Plywood Plank Ceiling

Bryan's Workshop
by Bryan's Workshop
7 Materials
7 Days

Stop reading and look up. Are you looking up?

Wait a minute, are you outside? Okay, go inside, sit-down in your hallway and look up. Hustle up! Are you looking up? That's called a ceiling and I am going to show you how I covered mine with plywood planks.

Shiplap is super trendy now, but it actually refers to the cut of the board. These boards have things called rabbets on each end so they fit together to keep water out. Planks on the other hand can be made from several different wood sources and just stack together on top of each other. Planks don't perfectly fit together like shiplap, so they don't look as nice, but shiplap is a lot more expensive. If you're a baller: buy the shiplap fam. If you're not a baller: samesies!

CAUTION! You're about to see the before pics! Your eyes will hurt.



Make them stop!

It's over! You made it. Safe place.

So that was the before....just an ugly wallpapered ceiling with recessed lights.

This ceiling is actually a false ceiling which is just a fitted ceiling that hangs below the original ceiling of the hallway suspended by a wooden frame. The original ceiling is the bottom of the second floor and Shaquille O'Neal isn't visiting any time soon, so there's no need to have the ceiling that high. It's high too. Like a Seth Rogan-Snoop Dogg sleepover high. I just added the plywood planks to the already build false ceiling frame.

Now this is me removing all of that wallpaper.

When removing wallpaper, the paper itself comes off easily, but the backing is challenging to remove. It's a challenging nightmare. If wallpaper backing was a person, they'd be the Joker. I put on my batsuit and removed the backing with a 50/50 vinegar/ water solution. The entire house smelled like a pickle factory.

Make sure you cover the floor to protect it from the wallpaper backing. Spraying it makes it easy to scrape off, but it also makes the glue sticky again and the paper will dry to the floor.

Scraping off wallpaper backing IS as fun as it looks kids!

Pee-Wee Herman just rang my doorbell and asked for a pickle.

I did the ceiling in sections, stopping to seal.

I used a water-based ceiling sealer with moisture resistant, anti-fungus and algae resistance properties.

I used thin 4mm plywood for the furring and planks. Furring acts as a nailer for the planks, but I attached them with glue. I used thin plywood, because I didn't want to lose too much height in the hallway and the thin plywood is light, so it's easy to glue.

"Why glue?"

I didn't want any visible nail or screw heads.

"Why furring?"

I didn't want to glue the planks directly to the ceiling.

I attached the furring across the wooden ceiling frame with screws,

Paint or stain?

I stained the planks with an medium brown oil stain. After this first section, I starting staining the planks after they were up. I wanted a lighter color, but changed my mind once I saw it.

I used Cemedime Super XG to glue the planks to the furring. It's almost like contact cement and bonds in about 1 minute. I also used screws on the ends of the planks.

*The thinner the planks, the more chance they'll warp or bow. The furring is important and you want as much of the plank in contact with it as possible.

It's as easy as that, so now: Picture time!

Oh, that's right...

The 2x4 beams!

These are attached to the ceiling frame. It's better to paint them, before putting them up and the screw holes are just filled with wood filler, sanded and painted.

Big ol' lightbulbs and this hallway is finished.

Suggested materials:
  • Plywood
  • Table saw
  • Super glue
See all materials
Frequently asked questions
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  • Sherry Clark Sherry Clark on Sep 25, 2021

    Why did you scrape off the popcorn ceiling when you covered it up with the plywood? Just asking because I have a popcorn ceiling covering in my living room between my cedar beams and want to put some type of wood up there instead.

  • Jac52003570 Jac52003570 on Feb 12, 2022

    Love it!!! We have a living room with popcorn ceiling and I want to cover it - but it is very wide- 16 feet- how much furring do think would be a good idea for such a wide space?

  • Tina Cleary Tina Cleary on Sep 17, 2023

    Did you have the plywood cut where you purchased it? If so, what dimensions? Also, what kind of adhesive did you use?

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