Bronze Age: A ceiling before and after

Ceilings are an often overlooked design element. In new homes, even expensive custom ones, they are often little more than expanses of white sheetrock. It's a shame, however, because they can be a wonderful place to introduce color, pattern, and shine. In this case, we wanted to create drama in a dining room. It has a distinct ceiling from the rest of the downstairs, but a large opening to the adjoining foyer. Because of the openness of the floor plan, we wanted the walls to be the same as the foyer, but we wanted a more dramatic feel in the dining room. The solution was to do a metallic bronze finish on the ceiling.
The ceiling and medallion (necessary to hide the hole left by moving the chandlier) before:
The primer/basecoat: Warm metallics need a red undercoat. Even when using opaque metallic paints, the warmth (or lack of it) from the basecoat is apparent. If doing a metallic finish yourself, you will be very unhappy with the results if you attempt it over a white or light colored wall. The darker the desired finish, the more crucial this step is. In this case, I was able to combine priming and a red basecoat by using a primer tinted with Sherwin William's Flower Pot, which is a great, orange based red without blue undertones.

Next, several layers of metallic paint. I used a mixture of Modern Master metallics, including Antique bronze and English Browns. Modern Masters are expensive (About $35 for a quart), but they cover very well, and come in great colors. Even so, you may have to mix several different colors to get the exact shade you want.

It took about 4 coats, but I ended up with a deep luscious bronze to bring drama and warmth to the previously stark surface (to get depth, coveage, and evenness, it is important to use several sheer layers of paint instead of one thick layer).


Visual Vamp said...

I have a teeny tiny bathroom ceiling you could please do for me ha ha.
Love your work!
xo xo

Anonymous said...

How did you apply the metallic paint?