Embossed tin attractive and paintable as tastes change

  • Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2012 12:01 a.m.
A pressed tin backsplash is given more dimension with an ocher glaze rubbed over the yellow base coat.

Q On one of your shows, I saw you painting an embossed tin backsplash and love the idea, knowing that I don’t have to change the whole backsplash if my color tastes change — I can just repaint. Where do I find embossed tin, and how do I paint it?

A. Embossed tin sheets are not only decorative, they are also practical. They’ll last forever with the occasional coat of fresh paint. There are plenty of patterns available. Patterned tin often was used on ceilings and walls in the mid- to late-19th century and suits a historic or country setting. However, by choosing a suitable pattern and paint combination, you can achieve a stunning retro or even modern style.

To source, ask at your local building store or Google the search words “pressed tin panels” to locate an outlet near you.

Cut the panels to fit your backsplash area with tin snips; wear protective gloves and sand down the edges, as they are very sharp. Tin panels can be applied to the wall with tiny nails and/or glue. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Some tin panels comes preprimed; if it is not, then prime with an acrylic primer designed to cover metallic surfaces. You can paint one color; pale shades show off the design details and pick up interesting shadows.

Or to highlight the pattern, as we have done on the kitchen backsplash shown here, we mixed an ocher glaze: 1 cup glazing liquid and 1/4 cup paint. The colored glaze was applied over the cream base coat, then dabbed with a cotton rag, leaving the glaze behind in the grooves. Finish with two coats of acrylic varnish, and allow the paint and varnish to cure and harden for a few days.

Q. We are looking for a color suggestion for our master bedroom walls. We have a black poster bedroom set with silver handles, black and white bedding, white blinds and curtains, and a light hardwood floor. We were thinking red, taupe or gray.

A. Your color choice for the walls depends on the mood you wish to create in the bedroom.

The black-and-white theme can be dramatic, traditional or country when paired with the appropriate backdrop. Try a soft gray or creamy white if you want a sophisticated, classic atmosphere. The silver handles and other accessories will add a modern twist.

Red is a passionate color, a little risque and fun, if that’s your style. Whitewashed heritage blue or green would make a stunning rustic setting with a cotton bedspread or duvet in shades and patterns found in nature.

Q. I have a small room to paint and read that you should paint the ceiling and walls the same color to make a room feel bigger. White is the typical color for ceilings. What do you suggest?

A. If you paint the ceiling and walls the same color, the room will feel like a box. Go lighter for the ceiling and use a flat or matte ceiling paint.

The lack of sheen allows light to be absorbed rather than reflected, so the ceiling feels higher. I like to tint ceiling paint with the tiniest touch of blue or even pink to give it a warm glow.

Debbie Travis’ House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Email questions to house2home@debbietravis.com. You can follow Travis on Twitter at www.twitter.com/debbie_travis and visit her website www.debbie travis.com.

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