when you’re up on a ladder painting with your neck craned upwards. One small mistake and you risk serious injury.

So how do you paint a ceiling without breaking your neck? We’ll show you some of the absolute best pointers below. Better yet, these pointers will not only keep you safe but they will also keep from your neck and shoulders from feeling like a burning pit of agony when you are finished.

1. Use a Tall Ladder

A step stool is a great tool for painting walls. Not so for painting a ceiling. When you are painting your ceiling, you want to make sure you have a tall ladder. Make sure it is tall enough that you can rest your paint tray in the tray holder rather than trying to hold onto it.

2. Relax Your Shoulders

Perhaps the most important step in painting a ceiling is keeping your shoulders relaxed. This will help big time as far as post-painting soreness goes. Shrugging and tensing the tops of the shoulders is natural so this step will take some conscious effort on your part. Focus on keeping your shoulders relaxed by bringing them down and away from your ears during the painting process. If you feel your shoulders burning, bring them down and let gravity hold them there.

3. No Overstretching

Overstretching doesn’t have many negative consequences when it comes to painting your home’s walls. The ceiling, however, is a different story altogether. Never overstretch your paint strokes while painting the ceiling. Paint only the area you can comfortably reach (without straining your shoulders!) and then move your ladder to painting the next spot.

4. Take Frequent Breaks

Painting is not very fun at all. In fact, if you’re like me, you hate it. It is time consuming and tedious. And that’s painting the walls. Painting the ceiling is even worse. It can be all too easy to rush through the process just to get it done as quickly as possible. But to stay safe and to reduce strain on your shoulders, it is necessary to take frequent breaks. You don’t have to take long breaks, just one minute after every fifteen or so minutes of painting. Get off the ladder and stretch your shoulders and back. Do some neck rolls.

5. Use a Painting Buddy

You should never attempt to paint the ceiling of your home alone. It is a project that always requires a painting buddy. You can do this a couple different ways. Your buddy can also set up a ladder and help you paint (it’s faster this way!). Or they can be a spotter of sorts. They can help keep the ladder steady, make sure you are well balanced, and fetch you glasses of water. If an accident does occur, then you’ll be glad that someone is there to help.