How to Install and Paint Decorative Ceiling Tiles

How to Install and Paint Decorative Ceiling Tiles

Use designer Nicole Gibbons’ instructions to add flair to your ceiling with foam tiles.

The addition of ceiling tiles gives a room an upgrade in elegance. Discover how easy it is to install and paint them yourself.

Decorative foam ceiling tiles
Utility knife
Ceramic tile adhesive
Caulk gun
Straight edge
Measuring tape
Rubber gloves
Carpenter’s pencil
Chalk line
Paint (two colors of your choice)

Tip: If the tile surface displays any defects like a crack, they should be corrected with filler prior to proceeding with the tile installation.



Become a member of P&G everyday and get exclusive offers!

Become a member
  1. Make sure the surface of the ceiling is clean of dust, grease, wax, cobwebs, or any other dirt or debris
  2. Find the center of the ceiling by stretching two chalk lines diagonally to their respective opposite corners. Snap the chalk lines against the ceiling to leave chalk marks. The two lines cross at the exact center point of the room, which is where you will start placing your first tile. It’s important to start in the center of the ceiling and build your way out
  3. Apply four 1-inch thick mounds of adhesive to the first tile. Keep the adhesive mounds away from the edges of the tile enough so that the adhesive doesn’t expand past the edges when installed
  4. Press your first tile into place, lining up a corner with the marked center point of the room
  5. Line up the diagonal tile corner along the diagonal chalk line and build your way out, applying ceiling tiles in a square around the first tile

Tip: If you have a light fixture or heating vent in the ceiling, make sure to mark this on the tile and carve out a hole (or square) with a utility knife.

  1. The remaining tiles should be installed in rows parallel to one-another, taking care to keep the edges as close together as possible
  2. When you get to the perimeter of the room, trim tiles with a utility knife and straight edge as needed to get a good fit to the walls
  3. If there are gaps between the ceiling tiles, apply a bead of caulk in the gaps with a caulk gun and wipe away excess caulk with a rag
  4. Paint tiles with a standard matte house paint to make the details stand out.
  5. If you’re using two colors, use a smaller paint roller to apply the second color to specific sections of the tiles after the first coat dries

Complete your personal information

Please fill in the information marked with an asterisk to proceed; if you want to get tailored offers and content, don't forget to fill in the optional fields.