Friday, March 23, 2007

Tin-Ceiling look-alike contest

We're pretty proud of our new dining room ceiling. It was, before we moved in, an icky dropped ceiling hiding a huge plaster mess.
NOW, it's a tin-ceiling look-alike.
See, we reallyreallyreally REALLY wanted a tin ceiling somewhere in the house. They're just cool.
And we like cool things.
But when we priced them, there was no way they fit into our budget. Unless we sacrificed something like, oh, eating for a year. And there are very few things cool enough for us to sacrifice eating for. So, plan B: Textured wallpaper + copper metallic paint. Voila! Tin ceiling! (Sortof.)
We purchased the wallpaper at Menard's, but it's widely available online as well.

After the wallpaper was in place, we painted it with Copper paint.
Total cost, including wallpaper, paste, and paint: $200.
Total cost of real tin ceiling: $2500-$3500.

Here's a brief summary of the steps (a more complete guide can be found here.)

1) Hang the wallpaper on the ceiling. This is a two-person job, and a scaffold is VERY helpful. The wallpaper we got was prepasted, but they recommended that we use additional paste, since it was going on a ceiling. We prepasted, booked the wallpaper for the appropriate time, and began to hang, one piece at a time.

2) Carefully line up the seams of the wallpaper- this is probably the most tedious part of the project. We found the easiest way was to have one person in charge of lining up seams, with the other person firmly pasting behind. You have to move fast so the paste doesn't dry out!

3) Schedule a massage to soothe your sore back and shoulders from the wallpaper-hanging -on-the-ceiling process. (I'm not kidding- you'll need it... and deserve it- think of the money you are saving!)

4) Use a paintbrush or small, thick-napped roller to apply the paint. We found that, with the texture, we needed to roll on the paint, then use the brush to get the paint evenly into crevices without glops. Again, a scaffold is very, VERY helpful.

5) Have friends over to see if they can tell it isn't real! (This is the fun part!)