How to Plank a Popcorn Ceiling

If you’ve been following along on our home renovation, you know that we recently started on the master bedroom. You can see the before here.

And today, we want to show you how to plank a popcorn ceiling.

The master is a large room at 320 sq. ft, and of course, it had the lovely popcorn ceiling, just like every other room in the house. 

How to Plank a Popcorn Ceiling | Edith & Evelyn Vintage | www.edithandevelynvintage.com

When we renovated the kitchen, family room, and dining room, we scraped the popcorn off of the ceilings. What a mess that is!

This time,we decided that since I wanted a planked ceiling in the bedroom anyway, we would just plank over the top of the popcorn, instead of removing it first….

{I wish we had made that decision about three rooms ago…}

How to Plank a Popcorn Ceiling | Edith & Evelyn Vintage | www.edithandevelynvintage.com

Here is what you will need to plank a ceiling:

wood planks

mitre saw

Liquid Nails

nail gun and nails

measuring tape

pencil

ladder

a bottle of wine (for after!)

How to Plank a Popcorn Ceiling | Edith & Evelyn Vintage | www.edithandevelynvintage.com

We headed to Lowe’s to buy the same planking that we used in the kitchen.

It’s a thin wood, which makes it inexpensive. But because it’s thin, there are also some challenges.  

If cost is not a consideration, I would recommend going with a better grade of wood.

 However, because we are renovating the entire home, room by room, we are on a very tight budget.

We priced out other planking, and even thought about using plywood and cutting our own planks, but none of those options even came close, as far as cost, to this planking.

It’s a little challenging to put up because it is so thin, but with some patience, the end result is beautiful! 

How to Plank a Popcorn Ceiling | Edith & Evelyn Vintage | www.edithandevelynvintage.com

The pine planks are 3 9/16″ wide x 5/16″ thick x 8′ long, and are found in the trim/paneling section of Lowe’s.

 They come in a package of six planks, for a total of 14 sq. ft per package. 

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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 joists.

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.

Then use a chalk line to mark them so that you know exactly where to place your nails.

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The planks we used are tongue and groove, and come ready to stain or paint. 

I suggest that you stain or paint {whatever your finish is going to be} your planks before installing. It will be much easier. I didn’t do that here, for a couple of reasons.

1.) I wasn’t completely sure what finish I wanted.

2.) These planks are so thin that we ended up having to exchange a lot of them due to warping, cracks, etc.

If I had stained/painted all of them prior to installing, I couldn’t have exchanged the damaged pieces. 

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The wood is thin and lightweight, which is great for overhead installation.  

But the flip side of that coin, is that the the thinness also makes them pliable.

Some aren’t straight, some will have lots of knots and imperfections, and some will have cracks and damage.

We always end up returning quite a few and exchanging, in order to get a complete lot of decent boards.  

So 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.

We cut the 8′ boards in  halves and quarters, and worked with 48″ and 24″ lengths, staggering the seams on each row.

This seemed to work better than using the full 8′ board.

In the kitchen, there was a lot of frustration when those 8′ boards wouldn’t fit seamlessly into the groove along the full length.

We soon realized that the shorter the length, the easier to fit the tongue into the groove. Lesson learned.

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Starting on one side of the room, we placed the tongue side of the board against the wall, for our first row, going across the joists.

For extra security, each and every board got a good dose of Liquid Nails before we nailed each one into the joist.

Once the first row is in place, we started on the next, always “test fitting” each plank first, to make sure it fit well, before we applied the Liquid Nails and nailed it into the joist.

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Because the wood is thin, sometimes a piece wouldn’t fit very well, and we would have to swap it out for another piece. 

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I love the look of planked ceilings, and this covered the old popcorn so well.

I can’t believe I have spent all that time scraping the other rooms!

How to Plank a Popcorn Ceiling | Edith & Evelyn Vintage | www.edithandevelynvintage.com

Some things I’ve learned with planking ceilings…….

No room is square, I haven’t found one yet.

So when you get to the last row, you may have to do some trimming on that final row of boards.

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The old popcorn can sometimes make a ceiling a little “waffly” in places.

In our case, there were two spots. You can’t see it standing on the floor, but when you’re on the top of a ladder, up close and personal, looking across the ceiling, you can see it.

Which means your planks will probably have a little bit of “waffle” in those same spots.

But not to worry, when the ceiling is finished, you don’t see them at all, it will all look very smooth.  

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You can’t do this job alone, you need a partner, preferably someone with lots of patience.

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How to Plank a Popcorn Ceiling | Edith & Evelyn Vintage | www.edithandevelynvintage.com

 There’s a lot of going up and down ladders.  

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And, wear safety goggles!

How to Plank a Popcorn Ceiling | Edith & Evelyn Vintage | www.edithandevelynvintage.com

Here is a breakdown of what this project cost:

23 pkgs. of planks (14 sq ft in ea pkg) @ $10.97 per pkg:  $252.31

12 tubes of Liquid Nails @ $3.47 ea:  $41.64

Total cost: $293.95 {approximately .92 cents a sq. ft.!}

All that’s left is caulking around the edges where the planks meet the crown moulding, and also some random seams where we had to use a shorter board in order to get it to fit.

