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. 

DSC_0223

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.

DSC_0222

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. 

DSC_0342

DSC_0343

DSC_0344

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 staggered the seams on each row by beginning every other row with a 4′ board.

DSC_0332

DSC_0333

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.

DSC_0224

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

DSC_0327

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.

DSC_0337 

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.  

DSC_0336

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

DSC_0335

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

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

DSC_0328

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 Minwax 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.

We would love to hear from you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Hi Cindy, with all the remodeling you and your husband do, why not use a rolling scaffold. I love everything you do and have in your home. You’re very lucky.

  2. Wow! This was the longest posted comments I have EVER seen! So, I thought why not add one more. BTW, I gleaned a lot of information by reading through them. Thank you, Cindy, for this wonderful post! On my “To-Do” list now.

  3. Did you use a 18 gauge brad nailer or a 15 gauge finish nailer or what type of nail gun and size nails did you use? Did you have to caulk over the nail heads when done? Our master bath ceiling is much less than 8ft wide and so I’m also wondering about using the left over ends from doing the master bedroom (16 x 14.5 …. the shorter distance is the direction opposite the joists, and the this becomes like 12.5 for most of it as the closet shortens the 14.5 for most of the room) or going with no seams at all. Thoughts??

    • Also, did you nail at every joist? every other joist? How many nails at each location? (PS … I see where you used an 18 gauge brad nailer…..no need to reply to that question, sorry.)

    • Hi Mark! We didn’t caulk over the nail heads when we finished. The nails are small and sink into the wood somewhat and standing on the floor, they aren’t really even noticeable, so we chose not to. Using leftover end pieces could make the ceiling in such a small area appear choppy. I think I would prefer to have no seams at all. We nailed three nails into each joist.

  4. This looks fantastic! I would love to do this in our kitchen. Our ceilings aren’t very high, how high are yours? I just don’t know if it would make the room look smaller ( if that makes sense).

    • Hi Cheryl! Our ceilings are only 8 ft high. I actually think it makes the ceiling appear higher because it draws your eyes up! I hope this helps!

  5. Thanks for the wonderful idea Cindy. We would love to do this on the ceiling of our screened porch. Would this work outdoors in the humid South Florida climate?

    • Hi Marti! If you are going to do this outdoors, I would think that you would need to use treated lumber. I would check with your local home improvement store and see what they have in the way of pre-treated tongue and groove planking that would work outdoors, and once installed, I would definitely seal it. I hope this helps!

    • I used this on a porch ceiling in North Carolina…but I used spar varnish on BOTH sides of the boards before I installed them and had no problems. Ten years later the ceiling still looked great.

  6. Hi Cindy! We have just bought a new small home that we are renovating. The kitchen/living area has a vaulted popcorn ceiling that our contractor is covering with tongue and groove planks. I am going to pickle the planks before he installs them. I’m going to use the white latex paint diluted down. I see that you did not seal yours after pickling and I’m wondering if you’ve had any issues in not doing that? Would sure save time/energy but will do it if I need to. Love your blog and all of your projects! Awesome!

    • How exciting, Laura! I did not seal the planks after pickling, and we’ve had no issues at all. It still looks as good as the day we did it! I hope this helps!

  7. We did it and LOVE IT!!!! It was a challenge but the end result was amazing! It’s a lot of work, my husband is a pretty good handy man and it made him cursing under breath several times I’m sure. But thanks for the idea we love it! We did our dining room

  8. We are doing this right now in my bathroom. We had already bought the tongue and groove boards at Home Depot. Since it’s not a huge area I will stain when it’s installed. Definitely a two person job. I’m not going to seal because it’s a bathroom mostly for looks and is only going to have a freestanding tub. We found a wood file came in handy because, like you said, no room is perfect

  9. Thank you so much for posting this! My husband and I followed your instructions and have the planks almost done. Now we are looking at pickling. Did you sand the boards before applying the pickling stain?

    • Hi Kristin! I didn’t sand before staining with the pickling stain. The boards we used were pretty smooth so we didn’t feel the need to sand.

