Painting a Black Box Theater Ceiling

sheamorgan

New Member
Is it possible to paint fiberglass ceiling tiles?

I'm a high school senior doing some renovation for my school's black box theater as my community service project. It's a converted classroom, and still has white classroom ceiling tiles. Instead of buying all new black tiles, my teacher would like me to paint the ones we currently have black. Based on my research it might not be possible. What should I do?
 

jonliles

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
Why do you think you can't paint them? They will soak up lots of paint, but it is possible. take them down, lay them flat, prime, and paint. I'm sure others will pipe in with how they've painted them in the past.

We did an art project 30ish years ago where the art dept painted the high school front lobby with a scaled down version of the center panel panel of the Sistine Chapel. I know the ceiling lasted for 10 years (at which point they remodeled the school while my siblings were there).
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Is it possible to paint fiberglass ceiling tiles?

I'm a high school senior doing some renovation for my school's black box theater as my community service project. It's a converted classroom, and still has white classroom ceiling tiles. Instead of buying all new black tiles, my teacher would like me to paint the ones we currently have black. Based on my research it might not be possible. What should I do?
Don't paint them in place for at least two reasons:
1, They'll effectively be glued in place.
2, If / when you force a few out sometime later, the surface will tear exposing white and they'll look seriously bad when you put them back in place.
As has already been posted, remove the tiles, number them on the rear, lay them flat, paint, allow to thoroughly dry. While the tiles are drying, paint the T-bars. Resist the urge to replace the tiles until they, and the T-bars, are totally dry. Cover everything you care about while you're painting. If you opt to use spray paint, don't set off the smoke detectors. Don't ask me how I know about smoke detectors and how quickly the fire folk can arrive. Don't ask me about their short tempers and sadly lacking sense of humor either.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
 

Colin

Well-Known Member
If the tiles have the typical texture that's hard to cover, see if there's a little money to rent an airless sprayer. It'll be a faster, easier, better quality finish for $75 or less for a day's rental.
 

Tom Andrews

Active Member
I think painting the ceiling tiles might affect the flammability rating of the tiles. If you can, use an intumescent paint (hard to get it to be a dark black, though). Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams both make high quality intumescent paints. The points above about taking them down first are good.
 

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
Yes you can paint - roller or spray. To not change acoustical properties (as much) you need a non- bridging paint that won't sesl the pores which absorb sound energy. It may be a thinned down latex will be OK. And probably a flame spread rating of B - but would have to check that. I don't think you need intumescent - that's like for a steel column instead of type x drywall.
 

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