Kitchen Plank Ceiling

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.

An awesome step by step tutorial on how we added a tongue and groove plank ceiling in the kitchen. |

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.

Kitchen Reno: Plank Ceiling | www.chatfieldcourt.comArmed 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.

Kitchen Reno: Plank Ceiling |

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.

Kitchen Reno: Plank Ceiling |

Kitchen Reno: Plank Ceiling | www.chatfieldcourt.comAfter 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.

Kitchen Reno: Plank Ceiling | www.chatfieldcourt.comWe put the board against the ceiling leaving a 3/8 inch gap along the wall for expansion, which we did around the whole room.

kichen plank ceiling 15Next, 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.

Kitchen Reno: Plank Ceiling |

Kitchen Reno: Plank Ceiling |

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.

Kitchen Reno: Plank Ceiling |

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.

Kitchen Reno: Plank Ceiling |

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!

Kitchen Reno: Plank Ceiling |

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.

Kitchen Reno: Plank 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.

Kitchen Reno: Plank Ceiling | www.chatfieldcourt.comKitchen Reno: Plank Ceiling |

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.

Where to find pre-primed tongue and groove planks for your DIY ceiling project, and they won't break the bank. www.chatfieldcourt.comWhere ti Find Pre-Primed Tongue and Groove Planks

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56 thoughts on “Kitchen Plank Ceiling

    • Thanks Debbie. It was tough on my back but we both had to do it. For once, I’m just glad that the room wasn’t bigger. 😉 Good guess on my window box but Kathie Klute knew exactly what it was…part of an old corn crib conveyor.

  1. your window box is part of an old corn crib conveyor system that carried grain in the cups and was chain driven. i am an old air force brat turned farm girl and i recognized it right away. very clever use of it!! i am following your kitchen reno as we are getting ready in about a year to redo our old 60’s kitchen and we want to do as much as we can by ourselves. yours is coming along very nicely!!

    • Haha, you’re right Kathie! I grew up in the country surrounded by corn fields so I knew what it was too. I saw it at the flea market and it was the perfect size for the window. Good luck on your kitchen reno. It’s tough when you do everything yourself but we are both enjoying the process (it’s the mess that I could do without).

  2. I love the planking! My neck would be killing me doing that job! I figured the window box was some sort of bucket because of the shape and and chains on the sides. Thanks to Kathie for the correct usage.
    Looking forward to more from your kitchen redo! Enjoy the week, my friend!

    • Thanks MJ. I’m loving it too. I was a little nervous that it wouldn’t work in this small room but I think it’s ok. On to the next project!

      Have a great week!

  3. No guesses on the box but I am experiencing a sympathic ‘crick” in the neck for you guys in regards to that ceiling work!! : ) So much hard work!

    • It was a little back breaking to do this project, especially when you already have a bad back. For once, I was glad we had a small kitchen. 😉 Oh and that box was an old corn crib conveyor system that carried grain in the cups and was chain driven. Thanks for stopping in Deb.

  4. I just found your blog! Love it! I was wondering where you bought your planks? I really want to do this to our kitchen! How hard would you rate this project on a scale of 1-10? Thanks for the info! Off to read more of your blog!

    • Thanks so much Lynne! You just made my day, truly.

      We got our planks at Home Depot and I’m really glad that we spent a little extra on the primed boards. Hmmm, I would say that this isn’t a hard project but it does take a fair amount of time (maybe a 4 or 5 out of 10). The hardest part was fitting the tongue in the groove. We really had to hammer several planks to get them to fit.

      Thanks for dropping in Lynne and I hope you come back to check our progress.

    • Thanks so much Trish. The box is an old corn crib conveyor system that carried grain in the cups and was chain driven. I’m hoping it will make a good flower box.

  5. Hi – first time visiting your blog and was wondering if you could provide me with the square footage of your ceiling? We are just trying to figure out if we can afford to do this in one area of a home we’re building – job well done, it looks great!

    • Hi Deborah and welcome! The square footage of our kitchen ceiling is 120. We spent right around $300 on the planks alone, with only a few pieces left. I hope this helps. Best of luck with building your new house.

  6. This is the second kitchen I’ve seen this done…..oh my! Wish I had known about this idea 12 years ago when we redid the kitchen…..I love it .
    The “window box” looks like a part to a big water wheel or something like that….very cute. But, won’t the rust get on the building? It’s cute there….gonna plant it??
    Oh your kitchen is going to be wonderful!

    • Thanks Nancy, I’m loving the results too. Good guess on the window box but it’s actually part of an old corn crib conveyor system that carried grain in the cups and was chain driven. I have large rubber bumpers behind it to protect the garage wall. I’m hoping to share a post on how I turned it into a planter once I have flowers in it. Still too cold here to plant, we usually wait until Mother’s Day.

      Thanks so much for visiting.

    • Thanks so much Peggy. It was tougher job than I thought it would be, we were so glad (for once) that the kitchen wasn’t bigger. Appreciate you stopping by today.

  7. I had to stop to see your kitchen ceiling! It looks fantastic. You guys were so smart to buy the primed boards, it took us forever to paint ours:). I also love the light you added and your whole kitchen:). Everything looks great. Have a great weekend and take care, Tara

    • Thanks Tara! Like yours, it was a lot of work but I’m really happy with the results. I’m so glad that we did spend a little extra for the primed because painting was tough, and we have another coat to do after our recessed lighting goes up (not looking forward to that project). Thanks for dropping in and I hope you have a great weekend!

  8. Hi Kristi,

    I know this is a long shot but I have tried endlessly, well months to find primed affordable planks like this. I’ve search Home Depot – Lowes – online and only found the very expensive Armstrong brand -pre-finished planks. Please please (I’m begging 🙂 share the link or brand/model of the planks you used. I know you said they were from Home Depot but I can’t find these same ones I have tried… I will make my Home Depot order them if I can figure out who the mfg is. Thank you so much for sharing this – I can only imagine how hard it was to leave this kitchen you worked on for so long. I’m in the exact same boat!!!

      • Hi Kristi,

        I was wondering the same. Your ceiling looks great and I’ve been looking for a great tutorial on this project. Can you email the same link for the boards?

          • Could you also send me the link please? I, too, have been looking for a while. I was interested to see that you only used brads ( and caulk) to hold up the planks. I was thinking I would have to use regular nail gun.

          • Hi Marie. I just wrote a post today with the info if you want to check it out. The brads we used were 2 inches long so they were plenty long enough and they were only used to hold the planks up until the glue/caulk dried. That’s what’s doing all the work now, that and the screws we used at each end where the cabinets would cover them. Let me know if you have any other questions. 🙂

          • Thank you Kristi for your answer. Going to my local Home Depot to see if they have these planks.
            Another question though…is there a reason you used caulk instead of liquid nails or another construction adhesive?

          • You’re very welcome Marie. We used the caulk because Liquid Nails dries hard and caulk stays soft and flexible when it dries, exactly what we wanted for the expansion or contraction of the planks. Hope that makes sense.

  9. Looks Good!
    About to take on the same task with about 400 sq. ft. of kitchen and dining room. My project is on my new home and I only have one issue I haven’t been able to figure out yet. I see you have a couple can lights. How did you make the trims work with the added thickness of the planks? My lights say they are only adjustable for 1″ thick ceilings and with the 5/8″ drywall and these boards, it will be over 1-1/2″.

    • Hi Casey. We had the very same problem when we installed our can lights. We ended up manipulating (bending) the clips so they would fit securely and we also notched out the planks and sheetrock in the hole where the can light fit so it would go in all the way. We barely made it but it all worked out.

      Hope this makes sense. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. Good luck with your project.

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