Removable Ceiling Ideas

Mariah Elaine

If your ceiling is unsightly with minor cracking, stains or simply an unattractive treatment, you can cover the blemishes with a removable alternative. Depending on the treatment you choose, you can change the look and feel of your room with the option of removing the new ceiling later.

Install textured ceiling panels to hide flaws.

An added benefit of many of these ceilings is the ability to leave the old ceiling in place, avoiding the huge and messy job of removal. Some treatments can be installed directly over the old ceiling material, while others require hardware or additional support.

Pressed-Tin Panels

For a casual, but polished and eye-catching ceiling, try pressed-tin panels. These patterned-metal sheets usually come in 2-by-4-foot sheets along with cornices and filler pieces for finishing the look. The panels can be installed by first securing furring strips to the ceiling joists, which provides an even surface to accept nails. There are pressed-tin options intended for use in a suspended ceiling application. Several colors are available, along with paintable versions that allow you to match your walls or create a striking contrast.

Suspended-Grid Ceiling

If your ceiling has excessive blemishes, add a new suspended-grid ceiling, which hangs beneath the old ceiling. You will avoid tedious patching or repairs, which is a preparation requirement for treatments that are intended for direct application over an existing ceiling. Suspended-grid ceilings are also suitable for hiding exposed fixtures such as pipes and ductwork. An open metal framework is hung from the ceiling joists, and individual panels are inserted into the openings, hiding the old ceiling.

Tongue and Groove Planks

Tongue and groove planking, available in wood and fiber options, works well as a removable ceiling. Sold in manageable sizes, pieces fit easily around lighting, ceiling beams and other obstructions. Both plank materials can be stained or painted to coordinate with your room. Lighter than wood options, fiber planks can be glued or stapled directly to a drywall or plaster ceiling. Wooden ceiling planks must be secured to the ceiling joists to support their heavier weight.


Sheet paneling is a popular removable ceiling, especially for covering large areas. Sold in 4-by-8-foot sheets, you can cover areas quickly and the large panels work well on both flat and sloped ceilings. A beadboard pattern is available in both wood and fiber panel options, adding a casual feel to any room. The panels must be secured to ceiling joists and though it makes removable more difficult, adding adhesive first provides extra strength.