  10. It looks great! We want to do this in our spare bedroom over some acoustic ceiling tiles that are very difficult to take town. Should I use furring strips or go right on top the ceiling tile into the joists? If I use furring strips will need to make sure each plank end lands on a joist? Also what length of nails did you use? Thank you so much for the ideas and help!

    • As long as you are nailing directly into the joists, then I don’t see the need for the furring strips. We used 18 gauge
      1 1/2″ nails in our nail gun.

    • We got our ceiling up last weekend and now we are ready for finishing! We want to paint it white, do you think a paint primer combo would do the trick or do you recommend a diffrernt option for finishing with paint?

  11. Hi Cindy, I love your ceilings! I just bought all the material and me and my husband are about to start! I was just wondering how we should stagger the lengths of the board? Is there a certain measurement of each board? Thanks so much

    • Hi Amy! How exciting! Our boards were 8′ long. Every other row, we started with a half length 4′ board, which created the staggered look. I hope this helps! Good luck!

  12. Hi Cindy
    Thinking of doing our ceilings like this -love the look.
    Is there a rule of thumb running the boards the same way the hard wood runs on the floors? Does it matter?

    • I don’t know if it’s the “rule” or not, but I always run the boards the same direction as the wood floors.

  13. Hi, we are almost done putting up the boards for about 600 sqft. Some of the ends where the boards butt up to one another are definitely not perfect. Did you caulk or patch any of these imperfections? Does the pickling stain help hide them? I’m wondering if trying to patch will make them more noticeable because they’ll be too white. Otherwise, we’re living the look compared to the old textured ceiling!

    • Hi Mel! We didn’t caulk where the boards join. There were imperfections here and there, but we embraced them! And actually, when standing on the floor and looking up, they were barely noticeable. The pickling stain might make some of them less noticeable, depending on how heavy you put the stain on, but it won’t completely hide them.

      • Hi again, I have a question about staining. We planked 650 sqft including a hallway. I started staining in the hallway today, and I noticed in at least one spot where I could tell I went over it twice with stain. I was working in small sections as you suggested, and I tried to make sure and blend well when I had to go back over the previous section. Are there any tips or suggestions you have before I tackle the more noticeable kitchen living area so that it looks even? Also, it’s going to take me forever, haha. Ever heard of anyone rolling it on, or a faster way to get it done with good results? I have a 1 and 3 year old so I’m working on it when they sleep. Thank you!

      • Hi Mel! I haven’t heard of anyone rolling the stain on, but it might be worth trying with a roller made for stains. I also have a couple of suggestions that might work. One, if you have someone that can work right behind you wiping the stain back with a slightly damp cloth, you could work a little bit faster and be able to blend the “seams” of the stain before they have a chance to set up. Two, take a fine sanding block and lightly sand those areas.

  14. I love this look! One question: we had to take our ceiling (there were 3 layers of ceiling in all!) completely down and reinsulate it. It’s an older house, so there’s been some settling. One part of the ceiling is a little higher than another part. We have been considering using shims and putting up a thin plywood to level it, then using the tongue and groove planks. Do we need the plywood, or can we just shim the planks? Thanks for any advice you can give us!

    • I would think that if you use shims, then you would not need to add the plywood. The planks would in essence play the same roll as the plywood would have.

  15. Those are truly lovely ceilings. I’ve been thinking about a project like this for my kitchen. I’m curious about how to finish the edges. It looks like you already had crown moulding, so did you remove the crown when you planked the ceiling? Also, how did you work around the recessed ceiling lights. I also have those and I’m not sure how to adjust them for the added thickness of the ceiling planks. Thanks.

    • Hi Jenny! The crown moulding was already in place, and we just butted the planks right up to the crown moulding, then caulked anyplace where there was a slight gap. We pulled the recessed light cans down, hanging from the ceiling, and as we placed each plank, we traced and cut out the hole. The planks are pretty thin and since the cans are attached with a spring, they fit right back up into the ceiling, fitting flush.

    • I am going to plank my ceiling and put barn siding on the walls . Do you recommend doing the ceiling or the walls first?

