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Old 12-09-2012, 09:47 AM   #1
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painting old ceiling tiles


Just found this great forum!! Just bought this old income property that has old ceiling tiles. They are 12x12 and stapled . What is the best way to paint this and with what type of paint? Thanks in advance

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Old 12-09-2012, 10:16 AM   #2
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painting old ceiling tiles


One of the toughest substrates to paint. If you simply apply a latex paint, there's a possibility that the water in the paint will cause stains to leach out from the tiles into the paint film leaving a yellowed, ugly mess of a job. To be safe, it's best to prime them with an oil-based stain blocking primer. Allow that to dry for 24 hours then apply two topcoats of satin or flat latex whichever you prefer. Personally I like SuperPaint latex satin from SW. Be sure to get primer into the seams as that's where a lot of the leaching can occur.

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Old 12-09-2012, 10:22 AM   #3
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If they don't look heavily discolored, try Smart prime ( Zinnser 123 Plus- same thing). It is a waterborne alkyd. Just let it dry good - overnight- before finishing. Does a very decent job on many stains. But the oil would be less of a risk, more odor.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:36 AM   #4
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Ok thanks for the suggestions, they are not stained too badly, this style of tile has tiny holes ; would it turn out better to spray or not?have never sprayed though, lol
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:01 PM   #5
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If they don't look heavily discolored, try Smart prime ( Zinnser 123 Plus- same thing). It is a waterborne alkyd. Just let it dry good - overnight- before finishing. Does a very decent job on many stains. But the oil would be less of a risk, more odor.

come again?
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:11 PM   #6
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Come on Chris- there are so many -
Advance, Zar Ultra Max- SW WB Alkyd, etc. I believe they are a soy based oil- so have been made to be carried in a water vehicle.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:26 AM   #7
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Come on Chris- there are so many -
Advance, Zar Ultra Max- SW WB Alkyd, etc. I believe they are a soy based oil- so have been made to be carried in a water vehicle.

I was just suggesting that Smart prime is not actually an alkyd

"Zinsser Smart Prime® is a next generation interior/exterior primer that offers the performance of an oil-base primer in an advanced water-base formula. "
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:59 AM   #8
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painting old ceiling tiles


The couple of times I've done them I've always just used Zinsser Cover Stain. Those tiles are made of a compressed fiber that I was always afraid anything with water might damage or create problems.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:47 AM   #9
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painting old ceiling tiles


If they have little holes in them, they are even more difficult to paint. Those are considered acoustic tiles and paint tends to go up into the holes from your roller and then wants to come back out sometimes leaving little clumps of paint near the holes. Would spraying be an option? Sure, but for one ceiling, I sure wouldn't do it. You would be done rolling by the time you mask off the room, windows, etc.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:10 AM   #10
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painting old ceiling tiles


When you paint acoustic tiles, particularly using a roller or brush ...
1. You will use lots and lots of paint, like get about 1/3 the coverage stated on the can.
2. For a different color it will take a lot of working the paint into the surface to avoid speckling of the old color showing through inside the holes. Alternatvely, for very small holes, you may end up with some holes filled with paint and other holes not.
3. You will lose the acoustical properties of the tiles.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:27 AM   #11
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Ok great, did I Mention that it looks like they were painted already? sorry , does that change what type of paint to use?
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:02 PM   #12
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Ok great, did I Mention that it looks like they were painted already? sorry , does that change what type of paint to use?

If they were painted already........well it's hard to assume what paint may have been used. I would play it safe and prime with Cover Stain ensuring that any bleed through is taken care of. Then topcoat with 2 coats of latex paint......flat or satin whichever you prefer.

If you're a gambling man, you could coat several of the tiles to see if you get any bleed through. Let dry for 24 hours and if you don't see yellowed stains, you should be safe.

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