Ceiling Trim Help

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Ceiling Trim Help

Postby RetroAttic » Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:08 pm

OK, I am coming to the experts again for advice. We have a mid-century house built in 1960 with a living room and guest room that are redwood paneled and have white ceiling tiles. The paneling has years and years of sun damage and was blonde washed (very poorly) at one time.

We have found an excellent guy to refinish and stain all the wood for us. We have been extremely happy with his work. He seems to love our house, understands our desire to keep the style as originally intended and seems to have a good understanding of what the original intention was.

He has suggested that we add trim along the ceiling because it would make the bedroom look more finished. He has not mentioned this yet in the living room (I assume because he hasn't started work in there yet.) but we are expecting he might make the suggestion there also.

He is supposed to bring me a sample of the trim he is talking about but I have not seen it yet. I am envisioning something VERY small and plain. I know crown molding would be extremely taboo. Is there any scenario where a small plain trim would be appropriate at the ceiling? Please give me your input and advice.

You can see photos of the living room on my blog here http://retroattic6969.blogspot.com I am having a difficult time linking to specific photos but you should have an easy time scrolling through and finding photos of the wood paneled living room with high sloped ceilings. I do not have any photos of the bedroom but the walls and ceilings are similar except the bedroom does not have the sloped ceiling or beams.

Thanks for your help!

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Postby egads » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:40 pm

Is there some roughness to the edges where they meet? I know it would be easier for a finisher to have a line, but it has never had one and does not seem to need one. If he gets stain on the ceiling, I'm sure it can be painted over. I would, especially in the beamed rooms, probably wait until the refinishing is complete and well dried. Then one would carefully mask off all the wood to repaint the ceilings. Depending on what is actually used for a final clear coat on the wood, the type of masking tape can be very important.
There is a lime green one especially made for taping off finished wood.

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Postby RetroAttic » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:54 pm

I don't think it is particularly rough. Of course it isn't as finished as it would be with a trim. I never even noticed it but my mom said she had noticed that it doesn't look finished. I don't think getting stain on the ceiling is a concern. They have done an excellent job so far and it doesn't seem to be an issue. The bedroom is finished and the ceiling looks stain free. I will be curious to see what the trim he has looks like. I didn't see him today because I left for work before he arrived and returned after he left.

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Postby scowsa » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:59 am

I think this is purely an aesthetic decision based on how clean the top edge of the paneling looks when it meets the ceiling.

Browsing the many interior shots in my copy of

one sees paneled walls with and without trim and where there is trim, it looks like it's approx 1.5" high.

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Postby ch » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:44 am

There is no reason to put a trim in a flat ceiling room where wall meets ceiling. The rooms in your photos are typical and were obviously built without a trim and do not need one now.

It appears that the paneled rooms with the sloping ceilings were also built without trim where wall meets ceiling. This joint does not look "sloppy" to me from your photos but the pictures aren't close-up shots. I do find it hard to believe when they built the house they wouldn't have taken care with the materials at these junctures. Some people have preconceived ideas regardless of how something was designed - e.g. all cabinets MUST have pulls, all windows MUST have curtains, all rooms MUST have crown molding, etc. Perhaps this is what is really bothering them about the room.

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Re: Ceiling Trim Help

Postby janelom » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:15 am

I have a small strip of trim where my paneling meets the ceiling. I think it was done because the paneling in my home was installed in a vertical louvered fashion. The strip creates a clean line against the ceiling. In your case though I think no strip would be the best choice. Especially in rooms (non paneled) where the wall meets the ceiling.

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