I also need to decide what finish is going on this ceiling.  I’m trying to decide between pickling or painted white.

We pickled the ceiling in the kitchen with a white pickling stain from Lowe’s, and I absolutely love the way it turned out.

How to Plank a Popcorn Ceiling | Edith & Evelyn Vintage | www.edithandevelynvintage.com

Planked ceiling in kitchen with pickling stain.

But I think I am leaning toward painting the bedroom ceiling white. All of the wood work will be white, walls a soft gray {same color as in the kitchen}, and wide plank, hardwood floors. What do you think? Pickling? Or paint?

We have finished planking the ceilings in two rooms now, the Master Bedroom and the Kitchen. Click the links if you would like to see the completed projects.

Cheers,

            Cindy

02/16/2017 UPDATE: We are currently renovating the study, and we began with planking the ceiling. You can see the completed planked ceiling in the study here.

Something to Note: We recently found out that some Lowe’s (but not all) have discontinued the EverTrue tongue and groove planks. However, if your local Lowe’s is no longer carrying them, Home Depot has several options that are similar.

Please note: Before embarking on any of these methods, first test your ceilings for asbestos. You do not want to ingest or inhale the dangerous fibers that can come loose during your project. If an at-home test reveals that your popcorn does contain asbestos, leave any alterations to the pros.

288 thoughts on “How to Plank a Popcorn Ceiling

  1. How would you recommend cutting the planks around a ceiling fan, the base of the fan is butted right up against the ceiling and there is no room to slide boards under that. The boards would have to be cut around and fitted right up next to the fan base. Anyone have ideas on how to best do that? I was thinking of gluing a few of the boards together, tracing the exact dimensions for the fan base hole, cutting the circular hole, then slicing the boards straight down the middle of the circle then putting them up around the fan base. Sounds easier than it probably is!

  2. Pingback: The Study Renovation Has Begun and A Pier Mirror Update | Edith & Evelyn Vintage

  3. I’m in the process of putting pre stain on all my boards before I pickle them. As stated you will be lucky to get 4 boards out of a pack of 6 that are fully usable. There were some packages that had only one perfect board I needed 26 packages and had to go to two Lowes to buy them. With so many boards that were damaged I took them all back and asked if they would discount them all. Sure enough they took half off !!! Also, two friends that are in the painting business told me to do the pre stain to avoid uneven absorption and that making pickling is super easy. I bought one gallon of white/ivory flat latex and was told to mix it 50/50 paint and water. No finish or poly needed as top coat. I’m looking forward to finishing this project but there are a lot of steps to getting there.

  4. I have a vaulted ceiling, any tips for fitting the planks flush against each other at the center/highest point? Also, what would be the best starting point? Center and work down or sides and work up? thanks love this!

    • Hi Judith! I would probably start at the bottom and work up to you highest point, and then finish with a thin strip of moulding down the center/highest point where the two sides meet, which would cover those edges. Hope that helps!

  5. I found these same boards a while back for $2 per pack at Lowes! They were on clearance so I bought all they had. I plan to panel my bedroom ceiling. The packaging instructions recommend putting up furring strips over the existing ceiling and nailing the boards into the strips. Is there a reason you did not do this? I initially hadn’t planned on putting up furring strips but now I’m second guessing myself. Do you see any reason to have or not have the strips? I plan to cover up the popcorn on my kitchen ceiling with weathered corrugated metal roofing. Thanks.

  6. I absolutely love this idea…it’s original and creative! I also have those terrible popcorn ceilings and have been looking for a way to avoid scraping or hanging drywall on them. Thank you!

  7. We have water damage on master bedroom ceiling thanks to Hurricane Matthew! And of course we have popcorn! Ugh! We are definitely going to plank over our ugly ceiling! Thank you for a great ‘how to” on planking over popcorn. Yours looks awesome!

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this tutorial. I think I might just go this way as these are lightweight compard to other boards. I know that Rona carries another brand.

  9. Hi. I’ve followed your blog for awhile and read most of your archived post. I’m wondering if you have done your bathrooms yet and I just haven’t found those blogs yet.

    • Hi Susan! No, we haven’t done the bathrooms yet. We have four of them, so I’ve been putting them off! I would like to get a few more of the easier rooms done first and then we’re going to tackle them! Thanks for following!

  10. That is very cool!! I have 3 rooms with popcorn ceilings that are peeling in places and this would be a perfect and beautiful solution……is this type wood recommended in a bathroom or would I need to go with something different due to the moisture?

      • Sonya, it’s all about the ventilation in a bathroom. If you have good ventilation in a bathroom, you could use stain or paint, and either should be fine.

  11. I am in the process of doing this in my kitchen and I want to pickle it. Did you spackle the nail holes before you stained or did you not worry about the holes? I guess you would see the spackle unless you painted the ceiling…

    • Hi Cara! We didn’t sparkle the holes. They were so tiny and unless you’re right up on the ceiling, you don’t even see them.

