To show you how to clean a dirty tin ceiling, I took some photos to show you how we clean one in preparation for painting. You can also use this method to just clean most tin ceilings that don't need a fresh coat of paint.
This paint job was a tin ceiling in a small kitchen, and the tin ceiling was covered in grease from the stove. You can see in the picture below how stained the tin ceiling is. The lighter areas are where we did spot cleaning to see how bad the grease on the ceiling was.
To to clean a dirty tin ceiling, we first cover all the counter tops and floors with plastic. We wore paint coveralls and gloves, goggles, and masks to shield ourselves while cleaning the ceiling.
We then used TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) mixed according to the package directions in a bucket of warm water on the ceiling. We used large sponges to apply the TSP to the ceiling and then removed the cleaning solution and grease with sponges soaked in warm water. It took several applications of the TSP to get the tin ceiling clean.
TSP is a strong cleaner! Follow all label directions and safety guidelines on the box, OK?
If your ceiling has grease on it or is stained yellow, you have to remove this stuff before painting. The paint wont stick to grease.
It took a whole day to clean the ceiling, applying the soap several times, then allowing the ceiling to dry before painting the ceiling. We used a 3/8″ nap roller and a high quality latex paint.
TSP P Free (less harsh cleaner)
Cleaning Sponges (you will need a bunch of these)
Have you cleaned a ceiling? What was your experience? Tell us below: