ceiling glitterI was up at Miller Supply Co. in Pittsfield recently, picking up a framing project, and while I was there I got to talking with Steve Miller, the owner. Miller’s has been in Pittsfield for decades. I asked him whether something in an old store display was still available (it wasn’t), and then I thought to ask: What do you have left that is really really old? One of the items he pointed me to: Vintage Ceiling Glitter — in silver and gold. He has just a half dozen or so containers left and, “When it’s gone,  it’s gone,” he said. Ceiling glitter: Yes, that was sure another “thing”. 

ceiling-glitter-2-2But I have some pressing questions:

  • Golly, how do you install it? I see from the plastic container cover that guns were used — that, I get. I can go online today and see guns for blowing ceiling glitter. But “throw by hand”? You must be kidding me. What a bloody mess? How in the world? You must not only need to wear goggles but also a zoot suit. And the stuff is expensive — wouldn’t you want to collect the excess and put it back in the gun? But then, that means your entire room would need to be 100% dust free, or else you would be also collecting dust, putting into a glitter gun and spraying it on the ceiling. Maybe there is no excess? Maybe it ALWAYS sticks, as long as the surface is tacky enough (see question below).
  • Does it go on flat ceilings? Or popcorn ceilings?
  • How do you ensure that the surface is all tacky? Do you spray paint fast with a spray gun canister thingie then quick quick quick get the glitter gun up and get the glitter on? Or, do you paint the ceiling with oil paint — which takes longer to dry and therefore is tacky longer — and then put up the glitter?
  • What happens if you screw up?

This is a very intriguing product. I would love to figure out the answers to all these questions and maybe even try it — for the record — on a ceiling.

As you can see, this ceiling glitter was made, most recently at least, by Zinsser. That’s the same company that today is famous for all kinds of wall preparation solutions. I believe they are owned by Rust-Oleum. Sure enough, when I googled a bit trying to look for ceiling glitter sold today, I only found examples from Zinsser, and all the listings that I found were sold out.

Like I said, if you are in the market, you can buy the last remaining stock from Miller Art & Frame, Pittsfield, Mass. link is here >> http://www.millerartandframe.com/There is not much left, though.

UPDATE: Reader Mark quickly identified another source of ceiling glitter and glitter guns available today. He wrote:

Check this out: Glitter gun here (glitter also available on the site)

Everything you need, both professional (pneumatic) & DIY (hand-crank) guns available, as well as glitter…

Thank you, Mark!

When were glitter ceilings introduced? 

Some readers questioned whether this effect was truly “mid-century” — but we are pretty sure we have provenance back to the mid-1950s, at least. Mark says that his true storybook ranch, built in ’56-57, had glitter on the ceilings (befitting a “Cinderella!”) and Ranger Smith says the foyer of his ’61 ranch had glitter on the ceilings, too. I would guess-timate that glitter ceilings were fairly popular throughout the 1960s and even into the Liberace 1970s, but then interest faded. Even so, they seem to have been continually available.

I NEEEEEEEEED a glitter ceiling!
ceiling glitter

The glitter chunks in my relatively-old Zinsser are pretty big – notably bigger than my crafty glitter. The label says that this ceiling glitter is all-aluminum.

I may use my two containers for artsy fartsy crafty projects. More likely, I will keep them in my my museum-of-Pittsfield-hoard. My precious……

Before they moved from North Street to their new (very googie) location on West Street, Miller’s carried a lot of wallpaper. After they moved, which is after I truly discovered them, I raided their basement for many rolls of their new old stock vintage wallpaper. I have installed several patterns in the house. I adore Miller Supply Co.

Categorieswallpaper
  1. Marie Gamalski says:

    In 1975, we moved into a NEW house my parents had built…. during the walk through, my father saw the glittered, popcorn ceilings, and said……..”ummmm, no, just NO!” Sadly they were repainted before we moved in????. An FYI, they’re usually on popcorn and oil paint is used for proper application, and no flaking later….as a 10yr old, I REALLY wanted those glittery ceilings!!!

  2. Marie Gamalski says:

    Yes… you can paint over it, w/oil paint that’s what was used to adhere the glitter….sadly my Dad had the builder paint over the glitter ceilings in our house before we even moved in????

  3. Marie Gamalski says:

    The glitter has to be blown on…. anything mixed into the paint doesn’t sparkle.
    I’ve tried those mix ins from paint stores etc. and you never get the “sparkly” effect they show, which makes sense, anything mixed into paint is covered/encased in paint.

  4. Jana says:

    Head down south, think Florida! Beautiful glitter pop-corn ceilings. They made a come back in the late 1980’s I believe. I saw the first one in New York. Very retro.

  5. David g says:

    Feb 2018. I’m buying a 1962 ranch in Florida with popcorn. I will have glitter. I just will. Though I havnt figured out how yet…….

  6. Barbara Mills says:

    Im sitting here at my office with giant glitter trapezoids – this is my second set (because we had to move office and I would not be without them) Our office, designed by architect friend – he was also the general contractor and found the crew who did the glitter.
    But I suggest you have your glitter done by a pro! I have to say my glitter is awesome and enjoyed every day! So, it is still possible. At least in Houston, Texas with a smart architect friend 🙂

  7. Thank you, Annette, for this memory. I found it researching glitter ceilings for an art project. I, too, grew up beneath glitter ceilings, and I was born in 1954. I have parent-verification that my first conscious memory of living anywhere was of age two, based on details I can give. That ceiling was glittered; and so, supports your memory. Shine on!

  8. Nancy says:

    Bought my first house in 1979..popcorn and glitter. I was in love! I built my first house in 1989…I insisted on popcorn ceilings with glitter. The builder tried to talk me out off it but I knew what I wanted. Now, 2019, due to storm damage, I’m having a heck of a time finding a contractor who can repair ceiling damage to match up. :o(
    In Oklahoma…

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