    • Hi Diane! Yes, we painted over the wallpaper. It literally would not come off of the walls, and we tried EVERYTHING! Nothing worked. So we sealed all of the seams with spackle, let dry, and sanded. Then we coated all of the walls in an oil based primer. Once it dried, we painted as normal with our paint. It looks great!

  12. I got the idea from your page and I’m almost done installing the planking. It looks terrific, and I plan to use the white pickling stain too.
    I started out using the glue, but a quarter way through realized it wasn’t needed as each plank is nailed into joists.
    Julie in
    Delaware

  13. Great job! I bet that added so much value to the home for $300 and some hard work! I can’t wait to try this one day! ROLL TIDE!

  14. I live an older home that’s about 60 yrs old and unfortunately we have popcorn ceiling. I’m trying to convince my husband that we don’t have to remove the popcorn. How did you fo the pickling on the wood planks? Is the a lot of steps to pickling?
    Thanks

    • Hi Pam! The pickling was very easy. We used Minwax Pickling Stain in white from Lowe’s. You just brush it on and then wipe any excess off with a soft cloth. Hope that helps!

      • Use a damp sponge to apply the pickling. Cuts down on the waste. Also apply after cutting but before installing.

  15. I LOVE this and am going to do it! Our kitchen, dining, living area on the first level of our house has a vaulted ceiling so I’m wondering if those planks will go together well where the ceiling angles?

  16. Why did you start with the tongue side toward the wall? IF, and I mean IF, the wall is straight, with the groove toward the wall, there would be no need to caulk.

  17. A friend and I are doing this this with bead board panels to my sons 1949 home next week after removing the acoustic tiles. How far can I space the nails along the length of the board. The panels are 4 x 8 feet and I am afraid of bowing. I am so excited for this project!

    • Hi Trish! We placed nails into the joists approximately every 12″. We also applied Liquid Nails onto each board before nailing into the joists as an added measure. We didn’t use the 4′ x 8′ panels, we used individual planks.

  18. I am thrilled to see this! My 1947 kitchen ceiling already has several layers that I would love to cover-up instead of tear-out. There is popcorn on top of acoustic tiles (non-asbestos), on top of a layer of “wood” (maybe bead board) according to the electrician who installed the recessed lights. Do you think my carpenter could add these planks as the FINAL layer? And… RTR !!!

    • Hi Kathy! As long as the new boards are nailed into the wood panels or the ceiling joists, it should be fine. But your carpenter will know best. Good luck! RTR!!

  19. Incredible!! We were just about to take down the entire ceiling!! So glad I saw this:) what would you estimate the code of the entire project was?! Thank you again for sharing!!!

    • Hi Jacqui! There is a cost breakdown at the end of the post. It was approximately $300 for the bedroom which is around 300 sq. ft. Hope that helps!

      • Does it hold up well over the years with just the glue and nails and without first scraping the popcorn finish? I am scared of gluing to the popcorn and then eventually having to scrape it off and do it again $$$$$$

  20. Thank you for this great step by step! My hubby and I just finished our planked ceiling this week and we couldn’t be happier!! I’d love to share a picture but I’m not sure how?

  21. Would you ever do this to a ceiling with ceiling heat? Our house has it and it worries me that a nail might go through the wiring….

  22. Just completed my living room . Starting dining room…love pickling but I am leaning towards painting white. Nervous as it would be nice to see before. What is your opinion on type of sheen…..flat, semi or gloss?

    Thanks Nancy

  23. I was so inspired by your post that yesterday we came home from Home Depot with 20
    bundles of wood in our Hyundai Elantra…squeezed in….shoved up inbetween the two front seats…..HE was too cheep to spend the $75.00 delivery..LOL (can’t say I blame him its only 20 miles)
    He is installing it as we speak and doing a great job, I love it.
    We did the ceiling in our great room 15 years ago and left it to mellow and it is a lovely amber shade.
    My dilemma is whether to pickle the new dining room ceiling. It is adjacent to the GR and you can see them both at once. What do you think?
    I don’t like this type of ceiling painted as it shows every imperfection in the wood.
    Just to let you know we are both in our 70’s and are still doing our own renos.
    Keep sending the inspiring posts I love them.

  24. I did this in our farm house & like the look of natural wood. So I polyurethaned all the boards first 2-3 coats before installing. You can separate out boards that are bad and if you have enough for a pack you can return them. I bought mine at Menards always measure and buy 10% more than what you need this is waste factor. My ceiling turned out great!!!

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  26. I wish I had found this post prior to my project of scraping off the popcorn ceiling in one of my bedrooms. I am still cleaning up the mess 4 months later! Your project turned out beautiful! Great job!

  27. Ceiling looks great….but I have another question for you….Did you paint over the existing wallpapered walls? If so, how did you hide the seams of the wallpaper?

    • Hi Rosemarie! Yes, we painted over the wallpaper. We spackled the seams,and sanded. We then covered all of the wallpaper in a really good primer, and then painted.

