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Architectural Detail Experts | A Blog by Worthington Millwork

Unexpected Ways to Make Your Ceiling Stand Out

Posted by Julia Ellison on 1/22/19 8:42 AM

Wood Columns-1When it comes to ceilings for older and modern home design, most are designed with gypsum wallboard applications. Drywall provides a quick and durable way to cover framing inside of a house and is the most common construction material for walls and ceilings.

In a lot of homes, once a drywall ceiling is primed and painted flat-white, it stays that way for the lifetime of the home. Occasional repairs and a fresh coat of flat white paint is about all that is ever done to it since people don’t know of other ways to make it stand out.

There are some different applications that can be used to create a unique look. They’re inexpensive and easy projects that can be done over the course of a weekend. The choice really depends on your budget, skill level, time and motivation. Below are some inexpensive options as well as some unexpected ways to make your ceiling more eye-catching.

Add Texture

This is an inexpensive solution that offers flexibility and is a DIY project. The most common texture is popcorn, and the dry mixture is simply mixed with water and applied with a hopper gun. The benefit is being able to cover badly damaged ceilings for a flawless finish. Orange peel is another texture that a lot of people have never heard of before. It’s a 50/50 mixture of drywall compound and white latex primer. It’s also applied with a hopper gun and covers semi-damaged ceilings as well as divots and humps from drywall.

Directions for 300sqft coverage or less:

1. For both of these texture applications, you will need an air compressor and hose as well as a hopper gun.

2. Mix the contents of the dry popcorn mixture with the suggested amount of water according to the directions on the package in an empty five-gallon bucket with a mixing arm attached to a power drill.

3. For orange peel, buy a five-gallon bucket of white latex primer and light-weight drywall compound, and mix half of each bucket into an empty five-gallon bucket with the mixing arm.

4. Empty the room and cover the flooring with canvas drop cloths.

5. Cover your walls with plastic and use painter’s tape across the top of the wall to secure it. It’s also a good idea to put staples every foot because the weight of the over-spray can pull the tape and plastic off the wall.

6. Fill the hopper with the mixture and select the tip size that you want. Spray a section of plastic for a test run until you get the look you want.

7. Start in one corner and work your way over to the opposite corner. Then, go from side to side until you reach the other end of the room.

8. Let it dry overnight and use the smallest tip on your hopper gun to apply either flat-white or a different color.

9. Allow the finish paint to dry for four to six hours.

10. Remove the plastic and reveal an unexpected surprise.

Get Rid of the Old and Go Bold

Flat-white and off-white ceilings are standard colors in millions of homes and they never change. Why not change the rules and go bold? Adding a bold color can make a striking statement and totally change the look of your room. A good tip for selecting bold and sheen colors is to match the secondary colors of decor and furnishings in the room. For example, if you have a white couch with mint-green flowers on the fabric, mint-green would be the right choice. Do not match the color of your flooring because it will clash and could feel like you're inside a sandwich instead of a room.

Add New Lighting Fixtures

Changing light fixtures on ceilings can dramatically improve the appearance of any room. There are a variety of light fixtures available online or at your local home improvement center. Modern ceiling fans with remote controlled LED lighting and variable fan speeds are energy efficient, low maintenance, and elegant. Right now, LED fan lights with air-plane type propeller blades are trending and topping sales in the home design industry.

Additionally, adding recessed can lights in your ceilings will give a soft and warm look to your room. They can also be controlled via remote control for desired brightness, run independently, and custom colors. Another great option for an unexpected look is to install a medieval chandelier with LED candles. For some great ideas, type “unique lighting fixtures” into the search bar to see some very unexpected lights that will give your room the “wow-factor” you’re after.

Crown Molding and Trim

Crown molding and trim around ceilings has been used for centuries, especially in Colonial and Victorian built homes. It adds a sophisticated and detailed look that makes a bold statement. It’s available in different sizes with dental or carved patterns that offer the flexibility to add additional trim for a unique 3-D effect that enhances a room to its fullest potential.

Installing crown molding is not a typical DIY project, it does take some advanced carpentry skills, but it’s not impossible by any means. There are plenty of video tutorials on YouTube that will help you understand the angles and show you how to install it like a pro. One of the best tips before you make a cut is to double check your measurements since it’s a very expensive construction material. Also, it’s always best to cut it a little longer since you can shave it until it fits perfectly.

Additional Tips for Unexpected Ceilings

Changing the sheen of your paint can have a dramatic effect. Most ceilings are painted flat white. Whether you go with white or bold colors, change the sheen to semi-gloss or oil-based paints. This can give your ceilings a shiny look and it reflects light back into the room. It’s a good idea to fix and prime all imperfections before you apply one of these applications because it will show everything if you don’t, especially when the lights are on.

Drop ceilings are also another great solution that has many benefits, especially for higher ceilings. It can cut down on the amount of space that you’re heating or cooling. The tiles are made from fiberglass, and they have great insulation properties that save money as well as adding an unexpected look to any room.

There are a lot of different designs besides the typical flat tile that most people are accustomed to. Some have carvings and designs, and some even have a drop-down 3D effect that can make your ceilings look like a professionally built waffle design. Energy efficient lights can be easily dropped into any one of the squares as well as can lights and stereo speakers.

It’s even possible to use the metal grid system to install wooden, stainless steel, mirrored tiles or a variety of other materials instead of the fiberglass for a more custom look that exceeds the unexpected.

Topics: crown molding, ceiling ideas, light fixtures, orange peel, decorative molding

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