Addressing Visual Problems
Ceilings are oftentimes neglected because they’re somewhat awkward and tiring to work on. There are two main problems that should be investigated when this facade is involved: first, the actual surface itself and secondly the crease between the ceiling and your bath walls. Appropriately, there are also two different ways to fix the problem depending upon which issue you have to deal with; one that allows the renovator to physically change the surface of the ceiling and the other solution can cleverly camouflage the issue so that it is not so obvious to the casual observer.
Hiding Uneven Wall and Ceiling Joint Lines
Typically you paint a wall up to the ceiling. If you have an older home that has been subject to even a little bit of movement overtime the line between the two surfaces will become uneven. However this problem can be easily solved by either moving the connecting line up onto either the ceiling itself or down onto the adjacent wall. This not only disguises the unevenness of the join but also visually changes the apparent dimensions of the room to better align with the space.
Painting a Line on Your Ceiling
Normally if your room is low then it would be best to take the paint line up to the ceiling to optically raise the space. The tools you will need are a long ruler, T-square, pencil, four inch paint brush, roller (optional) and some matte latex paint in two colors. Your objective here is to visually mask the uneven joint through the use of a colored band. Start by painting the whole ceiling the lighter of the two colors and let it dry. Next using your T-square measure out from the wall to the desired depth you want on the ceiling. Continue doing this along the entire length of the façade ticking off the measurement using your pencil at approximately 20-25 inch intervals. Once that is complete you can join your ticks using the long ruler to create a straight line that spans your whole ceiling.
A Steady Hand
Professional decorators use masking tape to create a barrier between areas they want painted and sections they don’t want paint on. If you are fortunate enough to have a smooth ceiling then using tape to mask the area is invaluable to create a crisp line. However most ceilings are not totally flat so trying to contain the paint to one side of the line will not work because the adhesive will not stick properly on the rough surface and the color will bleed under the barrier ruining your hard work. So believe it or not it’s sometimes easier to just paint freehand along your drawn line. Using the other color, paint your bathroom wall up to the ceiling and with a steady hand, drag the paint along the pencil line and fill in the color back to the wall. One thing that should be mentioned here is that you should try to keep your wall color on the light side because a visibly darker tone has a tendency of making your bath seem smaller.
Camouflaging a Crease
The other method to hide uneven wall to ceiling joints is to paint a line along your bathroom wall as opposed to a line on the ceiling. The tools you will need are the same the only addition is a spirit level because the ceiling/wall line will be uneven so you want to create a level beginning point. You can also use a roller for wider application and to speed up the painting process. Start by applying a lighter color on the ceiling and the top section of your bath wall. Once this is dry, measure down the wall to where you want the line to begin. How far down the wall will depend on how high your ceiling is. If you want to create a cozier feeling the lower the line should be but an average depth would be approximately four inches to ensure the drop looks intentional.
Properly Using a Colored Band
Now using your level and pencil mark a straight line around the room. Unlike the ceiling, you can use painters tape to mask above the line without worrying about the color bleeding under the tape, just make certain you apply sufficient pressure so that the tape creates a proper seal. Using either a roller or brush, apply paint up to the taped line making sure to keep your application fairly random to hide any prominent brush strokes or roller marks. Once the paint is dry remove the tape and viola you have a visual disguise using a colored band that will hide any uneven ceiling and wall joints to create a professional looking bathroom.
Creating a Cornice
Using paint is a quick and easy solution but if you have a little more time on your hand and want to really ramp up the look of your washroom then installing a cornice is the way to go. This technique however involves a lot more work but the results are spectacular. A cornice is a decorative frame or molding that can be added to the top of a wall to hide the join between the wall and ceiling area and really takes your decorative detail to the next level. For this example the tools you will need include: polystyrene cornice, tape measure, miter block, backsaw, pencil, small nails, hammer, wood glue, small 2 inch paint brush and matte latex paint.
Fitting in Decorative Detail
Measure the length and width of the room so that you know how much cornice material you will need. Remember the longer the pieces the less joints and the neater the finished detail will look. You can use the miter box and backsaw to cut the corner joints at a 45 degree angle to make neat, mitered corners. Place glue on the back of the moulding using a wavy vs a straight line and press firmly in place on the wall while you ensure everything lines up tidily. Next to make certain the molding doesn’t fall off the wall while the glue sets, gently hammer in nails above and below the strips at interval along the wall until the glue is dry. Remove the nails and give the molding two coats of latex paint. Remember you don’t need a fancy design; in fact plain molding is better suited to traditional styled homes. Enjoy your new look!
Adding a Finishing Touch
Of the three major surfaces in a room, the ceiling often gets the least amount of attention from the novice renovator and is rarely more than an afterthought when decorating their home. However if your ceiling is not taken into consideration especially if it has fallen into disrepair you could really miss the opportunity to enhance the appearance of your whole bathroom. Investing just a little bit of time and effort into this area will help to create the professional finished look we all desire in our homes.