  28. Love, love, LOVE the idea of planked ceilings! I have been looking forever for a design idea that would give me a beachy feel on a budget! I love how you didn’t spare on details as you explained the process. We have decided to do this everywhere there is popcorn! I am also inspired by your choice of paint color on your walls and cabinets. Can you share?

    • Thank you Kimberlee!! The paint colors in the kitchen are Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray on the walls, Sherwin Williams Snowbound on the cabinets, and Sherwin Williams Pussywillow on the doors and island. Hope that helps! Thanks so much for commenting!

    • I love the planked ceilings too! Please, be careful. Popcorn ceilings from the 60s and 70s can contain asbestos. Scraping it or even messing with it at all can make it “friable.”

  29. Love the look Cindy. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m wondering…how high are you ceilings, and does the planking make them look lower? Thanks, Sonya

  30. We did this in our study and love the results! Finding the pine panels was a challenge but we did finally find enough to cover the ceiling. Thank you for step by step instructions. We have great pics but not sure how to share them! Blessings

  31. This is an awesome tutorial. Thank you. Is there any reason I would have to paint or seal the ceiling at all? I really like the natural look.

    • Hi Kristin! I don’t see any reason why you would need to seal it if you didn’t want to. It will “age” over time naturally, but I think that would be beautiful!

  32. Hi Cindy! Firstly thanks so much for documenting this process, I’ve been not only studying your instructions as best I can, but also paying acute attention to what you’ve shown in your photos as well, it’s been so helpful!! I’ve been so ready to get this done for our living room space for a while now, but I’m being held up by the possibility of weight/sag issues. The scope of our project is pretty similar to yours’, about 360 sq ft of stippled/textured ceiling, with 2×6 joists running every foot in the attic of our rambler. I was just wondering, now that you’ve had this project completed for a while, how has it been holding up? Any issues with the added weight?

    • Hi Cameron! We’ve had the planked ceiling up in the kitchen for a little over 2 years and have had zero problems with the added weight, and we haven’t had any issues with the ceiling in the bedroom either. Hope that helps and good luck!

  33. This looks awesome! I am interested in doing this in my basement. Are there any concerns that installing this planking over the popcorn ceiling could result in mold or moisture growing under the planks? I live in the south so it’s always pretty humid!

    • Hi there! Unless you have a problem with moisture getting inside, I wouldn’t think there would be an issue. But that’s just my amateur opinion! If in doubt, you should always consult a professional. We’ve had ours up for quite awhile with no issues.

  34. Pingback: wood plank ceiling over popcorn | DIY Woodworking Projects

  35. I used tongue & groove planking on my vaulted ceiling and then used a clear varnish to seal it. It very slowly yellowed and looked beautiful. A whitewash is another covering that looks great.

    One other product that could be used instead of individual planks is “bead board”. Georgia Pacific makes it in 4′ x 8′ panels so it would go up fast.

    Food for thought.

  36. I cannot tell you how much your blog has help my husband and I try to figure out what to do with our popcorn ceiling. Your advice has come in handy! I realize that this post was over a year ago but I have an important question that I hope you can answer!

    Our ceiling is slanted (8 feet on one side and about 20 feet on the other) and it has wood beams that we are working around. So basically, we have five “columns” that make up the entire ceiling. Unfortunately, we have discovered that two of the joists are underneath the beams. Removing the beams are not an options, unfortunately. I’m wondering if using nails on one end of the planks and not the other (because those joists are not accessible) with the use of liquid nail would suffice? Any other advice on this matter would be GREATLY appreciated!

    • Hi Rebecca! In those areas, I would use an abundance of liquid nails, nail into the the joist on the one end that is accessible, as well as going ahead and nailing into the sheet rock. And I don’t know if it’s possible, but maybe angle a nail into the beam on that end. Hopefully that will hold it in those areas.

  37. Pingback: Can You Put Wood Planks Over Popcorn Ceiling – ALV WoodWorking COM

  38. So glad I came across your post! It looks absolutely amazing!!! We soon will be taking over my late grandmother’s home with a full renovation. We were afraid we would have to have all the ceilings replaced which would cost a fortune. After seeing this lovely job you have done we have decided to take this route in the whole house! I can’t wait to get started (we are still a few months out) and hope ours will turn out as fantastic as yours have!
    Thanks for the great idea & instructions!
    -Molly

  39. Looks great, I also agree with pickling first, then painting if you change your mind. Also, what is the name of the paint color on the kitchen door? Thanks!

  40. I’am in heaven right now. I just accidentally saw this and was blown away. I have been scrapping all my ceiling in every room and sanding for days to get a perfectly smooth finish. Now I’m ready to do a 17′ vaulted ceiling and was about to give up and just paint it. I’m so happy right now………I know this is work but it you have never done the scrapping this is a fabulous idea. Just a little FYI it seems you could use 4X8 sheets of bead board or whatever your preference. Everybody sharing ideas ……….this is the greatest.
    Kathy

  41. Can this planking be done on a vaulted ceiling? My kitchen/living room area is an open concept and the ceiling has a very small vault to it.

