How to Paint Plastic Ceiling Tiles

Lead Image
  • 4-20 hours
  • Beginner
  • 100-250
What You'll Need
Spray paint
Acrylic paint

Plastic ceiling tiles are not only user friendly; they can be decorative too. Though they come in many colors, patterns, and styles to start out with, you can make them unique by painting them yourself. Follow these steps.

Clean the Tile

To begin, clean each tile with a solution of soap and water. Remove any stickers or other pieces that would obstruct the paint.

Apply the Base

With spray paint, it's easy to cover the entire surface of the tile evenly. If you're going to make decorative patterns on the tiles, you'll need a thicker base, so apply two coats of spray paint.

Add Designs

Draw motifs on your tiles using acrylic paint. To do so with the least amount of smudging, stencil the design on first to give yourself a pattern to follow.

If you have a large ceiling to cover and the requisite artistic skill, you can create a design that extends over multiple tiles. If you are doing up a child's room, you could create a starry sky.


Once the paint dries, apply a varnish. It will not only make the tiles glossy, but also prevent the paint from fading.

Put the Tiles Back

One final note, as you take each tile down to paint it, put on a number on the back. Otherwise, you could end up with a ceiling's worth of beautifully-painted tiles but no clue where they're supposed to go.