Deborah Lynn


July 23, 2021


May 13, 2022

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DIY Planked Ceilings

When Deb first bought this big historic house, there was so much work to be done. It was almost overwhelming the kind of shape that the house was in. For almost three full years, Deb and her husband Patrick worked night and day to make their house the way they've always dreamed. Room by room, they gave the old girl a facelift. They’ve now lived there for almost eight years, the renovations that are left are simple upgrades and one of the things that drive both of them crazy is a 1970s popcorn ceiling. In their previous home, they tried to scrape popcorn half of a ceiling. It was an awful experience! So this time around, They decided it would be a much better idea to cover it up. Not to mention Deb loved the look and detail of a planked ceiling. The process is quite simple, just grab a partner and read all Deb‘s tips and tricks on how to get the stunning DIY planked ceiling look.

Britt and Deb signature
Ceiling plank office


5/16 - 1/4” cottage grade pine planking or some other light wood planking

mitre saw

Liquid Nails

nail gun and nails

measuring tape



For this DIY planked ceiling, the cottage grade pine planking is a thin wood, which makes it inexpensive, but there are also some challenges.  They come in a package of six planks, for a total of 14 sq. ft per package. 

little girls room in a loft cabin


Step 1. Before you begin, you will need to find your ceiling joists and which way they run, because you will be nailing the planks into those joints. Whichever way the joists run, you will nail your planks in the opposite direction, across the joists. You can find the joists by using a stud finder and marking them on the ceiling.

Step 2. Use a chalk line to mark the joints so that you know exactly where to place your nails. For us, it was much easier as the ceiling is lath and plaster which is extremely strong so we skipped the above steps.

Step 3. Begin placing the planks. You will want to start on one side of the room and work your way over. It is also a more attractive look if you stagger the seams on each row by beginning every other row with a 4′ or different size board. Some of the cottage-grade pine boards aren’t straight, some will have lots of knots and imperfections, and some will have cracks and damage. If you are a perfectionist, you will probably want to go with a better grade of wood. I personally love the imperfections. For me, they add character to a room. The planks are tongue and groove, so simply connect them together and then add a nail every 12”’s or so.

Step 4. You can stain or paint the planking before or after installation. Deb has done it both ways but prefers to paint the primer and first stain coat BEFORE and then finish with the final coat of stain AFTER when the panels are up.

Step 5. Use Dap or caulking to hide any nail holes or imperfections along the seams of the walls.

Ceiling plank bedroom before

Tips to Remember** No room is ever totally square! It’s very important to try and make the seams of the planks in the middle of the room very tight leaving any gaps on the sides. You will have to do some adjustments on the edges of the entire space but remember you can always use caulking after to touch things up. Be prepared to do a lot of cuts on your last row of planks. 

Ceiling plank master bedroom
Ceiling plank laundry room

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