Goodbye, Gross Cavity

When the house was vacant for years, the water coming in from the outside (where the roof failed) really did a number on the house. One of the worst spots was in this room, where a section of the ceiling had collapsed. To be fair, the weight from all of the bird nestings above also probably contributed. It was a terrifying portal to some demonic netherworld. I’m sure of it.

First, we took down the gross ceiling. If you need a refresher on what that was like, you can read my post on it here. You may need a bath in hand sanitizer afterwards, though.

And then reinforced the framing.

And attached / secured the drywall that was up there much better.

After that, we put up a new drywall ceiling.

Just this makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER.

I had a grand plan! Both this room, and the room below (the Parlor) have damage in the ceiling from the water. And both of them have the same paneled ceilings. So, HOW SMART WOULD IT BE to take one ceiling down (the Parlor) and use the good panels to fix this room? Isn’t that smart?

It is, until my nemesis GLUE got in the way. The ceiling fell down, but MAN the panels that are still up are so stuck. They are installed so well. We tried taking a few down, and then my smart plan became a no-go.

I started to try and find more tile. I knew this wasn’t original to the house, and it wasn’t SUPER old. But I never imagined that I would find it in about 4 seconds of google searching.

AND IT’S CHEAP. What?!?!?!

To be clear, if I was picking out a ceiling, I probably wouldn’t use this material. It looks a little too new. But, when it’s painted, it looks immensely better. And, the less ceiling I have to tear out and put in a landfill, the better.

This is the “Armstrong Wellington” ceiling. We bought a single case for under $90, which is enough for 40 Square feet. We used half of the box, and MAYBE might be able to use the rest to repair the Parlor as well.

We’re so excited to try this!

Now, the previous installation wasn’t perfect, and the room isn’t super square, so installing it in a fixed hole proved to have some challenges. We did have to trim some of the edges, but you can’t really tell from the ground. Or, if you can, quit being picky, because there was a LITERAL PORTAL TO SATAN here.

Some definite finesse here.

Two in! Now, we aren’t sure if the old tiles were painted ivory, if they used to come in ivory, or if something else was afoot.

Right under this patch is going to be my new sewing station! We’re adding a pendant light over here to give it more work light, and so we had to cut a hole to prep for the fixture. This material is actually REALLY easy to cut to shape.

“Wait but how did you make a circle?”

It’s a very secret specialized piece of equipment.

The tape stencil was the PERFECT size!

To adhere, we used glue, a pin nailer, and sometimes painter’s tape until the glue dried. The tiles actually have a fastener system with them, but we didn’t use them since the original ceiling wasn’t using them.

Almost done!

Ceiling Paint sneak peek : light pink is the ceiling color. Brown is the old tile. White is the new.

Last baby piece! Don’t worry about that dumpster fire of a wall at the top. The crown moulding will cover it.

It’s glorious.

Instagram magic to make it look easy! Ha.

Getting this to have a ceiling has been a long time coming. And I am really happy with it! Doug did most of the work, but I DID source the material, pick out playlists, and did all the glue-ing and handing-up of tile!

Next Up : PAINT! Which you’ve seen sneak peeks of, so it will be very anticlimactic.



  1. I know you aren’t crazy about this ceiling choice, but I love it! In trying to victorianize our old house, which was built in the 1940’s, I found this exact pattern in embossed wallpaper. We did all our ceilings with it, except the kitchen & bath. Had I known it was available in a tile, we may have done that instead. It probably would have been easier to install. I hired a friend, who is a professional wallpaper installer. It was not one of her favorite installations to put it mildly.

  2. The old ceiling color looks like ‘nicotine’. I used the same tiles in my bedroom….painted the ceiling with copper-colored paint.

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