Ceiling Ideas

I haven’t added our dining room tour to the Our House tab in our menu bar yet because it’s still a bit of a work in progress. That being said, the room has changed a lot since we bought the pumpkin-colored place in 2007…

And boy have we had a lot of fun working on playing with it over the past few years!

We had fun creating the “wonder wall“…

…and even more fun decorating it for Christmas last year…

We even had fun using the room as a bedroom, while ours was under construction…

But at some point, we ran out of steam and never really finished the ceiling or the floor in there, so we took advantage of another burst of DIY energy a couple weeks ago, and went back to work on Project: Dining Room.

Kev started by taping himself in there one day and sanding back the original hardwood floor (that was originally covered up by laminate flooring)…

(That awful old kitchen tile is gettin’ the boot at some point too!)

Unfortunately, he sanded his palms back a bit that day too. Zoinks!

So while Kev’s pummeled palms healed up, I got down to business and sealed the floor with three coats of semi-gloss Varathane from Lowes, and after that, we turned our attention up to the ceiling.

Unlike the planks in our guest bathroomΒ and reading room, the wood we uncovered up there was always just a liiiiiiittle too rustic for our taste.

We didn’t have the funds or energy to deal with it when we originally uncovered it, so we just slapped on some primer and leftover blue paint (Sea Salt by SW).

It did the (temporary) trick, but last month I had one of those infamous “I can’t take it anymore” moments, so Kev and I put our heads together to figure out how we could fix it… for around a hundred bucks.

Our first idea involved attaching big sheets of something called eucaboardΒ (from Home Depot) to the ceiling. It was thin, it was inexpensive, and it seemed like a great idea. Keyword: seemed. I thought we could attach them in a big grid-like pattern, and cover up all the seams with some kind of thin, wood trim. Keyword: thought.

Let’s just say that little project didn’t go quiiiiite as easily as planned, and that there may or may not have been some uncomfortably intense moments at the Palmer household as we tried to hoist and hold up the first 4′ x 8′ sheet of eucaboard while one of us nailed it into place. And let’s just say the intensity may or may not have intensified when said nails proceeded to slide right up on through that first 4′ x 8′ sheet of eucaboard at the exact moment someone’s arms turned to wet spaghetti.

Oh yeah….that was a real good time.

Anywho, our (intense) adventure ended with a 4′ x 8′ sheet of eucaboard out by the curb, and a trip to Lowes to see what else we could cover the ceiling with.

Here’s what we decided to try (the second time around)…

It’s a V-groove, wood plank product by EverTrue, and there’s six 8-foot long planks in each pack.

Each pack costs $10.93, and we figured we’d need about 10 of them to cover our entire dining room ceiling. (Much cheaper than any other ceiling plank option that we looked at.)

The planks are super thin, and very light weight. Keyword: light.

We didn’t buy all eight packs right away, because after the whole eucaboard debacle, we weren’t sure if anything was going to work and we were skeered. We took home one pack of planks that day, and I promptly laid them out on a drop cloth and gave them two coats and primer, and two coats of leftover Moonlight White (BM) paint.

Our dining room ceiling is 9′ – 7″ wide, and the planks are only 8 feet long, so we decided to do a little staggering of the seams.

Using our nail gun, we attached one full-length board to the ceiling, and then cut a smaller one to finish off that “row”. Then on the next row, we did it the opposite way, so the “pattern” will look sort of like this when we’re done:

Turns out you can barely see the seams after all, but we just thought it would be weird to have all the shorter planks on one side of the room.

Here’s where we’re at today…

(You can still see some Liquid nails up there from the eucaboard experience…grrrr.)

We’re not quite halfway across the room, and there’s still LOTS of nail hole filling, touch up painting, crown & trim molding attaching, and wall trimming, painting or papering to do- but we’re okay with that. It’s the 4′ x 8′ sheets of eucaboard we have issues with.

PS- We’re hoping to finish the ceiling up soon so we can turn our attention back to the drywalled walls. We want to do something really different there too! (Just have to figure out what that is- LOL!)

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  1. says

    Loved your ceiling so we went to Lowes tonight and bought the wood to do our disaster ceilings. We got a great deal. some of the packs were opened and had a few chips down the side. They marked 5 packs down to $5 a pack and the other 11 packs they marked down to a $1 a pack. I could not believe our luck. looking forward to installing and thanks again for a wonderful idea..

  2. Tina says

    Hi! I loved reading this post. I found this blog about two months ago and sat here to read all the posts I missed. It was like reading a book and I so enjoyed it. Now I’m all caught up and following you guys around in your cool journey. I really, really would like to know more about what looks like a screen door in the dining room. I want to put one between our kitchen and sunroom which use to be part of the porch. We always had a screen door growing up and I loved them. I have one on my back door but thought it would be cool having one going into the kitchen. So is the door in the dining room photo a screen door? Thanks! Tina

  3. says

    What type of nail gun do you use and size of nails? We are about to attempt this project and want to make sure it goes smooth. We have a brad nailer but I don’t think this will be heavy duty enough?

    Thanks for all your amazing ideas!

