Sunday, April 10, 2011

Faux Tin Tile Ceiling Reveal!

When I purchased my house the ceilings in the entire house were all covered with the one foot square tiles (I've been told the name of these but can't remember it right now - oh well). I had no trouble deciding that I didn't like those and wanted a different look. So the task began of bringing them down. Pictured below are my niece and nephew the day I bought the house, not sure why they wanted their picture on the counter top but it shows the ceiling tiles this way so it a good thing for me.

The ceiling I found that I loved the most were the tin tile ceilings.  I'd already decided on stainless appliances and a stainless back splash.  I knew a tin ceiling would look so cool with my red walls and appliances.

Then I calculated the price!

So much for a tin ceiling.  From my rough calculations (I'm an accountant, I do pretty good calculations), it was going to cost me over $4000 to install a tin tile ceiling in my kitchen & dining room.

After hours of research on the internet.....a found a faux metal tile ceiling look that interested me. I decided to use a paintable, textured wallpaper and a two-step metallic paint to mimic a tin tile ceiling. I purchased the wallpaper @ Lowes for around $18 per roll. It had the look of a 4" tile with a flower burst in the middle, not an exact match to my back splash but similar. I ended up buying 8 rolls but only should have used 6 rolls. I ripped the paper down 4 times before I finally got the seams to line up correctly ummmm old house = nothing square or plum. But hey, the fifth time was a charm and it only cost me 35 bucks to get it right - I've had more expensive mess ups before. I'm pretty sure the paper is made by Allen Roth, but forgot to keep the label. I followed advise I read on a blog while researching the faux tin ceiling look and decided to cut the wallpaper into squares (kind of like metal tiles would come). So I made the length the same as the width of the paper. I sat in front of the tv and cut these on the floor, it took several hours to cut it up - I won't lie to you. I started out using a utility knife but quickly switched to scissors. My lines weren't as straight with the scissors but they were so much easier to handle.

It was a pain at times to line up the seams of the paper tiles I'd created, but I don't see how I would have papered an entire ceiling row at once. A 20" square tile was more than I could handle at times. If you attempt this look, I recommend cutting the paper into tiles.This is my fifth attempt to get the lines going straight. The theory of wallpaper sounds so easy, I don't have a clue why I kept getting everything out of whack (this isn't my first time papering either). I gave up on the stated directions of starting in a corner since mine aren't square and choose to get the hardest piece out of the way first - under the already installed ceiling fan. If you look closely in the picture below you can see where I'd ripped off still somewhat wet paper and it left an imprint on the ceiling. Also, once a tile dries on the ceiling/wall - don't try to reuse it. Just bite the bullet and throw it in the trash - yes this was a lesson I learned the hard way. I know you can mix up a glue mixture and reapply it, but that mixture is stronger than the prepaste that comes on the wallpaper and is a tad bit harder to get down when you decide it isn't going straight again. The finished wallpapered ceiling. I did contemplate just getting a white gloss and leaving the ceiling white after I had all the wallpaper hung. I'm not sure exactly how long it took me to do this part of the job - I started and stopped frequently after my 5th restart. I'd work on it a little in the evenings until my neck would start hurting. I had other things going on so I didn't get to work on it every evening. I think it took me almost 2 weeks to finally get all of it hung. I let the ceiling "sit and rest" for a few days and then got out my Elmers glue and fixed a few corners that weren't sticking like they should be. Then on the following weekend I decided I was ready to paint.

The first paint in the two-step process is the Valspar Semi-Gloss Finish from Lowes. I had them mix it in the Pewter color (I looked online for color swatches of their metallic finishes but gave up on that search) - you can get a wide variety of metallic finishes, the copper looks cool too - I painted my utility room a light orange, a copper ceiling in there??

This paint kind of freaked me out when I opened it and started stirring and stirring and stirring, it was super thick and sticky (yes I mean sticky) - not at all the consistency of normal wall paint.

As you can see from the picture, it went on dark. For as thick of a paint it was, it covered the ceiling very well but you did have to put a little muscle into it. So similar to the hanging of the wallpaper, I took several breaks to let me neck and arms rest. But I did finish it in one Saturday afternoon. It was tacky to the touch so I let it rest overnight. The second coat - Valspar Brilliant Metals from Lowes.

This paint is a gloss and has the metal shiny, sheen effect. Plus it covers up any of the little bumps and ridges in the textured wallpaper that you didn't quite get enough of the thick, sticky paint on.

Drum roll please! The finished ceiling after the metallic gloss coat...... I absolutely LOVE it! I love the way daylight coming in the window shines off it.

