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what's best ceiling paint for asbestos ceiling tiles

Planning to paint the ceilings in 1960s ranch. They're the old asbestos ceiling tiles (in good shape, no problems w/asbestos materials). Figure the paint is really gonna absorb into these tiles. What's the best ceiling paint for such a job. Understand there's some out there now that go on "pink" and fade to white (so that its easier to see where coverage is missed).

Re: what's best ceiling paint for asbestos ceiling tiles

You should be aware that "ceiling paints" are really nothing more than wall paints that have been made to a lesser standard of quality to save the customer money. They're made with a softer resins, softer extender pigments and to a flatter gloss simply because ceiling paints generally don't get dirty and therefore don't have to stand up to hard scrubbing to remove stubborn marks.

So, the best quality ceiling paint you can buy is a paint intended for walls, in which case any company's top-of-the-line wall paint will be considerably better quality than their ceiling paint.

Colour changing paints make use of something called "Leuco dyes". Leuco dyes are a family of organic dyes that change their colour depending on the environment they're in. Probably the most common leuco dye is phenophthelene, which, depending on which phenophthelene you have, shifts from colourless in neutral and acidic conditions to pink in a basic or alkaline environment and from colourless in neutral and basic environments to blue in acidic environments. Phenophthelene is what we all used in high school chemistry to see if solutions were acidic or basic.

Leuco dyes that are pink and blue in water based solutions and turn colorless when the water evaporates are what's used in colour shifting ceiling paints. I've heard that, depending on the temperature, humidity and colour of your paint, it can take up to a week for the pinkish or bluish colour in your ceiling paint to finally disappear. Also, leuco dyes aren't used in wall paints where someone simply cleaning a mark off the wall with a damp rag or Magic Eraser can leave a pink or blue blotch that looks worse than the mark did.

I consider colour shifting ceiling paints to be a bit of a gimick, but if you feel it's worthwhile to have the paint to tell you where you've already painted, then go for it.

Re: what's best ceiling paint for asbestos ceiling tiles

I would agree with Nestor that the color changing paints are somewhat of a gimmick. I have also fielded a few complaints about them not completely turning white. Also, they do not turn a bright white, if that is what you desire.

If the ceiling tiles have never been painted in all those years, I would be somewhat concerned that 50 years of household pollutants might come bleeding through. You might consider priming them first with a good primer/sealer such as Kilz Premium or Zinser's 123. I would give them at least 24 hours of dry time if any signs of bleed through are seen. These primers obtain their greatest stain blocking after 24 hours.

Both Kilz and Behr now have new premium stain blocking ceiling paints. They are on the pricey side, however. They may also be tinted with the normal formulas used by their other paints. Most ceiling paints tint oddly.

I would prefer a dead flat on ceiling tiles. Personally, I don't find them overly attractive and putting a high sheen paint on them only highlights them more. I like to use a fairly short knap roller so as to not unduely fill the holes, if that is the style of tile you have. Every edge grove will have to be backed brushed to get it covered, followed by a light rolling to leave an even texture.

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