  42. Hi love this and we actually did it in the living room- did you just use simple white caulk between the boards and the crown? Do you have or could you take and post a close up picture of the transition from the pine planks to the crown moulding- I’m trying to see what’s best to do for us- caulk or some additional trim? Thanks!

    • Stephanie, we used white caulk between the crown and the edge of the planks. Because the crown was white, the caulk blends in with and looks like part of the crown. Hope that helps!

  43. Cindy, My husband and I are looking to try this on a cathedral ceiling on a home we bought on the bay at the shore. Does it matter if the pop corn is sharp to the touch, not a mushy texture? Thanks for your reply in advance.

  44. I love the ceiling, would like to know if the number of packages you used included the ones that you returned and exchange.

  45. Hi Cindy
    Great job!
    Just wondering about the nailing process ….Some instructions say angle them and place into tongue…( seems difficuIt) I don’t need to hit joists so would you just nail each plank in corners or down center?
    Since the wood is so thin did you have any issue with splitting?
    Thanks so much
    Donna

    • Hi Donna! I’m not sure I’m understanding your question correctly….but I’ll give it a shot! You don’t nail into the groove of the plank. You nail straight up into the board. If you aren’t nailing the boards into ceiling joists, then what are you nailing them into? We’ve had no issues with splitting.

  46. We are starting to out the planks up. I already white washed the boards and their getting ready to install them in the ceiling. My dad was curious about the nail holes, although small still slightly visible. I figured you did not have a problem considering you stained yours after putting them up and it sort if filled the holes. He was talking about a tiny bit of putty or paint for the holes. I’m afraid it will look blotchy and show. What do you think ??
    Thank you.

    • Hi Katie! When standing on the floor and looking at the ceiling, I really don’t notice the nail holes in our planks in either the kitchen or bedroom. The nail holes are so tiny and sunk into the plank that unless I really look for them, I don’t even see them. I’m sure applying the stain after they were installed may have filled in some of those holes, but definitely not all of them. My only concern with filling them in with putty or paint is that they would stand out even more against the whitewash. If you really don’t notice them when standing on the floor, I think I would leave them, it just adds a bit more rustic flavor to them!

  47. I hope this isn’t posted too long ago that you won’t see this question, but it looks like in your kitchen you caulked every seam not just around the crown molding ? Do you do every seam ?
    Thanks so much

      • Ok thank you! I am redoing a bedroom for our boys nursery and thought this would be beautiful !! We’ve started to wood staining process. I read in your previous questions that you did not use a finish stain or product for the matte look? Do you worry the wood won’t hold up or dust will settle on it and not come off? I too like the matte look, but I didn’t know if it needed a protective coat ?
        Thanks so much for your quick response.

      • Katie, we are starting on the third year with these ceilings and they look as good to day as the day we finished them, so we’ve had no issues in not doing a protective coat.

  48. What size nail gun and nails did you use to nail the blanks to the ceiling since they are so thin and what is the PSI you net the tank at not to place over pressure, so that the nails don’t go through the thin blanks?

    • Hi John-Paul! We used 18 ga., 1.5″ long nails, 60 lb PSI. Of course, this might vary depending on the specific material that you’re using.

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  50. Love it! On my way to Lowe’s to buy the materials. My husband & son are helping me and we are excited to see the transformation. Thank you so much for the step by step instructions. Blessings.

    • Hello, So I bought the same planks and the same stain. This stain seems to be a bit different as it doesnt fully soak into the wood, its acts more like a thin film over the wood. I started with a foam brush then wiped it with a microfiber cloth. Then i switched it up with just saturating a microfiber towel and wiping it in. It doesnt really make the wood grain pop like other stains. How did you apply the stain, and how many coats?

      • Hi Rachel! I only applied one thin coat. I took a section at a time, brushed on a coat of the stain and then wiped it back with a slightly damp cloth, leaving only a thin wash of the stain.

    • Candy, pickling is the same thing as a whitewash stain. It’s a very thin wash that just lightly stains it and you can still see the wood grain through it.

  51. We started with a small hallway doing this. Used pine car siding. It is also tongue and groove but an inch this. Not easy to damage but probably harder to work with. Might look into your idea. Thanks for the idea.

  52. In a nut shell, OUTSTANDING! Love, love, love how this turned out. Dying to do this same thing (along with beams) on our 19 ft high TV room/front entry ceilings. Seriously, this looks so ridiculously amazing. Beautiful home too! Well done.

  53. Note that popcorn ceilings installed prior to the 80s may contain asbestos – good idea to check before disturbing.

  54. This is amazing! I’m doing this to my bedroom first (only one light fixture to cut around) and then I’ll probably be addicted (to the end result, not so much the process)! And I’m going to add the crown molding! So gorgeous! Can you not paint or stain them first?

    • Thank you Brittney! Yes, definitely paint or stain first…I didn’t, only because I was undecided about what finish I wanted. But doing before installation is definitely easier. Good luck!

