Wood Ceiling Installation

Kev made me a birthday hair flag yesterday morning and you can bet your bottom dollar I wore that sucker all. Day. Long!

Even to Publix.

Birthday lunch: spinach & artichoke dip, Townhouse crackers, california rolls, and mini cupcakes

Yep. I turned the big 3-8 yesterday, and I celebrated in true DIY style- working on Kevin’s brother’s ceiling! Here’s what it looked like before we started nailing up the planks on Monday (11am)…

…and here’s where we left off last night (6:30pm)…

Like I mentioned the other day, we’re using this photo as our inspiration for this room…

…so the blue-painted planks will really give it that Southern Living feel for less than $200.

We started by pulling down the vent covers and two of the recessed lights…

Insulation came raining down on our heads when we pulled the light fixtures down, and since each one had a big ol’ sticker that said…

…we made a quick call to Kev’s brother (Kerry) and suggested that he update his lights when we’re done working on the ceiling. (Note: Kerry agreed, and our electrician friend, Mark, is installing the new lights on Friday!)

After the lights and vents were down, we made trip #2 to the home improvement store because we realized that we’d definitely need one of these…

…and since we didn’t feel like making trip #3 to the home improvement store (doh!), we used a couple of these to mark our ceiling joists…

Note: Don’t forget to buy a chalk line when your at the store! It took a looong time to do it this way, and we probably should have just driven back and purchased one, but we did it, it’s done, and our crayon lines have been workin’ like a charm so far- ha!

(Note to Kevin- I love you so much for trusting my crazy ideas, and I hope that if you’re reading this several years from now, that you’re smiling REALLY big about our crazy days dropping “half crayons” from tall ladders. “Who’s turn is it to climb down and get it this time?” ;-)

#IfYou’reWackyAndYaKnowItClapYourHands #ClapClap

Oh, hey, and here’s another little time-savin’ tip (ya know, since we’re so good at saving time…hardy har har)- Paint drips are NOT your friend. Be very careful to use a light touch when paint your ceiling planks otherwise you will have to use a 5-in-1 tool screwdriver car key scissors to scrape out every little drip because the boards won’t click together like they’re supposed to.

We plan to finish the ceiling today, and then Kerry will start on touch-up duty: filling in some of the seams, knot holes & nail holes, and touch-up painting everything when it’s dry.

Things are definitely lookin’ up, and I can’t wait to blog about the project again later this week!

PS- Here’s another link to the planks we’re using: CEILING PLANKS. (Obviously) I’m no expert, but if you have any questions about my experience with them, I’d be happy to answer them in the comments section below! :-)

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required


  1. Brandee says

    Hi Layla :) I have really been enjoying your blog! These ceiling planks interest me, and I am wondering what you use as trim around the edges? Or do you? Thanks! Brandee

  2. kathy boyce says

    Hi Layla!
    I am getting ready to install these planks (stained) on my bathroom ceiling…Do you have any tips for cutting around light outlets?… btw- i am on the edge of my seat waiting to hear /see how the closets turned out :) Happy Birthday!

  3. Missy G. says

    Happy Birthday! I don’t comment often, but I just have to say: You are absolutely gorgeous. Seriously, you don’t look 38. at. all. 29 tops. :) Share your secrets!

  4. says

    Hope you had a fabulous birthday!!

    I remember those Smurf glasses from when I was growing up (almost 37!). They are Cool :-)

    Can’t wait to see the finished ceiling, it’s really looking great!

    P.S. I think I need to send you and Kevin some new shirts,,,,,maybe with a big ‘ol G on them :-P teehee

  5. says

    Kerry’s ceiling is looking good! His living room will soon be magazine worthy.
    Glad you had a happy day doing something you love (diy-ing) with your favorite person.
    Your Friend,

  6. Lisa says

    IfYou’reWackyAndYaKnowItClapYourHands #ClapClap . . . .you know I’m clapping right along. It seems like that is the pattern for most of our DIY projects. : ) Question. . .Did you use the exact ceiling color as in the inspiration pic. It looks to have a bit more green in it. . .or is it just lighting??? — Thanks

  7. Geri says

    You are such great friends to everyone.
    This room is going to look as beautiful as you do.
    Happy Birthday Layla. My husband has the same birthday
    and you seem very much a like. Calm and loving, super dedicated and hard workers.
    I am thinking of wimping out. My whole upstairs is like a movie Theater on a Sat. night, Popcorn all over. Do you know anyone who installed headboard wall paper directly on top of a popcorn ceiling. Mine isn’t to rough. Thank you. Have a lovely spring day. Geri.

