Creating Decorative Ceiling Tiles

Variety of open paint cans and brushes

Decorative ceiling tiles can add interest, color, and texture to your basement, kitchen, or living room ceiling. While you can purchase ceiling tiles from a home improvement or interior design store, you can also make them yourself, whether they are standard or for a drop ceiling. The easiest ways to make your own decorative ceiling tiles are to use paint, stencils, or textured wallpaper.

Painted Decorative Ceiling Tiles

Painting decorative ceiling tiles are simple to do. To begin, lay your tiles on a flat surface and wipe them down with a damp cloth. Completely clean the tiles of dirt and cobwebs. Next, feel for rough spots. Use a piece of fine-grain sandpaper to smooth out the texture of the tile and to create a more porous surface. Doing so will help the paint adhere to the tile. Apply a thin coat of primer to the tile and allow it to dry. Then apply your paint. Allow the tile to dry before returning it to the hanging grid.

Ways to Paint

You have several options when it comes to painting your decorative ceiling tiles. If the ceiling has a uniform color scheme, paint it all the same color. You can also create a pattern by painting your tiles in different colors to create a checkerboard pattern, stripes, or an inset design on your ceiling.

Another option is to use a stencil. First, paint the tile one color and let dry. Then tape a stencil onto the tile and use a sponge to apply color to the inside openings of the stencil. Allow the paint to dry before removing the stencil.

Textured Suspended Ceiling Tiles

drop ceiling

There are several ways to add texture to ceiling tiles. One way is to apply textured wallpaper to the tile. This option works well with fiberboard ceiling tiles.

If you have smooth metal tile, you can add texture by placing the tile over a raised shape. Then press the tile over the shape with something heavy to create an embossing. You can also use embossing presses to add texture to your metal tiles.

Another option is to decoupage fibers onto your tiles. To do this, select the fibers to use. Consider string, plant fibers, cotton, or other material. To start, apply a coat of the decoupage glue to the decorative ceiling tile. Then dip each strip of material into the decoupage glue. Position the material on your tile and create a textured design. Allow the design to dry. You can then either allow the original colors to show through or you can paint the tiles to match your décor.