How to paint ceiling tiles

I recently updated my son’s bedroom with new light pink wall paint and off-white ceiling tiles. I wanted to use the same paint color on the ceiling as on the walls, but that just looked weird because of all those bumps. I couldn’t afford crown molding or a nice border to cover up the blemishes for this project, so I found another solution: tape and white paint!

How to paint ceiling tiles, Zazzy Home

This is how it’s done:
1. Tape your ceiling tiles with painter’s tape if you want them painted too (optional). If you leave them unpainted, they will be slightly easier to clean than if you paint them, but they will glare at you every time you look up from the floor. Also, if the grout between your fiberglass ceiling tiles is dark, the tiles will stand out less if they are painted too.

2. Roll on your ceiling color (in my case, white). It may take three or four coats to cover completely. Make sure you don’t have a big paint drip going down a few tiles before you roll over it because that will drive you nuts! I only did one coat of paint, and it covered pretty well after it dried, but there were some high spots, so I put another coat on top of those areas. Optionally, spray paint works just as well if you’re worried about brush marks from using a roller.
You don’t have to sand between coats because the paint is already rough like ceiling tiles are.

How to paint ceiling tiles, Zazzy Home

3. After the paint has dried, you can remove the tape if you want your ceiling painted too. If you don’t mind it unpainted, just wax over the whole thing after the paint dries for a beautiful shine. You may need to put three or four coats of wax on it when it’s in this state, but that will give you a well-protected surface in addition to lovely lookin’ crown molding in disguise!

If you’re using painter’s tape, let everything dry at least 24 hours before removing it so that there’s no bleeding under the tape. For me, painting my ceiling was much cheaper than buying molding, and it looks just as good!


Meet Jeff. For the last 10 years, he's been repairing and fixing problem homes - from leaky roofs to faulty wiring. He started blogging about his experiences as a way to help others who might be struggling with home repairs, and he's become something of an expert in the field. Jeff is always up for a challenge, and he loves sharing his tips and advice with others. When it comes to home repairs, Jeff knows what he's talking about. So if you're looking for some help and guidance, be sure to check out his latest guide!

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