  16. Great tutorial! You included all of the info I had questions about. I also have a lot of respect for a woman who gets up on the ladder and does it herself! Too many home improvement bloggers are just journaling what their husbands or fathers did. I have a lot more confidence that I can do a job when I see another lady getting ‘er done 🙂

  17. Your house looks beautiful. We finally decided to pull the trigger on the ceilings but the planks at our Lowes we’re in such bad shape we didn’t think we’d ever find a halfway decent pack. We decided to go with the planks one step up. There are 2 in the $15-$16 price range but one has a center bead and the other a side bead. Since they are the exact same measurements we decided to buy some of both and just use the back side for a smooth plank – no need to worry about beading. Now that we’re tearing into them, I realize the back side is a little rough. After looking at your pictures closer I could even see that in the one with the glue. My question is more of an opinion question I guess but I thought you’d have a much better idea after all you’ve done and worked with. Do you think it would be OK to use the back side even with the slightly rough finish? I can’t quite visualize it well enough. I plan to whitewash my planks so I think I’d have about the same look color wise. We’ve also toyed with the idea of selling our house sometime in the next few years so I think about resale and how others will see it. Thank you so much!

    • Hi Renae! Before you do any installation, I would recommend whitewashing the rough side of a couple of planks to see how it looks on that side. It may absorb totally differently than on the smooth side. How it looks will depend on how rough it is. You may want to install a couple of rows to see how they look.

      • Thanks Cindy! I did whitewash the back and that looked OK. We even feel like the slight roughness would be OK but if we were to sell down the road other people may not like it. All but 8 packs are the center bead so we’re going to exchange those and put it up with center bead side out. Now my nonstop worrying hopes it won’t be too busy or the bead won’t accentuate any alignment problems. The beadboard look isn’t what I orignally envisioned. I’m not really sure the higher price got us better quality wood either. I think we paid extra for the bead we don’t want. Unfortunately, at the couple Lowes we looked at the plain planks we’re just in such bad shape and the beaded ones were a bit better. Once we got into them though they seem to be about the same quality. The beaded planks are packaged differently and maybe that helped. Anyway, buyer beware – we’re not new to the DIY game and we still ended up with our project going in a different direction. Wish me luck – I’m still contemplating the odds of my husband wanting to divorce me if I say I really would like to take it all back and start over! Thanks again for sharing all of your great information.

  18. Hi, did every end of the board line up exactly, or were there occasionally a small Gap where they butt up to one another? Also, did you cut all the 8ft boards down, because they’re 8ft 3/4 inch, and some of the ends are pretty rough. Thanks!

    • Sometimes the boards didn’t line up exactly on the seams, usually because we didn’t cut them exact, but the gaps were never large enough to be an issue, especially when standing on the floor and looking at them. Our boards were all 8′ so we didn’t have to trim the ends, but if yours are a bit longer than 8’and the ends are pretty rough, then definitely trim them! I hope this helps and good luck!

  19. Thanks for posting this blog and answering so many questions! We are going to give it a shot next weekend in our bedroom!

    One question for you: our joists run perpendicular to our wood floors, which is a challenge because we need to run the wood panels on the ceiling in the same direction as the wood on the floor…right??? Do you think we should use furring strips to setup a base that would allow us to keep the floor and ceiling aligned?

    Thanks!

    • Jim, it would look better if the planks on the ceiling run the same direction as the flooring. I would suggest that you use furring strips to keep the planks running in the same direction as the floor.

  20. Great detailed post! One question I don’t see yet. Did you bevel cut the ends of each board or just straight cut and butt the ends?

  21. Hi, cindy. We’ve been eyeing this project for over a year now, and we’re so excited to finally start! A few questions before we get started…we have a crows feet textured ceiling, do you think we’ll have a problem covering over it since it’s not popcorn? I assumed the two are very similar. Also, we have several ac vents and 2 ceiling fans, is the a problem with adding depth with the planks for these fixtures? For clarification on the staggering, are the 4ft boards only used on the starting point row, and then 8ft for the rest (until you get to the end, of course)? Lastly, I’m surprised your ceiling is 8 ft high, looks higher in the pictures. Would you sTay away from larger crown molding, or does larger molding make the ceiling look higher? I read through all of the questions so I hope I’m not making you repeat yourself! Thank you for posting this beautiful project!! I look forward to starting ours and covering up those ugly crows feet!

