Metal tiles come in a wide variety of finishes, including several solid colors, a large number of metallic shades, and even more color combinations. Green and copper, for instance, can combine to offer the appearance of age without the worry of actual corrosion, as can black on silver.
However, metal tiles don’t come in every color of the rainbow, and every finish costs a bit more than plain tin-plated steel. Fortunately, you can save money and increase the color range available to you by painting the tiles yourself. Here a look at how to paint metal ceiling tiles:
Finishes And Primers
Depending on where you get your tin tiles, if you order them plain you may get them finished with a clear coat or unfinished. If it is finished, the clear coat can act as a primer. If not, you can apply your own clear coat or use an oil-based (also known as enamel) primer.
Pick Your Paint
You can choose whatever color you want, but try to avoid dark shades. A dark ceiling can create a dim, brooding atmosphere which probably doesn’t fit what you’re going for. Enamel car paints actually work well for metal ceiling tiles: they’re durable, they come in easy-to-use spray cans, and you can get them in any number of colors. One layer of a light shade should be enough, but you should apply two or three layers if you do end up going dark.
Distress The Paint To Age It
If you want your metal tiles to look old and weathered, you’ll need two different paint colors. The first color is what’s weathering away, and the second color is what’s peeking out from beneath. For the most realistic appearance, have the deeper color be metallic (or use clear-coat primer to show the tin) and use a fine-grain sandpaper to rub off the outer coat on all the ridges and parts of the flat areas.
One of the best parts about tin ceiling tiles is that everything about them is simple and easy. All you need to put them up are nails or a drop-ceiling frame, and all you need to paint them are spray cans of primer and paint plus maybe a little sandpaper.