Products To Use

Painting an ornate, aluminum ceiling in fine detail is easy because it is painted before it gets fixed to the ceiling. Most aluminum paneling is sold with etch primer already on it so it is immediately ready to paint. You can use one colour over the whole ceiling, you can add just a touch of colour on the moldings or you can can paint every detail in various shades of paint. The patterns in aluminum ceilings are more deeply pressed than other types of ceilings so they create lovely shadows themselves just from electric light or from natural daylight. Accordingly most people use one colour of paint over the whole ceiling. It is strongly recommended that pale shades of paint be used. Darker colours can be appealing in theory but in practice they can often give a heavy oppressive feel to a room. Oil based paints otherwise known as enamel paints, are the best products to use on metal. They give a tough finish which will last a long time. You don’t want to re-paint your lovely ceiling at any stage so use good quality paints.

In really tough wear and tear areas such as on pub walls or in front of bars it can be a good idea to consider powder coating. This is a high heat treatment which coats the panels on both sides and produces a tougher finish than standard oil paints. There is a limited range of colours used in powder coating but generally there is a colour to suit most tastes. Always consider how you will paint your panels before you order them. If powder coating is your choice then you will need to order your panels minus the etch primer. Powder coating and etch primer are not compatible. Powder coating companies can be located in your Yellow Pages telephone directory. Powder coating would generally be considered excessive on a normal ceiling which is not subject to wear and tear.


Brushes with a width of about 2 -3 inches (6 -7 cm) are the largest you should use when painting the base color of your panels. You will need to paint at least two coats. If dark colours are used then you may need a third coat. Choose the best quality brush you can afford so that you are not continually picking off hairs from your beautiful paint job. When painting the fine details you will need much smaller brushes. Use artist brushes, sizes 6 and 4 to start with and progress from there. Always try to be consistent in the way you paint. For example, always paint your leaves with brush strokes in one direction only. Have a small pot of turpentine at hand and also a box of cheap cotton buds. Any paint excesses or errors can be smartly wiped away with a cotton bud which has been moistened with the turps.

How Much Detail to Paint

Remember that the ceiling will always be several feet above your head so exceedingly fine details may not be seen from that distance. It is easy to paint too much detail into ceiling panels. Remember “less is often best”. Too many colours can make your ceiling look too “busy”. Every so often you should stand back from your work and assess it from several feet away.

After The Ceiling Is Installed

When the ceiling is nailed up you should take a look at the nail heads – if you can find them. Because such small nails are used you may find that they are not visible. If necessary you can paint a tiny amount of paint on the nail heads.

Thank you for taking the time with me to learn more about what Mr. Done Right, the handyman / contractor does for you.
Don Fenton
(AKA) Mr. Done Right
For more information on handyman or contractor work in the greater Austin area (or beyond), please contact your premiere handyman, Don Fenton, AKA Mr. Done Right Handyman Contractor of Austin, because Mr. Done Right ensures any repairs and/or remodels get Done Right the first time! Call us now for a free estimate! 512-659-8931

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