    • Hi Mel! The planks covered popcorn very well, and “crows feet” textured ceiling usually isn’t as thick as popcorn, so I don’t think you’ll have any issues with the wood planks covering it. The boards we used are very thin, so there wasn’t an issue with adding the small depth around the vents and fixtures. Their covers fit back very nicely. We started every other row with a 4′ board so that all of our seams were staggered. Yes, we only used the 4′ boards at the starting point on every other row. We have a couple of rooms that have larger crown moulding and it doesn’t detract or make the ceiling look lower. The planking and wide crown moulding will actually draw the eye up, giving the illusion of higher ceilings. I hope this helps! Good luck!

  22. When you returned the damaged boards, did you just return 6 to make a package! I’m assuming you would not be able to return less than a full package. Your project is beautiful!!

  23. Is there a reason you installed and THEN stained? Wouldn’t it be easier to stain/paint first before installing?

    • Sharon, the reason I stained the wood after I installed it is because initially I wasn’t sure what finish I wanted. Also, using this type board, there is a lot of damaged wood that we had to exchange. If I had stained beforehand, I wouldn’t have been able to exchange the boards that we couldn’t use. It’s definitely easier to stain or paint prior to installing

  24. I love this! We are wanting to do this in our kitchen. My only concern is that we have 12 recessed lights, 3 air vents, and our a/c intake is in the ceiling too. Do you have any tips on working around them??

  25. Can you please tell me how you applied your stain. Did you use a bristle paint brush, foam brush or a soft rag? Did you apply the stain and wipe off? I’ve never used stain before, need all the help you can give , Thank You, kindly!

    • Hi Teresa! I worked a section at a time and applied the stain using a bristle brush, and then immediately wiped it back with a cloth. I was going for a light pickling look and wanted to see the wood through it, so I didn’t let the stain sit on the wood very long, I wiped it back immediately after it was brushed on. If you want it heavier on the whitewash look, then let the stain sit a minute or two before you wipe back. Also, if you have some left over wood, experiment with staining them to see what finish you like the best.

  26. Before staining did you use Min wax water based pre-painted wood conditioner. ( it’s in the instructions on back of min wax stain can)
    Also the Min wax stain I purchased is called White Washington Pickling, is that the same stain you used ,that’s all I saw at Home Depot

  27. My wife and I just purchased our first home and are going to try this in our bedrooms. A couple questions I have that I didn’t see in the comments…
    1.) did you use a battery powered or air compressed nail gun?
    2.) what size nails did you use?
    I’ve checked our lowes here in Tyler, TX and it has plenty of the boards still in stock, lucky us. Thanks for the blog post, excited to try it out

  28. Hello Cindy!

    The table arrangement with your Hot Skwash Pumkins is absolutely gorgeous! Truly you are such an inspirational, talented lady, ….. love everything you do.
    Also, the armoire in your study turned out beautiful, …..would you give us your paint technique and colors you used in a future post?

    Thank you,
    Cheerfully,
    Nancy J. Texas

  29. Pingback: The Study Renovation | Final Reveal | Edith & Evelyn Vintage

  30. Cindy – I’ve had your ceiling pinned for years – love it – and we are starting our kitchen ceiling! After months of preparing the wood (cutting the lengths, staining with whitewash and varathaning ) we are finally ready to get started! Thank you for your inspiration! A question though – when you start your first row, do you recommend tongue side out? Or groove side out?

    Thanks!
    – Deborah

    • How exciting, Deborah! We placed the first board with the tongue against the wall, with the groove side out. Hope that helps!

      • We are right in the middle of our project. Ours is a gable ceiling so because of the layout I had to start in middle of room. I can say it’s a huge difference installing the tongue side out versus groove side out. So much easier to work with the groove side out. Not that it’s easy either way! We finished side of room with groove side out. And are now working on tongue side out part. Having a tough time. I’ve contemplated trying to reverse the situation but haven’t figured out a way.

