Ceilings are often overlooked when planning a redecorating project. Though not considered a focal point by most, a ceiling can be redone so that it draws attention and adds to the other decor in the room. Whether adding texture, color or design, there are several options for redoing a ceiling.
Think outside the box and resist the urge to simply use a basic white ceiling paint. Adding color to the ceiling can change the feel of the entire room. A room with a high ceiling, like a living room or formal dining room, can be warmed up with a darker color. If the room is small with a standard-height ceiling, give it a visually larger feeling by applying a lighter color. Choose colors that coordinate with walls and floors. If the ceiling has damage, such as cracks, repair them prior to painting. If a kitchen ceiling has accumulated cooking grease, prepare it by cleaning with a strong solution. In rooms with high moisture content, like bathrooms, start with a primer that prevents mold and mildew.
Applying wallpaper to a ceiling opens up lots of possibilities for looks that are formal, cozy or whimsical. Choose bright, bold patterns for an oversize room and coordinate with painted walls. For smaller rooms, use a tight or delicate pattern and keep the walls a light color for an open feel. Wallpaper offers versatile decorating options for ceilings that are slanted or shaped in irregular patterns. Wallpaper should only be applied to ceilings that are smooth. If they are textured, sand them down to a smooth surface for easier application.
Pressed-tin panels are patterned metal sheets that are affixed to the ceiling. These work best when used in older homes or lofted spaces with high ceilings. Panels typically come in 2-by-4 sheets and are attached to furring strips. For a more dramatic effect, apply paint or polyurethane to panels. Sound has a tendency to bounce off pressed-tin panels, so do not use them in a room that depends on good acoustics, though rugs and drapes in the room will help to absorb the sound. You can also purchase wallpaper tiles that imitate pressed-tin and can be painted after hanging.
Adding wood to a ceiling creates a warm effect, adds insulation and helps absorb noise. Panel the ceiling with plywood or solid-wood tongue-and-groove boards. Mineral fiber planks that imitate wood are also an option. Covering the entire ceiling in wood will create a New England cottage look. To achieve a mountain cabin look, attach natural wooden posts and beams to the ceiling. For the budget-conscious decorator, faux beams made of foam can be hung and painted or stained.
If you prefer to keep the ceiling white but want something a little different, add texture. Popcorn texturing can be sprayed onto a ceiling, or brushed on by adding dry granules to latex paint. Another texturing option can be achieved by using thinned drywall compound. While the compound is still wet, use a trowel or stomp brush to create patterns. The ceiling is painted after the texturing is fully dry.
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