  8. Ter'e says

    Happy Happy Belated Birthday!
    If ya ever come down to Destin — I’d be happy to take you kids to Harbour Docks for some really good – aka – THE BEST – sushi. I have no affiliation, other than I love the place. The Amazon Roll rocks your socks off. Nice glass of vino, the sun and salt in your hair, a view of dolphins playing and a gigantic sushi roll that is FRESH!
    C’mon down! (I’ve been here for 7 mos and this is my very fav restaurant!!!!!) Happy Birthday pretty girl!!!!!

  9. cheri says

    Hope you had a great birthday…..
    Have a question about the plank ceilings (which I love by the way)
    how do you determine which way to apply the planks?
    Thanks and party on……

  10. says

    Since I don’t usually paint with a light hand, believing (mistakenly, I”m sure) that more is better…faster….less coats…I need to know if I need to paint the tongue part at all…and if I don’t have a nail gun how do I put them up? I am for sure having them in my new house that I want to look old.
    You and your blog are my main inspiration.

  11. says

    I noticed the smurf glass too – and wondered: Did you sing, “Happy Birthday” or “La-la-la-la-la la….la-la-la-la-laaaa!”?

    Best wishes! Loving the inspiration photo – can’t wait to see further progress!

  12. Katie McNamara says

    This looks gorgeous. Love the inspiration pic too. I’m thinking of doing this in my living room. How did you secure the panels to the ceiling? Just a nail gun? No screws?

  13. Christina Johnson says

    Oh my, when I read this I imagine myself writing the same thing! I feel like you are another version of me!

  14. Jeanne says

    You guys completely crack me up! No chalk line, stud finder etc!!! =) Don’t know how you have done it so far! Looking good though. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  15. marilyn says

    We are thinking about doing this in our kitchen. Here’s the reason: This house is old, like 97 yrs old. There are not many electric outlets. Adjacent to the kitchen is the new addition which has its own elec box which is separate from the old house one. Here’s the question: Can we run electric wiring for new outlets and lights under the wood planks? That is— between the old ceiling and the new? We could then use the new elec box which has lots of room for more switches available. The old one, we don’t want to mess with plus this is down stairs and we’d have to do weird things upstairs to mess with it. Thanks! Love you blog.

    • Vanessa says

      I don’t think you’d have enough room to fit wiring underneath the planks if you’re installing them over the existing celing, as they sit right up snug on whatever surface is under them. I would probably end up going right down to the studs for something like that, you’ll have more room to work, giving you more options for configuration. It won’t change the installation process at all, it will actually make it easier, no stud finder required :)

    • marilyn says

      Thanks for answering. You are certainly right and I had not thought about that. Our house is so old that the walls and the ceilings are solid so stud finders are not necessary. But we might need to ‘float’ the ceiling or something to simulate studs. Thanks!

      • Mindy says

        Hi Marilyn,
        You could try doing what we did…install furring strips to the ceiling (screwing them into the ceiling joists). The furring strips are roughly 3 inches wide by 1/2 inch high. We then used a nail gun to nail the ceiling planks to the ceiling using the furring strips as our “studs”. This creates about a 1/2 gap between the old ceiling and the new ceiling (ie: the planks) which might work for your wiring issues. I have pictures of how we did it if you’d like me to email them to you. Good luck!

    • COEngrGirl says

      @ Marilyn, Just a guess, but I think that code would not allow for running electrical wiring between two finished surfaces. Consider checking into it with your local code inspector or a licensed electrician.

  16. Sandra says

    Love it! I can’t wait to see the finished project. I would love to do something similar for my mudroom ceiling. Just have to find the time! :)

  17. Lauren says

    I am absolutely shocked that you are 38! I’ve been reading your blog for several months now and seriously thought you and your husband were in your mid 20’s!! You don’t look a day over 25! Hope you had a good birthday!

  18. Wendy says

    Happy Birthday Layla,
    LOVE the room (and the Smurf glass) :)

    Wondering what colour you used for the ceiling? I am in process of buying an OLD cottage and trying hard to get my hubs to play along with my crazy ideas and I want to do our living room with planked ceiling (painted blue) and light cream walls (so, um, a copy of Kerry’s house)

    Any paint colours you can share? Wall and ceiling?

    THANKS – love the work you do
    Wendy xx

  19. Leah says

    Happy Birthday!! Haha – I was DIYing on my birthday too!!! This may be a silly question, but how do you decide which direction to install the planks?
    Leah: )

  20. Nancy says

    Happy Birthday!! It only gets better from here (for the most part that is!) Can’t wait to see how the ceiling turns out. I too would love to do this in my family / kitchen.