  31. Cindy, We have cathedral ceilings that are textured….. more textured than popcorn. Do you have any ideas? Christie

    • Hi Christie! The only suggestion I have would be to nail furring strips into the joists, and then nail your planking into the furring strips.

  32. Can’t wait to try this. Just to update. Lowes now carries this product for $14.97. There are no stores that carry them, so I was told I need to special order this product.

    • We have found that some of the Lowe’s stores in certain areas carry the planks in stock. Others don’t carry them and they have to be ordered.

      • I want to do this over my popcor , you did a grand job, thankyou so much for all the advice, and cost , info

  33. We are considering this project for our home. We would prime and paint white before install. What I am curious about is where you placed the nails. Did you do a blind nail on the tongue part of the board so you would not see nail holes? If not would I have to fill and paint over every hole? I hope that makes sense. Thanks!

    • Hi Rachel! We nailed through the board into each ceiling joist. We used a pneumatic nail gun, using 18 gauge nails. Using the pneumatic nail gun, sinks the heads of the nails into the wood. We did not fill and paint over the holes. They are so tiny, that honestly, when we are standing on the floor, you can’t see them. However, we used a whitewash pickling stain, not paint. That may or may not make a difference.

  34. Hello,
    We are going to do this in our kitchen. my husband is asking about the nail gun and nails. He wants to know if you had problems nailing it bc the wood is so thin? is there a certain nail you used?
    Thanks,
    Aimee

  35. Beautiful and inspiring! Did you seal after staining? I want the matte look, but they’re going in bathroom. Thanks

    • Thanks, Amy! We did not seal since it was in the kitchen. However, in a bathroom, I would seal. You can use a matte sealer to maintain the finish that you like.

  36. Pingback: pallet wood plank ceiling | DIY Woodworking Projects

  37. Hi Cindy,

    Thanks for your article. Super helpful! One question I have is about the can lights in the ceiling. Can you talk about how you got them flush with the new ceiling?

    Thanks!

    Dan

  38. Hi there! I’ve talked my husband into trying this in our living room! However, he’s a little reluctant. (I really hope you see this very soon because we’re waiting to put our laminate flooring down until we decide what to do with the ceiling.) Here’s our 3 questions/concerns:

    1.) We have a vaulted ceiling with the joists perpendicular to the ‘peak’. He’s thinking we should start at the peak – running the boards parallel to the peak – and then work our way to the wall. That way, if we have a little gap at the end, we can cover it with crown moulding. Does that sound right?
    2.) We have 2ft. between our joists. Is that normal? And should we stick with the 4ft planks? That would mean we would be putting a nails into the very ends of each plank, but some planks would only nailed in two places since we’d stagger them. (Am I making sense?) Would you still suggest 4ft planks?
    3.) Are you at all worried about the liquid nail having a solid enough hold to the popcorn ceiling without fear of waking up one morning with your ceiling falling down? 🙂

    I look forward to your reply! Thanks!

    • Hi Nina! Yes, start your boards at the peak, working your way down to the wall. If there is a gap at the end, it’s very easy to cover it with crown moulding. Two feet between joists is normal. I would use the full 8′ foot board and stagger the seams, which means starting your first row with an 8′ board, and then start the next row with one 4’foot board so that your seams are staggered on each row. We always nailed into the joists, as well as placing some nails into the sheetrock for extra hold. The Liquid Nails for adhesion is just an extra bit of hold, the nails into the joists are the main thing that holds the boards in place. We’ve had the planked ceiling in our kitchen up for over three years and we’ve had zero problems with it, so I’m not worried about it coming down! I hope this helps answer your questions! Good luck with your project!

      • Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for getting back with me! We are so excited to get started on this! (At least I am 🙂 My husband is somewhat ecstatic – haha!) I’ll let you know how it goes! We start tonight!

      • Ok. I’m running into some dilemmas / questions. As I mentioned, we’re working with a vaulted ceiling that is roughly 15.5′ in width. My husband wants me to ask you about nailing into the joists. He wants to make sure the seams of each board line up with the joists, because he’s thinking that if they don’t (and say, the seam is in-between joists) that the end of each board will ‘pop up’ a bit and not be flush with the next board. Does he need to worry about that? Also, he has several of his peers saying that if we ever want to do something different again with the ceiling, that we’ll probably end up replacing the Sheetrock altogether because of the liquid nail, etc. Sorry to bug you about this, but this is our first home and we’re a little inexperienced in this area: :). thank you!