  55. Your projects are stunning Cindy. This ceiling tutorial is fantastic and I want to try this!! I have all the tools to do it, so I just need to get motivated to take on this project. My home has run on ceilings so every room would have to be done unless I can figure out a way to run beams to “end” the ceiling containing the planking to the room I want to tackle. Inspiration City over here!!

  56. Hey Maureen,
    I love it!!! we live in a Manufacture mobile home with those awful popcorn ceilings we have high up ceilings and was wanting to do something with our ceilings … thank you for posting on pinterest.. we know what we want to do now.. My husband is a big wood fan.. we went to Lowe’s today to see if they have what you used… they did. Only thing he is asking it don’t have the tongue and grove at the end of the planks.. but I don’t care lol. he is thinking of flooring … I am going to show him your blog you have alot of his answers right here.. lol. but Thank you so much…for posting…

    • Hi Tammy! No, there isn’t tongue and groove on the ends of the boards. We just butted them up to each other on the ends, no problems! Good luck!

  57. Pingback: Transformation | Master Bedroom | Edith & Evelyn Vintage

  58. Love this look. We have ugly popcorn cathedral ceilings in our beach house. I have been thinking about doing this. Yours looks wonderful. How do you hide the nail holes when you stain/pickle? Thanks for any advice

    • Hi Maureen!We used a nail gun to nail the planks and the nail heads are so small and “sunk” into the plank when using the gun that honestly, you don’t even see them, unless you crawl up onto a ladder and get up close. So I didn’t bother hiding them, just pickled right over the top. You can’t see them at all!

  59. Cindy,

    Today our carpenter cut out the original front porch ceiling and is raising it. We are going with a barrel vaulted ceiling. The plan is to use whitewashed 3″ tongue & groove boards to make the curve.
    After going to Menard’s & Home Depot tonight and realizing how limited the selection is for tongue & groove 4″ X 8′ L lumber I got quite a headache!
    Just happened onto your blog when I googled for this size lumber! Tomorrow I will head for Lowe’s to look at the Ever True Planking. I already have Minwax white pickling stain and am so excited to get this project done & my new front door up!
    Thank you so much for your beautiful & inspirational photos. And your tips on wood paneled ceilings! I am so grateful and feel so encouraged!

    janettejulia

  60. Beautiful! Quick question regarding exchanging out the unusable pieces – were there any issues getting Lowe’s to let you return the opened packages of damaged goods? Did you have to return package by package or piece by piece?

    • Hi Beth! Lowe’s was great about exchanging the unusable pieces. We would use the good boards out of each package, fill in with the “bad” boards to fill the package of eight and return the entire package. Lowe’s was great and very understanding.

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  62. This sounds like a good idea for my popcorn ceilings. My question is I have ceilings that are straight with exception of the semi-rounded ends, how would I be able to plank the ends?

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  64. Are you also planking the ceiling in the closet? Also, what would you suggest to do if there is no crown molding and you do not plan to add any? Would you have to do something around the perimeter of the ceiling or could you just caulk & paint? I really appreciate your tutorial and input!

    • Hi Stacy! Yes, I’m sure we will plank the ceiling in the closets as well {as soon as we get to them!}. If you aren’t planning on putting up crown, then just plank right up to the wall, then caulk and paint. It will look fine!

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    • Hi Nikki! I’ve never used it in a bathroom. I would think that it would be fine as long as there is proper ventilation such as an exhaust fan and a window.

  66. This looks great! I hate my popcorn living room. Would you just put a piece of trim up where the room meets another room that doesn’t have the popcorn?
    Thanks!

  67. I don’t even have popcorn ceilings, but I would love to do this! How did you do the pickling? Could you tell me what product you used? Love your style!

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    • Hi Allen, yes, staining before installing them would be the ideal way to do it, it would be much easier to do before installation. The reason we didn’t do it this way is I wasn’t completely sure what finish I wanted at the time, and also, because the planks are such a lightweight wood, they are not top grade, so there is quite a bit of flaws in them. It required purging out a lot as we went and exchanging it, we couldn’t have exchanged it if we had stained beforehand. Using a better grade of planking would eliminate this issue, but we are on a tight budget, so we went with the lighterweight wood.

    • Hmmm….I’m not sure it work with metal joists. Part of the security of holding the planks into the ceiling is nailing it into wood joists. I’m afraid it would eventually come down if just nailed into the sheet rock.

    • Hi Crystal! I would think that you could plank a vaulted ceiling like any other ceiling. At the peak, you could either mitre the two pieces that are joining at the peak, or cover the seam with a small piece of trim.

  69. This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the detailed tutorial. I thought we’d have to replace our crown molding.. I am so excited to get started. Your kitchen is beautiful!!

    • Pickling after installation just involves standing on a ladder and staining with a brush! Not the ideal way to do it, it would be much easier to do before installation. The reason we didn’t do it this way is I wasn’t completely sure what finish I wanted at the time, and also, because the planks are such a lightweight wood, they are not top grade, so there is quite a bit of flaws in them. It required purging out a lot as we went and exchanging it, we couldn’t have exchanged it if we had stained beforehand. Using a better grade of planking would eliminate this issue, but we are on a tight budget, so we went with the lighterweight wood. Thanks so much for following along!

