Pressed-Tin Panel
Pressed-tin panels have become extremely popular over the past decade; there are about 10 different companies currently manufacturing them. While these patterned-metal sheets complement older homes and loft apartments well, their folksy feel probably doesn't suit a modern, angular interior. Nor are they a good choice for any room in which good acoustical quality is imperative. "If you're going to use tin panels, you need a rug or drapes in the space to absorb reverberating sound," explains Glen Eldridge, owner of Houston-based Chelsea Decor-ative Metal Company. It's best to have a helper when installing the panels, which usually come in 2x4-ft. sheets weighing 4 lbs. each. You'll need to nail up furring strips around the perimeter of the ceiling and space them every 12 in. on center in the field. The tin panels can then be attached with 1-in. common nails to the strips with a nail gun or a hammer. Overlapping metal edges are designed to be "swedged" together. Eldridge recommends using tin snips for any pruning that's needed to accommodate vents, speakers or light fixtures. If you're planning to paint the panels, use an oil-based paint; to avoid chipping, paint after the panels have been installed. Use a deep-nap roller to apply the paint. Then, if you like, add accent colors with a brush. You can also seal the panels with clear polyurethane. Panels come in many different patterns and start at $18 per 2x4 sheet; tin cornices, molded fillers and lay-in panels for suspended ceilings are also available.
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