Thinking About an Ornate Tin Ceiling?

by Jean Morrison of Heritage Ceilings


There are endless varieties of patterns and ways in which to paint tin ceiling panels.  Every ceiling can create the "Wow Factor"! Maybe you should use aluminum instead of tin. An aluminum alloy has now been created to especially suit these beautiful art metal ceilings. Aluminum is a corrosion resistant, durable product which doesn't rust, unlike steel which is used by some manufactures of pressed tin.

The panels are still widely known as pressed tin even though they are not made from tin. Think about the design in your tin ceiling panels and whether they will suit the measurements of your room. With a little forethought you can create a tin ceiling that exudes the "Wow Factor".  The "Wow Factor" is the reaction you will receive when your visitors look at your new tin ceiling for the first time. To get that factor you need to spend a little time thinking about how the tin ceiling panels will fit your particular room.  If the repeat pattern you have chosen measures two feet by two feet, will you need to trim all the outside panels in order for them to fit the dimensions of your room?


Choosing Tin Ceiling Panels

tin ceiling panels

If this would be the case then you need to re-think your plans.  You have two choices: choose a small all-over style which will look perfectly fine if trimmed to fit the room or you can use a border panel around the outside of your room and have the larger designs in the centre 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 most usually have a small pattern on them which complements the larger main panels in the centre of the ceiling. If you require a border around your main panels then it will be 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.  Ask your supplier for help on this topic


Is Crown Cornice Needed?

tin ceiling panels

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


Can You Fix Your Tin Ceiling?

The easiest way to install pressed tin ceiling tiles is to firstly fix building ply to the old ceiling or walls and then nail the tin ceiling tiles to the ply. Timber battens can be used but building ply makes the job much easier.  It is best to remove existing cornice before the ply is fixed to the ceiling. Most reputable tin ceiling suppliers will offer detailed fitting instructions. If you lack experience in this area, you may prefer to employ someone with building experience with tin ceilings. However, most tin ceilings are fitted by their owners.  Tacking nails should be used initially until you are satisfied you have everything in its final position.  Tacking nails are quite long and must only be partly nailed in so that they can be removed easily with pliers. When you are satisfied that everything is in the right spot then you can remove the tacking nails and finish the job off with small nails.  Details of which nails to use with a tin ceiling should be in the manufacturers fitting instructions.


Painting Your Metal Panels

Painting an ornate, aluminum ceiling in fine detail is easy because it is painted before it gets fixed to the ceiling.  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, you can add just a touch of color on the moldings or you can can paint every detail in various shades of paint.  The patterns in aluminum ceilings are more deeply pressed than other types of ceilings so they create lovely shadows themselves just from electric light or from natural daylight.  Accordingly most people use one color of paint over the whole ceiling.  It is strongly recommended that pale shades of paint be used.  Darker colors can be appealing in theory but in practice they can often give a heavy oppressive feel to a room.  Oil based paints are recommended.  If the nails are still visible you can dab each one with a little paint


About The Author: Jean Morrison is owner of Heritage Ceilings, a unique ceiling decoration business dedicated to bringing beautiful ceilings back into our public buildings and homes.


Tin CeilingTin Ceilings & Tin Panels

See Many Examples of the Tin Ceiling Every tin ceiling can create the "Wow Factor." The tin ceiling, tin ceiling panels, or tin ceilings were popular from the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century in farmhouses and Victorian houses as an affordable alternative to expensive, artistic plaster.