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Anyone have any experience installing fabric on a ceiling? My plan is to attach a black matte fabric, like duvetyne or felt, to the entire ceiling.


My initial idea was to use a spray adhesive to apply the fabric directly to the drywall, but working overhead may prove too difficult and possibly result in wrinkles and other mistakes.


My next idea is to apply the fabric to 4 x 8 sheets of cardboard, then glue the cardboard sheets to the ceiling.


I want this to look clean and professional, so no nails, brads, screws or staples are permissible.


Any suggestions would be appreciated from anyone who's been there already! Thanks in advance.
 

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Funny you should ask...I just finished putting black GoM FR710 fabric on my ceiling about 2 weeks ago. Based on slightly modified input from Dennis Erskine (who did the design), we were able to fabric the entire ceiling with only one seam--right down the middle, front to back. I think soffit to soffit, my ceiling was about 120" wide by 239" long.


The easiest way to do it is to think of it like you're buidling speaker grills...build a 1x1 or 2x1 wood frame and stretch the fabric/material over the frame and staple on the opposite side so the staples won't show when you butt two frames together. You can build numerous "small" frames (which would look like big ceiling tiles) or try and minimize the seams by building larger frames. We cheated and built two BIG frames (each 60" wide x 239" long)...a royal pain to work with, by the way!


When stretching the fabric around the frame, make sure you cut diagonally at the 4 corners to get a clean finish--otherwise, the fabric will bunch up at the corners and won't look good. Also, be very anal about stalping the fabric...we had some out-of-line staples peaking through the finished product, which we could have easily avoided by taking our time.


Depending upon the size/weight of the frames, you have some mounting options. The safest way (what we did) is to hammer long nails through the frame before putting the fabric on (e.g., we used 2" nails for the 1" thick frame, so 1" of nail was sticking out the "safe" side)--once the fabric is stretched, it looks like a speaker grill with nail points sticking out. Apply some Liquid Nails in between the nails, apply to the ceiling and gently hammer in using a rubber mallet...BE SURE TO HIT THE FRAME WHERE THE NAILS ARE, OTHERWISE YOU'LL KNOCK THE NAILS BACK THROUGH THE FRAME. The combo of nails and Liquid Nails is pretty tight. If you have smaller frames, you could even use heavy duty velcro to handle the mounting--I tested this on a smaller frame it worked pretty well (just get good, sticky backed velcro!).


I had a flat black ceiling (3 coats) and it reflected more light than I wanted to see...the fabric made all the difference in the world...I can only imagine what a good velvet would do. The GoM we used matches the walls and columns, so it's a nice, clean appearance.
 

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The theater construction is wrapping up as we speak, so there's no before/after comparison. The GoM FR701 fabric is close to acoustically transparent, so I would have to imagine that it will sound very, very close to what it would sound like without fabric...the ceiling is 2 layer sheetrock (1/2" over 5/8"). Even if it *did* impact the sound ever so slightly, I'd still do it...the change in reflected light is (based on some fairly crude experiments), well, like night and day. :)


If you used velvet or felt, though, I'd have to believe that you'd have some high frequency absorption. That's just a guess.
 
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