  21. Sarah M. says

    I am about to do this same thing in our office. What sheen of paint do you use? And do you ever find that you have problems fitting them together because of the paint even though you scrape the drips out of the groove? I was thinking I would ‘assemble’ the planks on the saw horses and then paint them so as not to get paint on the tongue and groove part so they go together better on the ceiling. Have you tried doing this yet? Or do you think it wouldn’t work very well? We live in a very old house (1906!) and there isn’t one wall, ceiling, or floor that isn’t wavy or crooked. They also did the update of champions and added popcorn texture to all of the ceilings. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank!

    • Layla says

      We used eggshell and yes, some of the boards are in worse shape than others, so it can be challenging to lock them together. Especially if your cuts aren’t perfectly straight, or if the surface you’re nailing them to isn’t perfectly flat! I don’t know about locking them together first. It’s worth a try, but hopefully they won’t stick together too much though. That’s the only thing I’d worry about doing it that way. If you try it and it works- let me know! :-D

  22. says

    Well you don’t look a day over….25! Seriously, Happy Birthday and always love reading about your projects…brings more laugh lines to this 30-something’s face everytime I read your blog!

  23. says

    Layla, Happy Belated Birthday! It was my Birthday yesterday, too! However, I have a whole year on ya. I intend to make this, my final year “in my thirties”, my best one yet. Feeling pretty inspired.

    BTW, I am loving your bro’s inspiration pic. Those chairs, the woven banana leaf and high backs,… any idea of the source? I am thinking of going with something similar in the dining room.

    Much love and many wishes for a wonderful year!
    xo, Jay

    • Layla says

      Thanks, Jay! And happy belated birthday to you, too!

      I’ve seen chairs like that on PotteryBarn.com, but they’re pretty spendy. Maybe HomeGoods has some? I’ll keep my eyes peeled for you!

  24. Rosette says

    Hi Layla,

    Hope you had a fantastic B-Day!

    Love your ceiling! I was planning to do the exact same thing to my kitchen ceiling. Only problem I have is that my kitchen is 23 by 17 and the longest planks I can find are 12 feet. Your idea of scattering the seams is pretty neat, but I would have about 5 feet on each side. I was thinking of beams over the seems, but I am afraid I would have the same issue in finding them long enough. Any other ideas?



    • Layla says

      Thank you, Rosette!

      Hmmm…maybe you could do a random staggered pattern? That’s what we’re doing in Kevin’s office/our guest bedroom and it looks just fine to us! :-)

  25. says

    Love this! What type of planks are you using? We did this in our bathroom with pine floor planks, and every knot bleeds through! Even after many coats of Kilz and gloss paint. Also, they were heavy. I would like to continue the look but need to find another wood. I love your look, and so enjoy your blog! Phillis

    • Layla says

      Hey Phillis!
      Just click on the link at the end of this post and it’ll take you over to the post I did about the planks. They’re super easy to work with! :-)

    • Mindy says

      Hi Phillis,
      We had a similiar problem with knots bleeding through until we watched an episode of Holmes Inspection and they talked about the fact that apparently if you use a shellac based primer (Kilz and Zinser both have a shellac based primer) the knots won’t bleed through. We tried it and it worked! Who knew?!?! Good luck!

  26. Centsational Girl says

    Just wanted to wish ya Happy Birthday my friend!!! You’re almost caught up with me *wink wink*
    xoxoxo and a big cupcake to you!

  27. Renee says

    Happy birthday! The ceiling is going to look amazing…and I wonder where my Smurf glasses went…

  28. Marianne in Mo. says

    A belatedly Happy Birthday to you! I’ve been away on vaca, and haven’t had time to get onto a computer. Glad that things are going great on Kevin’s room! It’s looking good! Couldn’t wait to get logged on to see what you’ve been up to!!

  29. Ashley says

    Happy Bday Layla!

    We are using this for ceiling in my son’s room but are planning on painting with a paint/primer after installing….is there a reason you painted them prior to install? Thanks! Ashley

    • Layla says

      Hi Ashley! We just didnt want to have to paint over our heads. (drippage, sore necks, etc) And in order to get into the grooves, you’d have to use a paint brush or sprayer…neither of which we wanted to do. Hope that helps!

  30. MB says

    Will planks work on walls that are swayed & not square? If so, any tricks for a successful install? Do you put the planks behind the existing trim or flush with it? Thanks!

  31. LauraLee says

    Happy Birthday! My mother loved, loved,loved your blog.She talked about you all the time..Unfortunately, she passed away in February. I miss her. I love coming to your blog for “missing my mama therapy”.. :)

  32. says

    I love this idea! We’ve been trying to figure out what to do with our icky popcorn ceilings without scraping them. But I have a question for you if you have a moment:

    We live in a tri-level home, so from the kitchen you look down into the living room and the living room ceiling is at about eye-level when you stand in the kitchen. So, I’m not sure what we would do for edging on the edge of the ceiling that faces the kitchen. Does that make sense? Any ideas?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>