I haven’t shown any kitchen reno progress lately but we are still plugging along. The latest project we’ve been doing is the plank ceiling. I was trying to wait until the recessed lights were in and the molding up but none of that is going to happen for a while so I thought I’d just show you what we got done and how we did it.
To start this project, the first thing we had to do was to measure the square footage of the ceiling to see how much wood we needed. Then we had to locate the studs in the ceiling so that we could attach the planks to the studs as we put the ceiling up.
Armed with our square footage, we purchased our planks, pre-primed pine tongue and groove in 8 foot and 12 foot lengths, and brought them home to sit in the house for about a week to allow them to acclimate to our indoor temps and humidity so there would be minimal expansion and shrinkage.
The planks we bought had two sides to them. One side had a groove/seam down the middle that made it look like two planks in one and the other side was just a plain plank. I decided to go with the plain side so that we had less seams showing, because I thought that the other side would look too busy in our small kitchen.
After all of the prep, we were finally able to start installing the planks, I say we in most of these steps because this is a 2 person job.
The first piece was one of the 12 foot planks. Before attaching it to the ceiling we applied beads of paintable silicone caulk to the back of the plank.
We put the board against the ceiling leaving a 3/8 inch gap along the wall for expansion, which we did around the whole room.
Next, we used a pneumatic nail gun to put a brad at each stud marking on the ceiling to hold the plank up. The brads were put in the tongue of the planks so that you couldn’t see them when the ceiling was complete. On this first board, we used 3″ construction screws at each end, where they wouldn’t be seen under the upper cabinets once they were hung, to make sure that it was completely secure.
The next board to go up was also a 12 footer. We had to marry the tongue of board one to the groove of board two together. To get a tight seam we put a block of wood against the tongue of board 2 and tapped the block with a hammer until the seams were tight. Next, we secured board two to the ceiling the same way we secured board one, with a pneumatic nail gun and brads.
We continued this process for the rest of the ceiling. In some areas, the 12 foot plank was not long enough so we ended up with seams, which were staggered and caulked so that they would blend in.
In the middle of the kitchen ceiling there is a light box that we had to work around. We used a coping saw to cut the planks around the box so that we would have access to install our new light fixture. Just a fun side note, that green color was painted all throughout the house, ceilings and walls, except for a few bright orange walls. Yikes!
Once we got to the other side of the room, we had to use the table saw to cut down the width of the planks so that they would fit. We just followed the same process of attaching them to the ceiling.
We do have a few spots near the walls that we didn’t plank. When we install the kitchen cabinets they’ll be touching the ceiling so we felt that it wasn’t necessary to have planks in all of these areas. In the end, the parts of the ceiling you will see will be planked.
The last thing we did was to paint the planks with BM White Dove in the pearl formula. We do have to add trim where we left the 3/8 inch gaps, but we have to wait until all of the upper cabinets are installed.
All told, our total cost for our new plank ceiling ended up at around $320 for the planks and the caulk. We already had all the other supplies, including the ceiling paint. I’m loving how it turned out and I’m so glad we went with the plain side of the plank. Now I’m ready for the cabinets to go up. Next up though is building a cabinet around the refrigerator. Wait until you see it, it’s looking awesome.
I got tons of emails about the source for the planks we used. Check out where we found them, and at a great price, here.