      • Hi Melanie! I brushed the stain on and then, using a slightly damp cloth, wiped the stain back. But it’s just a matter of personal preference, depending on how much “whitewash” you want.

  70. Cindy, I simply cannot thank you enough for sharing this information regarding the details of your gorgeous planked ceiling! I have “pinned” and researched like a mad woman, but I only seem to find “general” information and lots of lovely photos. I admire the fact that you share detailed information, sources and cost! Now we know where to go, “what” to buy – even what the box of planks looks like and how to install. Bonus – we know roughly how much it will cost us! I’m hooked on your lovely style …unique from all of the other blogs. My absolute favorite blogs are yours, Savvy Southern Style and For the Love of a House. Thanks for the inspiration!

  71. Love this – we have avoided removing the popcorn (everywhere in our 1900 sq. foot house) How high are you ceilings – we have a 1962 home with 8 ft. ceilings and concerned it would make the ceilings feel ‘lower’.

  72. Thanks for all the detail. We are in the process of remaking our weekend home. Decided to put wood planks on the ceiling for several reasons, but love the look.

  73. I would pickle them all lightly. I would not paint your bedroom ceiling, unless you are going for a very ultra finished look with bling and froo froo. I want to do this to my grandmother’s house that my mother is leaving to me. I did not know about this thin wood product. I am ready to start. Like the same Country French style you do. I like a lot of things. Each house speaks to me, and I hear it differently, so style changes from house to house. Ceilings are not embellished enough in my mind!. Thanks!

    • Thank you Teresa! We used the same planks underneath the chair rail in the master bedroom, that may be the picture you’re seeing.

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  75. Beautiful! This is definitely our next project. My husband would like to know if there’s a reason you used nail glue and a nail gun?

    • Thank you Shannon! I used both the glue and nail gun, simply because I wanted as much insurance as possible that the planks stay up! My hubby thinks it was “overkill”, but I insisted that each plank get a dose of Liquid Nails before being nailed up, just to be on safe.

    • Hi Allison! The can lights will have a pattern or template for the exact size of the hole you will need. If the can lights are already installed, I just use craft paper and trace a template around the opening of the light. When we get to the plank that will be going over the light, we place the plank, and while someone is holding it in place, trace the template on the wood where it needs to be, then cut out with a jigsaw, install the plank. Hope that makes sense!

      • I’m not sure how it will work yet as we are just getting started….but my husband plans to go right over our can lights and then once the wood is all up, go into the attic, pull out the can lights and cut from the top using his hole saw.

  76. You mentioned that there are other wood products other than the planks from Lowe’s to use on the ceiling. Are there other tongue and groove boards that can be purchased? I was looking for something a little heavier and that did not have the v groove found on the planks at Lowe’s. Also, did you snap a chalk line for the first board you put up or did you just put the tongue up against the wall and deal with any imperfections on the last row?

    • Hi Pat! Lowe’s does carry a better grade of tongue and groove planking, at least in my area. Some of the other big box home improvement stores may also carry better grades. I’ve also seen regular plywood ripped into planks and used {without the tongue & groove}. We did not snap a chalk line, we started by placing the first piece up against the wall and went from there. Luckily when we finished, we didn’t have any imperfection to deal with, the room was square {which is usually not the case!}.

  77. what about the light fixtures? they are now going to be recessed up in the ceiling more. how did you address this? there are codes about fire hazard.

    • Sheryl, we have had an electrician check each room as we renovate it, to make sure that we stay within code. Thank you for your concern.

  78. I love your home renovations! Thank you for sharing with all of us. I get so many ideas from what you have done. Question regarding the planks: would you recommend using this on a wall? My hubby is wanting to add wood to a wall in his study like the pallet wood walls but when I saw this I thought how much easier this would be than hunting and gathering pallets then hacking through all those nails and the wood is never ever the same width. If we used this product do you think liquid nails and nailing would be enough to secure it?

    • Thank you Staci! Yes, these planks would work perfectly for a wall. I agree, lots of work involved if using pallets. These planks would be a great alternative and they can be finished with paint or stain.

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  80. We also wood planked our living room ceiling. We were going to paint it white, but once we put the primer on we loved the look of just the primer. It makes it look old and our house is very old, we love the look of the knots showing through. I love what you did with the planking on the wall and the ceiling! Great job!

  81. Where can one find this economy planking? Home Depot no longer carries this product and I cannot find it online otherwise.

  82. Beautiful results. I love the pickling look. That seems to compliment your other decor & woods. Mixing wood types & color has been widely accepted for years now so I doubt it’s just a passing fad.

    One question: was asbestos ruled out? I haven’t followed your blog so you may have addressed that earlier. I was redirected here from another news source. The news source was vague so I followed the link to find out more. I ask about asbestos because that is common with popcorn ceilings and the decorative style of your pre-renovation. I’m sure you’re aware, asbestos is toxic & should be removed. Removing other ceilings that you’ve mentioned could be a permit violation in many areas unless the code for abatement is followed. I demolished a house and it took 3 months to get an abatement permit and disposal was outrageous. Just something for readers to consider.

