Kitchen Lighting Shiplap Makeover

Irma | mycreativekneads
by Irma | mycreativekneads
3 Materials
1 Day

A great way to update that old 1980s kitchen ceiling tubular fluorescent lighting.

No more signs of 1980s lighting

I wish I would have taken the first before picture of what the ceiling looked like when we moved into this home. I’m sure you can imagine what it looked like when I tell you this opening used to be filled with the 1980s fluorescent tubing lighting that had that thick plastic covering over it. Prior to this shiplap makeover I had also made an attempt to update it trying to remove any signs of the fluorescent lighting. I will show you what that initial transformation looked like in the next photo.

First update

So, this was my first attempt at updating the lighting and it worked for a while but I wasn’t in love with it. We removed the tubular lighting and dry walled the ceiling, added some canned recessed lighting, applied crown molding, wood appliqués, and hung a wrought iron decorative piece. It didn’t look bad but I wasn’t in love with it.

Up goes the shiplap

With the help of my husband and a very good friend, we took turns applying the shiplap. We used an air nail gun which made the project go by much faster. Before we nailed the shiplap to the ceiling, I cut the boards to size and painted them, using Annie Sloan white chalk paint. I chose the dry brush method instead of covering the boards completely with paint. This was a quick and easy project because the area I was covering with shiplap wasn’t too big.

Underlayment subfloor boards

I didn’t use actual shiplap, I purchased underlayment boards from Home Depot. The board was 7/32 in x 4ft x 8ft and I had them cut them to the dimensions I needed. The board wasn’t as expensive as shiplap either! 🤗

Dry brush method

This is a close-up of the painted boards, using the dry brush method. As you can see from this picture, the boards aren’t completely covered with paint. I wanted a more rustic and farmhouse look. I also chose a board that had knots and character to give it a more farmhouse feel.

The completed project

Here it is, the completed project and I really like the way it turned out. As you can see from this picture, I have also painted my kitchen cabinets. That was a huge project in itself LOL but I love the transformation that my kitchen has now. I hope you get inspired from this project and if you want to see more of what I do please visit me on Instagram at

Has this project inspired you to transform your home with a designer touch?

Discover more imaginative ideas in our article on 14 Budget Ways to Fake Your Way to Your Designer Dream Home.

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Frequently asked questions
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  3 questions
  • Teresa Tyler Teresa Tyler on Oct 04, 2019

    Can You Please come makeover my Kitchen.? A Girl can dream..!!! Lol. I love it.!

  • Barbara Barbara on Oct 04, 2019

    I love what you did with the old light box💕. But is that your pantry with the black see-thru door? If so, how did you do it?

  • Rhonda Schlangen Rhonda Schlangen on Jun 27, 2021

    I love what you did to the box itself, I just put shiplap on one wall and would love this (I hate the fluorescent light) but I don't have an island and a small kitchen, any ideas on the type of light fixture I could look for

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