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Old 03-21-2013, 04:30 PM   #1
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Default Trick for Cleaning Up Tongue and Groove Ceiling Edges

I was going to post this in the tips and tricks thread that was going awhile back and then remembered it was closed.

Anyway, I've had about three jobs in the past six months where tongue and groove natural wood ceilings were involved and where there was a fair amount of paint which had been misapplied onto the wood over the years resulting in sloppy looking edges. Sanding and restaining is an option but due to the location and angle it's difficult and time consuming to do and then obtaining a matching stain can be an issue.

A technique I started using to deal with this problem was simply to obtain a selection of acrylic paints in wood tones from a local art and craft supply store and use those to create matching colors to apply (using a small artists' brush) over the existing paint. It's pretty easy to play with the choices to get a color match that looks good and although there is a sheen difference from the acrylic compared to the stained and sealed wood, from below it really isn't noticeable. Depending on how careful you are to feather out the edges or even do a little faux wood graining, once you are done it's almost impossible to tell any difference from the regular areas of the boards from those that have been treated. And if you do mess up, or don't like the result, a quick wipe with a damp rag will remove the freshly applied acrylic and you can try it again.

Overall this is a much faster way to deal with this problem than sanding and restaining and the results are really quite good. Just thought I'd pass this along since I don't recall ever seeing anything about this in the past.

Below are a before and after shot of a section I did this morning.
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Trick for Cleaning Up Tongue and Groove Ceiling Edges-img_0012.jpeg  

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Old 03-21-2013, 05:51 PM   #2
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Looks great RH.I have actually done the same and on some brick exteriors as well.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:59 PM   #3
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Looks great! Curious to know how much time you invested in that process.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:06 PM   #4
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Nice!
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbsolutePainting View Post
Looks great! Curious to know how much time you invested in that process.
I always treat this as an a time only job since it can vary so much from one area to another. This property was small (around 1300 sq. ft. ) and I did the all ceilings in the house in about 14 hours. It isn't a fast process (it does go much faster where the ceiling boards run parallel to the wall) but it's faster than sanding and restaining.

This is a great add on service to provide. I did a fairly high end property last year where some really dramatic repainting was done and the owner was thrilled with the new look of her walls. But she hated the sloppy old paint on her ceiling. After we did this for her she couldn't believe how much it improved the overall look of the room.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:33 PM   #6
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It's amazing how a little paint in the wrong spaces can dramatically effect the overall look of the home. I have only painted one place with those ceilings and the problem wasn't so much paint on the ceiling as much as where the drywall Met the grooves (if that makes sense) weren't painted and it was just a quick straight line. Making it so you could see spots of the original colour piece of wood.

Nice work on that btw it looks 110% better
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:38 PM   #7
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Like night and day RH. Nice job and thanks for the tip.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Painter-Aaron View Post
It's amazing how a little paint in the wrong spaces can dramatically effect the overall look of the home. I have only painted one place with those ceilings and the problem wasn't so much paint on the ceiling as much as where the drywall Met the grooves (if that makes sense) weren't painted and it was just a quick straight line. Making it so you could see spots of the original colour piece of wood.

Nice work on that btw it looks 110% better
In this case there was an issue with the plaster being up in "^" of the grooves. I had a utility knife handy to trim those off as I went along.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:47 PM   #9
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I laughed when my wife bought me one of these at the craft store to use on these types of projects but it actually came in really handy. And no, I didn't wear a beret or artist's smock when doing the work.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:33 PM   #10
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Looks a lot better.
14 hours with an artist brush sounds like a pita.

Did you try to clean it off with some denatured alcohol?
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:38 PM   #11
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[RH] doh! [/RH]
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Looks a lot better.
14 hours with an artist brush sounds like a pita.

Did you try to clean it off with some denatured alcohol?
It was - but more in my neck than ass.

I did try a few removal techniques but this stuff had been on there for a while and may have even included some oil based paints.

This is one of those processes where the less you apply the better so although an artist brush is smaller it does allow for a finer application.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:14 PM   #13
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Good trick- I have done the same on trim edges that have been sloped on over the years. Doesn't matter how clean your edge is if the past sins still look like crap. A little creative coloring and it looks sharp and clean.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:49 PM   #14
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Looks Groovy RH!
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:52 PM   #15
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RH,

It's amazing the impact an artist's brush can have on a industrial, commercial, and residential paint job.

I recently had to patch numerous holes on some porcelain tiles in a mens and women's bathroom that had three different colors. After drilling the holes out and plugging them with some epoxy putty, I had to tint some paint to match. The tiny brushes allowed me to accurately apply the matched paint. Two weeks later people were still mentioning how hard it was to locate the previously conspicuous holes.

BTW, Nice job!

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Old 03-22-2013, 11:45 PM   #16
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I painted a brick house last summer that had a good bit of paint on the brick from past DIY jobs. The owner asked if there was anything I could do. Removal was out of his budget so I bought a few rattle cans of similar colors to the brick and touched it up.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:42 AM   #17
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Hey do you guys have any tips on caulking these things? Meaning the gap created between the wood and the drywall? Without getting it into the grooves of the t&g?

I'm thinking of running tape up there and putting out a fine bead and possibly just leave it, pull the tape. I figure that if I wipe it like normal the caulk gets pushed up into the grooves, has a wavy look from the ground.

Edit:
P.S. Good work btw.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:34 AM   #18
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Generally these ceilings are vaulted so unless the sheetrock guys really messed up a slight gap up there isn't too noticeable - as long as it's even. I would think a small gap would actually be desirable to allow for seasonal expansion and contraction of the different materials butting up against one another.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:50 AM   #19
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Nice trick. Do you just keep it on hand? We have used a similar technique on old natural trim where customers wanted the quick fix. Always sucks when your job looks chitty from others' slopiness...
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