Do you love the look of farmhouse barn beams, but lack the barn? We have a trick up our sleeve to show you how you can make your own faux barn beam ceiling. As we continue to make progress in our master bedroom remodeling project, we will be sharing details along the way. You can see read about the beginning of the story in Part 1, where we tackled our glued on carpet. ick.
This is the before…
…floors are beautifully finished. Yippee!
Now, on to the faux barn beam ceiling. Remember we live in a 1952 Gunnison ranch home, which offers some quirky building features that we have tried to deal with in different ways. When we bought the home 13 years ago (yikes! has it been that long already?), we did major renovations ourselves, like doors, windows, roof, etc. Even hit most every room with upgrades except our bedroom.
Originally, the ceiling has a popcorn-type texture and we decided to stipple the ceiling to give it a textured effect. That worked fine, but really bothered me that the ceilings were still slightly uneven because of the wood panels that were used.
Fast forward 13 years and here we are:
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Do you see the seam in the upper right corner? Stippling just didn’t hide it like I wanted, even though it looked much better than its original state.
Our solution was to take 1/4 luan (plywood) and rip it into 8″ pieces to simulate an old-school planked flooring above. Thankfully, the wonderful guys at Home Depot made the cuts for us at no cost. (we were originally quoted .25 cents per cut – cha ching!! Saving!!) It took us four 4′ x 8′ panels to do our 12′ x 12′ ceiling.
The only prep work for the wood was hitting the cut sides with my sander
to remove the rigid edges.
To install the strips, we used my self-given birthday gift, my pneumatic nailer
to quickly get them up. (or use the AirStrike, my latest nailer mentioned here
) To create the gap, we just grabbed a scrap piece of 1/8″ thick pressed board and it worked great.
If you notice in the picture above, we were going to end up with seams at some point across our ceiling because the 8′ panels won’t cover a 12′ ceiling. Don’t worry, we had a plan.
We intended to have the seams land in a spot that would be covered by the faux flooring beams we were going to add at a later point. Otherwise we would have staggered the joints.
Once the panels were up, we just needed to hide the nail heads with a small swipe of wood filler
. Looking better already!! (Thank you, JC!)
Then, we just hit those puttied spots with a light sanding to create a smooth surface.
We wanted to keep with the idea of creating a light, relaxing space, so we painted the ceilings in one of my favorite cool white paints by Behr, Dove White. (sorry, no pics of the painted part before beams) Just a couple coats with a roller and a bit of touch up with a brush to the seams.
Now for the beams.
We distressed four simple pine beams (1 – 2″ x 6″ x 12′, 3 – 2″ x 6″ x 10′) to give them to get that rustic hand-hewn barn beam look.
My husband just took our hatchet
and went down the out edges hacking away in random motions. (Yes, he is out on our heat-wave day of 20 degrees – seriously, we were happy to have that temperature!!)
Then, to get the face of the beam roughed up, he took his Bosch planer
and hit it in random points while on it’s lowest setting. You could use a hand planer as well, if you don’t have a tool like this one. (You really should get yourself one of these, they rock!)
We choose to use a nice contrasting stain from Varathane, called Early American
. I use this stain in many of my projects…see them in these posts
Next, to mount the beams, we ran them perpendicular to the seams of the wood strips to get the feel that they were supporting the faux upper floor.
We located the studs in the ceiling, and measured their layout. Then, we copied that pattern onto the beam and pre-drilled holes so we could easily screw them in while holding them up. (So thankful our 11 yr. old is big enough to help because my pregnant self can’t do much!)
Here’s closer look of the hand-hewn effect.
At this point I’m starting to swoon because I can see our plans coming to fruition.
So there you have it, not in it’s complete state because we’re still going to add a couple of 2″ x 4″ to the outer sides to finish the faux upper floor look, but need to tackle the walls first.
Do pin and share to inspire others to stop wishing and start doing. It only takes a little DIY and you can have the look you’re after too.
We love how the ceiling turned out and are very happy with the results. If you were interested in using a prefabricated material instead of making your own, check out what my friend, Heather, did with her ceiling HERE
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Come see how we took on our floors and then how we planked our walls after our faux barn beam ceiling.