Thinking About Ornate, Tin Ceilings?

A close-up of some ornate, tin ceiling tiles.

Think About the Design of Your Ceiling Panels and Whether They Will Suit the Measurements of Your Room

With a little forethought, you can create a “tin” ceiling with serious “wow factor.” You'll love the amazed expression on your guests’ faces when they see your new ceiling for the first time. To get to that point, though, you need to spend a little time thinking about how the ceiling panels will fit your particular room.

For instance, if the pattern you have chosen measures 2′×2′, will you need to trim all the outside panels in order for them to fit the dimensions of your room? If so, you need to re-think your plans. You have two choices: go with a small, “all-over” style, which will look perfectly fine if trimmed to fit the room, or use a border panel around the outside of your room and have the larger designs in the center of the ceiling.

Most of the larger designs require a border or filler strip around the edge; otherwise, they don't look so elegant when installed. Border or filler panels usually have a small pattern on them, which complements the main panels in the center of the ceiling.

If you require a border around your main panels, it's worth consulting an expert to find out how wide the border should be. It is easy to upset the balance of your ceiling by having a border that is too wide or, conversely, too narrow.Do You Need Crown Cornice Molding?

Do You Need Crown Cornice Molding?

There is a delightful range of crown cornice moldings made from aluminum. These come in a variety of sizes to suit various ceiling heights, and there are now various accessories to suit the individual cornices. These accessories are very handy, as they hide the mitered edges, which can sometimes be a little rough for those DIY handymen who have little experience in mitering. An alternative to metal crown cornices is timber moldings. Plaster cornices should not be used with metal ceilings.

Can You Fix Your Tin Ceiling Yourself?

The easiest way to install pressed tin is to first affix building ply onto the old ceiling or walls and then nail the tin to the ply. Timber battens can be used, but building ply makes the job much easier. Remove any existing cornices before adding the ply. Most reputable ceiling suppliers will offer detailed fitting instructions, and most metal ceilings are fitted by DIYers.

Use tack nails until you are satisfied that you have everything in its final position. They are quite long, so don't nail them in all the way. That way, they'll be easier to remove later. When you are satisfied that everything is in the right spot, remove the tacking nails and finish the job off with the type of nails used in the manufacturer's fitting instructions.

With a little forethought, you can create a “tin” ceiling with serious “wow fact

Here's How to Paint Your Panels

Painting an ornate, aluminum ceiling in fine detail is easy because most aluminum paneling is sold with etch primer already on it, so it is immediately ready to paint. You can use one color over the whole ceiling, add just a touch of color on the moldings, or paint every detail in various shades of paint.

Pale shades are generally superior to dark ones in this setting. Dark colors can be appealing in theory, but in practice they often give a heavy, oppressive feel to a room. As for the type of paint to use, oil-based paints are recommended. If after you're done the nails are still visible, you can dab each one with a little paint.