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Cracked and Stained Ceiling Tiles

I know in general, it's bad form to paint over cracked paint but is there a good way of doing it?

I'm trying to decide on best options for my kitchen ceiling tiles which I suspect were painted with a poor quality flat paint. Because of high humidity, each tile is now riddled with thick hairline cracks. No hanging chips yet. There's also water damage (now fixed) from the apartment above mine so I have stains spreading across 3 tiles in two areas. The tiles are compressed paper/board but I'm not 100% sure of the material.

Minus the stains, I hate to say, the cracks are pretty but too obvious. :confused: So to keep the texture, I'm thinking about applying a sealant and then a good quality flat ceiling paint? :confused: OR do you think it's a lost cause and I should 'sc****' the ceiling and use a primer/paint combo? :confused: OR can I avoid scraping and just use a primer/paint combo?

Re: Cracked and Stained Ceiling Tiles

Are you renting?

If you do, a leak from the apartment above you and the ceiling repair are the landlord's headaches.

If you don't, then you can get rid of the stains first (use spray zinsser stain killer), before you paint the tiles. Flat paint is fine.

Re: Cracked and Stained Ceiling Tiles

Thanks. Yes I am renting and the landlord did fix the leak. She's promised to paint but it's been over 6 months. As my rent is low, I'll just rather fix it myself then raise a stink. Besides the cracks are more my fault. So overall, yes, she's getting a deal. In addition to me being an awesome tenant.:D

I've read that a paint primer combo would cover up the stains. So Zinsser sounds like it would eliminate the need of a paint that's also a primer. I see that it's a sealant but what would a sealant do to cracks?

Should I paint over the cracks with a sealant and then paint? Or do I remove the paint from the entire ceiling? As long as the apt looks attractive the landlord is fine. I've already removed wallpaper and resurfaced; will eventually decide on a painting scheme. I just would rather not 'chip' away at a ceiling.

A. Spruce
Re: Cracked and Stained Ceiling Tiles

If it were me I think I'd live with the cracks and just seal and stain the ceiling. Removing an acoustic tiled ceiling is a pain in the buns, messy, and could open up a whole new can of worms you are not willing or able to deal with.

Stay away from paint/primer combos, they are expensive and not worth a dime. Use the Zinsser red label primer, it is a pigmented shellac specifically for stain sealing. You may have to use several coats depending on how porous the ceiling and severe the stains are.

The way to know how much stain blocker to apply is to watch the stain, you apply another coat until it no longer bleeds. I would recommend applying the stain blocker to the entire ceiling, then continue spot priming the stubborn areas, followed by another coat across the entire ceiling. Doing it this way will give you a good, even base to apply your top coat to. When the stains are fully sealed in you can top coat with your paint of choice (two coats for good, full coverage ).

Re: Cracked and Stained Ceiling Tiles

Thanks for the clarification of Zinsser (and like). So it looks like a sealant and then painting. I want to do a good job and make the place attractive but I'm not down with cans of worms. So I guess I'll just have to see how much of the texture is left after the sealant. Thanks also for telling me that I have 'acoustic tiles.'

Also I like your OCD/CDO sig - priceless.

A. Spruce
Re: Cracked and Stained Ceiling Tiles

You are welcome.:cool:

duckyswan wrote:

So I guess I'll just have to see how much of the texture is left after the sealant. Thanks also for telling me that I have 'acoustic tiles.'

I'm merely going on your description. acoustic tile doesn't generally have a "texture" to it. It is not smooth my any means, but it's not all lumpy and bumpy like a sprayed coating would be.

Can you post a picture? You'd have to use an image host, then link it here.

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