What do I do with two ceiling-tiled ceilings?

painterladyAugust 27, 2009

I know what I'd like to do in my living and dining room but the expense and coping with the disruption is more than I can do just now.

Is there anything I can do that would cover it up? Is there such a thing as really thin drywall or another product that wouldn't be so heavy and could butt against the molding? I'm pretty sure texture paint wouldn't be enought to cover all those seams.

The ceiling in kitchen is drywall but not too great. Would texture paint work? How do you clean it especially in the kitchen?

The description of this forum says 'where everything that can't be fixed, adds character!' NOT my house but if anyone has suggestions, I'd be so grateful.

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You don't say how much disruption or mess you would tolerate to fix it, nor how much work you want to put into it, but there are all kinds of things you could do. Drywall does come in 1/4 inch. Perhaps someone else can comment on whether or not that would be OK for a ceiling, and how much effort it would be to install. You can get textured or raised patterned wallpaper and paper over the ceiling. Some of it is thick and even intended for paint. You could also cover the ceiling with fabric (several years back, covering walls with fabric was the rage). You could try to fill in the seams between the ceiling tiles with joint compound, but I'm not sure whether or not it would stay up or crack or what - might be worth a try though - then you could texture and paint it.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 3:43PM
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Getting the professionals here would call for removing furniture and I just don't have the space--total upset in otherwords. I am interested in your suggestion to fill the seams with joint compound. I could do that in small batches and then go on to texture the ceiling. I hope others might give me their opinions and suggestions.

The sad thing is that the ceilings underneath were perfectly good. The previous owner thought ceiling tiles applied in different patterns was an attractive touch!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 5:01PM
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I had two issues in my house and I have done the following...

I did foam board in a hallway because it is going to be torn out in a year or two. I put a thin coat of joint compound on it and painted. I nailed the foam board up like you would dry wall. Found the foamboard at the dollar store.

I mixed a gallon of dark brown paint to joint compound and got a brush from the dollar store and burshed it on in a swril design like the walls. My walls were a light tan and mixing the dark paint in the white JC made it a light tan ceiling.

Both of these fixes were done last March so it has been a year and a half and everything still looks good.

The ceiling in the kitchen I do not understand what your question about "cleaning". I used ceiling paint then painted the color I wanted. They sell paint now that has both the undercoat and paint in one. So you do not have to do two steps. I have not tried it so I cannot say for sure it will work if there is a lot of oil and dirt.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 6:15PM
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Marquest, is the foam board the same as foam core that comes in 20" x 30" sheets? I like the idea and wonder if the box store has large sheets of a similar product. I'm happy to hear the JC stayed in place and didn't flake or something.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2009 at 11:17AM
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Yep that is the stuff Foam Core stuff. I do not know if the big box stores have larger sheets. I used the small pieces from the dollar store because it was just a little hall coming from the mudroom.

The plumber was coming back to add a bath in the area and is going to tear out the ceiling anyway so I wanted cheap, temp and easy until I do the phase II remodel.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2009 at 4:30PM
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you really shouldn't use foam board.
not only is it flamable, but as it burns it releases
a toxic gas.
most building codes dictate a flame spread material over foam board for this reason.
also in some climates (like mine..hot humid)
vapor barrier is to exterior, as houses here dry to
the inside. non breathable materials..vinyl wall paper
enamel paints can stop this difussion of moisture
and promote mold growth.
be careful ladies!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2009 at 11:36PM
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Thank you all for your input, especially the fire hazard warning. I think the JC in the seams is probably best. Now I wonder if it will stick as I've painted the ceilings in the past.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2009 at 11:05AM
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Old House Journal had an article in it recently about prepping walls for wallpaper, which recommended putting a wall liner on first. I think this would also work for your situation. This goes on like wallpaper, and bridges all the little holes and bumps. I assume you can paint over it as well. Worth a try!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 9:50PM
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Having dealt with a couple of rooms with ceiling tiles, my suggestion is to pull them down before you attempt any repairs. As you mention, the ceiling underneath is OK so pulling them down may minimize your work and allow you to do the work in phases minimizing the impact to your home.

In my case I put up with ugly ceiling tiles for years until one wine induced evening I pulled a tile down just to "see what was under them" and discovered a tongue and groove bead board ceiling.

I don't know how the tiles were attached in your situation so the suggestion my be moot if pulling them down will create more issues. Mine were just attached with staples.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 11:41AM
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