      • Hi Nina! Most of our seams did not line up evenly with the joists. We nailed into all of the joists (three nails into each one) and then also nailed at the end of each board, even though it wasn’t going into a joist. This is where the Liquid Nails helps in keeping it flush again the ceiling. Down the road, if you decide that you want to remove the planks, then the Liquid Nails will probably cause imperfections in the ceiling when you remove the boards causing you to patch or replace the sheetrock. As a side note, we recently finished planking the ceiling in our office renovation and we didn’t use any Liquid Nails, choosing to only nail into the joists. I don’t feel that we will have any problems with it at all. More food for thought….:)

  39. Scraping the popcorn ceiling is not that hard of a job, All you need is a spray bottle with water a 6 inch scraper and a cheap drywall mud pan. cover your floor and spray a small section of the ceiling let sit for a minute or so and while holding the mud tray under the scraper start scrapping letting the plaster fall into the tray. as long as the ceiling is wet there will be no dust.

    • I agree that scraping the popcorn off is not hard. Just incredibly messy. I have scraped the popcorn off in several rooms of our house using this very method, except I just let it fall to the plastic I put on the floor. The one huge downside that I ran into when doing this was that all of the drywall seams under the popcorn had paper tape that had been mudded over. No problems on the flat part of the ceiling, however, where the wall meets the ceiling the edge of the paper tape on the ceiling side came loose nearly everywhere and you can’t get that to lay back down no matter what you try. (and trust me, I tried everything) I knew I had to remove it but I didn’t want to tear it away from the wall too because that would have created a whole new can of worms because it was secured tightly to the wall and had been painted over so trying to remove it would definitely take the drywall paper with it. That would then require mudding and sanding to get it smooth again. UGH!! So the only way to remove the loose paper tape on the ceiling side was to cut it. The problem I ran into there was the level of craftsmanship of whoever did all of the drywall when the house was built. Not good. I was left with gaps in some places where the drywall on the ceiling and the drywall on the wall came together. So for me, I have to agree with Cindy and say “lets plank the ceiling in our living room/kitchen!” We live on the lake and our decor is very coastal/farmhouse so for me this is the least time consuming, least messy and perfect way to achieve the look I want! We will be dealing with the same situation as Nina so I was also happy to see that post as well. So thanks Cindy and Nina!! Happy renovating ladies!!

      • Any house built prior to 1981 will have asbestos in the “popcorn”. PLEASE be careful and take all necessary precautions for safety. Those floating asbestos fibers can be real nasty in your lungs.

  40. I am so excited to have found you! I love the planked ceilings! Our house was built in the early 90’s, and every room has popcorn, ugly ceilings. The thought of scrapping all of this off is daunting to me. This really looks doable, and it is so attractive. I love how you explain every detail, and also, showing the cost of the project lets us know if it is an affordable makeover. Thanks for sharing!

  41. Thank you so much for sharing! We have been working on our new for the last 3 weeks. I scraped popcorn in 5 rooms. Comes of easy but lots of steps and work finishing them off again. We have vaulted ceilings in the living room and have chosen to plank over the popcorn. We have had 30 packs of the planks and all supplies sitting In the living area for that last week and half! I have a big question for you :)! You say you cut your 8′ boards in halves and quarters, is that just for the starter pieces or ALL of your boards? I love how your ceiling turned out!!! Well done! We even bought the pickling stain! Our length is 17ft so I have been stumped on how to cut the boards down to get a pattern that looks good going across the room. Thanks so much in advance!

    Best,

    Kim

    • Hi Kim! Since you are working on a 17′ length, I would try and work with the full 8′ board, staggering the seams. On every other row, you will begin with a 4′ board so that the seams are staggered. I hope this helps! Good luck!

  42. I had wood ceilings installed all through the house years ago and put a white stain, I think it was called Pickled Oak. You have your white color and still see the grain. Still love it.