    • says

      Hi Erin!
      We used an 18 gauge brad nailer with 1 1/4″ brad nails (32mm) we were shooting into a wood ceiling and it held wonderfully! :) Thanks for the comment!

  4. Wanda says

    I saw this on Traci’s blog and now on your blog (which I LOVE)!! I am wondering if I could do this in our kitchen that has an oval tray ceiling above the breakfast nook. I’m just trying to figure out how I would finish out the oval area. If it was rectangle I would have a clue but oval…I don’t know! You guys have such creative brains I know you would come up with something….LOL

  5. says

    I just know found your blog and now I know what I am going to do in the future to our little place on the lake! Love that you took the wallboard down to the studs, love the look!

  6. says

    This is great!! Thanks for the product recommendation. I’ve been wanting to do this in our “dining room,” which is really an L-shaped enclosed porch/sunroom. In ours, I would miter the corner of the “L.” Does that make sense? Here’s my question though (maybe you can help):
    I hate the placement of the light fixtures in that room (they’re not centered, etc.) I was thinking that by covering the ceiling, it would give me the opportunity to move the fixtures where I want them without having to actually move the junction boxes. Could I somehow leave the boxes where they are and just run the wiring behind the new ceiling planks? Do you know anything about this?…. Or should I just call an electrician when the time comes?

  7. Tracy says

    This is fabulous, thanks for posting it! I’m dying to tear the drywall ceiling down in my kitchen, but hubby is skeered of what kind of mess might be above it. This would ease his worry!

  8. Brandi says

    Can the planks be stained? I want to do something like that in my kitchen but I wanted to do a warm honey wood.

  9. says

    My husband and I are always doing projects around the house. I really love all of the great pictures on your post showing exactly what you have done. The ceiling turned out wonderful and it makes all the difference in the room. Thanks for sharing and we will both be checking back to see what else you guys are up to. Always looking for ideas! Sharon

    • Nicole Beverly says

      Did you find another soloution? I’m not finding them at our Lowes either! :(

  10. Ann H says

    Do you think this product would work as flooring in a bedroom or would it be too thin?

  11. Kaye Chastain says

    Layla, you two are amazing! And you are so blessed to have a husband who is just as enthusiastic as you are about getting things done! Mine enjoys it to an extent, but then the golf course beckons, and he is gone! **sigh** The tip about the paint drips on the ceiling planks is awesome. No one else is going to tell you something like that, even the manufacturer. It’s called “Life Experience 101”!

  12. Sandra says

    I love your site! I’ve been thinking about what to with my ugly “stucco’ed” ceiling in the kitchen since I bought my house 12 years ago. (I suspect there was a bathroom leak upstairs–and hey, why fix a problem when you can just slap a bunch of junk over it?) I’ve always wanted a “beadboard” ceiling but couldn’t figure out how I’d install it. This looks a manageable solution! Looking forward to seeing your finished project.

  13. Claire says

    You guys have given me the idea to cover my bathroom ceiling AND one wall in my master bath in planks. Then, I could do the floor in large tile, take out the long counter and put in two pedestal sinks and a center built in between the sinks. It would look lovely.

  14. Anne says

    I’m planning a coastal rental reno and I think I might have a good option instead of the panel product you used. I really want a wider plank and to avoid the beveled edge, trying for a more rustic look. I order milwork from this company. Check out page 49, they have a lattice that is 1/4″ x 5-1/2″. The thin profile should keep down cost and make installation easier than using regular dimensional lumber.


    Hope this helps you or your readers. Your work is very inspiring. Thanks :)

  15. Wendy B. says

    Hi, Layla! Your ceiling posts inspired me to use the same product in our new family room addition. We’ve made it about halfway across the room with the planks and I’m kinda freaked out. I realize it will look better with fresh paint– I only primed before hanging because I figured they would get banged around during all the rest of the construction in there. But it’s the seams that are getting to me. When you look straight down the seams, it’s almost like they are a little wavy. Some of the planks were not in perfect condition so I’m guessing that’s what’s causing it, because we are halfway and it’s still all snapping together ok so I guess we are doing it right. I got back on to check your posts and I noticed you said something about caulking the seams, Will this help that problem. What kind of caulk did you use and did you use wood putty for the knots and nail holes? Any help you have would be greatly appreciated. I talked my husband into this…just don’t want to regret it. Thanks.

    • Layla says

      Hi Wendy!

      I’m not sure why the seams would look wavy, but I will say that caulk hides a multitude of imperfectness! I’d press on! :-)
      Just make sure you use a non-cracking, paintable caulk on everything and you’ll be good to go! (We didn’t use wood putty…just the caulk.)

  16. joan says

    I love that you show such creative ways to remodel – on a BUDGET. We are retired and most remodeling is so expensive. Thank you for all your clear instructions (even showing the oops!), while including details like where to buy, brand names and colors, etc. SO helpful. I LOVE your blog and so thankful that I found you. :-) You are both an inspiration. When can you come over for tea?
    ~ joan

    • Layla says

      Thank you so much, Joan! πŸ˜€ I just did a bunch of landscaping this morning, so you probably wouldn’t want me to come over right now- ha! #PU #ShowerTime

  17. Nicole Beverly says

    I have been searching for these planks and can’t seem to find them at Lowes. Do you know if they’ve been discontinued?

