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Beadboard Ceiling DIY – Part III

If you’ve been following the (slow) progress of our beadboard ceiling project in Part I and Part II, you’ll know we were all ready to start putting up the grid this weekend. I am happy to report that we successfully executed this portion of the project, and everything is ready for priming and painting next weekend!

Here’s how we did it.

First, we made some decisions about sizing, based on the amount of gap we needed to cover down the middle of the room, and the size of the holes of the light fixtures. We decided to create a double-wide board down the middle of the room with 1 x 4 planks and then lay a single 1 x 4 on top of that for added dimension. Then we decided to use two 2 x 8 x 8 squares (cut from a length of 2 x 8 wood) where the light fixtures will go.

With all this in mind, we headed down the Ganahl Lumber, intending to get pre-primed wood in our chosen sizes. Because of the huge price difference, we ended up leaving with bare pine planks in the sizes we needed. Most of it even fit inside the van – we only had to tie the 13 ft lengths on top.

When we got the wood all home, we decided that our game plan would be:

  1. Paneling around the perimeter of the ceiling.
  2. Squares over the light fixture holes.
  3. Paneling down the center of the room.
  4. Perpendicular grid lines.

My dad showed me how to use his handheld circular saw, and we were off to the races.

The most difficult part of putting the paneling up around the perimeter of the room was that strange cutoff corner – it involved some pretty complicated math to get the angles of the cuts right. Anna did some trigonometry, and it came out alright as a result. There is a gap where we miscalculated by a little bit, but we filled it up with caulk and think it will look just fine once we paint.

corner of the room
Difficult corner of the room. You can see the gaps between the pieces – this is before caulking.

Making the squares for the light fixtures was a challenge. We were really having trouble using the hole saw the drill the holes, until  my dad saved the day and showed me how. The takeaway: get the hole saw moving very fast, then start cutting the wood – and use a light touch throughout. This keeps the hole saw from skipping around on the wood or getting caught.

We cut the holes first, then cut out the squares. It ended up being a good thing that we got some extra 2 x 8 wood, because I messed up the cut on one of them and we had to start over.

i can now use a hole saw
I was excited about the hole saw.

After looking at where the ceiling studs were, we drilled some small holes for screws through the squares and then screwed them into place (easier said than done, but finally was done). We nailed them up, too, for added security because we are paranoid.

At this point on Saturday evening, it was starting to get late and we would soon run out of light, so we decided to do the triple paneling down the middle of the room only between the two light fixtures and then call it a night.

Sunday morning, we got started bright and early to continue with the triple paneling. We decided it would look cool to have the top panel overlap the perimeter panel where it hit the two edges of the room. I think it came out looking great:

paneling joint before caulking

We didn’t love how the paneling came out next to the A/C vent, but aren’t sure what else we could have done in that spot. Anna is still scheming possible fixes.

the hole for the light fixture finished beadboard ceiling grid beadboard ceiling grid finished

Once we got the grid panels up as well, it was caulking time.

We first went around the room and filled all the little nail holes, and then caulked all the seams. We had to add a little wood stint at one side of the room where the wall, I kid you not, bows out by about an inch. What can I say? It’s an old house.

The caulking really made the difference between the project looking a little quaint and really starting to look professional.

finished beadboard ceiling paneling close up of paneling joints

florence caulking the ceiling
I really got into a groove.
ann puts the finishing touches on the ceiling
Anna shaving off some extra caulking that was bugging her.
pops always ready to help
Pops, always helpful.

our best friend caulk

Next weekend, we’ll sand down the filled nail holes and get painting!

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