Use paint and wallpaper to bring light and style into a finished basement.
Q. We would like to redo our basement. We have no real moisture problems, but the space is a little mustier than rest of the house. We also need help with paint colour. Can we wallpaper over our existing acoustical ceiling tiles? Is there such a thing as wallpaper that looks like tin ceiling tiles? Any other options would be appreciated.
A. If your basement is currently musty but not wet or damp, it may be wise to install a dehumidifier to help alleviate any moisture in the air. Depending on the amount of natural light in your basement, you could go with a darker paint colour for a warm, cozy space. If the rooms have little natural light, try going for a neutral, off-white palette such as Balsa (2042) or Vanilla (2100) from Pratt & Lambert on the walls and ceiling to brighten up the basement. Installing crown mouldings and baseboard mouldings can instantly bring a more finished look to your space. Since you’re looking for an antique tin ceiling look, the mouldings would work very well, depending on the ceiling height. If your finished ceiling height is less than 8’, choose a more narrow crown moulding or opt for a simple quarter round instead.
It is possible to wallpaper over your existing ceiling tiles. Try looking for paintable vinyl wallpaper, such as anaglypta paper. This embossed wallpaper can be used on walls or ceilings and comes in a variety of patterns that mimic antique tin ceiling tiles. Check with a local wallpaper distributor to see if they carry anaglypta or variations of it. Vinyl papers are also well suited in rooms or spaces where moisture is a consideration. Keep in mind that if your ceiling tiles are a little irregular or crooked, it might be slightly noticeable under the paper. You can paint this wallpaper any colour and still have the wonderful pattern underneath.