  43. I love this project! My biggest concern about doing this to my ceiling is what happens if you get a roof leak. I’m thinking it would be very difficult to repair damage any damaged pieces. What are your thoughts on my concern?

    • Elaine, these planks are very lightweight wood and very easy to remove a section to replace. We just recently did this to the ceiling in my study and after it was installed, I painted a section of it, thinking that I wanted a solid painted ceiling. After painting approximately a 2 x 3 foot section, I changed my mind and decided that I wanted it pickled like the other ceilings that we had planked. It was easy to remove the boards that I had painted and replace with new wood.

      • Thank you so much for sharing your experience with removing a section of the planks, it makes me feel so much better about doing this project! I guess it would be good to keep a supply of this on hand for repairs. Did mention that Lowe’s was not carrying this but that Home Depot was carrying the planks or something similar? Thanks again!

      • Elaine, the Lowe’s in our area still carries them, however in some areas they do not. So you would just need to check your local Lowe’s to see if they carry these boards.

  44. I absolutely love this look! I was thinking about doing it in my dinning room. Quick question: What kind of floors do you have? If they’re hardwood, do you run the planks in the same direction as the floor?

    • Hi Daniele! Yes, we have hardwood floors and we ran the planks in the same direction as the floor! Hope that helps!

  45. Thank you!! My husband and I used your idea and completed our kitchen ceiling over the weekend. I do LOVE it, and I felt like it was fairly simple to do. However, today I’m freaking out just a little because I happened upon a post somewhere online (while looking for ideas for my cabinets), and someone mentioned to make sure and purchase tongue and groove a week or so ahead of time and allow the wood time to acclimate before installation. Otherwise, I am to expect shrinkage exposing seams and causing gaps. We did not wait. We brought them home and immediately began the project. I am so worried all our time, effort, and money might have been wasted and I may begin to see cracks (or the opposite if it swells… buckling).

    I read on Lowe’s website that this product is kiln dried, so I’m hopeful the moisture level was low and we won’t have any issues.

    A couple of questions…

    1) Did you wait between purchasing the boards and installing?
    2) Have you noticed any movement in the boards?

    • Hi Leslie! We did not let our boards “season” either, and we haven’t had any issues with shrinkage or swelling in either of the two rooms that we have done!

  46. Did you just butt the planks up to the extisting crown molding or put up new after?
    We have extisting crown molding and i dont want to tear it down. If so did you just caulk between the planks and crown? I am just worried about the planks looking like an after thought.

    • Yes, we butted the planks right up to the crown moulding and then caulked between the planks and the crown.

  47. This looks great! I have an odd (or maybe not) question…Where are y’all? I noticed the Alabama shirt and wondered. I live in Tuscaloosa born and raised! ROLL TIDE!!

    • Hi Mandy! We are currently living in SW Missouri, moving here from Alabama to be closer to my family. My husband was born and raised in Birmingham and went to school at Alabama! We are diehard Alabama fans!! ROLL TIDE!

  48. Hi, we have rather low ceilings in our br. Its a big room at 22 ft. We have ceiling tiles on it and I absolutely hate it. Any ideas on easy way to c over or add something on ceiling to modernize it?

    • You can go to home depo buy planks made out of cedar.nail up.with nail gun.leave natural or stain with stain.goes right over ceiling.stsin planks before you put up.

  49. I am getting ready to plank over the Sheetrock walls in my living room. The previous owners put a thin coat of popcorn on the walls, above the chair railing. In your opinion, would it be okay to liquid nail the planks over top of the Sheetrock with the popcorn or should I use furring strips? I really don’t want to scrap off the popcorn because it would be such a mess. Suggestions?

    • Hi David! You should be able to nail the planks right over the popcorn. I would use a stud finder to locate and mark where your studs are in the walls and then nail the planks into the studs. That would eliminate having to use furring strips. I hope that helps and good luck!

  50. 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!

      • The fixture is held into place by two long bolts. You need to go out and get bolts that are 1&1/2 – 2 inches longer than those being used. Then you can put your wood up to the outside edge of the socket and your fixture will sit on your planks looking awesome.