  83. Great job and great look! As a former contractor, the only issue with this approach is that in some older houses or cheap construction, the ceiling joists cannot bear the weight of the sheetrock, heavy popcorn texture, and an additional layer of wood. Over time, the ceiling can begin to sag and create structural issues with the roof. So be sure and check out the size of the joist size and span of the room before adding the weight.

  84. I love this……And so much easier to apply right over the popcorn! Question- Did you take down the crown moulding or go right up to it?

    • Thank you Laura! We went right up to the crown moulding which was already there. If there hadn’t been any crown in the room, we would have done the planking first and then installed the crown over it. But since the room already had crown moulding installed, it was easier to just plank right up to it rather than removing it.

  85. Looks amazing! We’ve removed all the popcorn ceiling in our renovating too, but have the master left to do. I’ve always loved planked ceilings and we’ve talked about this as an option when we get to the master. The pickling looks great in your kitchen!

    I see the white lines along the paper and was wondering. Our paper is so old and in this home there was NO prepping…what a messy job taking it down! Are you going to remove the wallpaper in your master or paint over it?

    Blessings,
    Cindy

    • Thank you Cindy! We are painting over the wallpaper in the master bedroom. We realized that when the original paper was put up 40 years ago, no sizing was used on the walls. When we try to remove it, the sheetrock comes off with it. So we have spackled the seams, sanded, primed all the walls, and now painting!

  86. My husband and I have been putting up wood ceilings in every home since 2006, we’ve had 4 homes since then! We use the pine found at Lowes or Home Depot that looks like bead board only its much heavier! We don’t like seams and often use the 12 foot boards, the warped boards have to be pushed into place with a crowbar, it takes a strong guy to do this, but once nailed stays put! In our current kitchen we put 3 sections and put a beam over the 2 “butted” areas and it looks fantastic! I always stain mine and they look awesome, everyone wants them in their home once they see ours!

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  88. I personally like the pickling vs. the painting…when you paint you lose the wood grain and I am a believer in keeping the wood grain and not covering it up. That being said, I am sure it still looks great painted and if all the other trim in a room is going to be painted then the ceiling would fit right in being painted.

    • Hi Terry! The Liquid Nails is added in conjunction with nailing each plank into the ceiling joist. It’s just added security, and even though the ceiling is textured, most of the “popcorn” isn’t loose. The Liquid Nails does adhere, however I would never use it alone, only in addition to the nailing.

  89. Great solution for popcorn ceilings! My house too is full of them, and your planks are so much nicer!

  90. I have been living in a modular house for the past 8 years and hate the popcorn ceilings and bare walls. I want to make this my home and use a lot of wood to cover the walls.
    And what you have shown me in this post is what I will do to the ceilings. I like the “Pickling” stain idea, It will look so good against the wood grain of the walls! And the RECYCLED wood floors !

  91. Lovely! I have enjoyed watching you transform your new home.

    The pickling would make the look of your bedroom beautifully soft and restful. And if you don’t like it, you can paint over pickling, but not pickle over paint.

  92. Absolutely love this look. I’ve been wanting to do the exact same thing in my kitchen but been afraid to tackle it. Your post has inspired me and I will soon be planning my ceiling overhaul. I was wondering how long the project took. Thanks so much!

    • Thank you Pam! Hubby and I are pretty slow, so it probably took us a good four full days for this 320 sq ft bedroom.

  93. love this post so much!! so helpful and inspiring!!!!! It’s going to be so beautiful and a whole new bedroom!!!

  94. Wow…the room is going to look amazing!…You look so comfortable using that nail gun! I have been banned from power tools … so basically the only thing powered I use comfortably is my car!….Cannot wait to see more of this room!

  95. Look at you with that nail gun and miter saw. You go girl! We used planks similar to those in the guest bath. I would love ceilings done in that, but I know someone would look at me like I was crazy if I even mentioned it.

    • Thanks Kim! Hubby gives me the same “crazy” look every time I come up with a new idea. He is getting better with rolling with the punches though!

  96. Lovely! Did you leave the existing crown molding in place, or did you remove it and reinstall it over the planking?

    • Thank you Celeste! We left the existing crown moulding in place and just butted the planks up to it. I will go around and fill in with caulk before I pickle or paint. If you are doing a ceiling that doesn’t have crown, but you are going to add it, then plank first, then add crown moulding over the planks.

      • So good to know, thanks! I’ve been dying to plank my kitchen/hallway ceiling, but was dreading having to yank down all that crown!

    • Thank you Martina! I love the pickled ceiling in the kitchen as well, but for some reason, I am leaning toward painting this one white…..we shall see!

  97. Thanks for all the tips Cindy. We are planning on doing this to two bathrooms and maybe our foyer. I like the idea of white for your bedroom. Drop by and share your ceiling with us at my party today.

    Blessings,
    Linda

    • Thanks Linda! It’s amazing at the character this adds to a room! Definitely visiting your party today!

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