Ceiling Remodeling: How to Give an Old Ceiling a New Look

Ceilings are often overlooked parts of the home that tend to see not much more than a white coat of paint every 10 years. For a Do It Yourselfer wanting to give a room a whole new look without an expensive remodel, the ceiling is a great place to add some unusual room accents. Remodeling a ceiling can change the look of a room in a surprising way. Here’s some ideas of how you can remodel your ceiling with a minimum of fuss.

Dress it up with color

We all know that dark ceiling paint will lower a ceiling, while light paints will make it seem further away. Light doesn’t mean just white, and painting your ceiling in a color can cool down a hot room or bring sunshine and warmth to a room that’s dark. Yellows, sage greens, ecru, pale pinks and pale oranges are all wonderful choices for ceiling colors.

For something totally different, try one of today’s glazing products for a textured ceiling that looks fabulous.

Camouflage ceiling cracks with paintable ceiling wall paper

Paintable ceiling wallpaper is a whole new generation of DIY products that are easy for most homeowners to install. Paintable wallpapers are heavy, textured papers that replicate the old tin type ceiling tiles and can be painted to look like the real deal. What I like about ceiling paper is that it is a low cost way of getting around unsightly ceiling cracks, weird patch jobs, and old wallpaper seams. Limited selections of paintable ceiling wallpapers are available at places like Home Depot and Lowe’s. The best selection however can be found at Renovator’s Supply House. Here’s a link that will take you to a selection of embossed papers. Embossed papers are modestly priced between $17 to $20 a double roll.

Adding ceiling medallions

Fixtures in elegant older homes weren’t usually hung straight from the wall, but were framed with a plaster ceiling medallion. These decorative ceiling medallions continue to be made in a wide range of architectural styles for every period and are sized to fit in any type of room. They look particularly striking left white against a painted ceiling. Ceiling medallions are specialty items; the best selection I’ve found is online at Go Ceiling Medallion. Smaller medallions are as low as $15-$25 with those huge 30″ rounds running between $140-$250.

Installing a bead board ceiling

For porches, kitchens, and eating nooks, a bead board ceiling gives a room a rustic charm that is hard to top. These wooden ceilings bring warmth to a room and are a great way of dealing with a cracked ceiling. Bead board ceilings are usually painted white to make the ceiling appear visually taller, but also look wonderful with a natural stain. HGTV has a great how to tutorial you can view here to get a feeling for how easy this DIY project will be.

Installing crown molding

Crown molding is decorative trim that hides the joint between wall and ceiling. This charming architectural detail was once quite common in older homes, and gives a ceiling a nice finished look. Here’s a great article from the AC library with step by step instructions how to install crown molding.

Crown molding is best painted using the same colors as the door and window molding so that it stands out from the ceiling.

Crown molding comes in an assortment of wood types and sizes, ranging from as small as 1 – 3/4″ to 8 – 1/2″. Prices vary from 75Ã?¢ a foot for the smaller crown molding to $2. Also available for those with irregular walls is flexible molding which is extremely easy to work with and comes in a wide range of patterns as well. Interested in flex molding? Visit this link for information. DIY’ers interested in the more traditional type of wooden crown molding can find it locally by visiting a millwork lumberyard.

Switching out ceiling light fixtures

Nothing dates a room more than an outdated light fixture. If your ceiling fixtures date from the 1970s to 1990s, it’s probably time to replace them. In the northwest U.S. Builder’s Lighting is the DIY’er’s top pick for a lighting center. Here’s a link to their virtual store which can give you all sorts of ideas for updating your ceiling fixtures.

These are just a few ways to give a tired old ceiling a fresh new look. By rethinking the color scheme and adding some of these interesting architectural details, you’ll discover how easy it can be to transform your ceiling into something worth looking at,

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