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How to Install a Stamped Tin Ceiling (page 2 of 3)

Add vintage-chic style to a new room by installing a reclaimed stamped-tin ceiling.

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Step 3: Prep the Ceiling Panels

Place a large drop cloth or tarp outside and lay panels on top of the cloth. With a wooden spatula or plastic mixing spoon, lightly chip off loose paint chunks still clinging to the panel. Be careful not to scratch the face of the panel during the chipping process. Once the panels are free of loose paint chips and wiped clean, set them aside to dry and collect the lead-based paint chips on the tarp. Bag the loose chips carefully and set aside for proper disposal.

Safety Tip: Lead-based paint is toxic. Always wear gloves and a heavy-duty dust mask when working on surfaces painted before 1978. When cleaning up, place the paint chips, rags and dust mask in a heavy-duty garbage bag and seal. State mandates vary when dealing with lead-based paint cleanup and disposal. Visit your state's Department of Health's website for further details.

When the panels are dry, place them back onto the tarp and apply a coat of polyurethane spray to both sides of each panel. Apply a second coat to seal in both sides of the lead-based paint.

When the polyurethane as dried, lay out panels in the desired pattern. It may be helpful to number the sequence of the panels by applying blue painter's tape to the corner of each panel.

Step 4: Prep the Ceiling

Remove lights, fans, vent covers, smoke alarms or other objects that are normally attached to the ceiling.

Safety Tip: When working on electrical fixture removal, switch the circuit breaker off to cut power to the working area. It is recommended that an electric current device be used to test each fixture to ensure that the power is off. Wire-cap each loose wire when the fixture is removed.

Locate each ceiling joist and mark it with a snap line. Place a nail in the center of the ceiling joist to attach the snap line. The lines and nail holes will be covered with the ceiling panel.

To locate ceiling joists behind drywall insert a long finish nail probe into the ceiling. The nail will enter easily if no joists are present. Work additional nail holes to the side until entry is more difficult. This is the joist edge. Find the center of the joist, then test again 16” to the side, the probable distance to the next joist.

Once each ceiling joist has been marked with a snap line, measure the ceiling panel width. Note: Panel sizes must be consistent. Next, measure and mark the ceiling for furring strip attachments. The furring strips are attached to the ceiling to correspond to the width of the ceiling panels. Note: When attaching the ceiling panels, the edges should be in the center of the furring strip.

Screw the 2” x 2” furring strips into the marked ceiling using 3” screws. Note: A framing nail gun may be used with 3” nails instead of 3” screws. Continue attaching the furring strips across the ceiling joists until you reach the opposite wall. Make certain that the perimeter of the design has furring strips to connect the outside edges of the ceiling panels. Note: Ceiling panels placed against the wall may be smaller in size than the rest of the panels; therefore, panels will have to be custom cut to fit. Furring strips must accommodate this attachment.

Builder's Tip: When attaching the furring strips to the ceiling, ensure that the width between strips is consistent to match the width of the panels. An assistant helper is recommended to hold the furring strips during attachment.

Step 5: Install Stamped Tin Ceiling Panels

Line up the first panel along the center of two furring strips. A second hand is always helpful. Use a finish nailer with 2” finish nails to secure the ceiling panel to the furring strip.

Safety Tip: Wear heavy-duty leather gloves and safety glasses when handling the tin ceiling panels above the head.

Attach the second ceiling panel with a slight overlap, using a heavy-duty construction adhesive to connect the edges.