October 2, 2014

Popcorn to Planked Ceiling Progress

First and foremost, if you’re feeling generous today, we’d loooove to have your vote for Ryan’s nursery over at Apartment Therapy’s Room for Color Contest. 

A few weekends back, we kicked off the beginning stages of planking the ceiling in the girls’ room. As I’ve mentioned before, when we purchased our home, all of the bedrooms came equipped with popcorn ceilings (yay), and we’re slowly updating them to fit our tastes. Typically, popcorn ceilings can be scraped off with a little elbow grease, but if they’ve been painted, like ours had, then you’ll have to get a little creative.

In Ryan’s room, we just simply covered them with new drywall, but we wanted to try something new in here. Planking it is!

Popcorn to Plank Ceiling | Cape27Blog.com

I made a few quick stops into our local hardware stores, checking out the options, before settling on packs of 8′ pine planks. A few things that sealed the deal for us:

• The bedroom is approximately 11’6 x 12’6, so the 8′ length planks meant that we’d have seams. It wasn’t a deal breaker to work with the seams, but it would’ve taken half as long with longer 12′ planks. Unfortunately, all of the 12′ options were ridiculously thick and heavy, and ceilings are probably not the best place for that.

• Again, the weight. These planks were so lightweight that Ricky could easily install them by himself, which with three little people running around, is pretty much our only option right now.

• Cost. All the other options were a good $75-$100 more to plank the entire ceiling. These come in packs of six, at about $11 each. A no brainer. For anyone looking to do a ceiling of their own, we ended up using 12 packs, which ran us around $140 total, with tax.

Popcorn to Plank Ceiling | Cape27Blog.com

Now, to learn from our mistakes – Paint before installing. We knew this, and tried to avoid it like hell, with no luck. We were in a bit of a time crunch that didn’t allow us the prior paint step, but you my friends, should paint first, because what a good time my neck is having painting several ceiling coats and filling six million holes with wood putty.

Moving on.

Popcorn to Plank Ceiling | Cape27Blog.com

The install itself is relatively easy, just mark your ceiling joists and a few nails gets the job done. The planks are tongue and groove and interlock, but one thing to note, this isn’t the highest quality wood. Like, at all. So, when I say interlock, expect a little effort on your part in some spots. Also expect to take half the packs back to the store to exchange them for non-chipping, not completely falling apart pieces. Don’t get me wrong, it can be good stuff, it’s just more of a garage sale experience – you’ll have to do a little digging first. 

Popcorn to Plank Ceiling | Cape27Blog.com

I wanted to include this close up to show our edges. No, we are not this terrible at measuring (although sometimes it happens, ha). This was more a result of eliminating huge knots in the wood, and doing our best to prevent waste material. My point is, if you’re planning to install crown molding, as we did, you have some room to play with, which is nice.

Popcorn to Plank Ceiling | Cape27Blog.com

(half installed crown)

We’re still in the process of painting now, but I’m amazed at this transformation already. The room is so much lighter without the pink ceiling, and I’d be lying if I said I minded the natural wood. It feels really warm and cozy. Reminds me a lot of my parents home (a log cabin). Granted that wood ceiling is already painted white (haha), but it’s a nice reminder to try something out of the typical “paint everything white” box that we all seem to be stuck in these days.


5 thoughts on “Popcorn to Planked Ceiling Progress

  1. rindymae

    Did you find the wood at Lowe’s? We looked at H.D. when we did our dining room and couldn’t find any like that. We ended up with super thin plywood that we ripped down to plank size. We’ll be doing our kitchen ceiling and backsplash soon and this sounds way easier. And yes, to anyone reading comments, paint first!!!!! The ceiling and sides of boards, too, if you aren’t using the interlocking stuff. Looking forward to seeing it all painted.

  2. Natalie

    Such a good idea! We just bought our first home and popcorn ceilings are one of the few tragedies our home didn’t come with, though this post is making me wish I had them so I could cover them up with beautiful planks! Well…almost. 😉

  3. Kersten

    Love both your son’s nursery and this planked ceiling! A question- I am planning on horizontally planking a half wall. Did you find the process easier with the pre-done boards vs. the plywood? Or vastly prefer one or the other visually? I love the look of the wider planks you achieved with the plywood but I’m a little nervous about the cuts and managing all the spacing. Thanks!

  4. Angela @ Cottage Magpie

    I have been stalling on doing this at our house because I know once I’ll start I’ll want to do every single room, and I wasn’t sure about seams. I was thinking I’d have to do some kind of battens or something, but yours look great!! My husband is going to be soooooo happy (sarcasm). But he’ll get over it. 🙂 ~Angela~


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