When you stand long enough and stare at it you can see the seams from the wall paper, but hey tin tiles would have seams too and this cost me over $3700 less to complete plus I don't have noise echo issues like I would with metal. After buying 2 extra rolls of wallpaper I spent just under $250 for the wallpaper and metallic paint.

Now I just need to get the crown molding up, finish the shadow boxes above the cabinets, finish building & painting the kitchen island and install the flooring! Easy peasy, should be done in oh......3 months, ok maybe 4 months :)
When the ugly white tiles came down we found this....I wasn't happy about the wallpaper I found on the ceiling, I was hoping it would be all wood and I could just do a white-wash finish and leave it antiquey (I know this isn't a real word but you understand the meaning!). Anyway, I was told that I shouldn't remove the wallpaper on the ceiling do to the age of it and not knowing what type of 'glue' was used. You can see the pretty living room tiles in this picture too, I'm telling you the whole house had those tiles. and this would have been another problem with leaving the wood.....the newer edition has newer wood - imagine! I can't believe they didn't search around for the same wood as the 100 year old original house when they added on. Geesh, what were they thinking. So, when we hung the sheet rock on the walls I gave in on my hope of a wood ceiling and had the ceiling sheet rocked too. Then I started researching options of ceiling finishes.


  1. Hi. I just came across your blog while "googling" faux tin. Yours came out wonderfully!! I am contemplating ordering the foam faux tiles from Euro-Decor or the anaglypta wallpaper like yours. The wallpaper will be cheaper, which is what I can afford, but was it a real pain to deal with? I'm going to put it on my walls as a backsplash in my kitchen, not on the ceiling (yet--ha ha). Any info you can give me would be greatly appreciated. My email is Thanks! Barb

  2. i had some of this wallpaper left over after using it on certain parts of the ceiling in my kitchen. For some reason, it was a pain in the ass! My father did the bulk of the work in one part, but another part he needed me, my bf and himself. He did an amazing job considering, I, too, have an older home (1959) and nothing was even, or perfect square! Nothing more frustrating than that!

  3. OMG, what a gorgeous ceiling. You did a fantastic job. I hope our's comes out as nice as your's did. Absolutely beautiful.

  4. It looks awesome :) well done you!

  5. What color tint did you get with the Brilliant Metals paint?

  6. i would love to see a pic of your entire room with the ceiling showing above. nice job, btw!

  7. What an amazing comparison to the tiles! U did a great job! Doing this for my backsplash

  8. DO you HAVE to take the old tiles down to do this wallpaper? Or was it just personal preference? I remember when people started papering over paneling, and 'they' all said you had to fill in the cracks, but, alas the paper came out perfect every time. And I didnt fill one crack. Just wondering. Would love to do this in the rooms I have left with ceiling tiles. BTW- you did an amazing job. Good work!!!!

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  13. I did a real tin tile back splash in our kitchen and the tiles don't stick! I've tried everything and honestly looks really tacky. But I love this idea! I think this would work far better than what I did in our kitchen and I think I will try this over our suspended ceiling in our livingroom! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  14. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!

    I hung this style of wallpaper last weekend. The original plan was to paint it white, but then I got to thinking that a “gunmetal” would look cool. Which finally lead me here to see this which is what I think I’ll do once I see if the hubby likes the idea.

  15. idea.

    Hi, i came across with your blog, What an amazing comparison to the tiles! you really did a great job. You can even buy various Panel imitation Tile in order to rid of ceiling problem thus you can enhance the worth of your property too.

  16. I used this same wallpaper with a copper metallic Behr paint from Home Depot on a kitchen wall. I painted it before I put it up and it came out looking great. It was prepasted so I just used a spray bottle to dampen it and slid it into alignment. The paint itself looked a little uneven in tint even after stirring but, using a foam roller, it went on nice and even.

  17. I'm wallpapering my ugly ceiling tiles with this wallpaper. I'm bordering it with another type that looks like beadboard. So far it looks amazing and is very easy. The cost savings is the pvc faux tiles Home Depot has that you glue up or set in cost $27 each panel! Mine cost a few dollars each!!! Will post pics or a link to pics when we are done.

  18. Very Blog Info !

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    Suspended Ceiling Tiles

  19. Quite interesting as well as informative post submitted, It will provide the same appearance as metal look tile. I appreciate your work.

  20. Great Post !!

    Looking awesome :) . This is great combination of photo and information..

    Thanks for sharing

    Ceiling Tile

  21. Did anyone notice the STRANGE comments from April?! Love the ceilings. Thinking of using these to create a headboard

  22. Am doing this right now. My lowes only had the gold base left. They said they are phasing this out. I'm going for an oil rubbed bronze. Can't wait till done.

  23. What was the brand of the wall paper I can't seem to find it

  24. Home Depot has it online.