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Popcorn is great at the ball park, movie theater and game night, but when it’s on your ceiling? Not great.
My husband, in particular, has a crazy aversion to popcorn ceilings and when we took the first tour of our home (over a year ago!), we knew tearing that ceiling down was pretty high on our priority list.

Until we discovered that our ceilings may or may not contain asbestos, and we weren’t exactly ready to jump on the remediation bandwagon a second time around. Naturally, we came up with a foolproof method to fix our ceilings, and it’s stylish to boot! Say it with me…wood planks.

Wood plank ceilings have been popping up all over my inspiration boards, but I never thought Husband and I would go quite that far to create our Scandinavian retreat. Turns out the project was way easier than we thought and it just took the right (popcorn-textured) motivation to tackle the job.

Because our ceiling was warped and uneven from its three-year vacancy, flooding and mold, we used furring strips (similar to those used in a tin ceiling remodel) to create a level surface to nail our wood planks onto. We spray-painted them black in case the wood was visible between the gaps of each strip, but this was totally unnecessary (as our precautions often are!).

We used less-than-1/4-inch-thick junk plywood for the strips and had a local carpenter cut the strips to size. And then? We started nailing. This was tricky, because our ceiling is far from even and we had to continually pull out the level to make sure we were working in a straight line.

Eventually, you’re going to run into some angles, so cut accordingly and try not to cry out of sheer frustration. You’ll cut a few wrong the first time, but then you’ll get the hang of it and all will be well. Pat yourself on the back and have some lemonade.

Word to the wise: Don’t forget to cut around your can lighting immediately. We made this mistake and nearly burned our house down. I’m not showing you a photo of the damage, because we’re still in denial, but I’m sure we’ll be ready to talk about it in 2012 — mark your calendars!

We’ll be painting the ceiling white (like everything else in our home), so this “After” photo will look a bit different in a few weeks, but I’m really loving how the project turned out. We worked fast thanks to a pair of stilts the Husband wore (not kidding here) and the entire ceiling took just a week. Pretty impressive, and we even took a break for trick-or-treating!

Here’s hoping the rest of the renovation will go as smoothly, because up next? We’ll be doing some serious cathedral-ceiling action in the master bedroom. Stay tuned!

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Design Inspiration

53 Responses

  1. Yes! Love it so much! Though, as much as I know how beautiful white will be, I'm kind of loving it plain wood like that, too!

  2. erin / dfm says:

    thanks, melissa — so glad you approve! we LOOOOVE the end result!

  3. erin / dfm says:

    i kind of love it plain, too, adrienne! we'll be keeping it natural in the master b/c we're carpeting that area. don't want the ceiling to compete w/ the floor! :)

  4. ph design says:

    nice work!

  5. Valeria @ Hindsvik says:

    Wow, it looks amazing!! I especially love that you did it in the hallways too – makes the space seem a lot longer. Can't wait to see the rest! :)

  6. theblogbloglog says:

    dude. awesome, impressive — i love power tools!

  7. erin / dfm says:

    Ha, I love power tools, too!

    And you are so right, Valeria — the space looks like it has TRIPLED in length!

  8. cindy says:

    from the mold to the siding and now the ceilings you guys are really taking on some challenging projects. they all look wonderful and really exhausting. it's getting there … love your photo layout too!

  9. Jessica says:

    as with everything in your home, i cannot wait to see this!

  10. whoa! looks amazing! and you do really make it sounds SO EASY :)

    xo, juliette

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