Hey, I’m Dave. Apparently, there have been some questions about how we installed the wooden ceiling using barn board, in our country style guest bedroom, so my wife asked me to write a “how to” post on this DIY project. Let me first start by saying that I have the best wife ever…how many women would tile a floor when they are 8 months pregnant…or know how to use a sawzall, so I have to give my lady some props. *Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy located here.* Disclaimer: Construction projects have inherent risks, ranging from simply injured pride all the way up to doom and gloom death. Don’t undertake a project such as this unless you are very confident in your DIY abilities. Always better to use the checkbook tool to pay a professional rather than end up with a bad accident or injury.
Back to my first DIY blog post (and possibly my last depending on how this goes)…
supplies for DIY wooden ceiling
barn wood/reclaimed wood of choice
black acrylic craft paint and brush
how to install wooden ceiling treatment
STEP 2: Find your wood! “How?” you ask. It depends. If you live in a rural area and have some neighbors with old barns, you may have to look no further! If not, start with craigslist, facebook and google. Search the following terms coupled with some local, geographic identifier like the name of your city/town… “salvaged wood”, “barn wood” and/or “reclaimed wood”. This should put you well on the way in your hunt. We found a local picker who specializes in reclaimed wood.
STEP 3: Once you have the material on site you should plan out which pieces will go together and how you will lay out the ceiling…keep in mind that the boards need to be installed perpendicular to the ceiling joists. When you are using old materials like barn board there will be little consistency in the material itself, meaning the thickness and the widths of the boards will be different…that is why I say you need to plan it out…if you just start installing the material without a plan you will probably end up needing to buy more barn board as you will have a bunch of mismatched pieces at the end…not good.
STEP 4: This is an elective step, but pretty important, in our opinion, if your wood has not been kiln-dried (ours was not). This wood has likely been sitting out, exposed to nature, including possibly wood infesting creatures, for some amount of time. We sprayed our wood prior to installation with Bora Care, which will kill any termites that may exist in the wood. They also have a product that will eliminate mold along with termites. There are likely other similar products out there as well. It’s kind of an expensive step, but compared to the cost of pest control after the fact, well worth it!
STEP 5: Paint the bottom of the joists black (any kind of paint will do…we used basic craft acrylic, since that is what we had on hand). Barn board by nature won’t fit together tight so there will be gaps. If you don’t paint the bottom of the joists black you will see these gaps and the end result won’t look great.**Note, the picture below was from another installation we recently did (stay tuned for the blog reveal). In this shot, it was a drywall ceiling we were covering with the barn board, so we painted the drywall area in between each board black.** If you are covering joists, you can paint everything at the beginning, or do it little by little as you install, which is what we did (this way also saves paint).**
STEP 6: Installation of the boards is a two person job, so if you have a buddy that owes you one, now would be the time to collect. When I was installing the boards I used 2.5” black drywall screws to secure the boards to the joists. If you need more than one board to complete a run, I would recommend you cut an angle on the ends of the boards where they butt together…I cut a 30-degree angle, but it could be anything just as long at it is an angle.Crown molding is kind of a necessary evil with this project. By using crown, you don’t have to worry about getting the boards tight at the ends where they touch the walls. Without crown, it will be very difficult to get the cuts just right and, like caulk, crown molding can cover a multitude of sins!