How to Antique Tin Ceiling Tiles

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Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap

  • Sponge

  • Paintbrushes

  • Bonding primer

  • Base color latex paint

  • Metallic paint

  • Foam roller


The harder you press with the foam roller, the more worn the tin tile will look.

Use either oil or latex paint to antique tin tiles but don't mix the types.

Brush several patches of color on each tile between the primer and base color if you'd like it to have the appearance of several layers of paint that are been repainted over the years. Allow some of the colored paint to show when you apply the base coat.

This technique can be used on faux tin ceiling tiles as well as real ones.


Always paint in a well-ventilated area.

Paint tin celing tile to give it an antique look.

Antique tin ceiling tiles add an opulent, old-fashioned look to any ceiling. New tin tiles may come looking like they're much older than they are -- a detail that usually comes at a price. You can paint your own tin ceiling tiles to give them that antique look, even if you don't have experience with antiquing. If you're installing new tin tile, paint it before installing it; otherwise, this process can be done on installed ceiling tile.


Step 1

Clean the tiles using a sponge dampened with dish soap and water. Dry with paper towels or a microfiber cloth.

Step 2

Apply a bonding primer to the tin tile. If your base color will be white or a light color, use white primer; if your base will be dark, use a dark-colored primer. Allow the primer to dry overnight, or as the manufacturer directs.

Step 3

Paint the tin ceiling tile in the base color. Allow the tiles to dry overnight.

Step 4

Pour metallic paint into a roller pan. Dip a foam roller into the paint and roll off the excess. Lightly roll the metallic paint on the tile so that it's applied to the raised part of the design only, giving it the look of metal showing through.



Daisy Cuinn

Delaware-based Daisy Cuinn has been writing professionally since 1997, when she became the features editor for her local biweekly music newspaper. She has been a staff writer and contributor to online and offline magazines, including "What It Is!," and Slashfood. Cuinn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Temple University.