    • Layla says

      Hi Nicole! I don’t think they’re discontinued. They’re always on an end cap at our Lowes. :-)

  18. Heather says

    What size nails, how many nails per beam? Can we get some deets on how to actually do this project? Love it, great idea.

    • Layla says

      Hi! We just wing it around these parts. We just used whatever nails came with the gun and just popped em randomly wherever it felt right- ha! πŸ˜€

  19. says

    I would love to do this with my A-Frame wood ceiling that I would like to expose. However I live in the Northeast’s colder climate, any chance of suggesting insulation behind this?

  20. Patty says

    Hi Layla!!
    I am going to be trying this idea on a bedroom ceiling. I plan to paint the bedroom a white as well. Do you think it would be weird to use the same white on the walls and the ceiling? Or should I use a slightly different shade of white on the ceiling? Can you PLEASE email me back asap because SW is having a 4 day 40% of sale starting tomorrow! I would REALLY appreciate it!!!!
    Thank you for all the inspiration!!!

  21. Jackie says

    I love your ceiling!! Gorgeous!!!
    Can you tell me what brand/ model of nail gun did you use and nail size? I want to get started on this project for my bathroom as soon as possible. I need to purchase a nail gun, and want to make sure I get the correct one.

    Thanks so much

  22. Leslie says

    I am soooo glad that I found this!! We live in an OLD house (built in 1900 to be exact) and the ceilings upstairs are not very attractive…I just told my husband about the plank ceilings and we were at a loss as to where to find them, etc. So glad you have so much info on here, it is greatly appreciated!!!

  23. lieb says

    we just purchased a lake cabin and we want to install the same boards on our walls. i know it is easier to prime/paint them before they go on ceilings but is there a reason to paint/prime them before you put them on a wall? i want to do whatever is easiest! :-) thank you for all the great advice!

  24. Karen McComas says

    Layla and Kevin,

    Thanks for sharing your inspirations and experiences. We (hubby and I) just nailed up the last plank in our master bedroom! We don’t have popcorn ceilings – but ours have that swirly design thing with points that have pretty much popped every balloon foolish enough to go to those heights! So glad it is gone – now I’m faced with the finishing work. Was wondering what you thought of using caulk to fill nail holes and to create a seal between each plank – recessed enough that the plank motif is still evidence but it will give a uniform depth (and fill in those few places where the wood was chipped – these cheap planks do have some duds)?


  25. Betty says

    Would this work over popcorn ceilings?
    Would nailing it to popcorn ceilings hold?

    • Layla says

      Hi Betty!

      It would definitely work over a popcorn ceiling, but I would find the joists above the sheetrock and nail the planks to furring strips to make sure the planks stay up! :-)

  26. Margie Threlkeld says

    Love your idea of the planking. I too have an old house I,m working on and I strongly dislike drywall . After all why buy an old house just to make it look new .

  27. Beth Daniel says

    I wanted to use this in my house but was told by a decorator that the pine would yellow even if I primed it. Have you had trouble with yellowing or with the pine knots bleeding through?

    • Layla says

      Nope! We’ve used it in several houses over the past few years, and as long as it’s really well primed with a really good primer- it’s never yellowed for us. :-)

  28. Jodi says

    I wonder if I can put this stuff on the floor? I have teenage boys and 2 huge German Shepherd dogs. I need to pull up ugly old carpet and put something very inexpensive down. It doesn’t have to last forever. But something that would look nice, and last until I can afford to do what I’d like. I wouldn’t mind painting a gym seal over it just to make it more durable. What do you think, after dealing with these planks? Also, my home is a manufactured home. The floors are very level, all wood under the carpet is in awesome condition. And I’ve only ever painted , patched a hole or two, replaced door knobs, etc. Small projects. Is this as easy as you made it look? Lol. Oh, sorry I’m rambling, I love your blog!! As a mother of 3 teens and a husband who’s always working, this gives me hope and inspiration!!:)

  29. Kathy Hanson says

    Laaayyyyylaaaaa- you got me on my knees…..

    Sorry, that song just came to me, AND I am on my knees begging for some advice-

    My husband and I purchased the pine tongue and groove, just like yours, but the pieces are… well…. crap. 2 out of the 6 were good, the rest had issues….. either the tongue was loose and on it’s way out or the pine was damaged. Did you come across this problem? Were you able to return the damaged ones?

    Thanks and I sure hope you reply even though your post is about 3 years old!! LOL!!

  30. Geri says

    Thanks Layla for the great idea…..we used the exact product for the ceiling in our sitting/tv room after we took down the lovely drop ceiling….we did have to be picky when purchasing the boards because a lot of the packages were rough with splits & splintering wood. I ended up doing a white wash on them so we can see some of the grain and knots and it is great!! Everyone loves it and such a difference…thanks so much for your inspiration!! And easy to do!!!!