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April 19

How to paint a star ceiling. Simple tips for anyone…

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beautiful night sky

How sweet is this view?

Go on… tell me you wouldn’t just love to drift off to sleep under a scene like this on a nightly basis.

Sleeping under the stars can certainly be awe-inspiring, romantic, or an amazingly peaceful and relaxing experience… but annoying things can also get in the way too. Things like the distance you’d need to travel to get to that perfect location, timing it just right so a bright moon doesn’t rain down loads of light into an otherwise perfect night sky, then there’s rain, cold and so many kinds of insects, both flying and crawling, that can definitely put a damper on the experience.

But, fret not… there’s a way that you can enjoy a beautiful star-filled night sky, every night if you’d like, and avoid all the hassle of dealing with the elements, travel, and bugs. How? Simply, re-create that experience by transforming your bedroom ceiling into your own remote night sky, or planetarium.

There are a few ways that you can go about creating that look and feel, and with the right “stuff” in hand… it may actually be easier than you think — and you don’t have to be an artist to pull off the look.

All the options below will cover a night sky that will be viewed in the dark. If you want something that will be visible in the light, then I’m sure there are articles out there that will cover that.

OK, let’s jump right in.

Sticker Stars

This wouldn’t be my first choice, but it is easy, inexpensive, and it’s been wowing kids for years… so we know it’s a solid option. Even adults tell me how they grew up with the sticker stars on their ceiling, and loved them. So, there’s a great, inexpensive option. Just grab a bag and start sticking them up. You can’t really go wrong with these. If you have too many in one spot, then remove some. Not enough in another area… then add more. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Painted Stars (Professional, Stencil or freehand options)

Professional Option

Night Sky Murals

There are others out there (much less expensive) if you want to do a search

This option is the most expensive option, but you’ll usually get the most realistic recreation of the night sky, depending on if you do your due diligence in finding the right painter. With this option, hopefully, your painter has already painted a few hundred murals and they will come in and paint a beautiful mural for you in anywhere from a few hours to a full day (a lot depends on their experience, their techniques, and the ceiling size).

With a pro painting your mural, there’ll be no need for Ibuprofen for your neck and upper body pain, and it’ll be done fairly quickly. The downside of a “pro” painting your mural is that you could get someone that isn’t much more experienced than you are. It is the more expensive of all the options (prices range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars per ceiling), and you’ll have to wait until they can fit you into their schedule. Plus, you don’t get the satisfaction of saying that “you” did it.

DIY Stencil Option

No matter how much sense it makes to just hire a professional night sky mural painter, there always seems to be those who are just die-hard DIY’ers or others who want to go that route to save some money. Not a problem!

Painting your own night sky mural has become much easier over the past few years. In the past, you’d run to the hardware store, grab a few small paintbrushes and have at it. Then, the next day you’d usually be repainting the ceiling to cover up the horrible “star ceiling” (if that’s what you wanted to call it)… and you’d be down buying those plastic sticker stars to put up instead.

Luckily, today there are options that range from fairly basic to as nice as a professional would paint… all in a stencil.

  • Ursa Major stencil

(See the Ursa Major Stencils here)

If you will do a quick search on the Internet, you can easily find a stencil kit from Ursa Major called the Night Sky Star Stencil. They sell the kits on their website, plus other stores offer this kit as well. Here is a link to the Ursa Major site:

Let me state that there are a handful of different stencil kits on the Internet, but for a good, basic stencil that will give you a good star ceiling for the money, then the Ursa Major kit is probably the best value for the money, if you want something easy to use and that doesn’t cost very much money.

OK, so that covered the basic stencil kits. Now let me tell you about a kit that is more expensive, but will give you a night sky mural on your ceiling that will be as good as most “professional” star mural painters will give you… many times even better than you will get.

  • Night Sky Stencils

(See the Night Sky Stencils Kits here)

The Night Sky Stencil kit came about after years of listening to customers ask for an alternative to the pricey professional painted options. After 10 years in the works, Jeff Stewart, owner of Night Sky Murals finally said… “It is ready!”

The Night Sky Stencil Kit was not designed to be like other cute stencil kits that were available… that would give you a star ceiling that was only slightly better than sticker stars. It was designed to help the customer paint a mural that rivaled most “professional” star ceiling painters and do it at a fraction of the cost.

So, if you are feeling adventurous and want to spend a day or two on a ladder… then give this kit a try. Though it will give you a beautiful star ceiling, it really is pretty simple to use.

OK, those are two options for the DIY’er. This next one is riskier, and will actually take some talent.

Freehand Painting Option

If you just have to do things your own way and don’t want any help from anyone… then this might be your option. One question first… Why? Why would you grab some glow paint, a brush and then try this on your own? Sure, it looks fairly easy to do, but to get a nice looking star mural on your ceiling, it actually does take a little talent. But, if you feel like you just must go it alone… then at least take a look at this video where I give you a few pointers on tools and other things that you might appreciate. Here you go…  Tips on How To Paint A Star Mural (Video)

OK, so take a look at that video and then order some good paint online. In case the mural turns out really nice and you don’t want to paint over it, then you’ll want to make sure that you used some really good paint. Here are a couple of places to get good quality paint:

Glow Inc – (High-quality glow paint)

Night Sky Murals – (I’ll sell you the same paint that I use)

One tip: Go online to find some constellations that you recognize and print them off. Don’t worry about trying to paint a night sky that is specific for a certain date in time… nobody will care and nobody will recognize the majority of the constellations. So, pick out 4-6 constellations that you want in your mural and paint those.

Now, since the video that I linked to goes into some tips for Free handing the mural, I won’t go into too much more here. I will suggest, however, that no matter which option you decide to go for, make sure that you cover everything below the ceiling that you don’t want to get glow paint on. No matter how careful you are when you paint, accidents happen and some stars that you are painting will become shooting stars and fall onto furniture or carpet.

Adding a moon into your mural

The star ceiling alone is so worth whatever you had to do to get one… but if you want to add a little something into the mural that won’t make it look too cartoonish, then a small moon is a good addition.

Let me, right up front, give you a little advice… DON’T PAINT A FULL MOON! You will regret it. Just trust me on this… paint a crescent moon into the mural, if you even want a moon, and paint it no larger than a DVD disc. In fact, use an old DVD and put a little paint along the edge of half the DVD… and call it good. Seriously, don’t overdo this. Oh, and be sure to do the moon first so you have a spot where no stars are painted yet (you don’t want the dark part of the moon to have stars in it).

Review (for adding a moon):

  •      Before getting into painting any stars, decide where you want your moon to go.
  •      Stick up an old DVD.
  •      Paint half of the DVD (I always paint the right half, for some reason).
  •      Don’t add stars into where the dark part of the moon will be.

Fiber optic Star Ceiling

OK, so there is another option that has nothing to do with painting or putting up sticker stars… but it involves drilling holes and running wires to make a Fiber optic star ceiling. If this is something you want to look into, then here is an article that goes into the pros and cons of a painted versus fiber optic star ceiling. (See the Painted Star Mural vs Fiber optics HERE)

Hopefully, something in here will get you motivated to get a star ceiling on one or more of your ceilings. That’s my hope, no matter which option you choose to go with. There really is nothing like sleeping, or just relaxing under a beautiful night sky, and while a real night sky is THE ultimate rush… it isn’t the only option these days for a night sky to drift off to sleep under, or to just turn on some mellow tunes and relax under.

If I missed something in this little article, please shoot me an email and ask, or offer suggestions.

Good Luck!

Jeff Stewart

Night Sky Murals


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