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

  52. 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.

  53. 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!

      • Judith, what about putting a 4-6 inch beam down the length of your vaulted ceiling and plank up to the beam?

  54. 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.

  55. 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!

  56. 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!

  57. 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.

  58. 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!

  59. 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?

      • Great! Would the pickling be enough of a moisture barrier or would you recom.ent stain or paint?

      • 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.

  60. Anyone know where to purchase the Evertrue planking or something similar? It’s no longer available at Lowe’s.
    TIA

  61. 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!

  62. 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

  63. 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!

  64. 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.

  65. 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?

  66. 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.

  67. 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.

  68. 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!!

  69. 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 $$$$$$

  70. 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?

  71. 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….

    • Hi Julie. I’m not sure, in your case it would probably be best to consult a professional. Thanks for your comment!

  72. 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

    • Ceilings are usually painted very, very flat. They don’t need protection from scrapes and fingers (gloss does better with high traffic) but any imperfections in a gloss coat will be very visible because the light source is usually right against the ceiling. Flat paints tend to mute those ripples and brush strokes.

  73. 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.

  74. 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!!!

  75. Pingback: The Dreaded Popcorn Ceiling – Info You Need Before You Scrape

  76. 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!

  77. 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.

  78. 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.”

  79. 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

  80. 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

  81. 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!

  82. 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!

  83. 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.

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

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

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

  88. 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

  89. 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!

  90. 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

  91. 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.

    • Hi Cathy! I’ve never done this on a vaulted ceiling, but I have no reason to believe that it wouldn’t work!

  92. 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!

  93. 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.

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

  95. Love your ceiling, it’s amazing! Thanks for the idea and the tutorial! BTW, I love your tshirt too ♡ ROLL TIDE ♡

  96. 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.

  97. 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!

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

  100. Pingback: How to Remove Popcorn Ceilings - Bob Vila

  101. 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.

  102. 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.

  103. 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.

  104. Oh my wow! I absolutely love this! If only we were friends so you could help me plank my whole house! This is beautiful!

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

  106. 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!

  107. 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!!

    • Thank you so much Amy! That means so much to me!Beams would work or some of the nice, heavy moulding to create a stopping point.

  108. 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!

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

  110. 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!

  111. 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

  112. 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.

      • Lovely job! Do you know what the paint colour (name & brand) you used for the darker gray door in your kitchen?

      • Hi Sara! The paint and color is Sherwin Williams Pussywillow in semi gloss latex. Thanks for your comment!

  113. Pingback: Dekor Mobel Decken Deko-Ideen (DIY Ideen, Interesse für Ihre Decken hinzufügen) - Dekor Mobel

  114. 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?

  115. Pingback: Ceiling Decorating Ideas (DIY Ideas To Add Interest To Your Ceiling) - Addicted 2 Decorating®

  116. 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!

  117. Pingback: Plank Your Popcorn Ceiling!!!!! | Ann Carr Real Estate

    • 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.

  118. 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!

  119. 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!

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

    • 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.

  121. 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.

  122. 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!

    • Aww, thank you Kim! That means so much to me! You have put me in with very good company. What a lovely compliment!

  123. 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’.

  124. 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.

  125. 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.

  126. Pingback: Transformation of a French Country Kitchen

  127. 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.

  128. 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!}.

  129. 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.

  130. 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.

  131. Pingback: Master Bedroom Update | Edith & Evelyn Vintage

  132. 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!

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

  134. I used cedar in my bathroom and kitchen. stained it the same color as the cabinets. it’s beautiful.

  135. 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.

  136. 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.

  137. 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.

  138. 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!

  139. 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!

  140. Pingback: The Easy and Affordable Way to Cover a Popcorn Ceiling - Perfect Your Lifestyle

  141. 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.

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

  143. 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 !

    • Thank you Tom! Sounds like your home would be awesome with the added character of the wood planks!

  144. 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.

    • I think if the popcorn contains asbestos, nailing planks over it would not be a good idea! I would check with some professional asbestos removers first!!

  145. 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.

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

  147. 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!

  148. 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!

  149. 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!

  150. 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!