Today I’m showing you my trick for how to paint drop ceilings you cannot remove – or maybe don’t want to remove. I think I am the least glamorous blogger. Other interior design and DIY bloggers are doing major renovations with fabulous, luxury finishes like marble and hardwood, and I’m over here painting my janky drop ceiling. In fact, I’m giving my basement the cheapest makeover in history. Truth be told, I hate these drop ceilings but we do not have the budget to replace them, so I had to figure out how to decorate around our drop ceiling. I decided to paint the drop ceiling the same colour as the walls, so the ceiling won’t stand out and the basement will look cozy and warm. A drop ceiling with paint will just blend in – that’s my logic! (Plus, I’m not going to lie, I’m too lazy to cut in neatly around that damn drop ceiling). This basement will never feel tall or spacious so there’s no sense fighting it; I’m going to emphasis its small size and make it feel cozy instead. Hopefully the finished basement feels so cozy, we will want to curl up down here with a book or craft project.
How to Paint Drop Ceilings You Cannot Remove:
We tried removing the ceiling tiles, but the way our drop ceiling was installed means that ours only move side to side (to access pipes, etc) so taking them down would have required dismantling the entire framework (too much work). After much cursing, tugging and general wriggling, trying to get the ceiling tiles to slide out, we gave up. Next idea. I tried painting them in place, like a regular ceiling, but the paint made the tiles stick to the frame and when they shifted a bit, I had weird cracks and peeling paint. It looked cheap and awful. Arrgh. More swearing. Next idea. With Hubby building walls and a nice, not-drop ceiling in the next room, I eyed some of his furring strips and we came up with this solution for how to paint drop ceiling tiles that cannot be removed:
- Prop up a few ceiling tiles with furring strips
- Using a large paintbrush, paint the edges and the frame holding the tiles
- Once paint is dry, drop the tile back
- Using a roller, apply paint to the middle of the tile
- Congratulate yourself with a Guinness, for outsmarting a ceiling
It’s more consuming to paint drop ceilings this way, as opposed to just using a roller and painting it like a normal ceiling, but painting drop ceilings by popping up tiles created a much better finished product in our basement makeover.
You can already see at this point of the project, by painting the drop ceiling it’s blending in so much better with the walls!
Here’s a sneak peek at the finished project after I figured out how to paint drop ceilings without removing them – the color changes a lot with the light but it’s more of a cool greige than a warm tan.
Success! I’m loving the painted drop ceiling because it blends it. I used a good quality primer and paint in one, so this job is fairly straightforward and only required one coat in most spots. For this project, you definitely want to speed up the process so I recommend a good primer and paint in one. I’m really thrilled with how well my bizarre hack for how to paint a drop ceiling that can’t be removed worked, although I could only do about 6 tiles at a time – unless we were to splurge on some extra furring strips. Hubby was quickly finishing his work in the laundry room, so I was against the clock painting the drop ceiling at a quick pace before he needed the wood back, haha!
So that’s my quick tip for how to paint drop ceilings that you cannot remove.