Is it possible to paint ceiling tiles: we find out, evaluate, choose the material

Can ceiling tiles be painted

Sometimes it’s cheaper to restore the old than to buy a new one. This statement can also be attributed to the ceiling tile, because for many it is much easier to paint the yellowed ceiling from time than to tear off the old tile with pieces, clean the surface and glue a new one after all these manipulations. In general, is it possible to paint the ceiling tiles? What is the best way to do this, how and how much will such an event result in? Let’s understand!


  • Types of Ceiling Slabs
  • Choosing paint for ceiling tiles
  • Latex paint specifications
  • Acrylic paint: cons and pros
  • Estimate water-based paint


  • Surface preparation for painting
  • How to paint a tile

    Types of Ceiling Slabs

    Not every tile can be painted. There are species that cannot be restored at all, unless you try to wash or partially replace the contaminated elements with new ones. This category includes plastic ceiling tiles. No, of course, you can try to renew your ceiling with paint, but the result will not please you at all – stains, stripes, bumps and spots – do you want such beauty in your home? Hardly! Therefore, do not waste your time on an ineffective lesson. It is better to immediately start dismantling the old tiles and go to the store for a new one – there will be much more benefit!

    Laminated ceiling tiles also “do not like” paint. When painting, its surface turns out to be heterogeneous, with a large number of “bald spots” and irregularities.

    But foam tile is an ideal platform for your imagination. It doesn’t matter what surface it is – smooth or embossed – you can upgrade your ceiling with a roller, brush or spray without any problems.

    Embossed ceiling tile

    Embossed ceiling tiles can look interesting and unusual if you add a little color to it.

    In any case, having bought the tile, be sure to read the instructions – there the manufacturer can specify the types of paint with which it is impossible to paint the product in any case. It happens that the appearance of the tile does not cause you any doubt about the possibility of painting it, but the instructions clearly say: “You can not paint!” Better not risk it – you never know how the experiment will end. Although you can make a “trial run” by trying to paint the remains of the ceiling tiles, if you have, of course,.

    Or put a little on the ceiling and wait. If after a few hours you have not noticed any changes, for the worse, of course, then you can safely start updating the interior.

    Choosing paint for ceiling tiles

    For painting ceiling tiles, acrylic, latex or water-based paints are best suited. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type and choose the one that is most suitable for painting your ceiling.

    Colorful tiles

    Plain white tiles can turn into exquisite decorations for your ceiling with regular paint

    Latex paint specifications

    This type of paint coatings has a number of advantages:

    • suitable for all surfaces
    • dries quickly
    • does not fade
    • does not bubble when applied
    • dry and wet surfaces can be painted
    • retains its luster and color for a long time

    Well, and disadvantages, unfortunately, they also have:

    • if the application is too thick, the risk of peeling paint is high
    • mold spots may appear in rooms with high humidity.

    It’s too early to draw conclusions, so consider the following type of coverage.

    Acrylic paint: cons and pros

    The advantages of acrylic paint:

    • dries quickly due to evaporation of the constituent water
    • highly resistant to solar radiation
    • does not fade
    • can be used in rooms with high humidity
    • odorless
    • environmentally friendly
    • large gamut of colors
    • perfectly protects the surface from negative environmental effects
    • does not crack from the cold
    • durable


    • low vapor threshold
    • flaking and bloating instability

    Estimate water-based paint


    • green
    • dries quickly
    • forms a strong protective film on the surface
    • it can be applied with a roller, brush, and spray
    • not combustible
    • non toxic
    • it is possible to paint any surfaces, including on the street
    • lies flat


    • not resistant to all kinds of pollution

    To summarize: either acrylic or water-based paints are best suited for ceiling tiles, since these types of coatings are highly environmentally friendly, which is important for internal repairs. It’s not very pleasant to breathe with paint, but living and constantly feeling the toxic effects of an invisible enemy on your body is doubly unpleasant.

    And what about the price? The cost of paint depends on several indicators: manufacturer, composition and volume. Naturally, the more famous the manufacturer, the better the composition and the more the can of paint, the more expensive it is. But this does not mean that you need to buy only expensive Tikkurilu or Dulux, there are also our Russian plants that produce good products with a rich palette and at a low price.

    Surface preparation for painting

    In fact, special preparatory work before painting the ceiling tile is not required – it is so well aligns the ceiling. But to make it look even better, it is worth covering all the joints between individual plates with putty or acrylic sealant. The fact is that it is not always possible to perfectly tile the ceiling – there will always be gaps somewhere. While the new surface, these flaws are not noticeable, but if you paint the ceiling, then all minor defects will immediately “come out”. Pay attention to the joints between the wall and the ceiling – you also need to use putty on them..

    It is worth protecting wallpapers on the walls, because you can accidentally hook them with a brush and leave ugly spots and stripes on the surface. For these purposes, use a wide masking tape, which is mounted around the entire perimeter of the room. After painting, the adhesive tape is easily removed.

    If you plan to update the ceiling in the kitchen, be sure to wash it from soot, grease and dirt, because after painting on the surface of the tiles all these stains will come out again and your work will be in vain. It also happens that washing does not work – the fat is too absorbed into the tile. Then the only way out is a special water-based primer. It is perfectly absorbed in polystyrene foam and does not give dirt, soot and fat the slightest chance of further stay on the ceiling.

    Colored ceiling tiles

    You can paint the tile before it is glued to the ceiling

    Also, before painting the ceiling, be sure to cover all the objects in the room with polyethylene, otherwise your furniture, household appliances, flowers and other attributes of life will get a new look, and small ripples and specks are not relevant this season.

    Well, naturally protect yourself – put on comfortable clothes, a hat or scarf, as well as special plastic glasses, getting paint in your eyes – this is a very unpleasant and rather painful thing.

    How to paint a tile

    So, you are ready to stain. Well, or almost everything! Painting tools … It’s worth talking about them separately. To paint the ceiling tiles you will need:

    • brushes, preferably of two types – wide and thin
    • high pile roller
    • sprayer, of course, if you have one.

    The sprayer, in principle, is not a mandatory attribute at all, so there will be enough brushes and a roller.

    To paint a smooth surface (without a pattern or relief), use a roller or spray, but for complex shapes, relief images and ornate drawings, you need a brush – it will be very convenient for it to paint over small details, protrusions and recesses.

    Smooth ceiling tiles

    Smooth ceiling tiles are painted easily and naturally with a paint roller

    Embossed geometric pattern on the ceiling tiles.

    Relief geometric pattern on the ceiling tiles can only be painted with a brush

    If there are any dark spots on the surface of the ceiling, then they must first be painted over with the same shade as the entire ceiling. When the paint on the spots dries, you can start painting the entire ceiling. So you can level the surface and make dirt invisible.

    It is necessary to paint the ceiling tiles in not one or even two layers – the most ideal option is three layers of coating. Why is this needed? Just so you can give the ceiling a deep, saturated color that will be uniform and uniform throughout its structure.

    You carefully studied the information on how, what and what kind of tile can be painted. However, before dyeing it is nevertheless necessary to glue it at least.

    Painting the ceiling tiles is a simple matter, but it requires attention and accuracy. You can’t rush here – carefully paint over all the details and you will be happy!


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