Latest Discussions : Painting


08:01AM | 04/10/06
Member Since: 04/09/06
3 lifetime posts
Can you paint the old 1960's 12" ceiling tiles? If so, what type of paint do you use? Is it necessary to use a primer first?


07:46PM | 04/10/06
Member Since: 03/25/06
39 lifetime posts
I've painted these many times. A primer is absolutly nessisary. The question is whether to use an stain killer or not. If you happen to have any latex primer left over from a previous project, brush some on a joint between two tiles to see if anything bleeds through. If yes then you need to use something like Kilz or CoverStain primer. The stuff stinks to high heaven, but it makes the finish coat go on quite easily and assures that no staining will occur. If there is no bleeding then a latex primer will suffice. I would advise you to use a good quality primer such as Benjamin Moore's Fresh Start. An inexpensive primer can lead to difficulty in applying the finish coat.


02:44AM | 04/11/06
Member Since: 04/09/06
3 lifetime posts
Thank you very much for the information! If you use the Kilz first is it necessary to then put on a good primer before the finish coat? Does Kilz seal the surface of the tiles and prevent bleed-through of water stains (the water problem has been fixed)? Can you use any good latex paint for the finish coat or is there a special paint for ceiling tiles? Can you use a roller for the various applications? Thank you again for your assistance!


02:30PM | 04/11/06
Member Since: 03/25/06
39 lifetime posts
Kilz and CoverStain are primers that also work to hold back water and other stains. Once the Kilz is dry you can apply any type of paint over it without using any other primer. I've always used a flat latex paint for ceilings.

Both the primer and the finish paint can be applied using a roller, though you'll need to use a brush to "cut in" around the edges. My favorite type of roller cover to use is called a "Kodawool". It seems to have the best pick up and release of the material. A 1/2 inch knap is probably sufficient to get into the seams between the tiles, though I'm sure you'll have to use some pressure to get the cover into them.


05:14PM | 04/11/06
Member Since: 04/09/06
3 lifetime posts
Thank you for all the helpful information! Now I can get started with my project.


09:16AM | 11/10/09
Member Since: 11/04/09
2 lifetime posts
One must remember that a key word is "acoustical." Unless the right products are used, a severe loss of sound absorbing qualities will likely occur. Furthermore, ceiling tiles typically lay in a grid system that allows the tiles to be removed for access above the ceiling. Choosing the wrong product can result in the tiles being stuck to the grids when the paint dries.

First, a non-bridging coating material must be used to mantain the acoustics and keep the tiles free and not stuck to the grids. And for sure, a primer coat is the last thing that should be applied to the entire ceiling unless there is no desire to maintain the acustical quality of the ceiling.

A non-bridging material will also leave a very natural appearance as opposed to one that is obviously a paint job.


09:20AM | 11/10/09
Member Since: 11/04/09
2 lifetime posts
Go to and check out their "ProCoat Line of Products." These items are all specifically for the restoration of acoutical ceiling tiles.


11:31AM | 08/29/13
Member Since: 08/29/13
1 lifetime posts
Ceiling tiles are best refinished using an airless sprayer, as it atomizes the paint and applies a very thin coat to the tiles. This has the benefit of NOT filling in the "fissures" (or holes) on the tile face, as well as avoiding roller streaks. Cross-hatch with the sprayer, which will prevent any streaking after the paint or coating dries. I have additional tips at


10:05PM | 10/17/15
Member Since: 10/17/15
1 lifetime posts
I have a question regarding this. We just bought an old house. Love the house, but I think we screwed up. We have 12x12 ceiling tiles and I think we have ruined them. We have no clue if they are asbestos or not but we put painters tape on them to paint the trim and when we pulled off some of the painters tape, it's taking part of the tiles. Now it looks horrible. Not sure what to do. We didn't finish taking off the painters tape because we didn't want to ruin the whole room. So my questions/thoughts. Do we just take it all off and leave it ugly? (not the option I want). Take off the tape and paint the ceiling? Will the bad spots be okay if it is asbestos? Any other options for getting off the tape? I am really upset, we just assumed we would be able to pull the tape right off. I will include a picture of what it looks like. :(
20151016 214149


12:44PM | 06/09/16
What's less costly. Painting the ceiling tiles or replacing the $3 to $4 20 by 20 inch tiles. And, should removing the tiles from the metal frames be considered, paint them and replace the tiles.....seems painting them while set in the
metal frames would be a problem and not a professional job.
How about spraying them, prep the room...and spray.


04:16PM | 05/11/17
I am looking to paint 12x12 ceiling tiles. They are very dusty and don't lend themselves to washing. Should I plan on several coats to cover the dust?


05:57PM | 11/12/17
I have a question on this subject also. I bought a 1950s era house that was 'nicely flipped' in 2012. Since that date (2014), I installed attic heat-activated fans (humid, South Carolina).

I now think that maybe the installer of the attic fans did not properly seal the openings because we have some ceiling damage (see picture---zoom in to see the 'paper look').

It almost looks like the flipper applied some type of paper product over the ceiling tiles that is now coming loose? See attached picture and zoom in---you can see the ceiling tiles under what appears to be peeling back.

I've never heard of a product like this. Should I replace (once leakage issue is fixed) with real sheetrock or is there a more cost effective solution? HELP!?!


12:02AM | 07/03/19
Do I need to paint the groves first on the 12” square tiles? Or will they fill in as I paint?


09:34AM | 08/01/19
I have painted these tiles many times as a homeowner of an old home. I used Kilz primer, one or two coats depending on the dinginess or water marks and then two coats of Behr or Glidden ceiling paint with a roller, with excellent results. There is a crown molding between my walls and ceiling and this lends itself to not having to put painters tape on the ceiling tiles when painting the walls. I did the ceiling and crown molding first. I waited a few days and the used delicate surface painters tape on the crown moldi g and painted the walls. I removed the tape immediately after putting the second coat on the walls very carefully using my exact knife to cut through dried paint and it looks professionally done. The key is work carefully and take your time and it’s so worth it !!


04:09PM | 07/29/21
Member Since: 07/29/21
1 lifetime posts
I am renovating a 1950"s mid century home. It has the original acoustical tiles on the ceiling in very good condition. Ideally Im looking for a solution to make the ceiling look smoother and cleaner. I thought I could seal the joints with caulk and put a stain kill and then paint. I don't want to remove ceiling as its very labor intensive (Vaulted and approx 1200 sq. ft). I assume you will see the fissures in the ceiling tile but won't be as noticeable since they will be the same color as tile. Any other ideas as to how to get the tiles looking smoother??

Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply choose button


Post new button or Login button