Shiplap Ceiling Tutorial

Wren’s Little Nest
by Wren’s Little Nest
4 Materials
5 Hours

When we moved into our home several years ago we noticed some small spots of paint peeling from the ceiling. With so many other projects and renovations going on we didn’t think much of it. Well as the years passed the patches of peeling paint got bigger and bigger. We scraped off as much of the old paint and plaster as we could but soon realized we would need to scrape the whole ceiling in order to get a smooth professional looking finish. I have always loved the look of planked or shiplap ceilings so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it out in our own home. This is definitely a two person job, but my husband and I pulled it off and we love the end result.

Step One

The first thing you want to do is mark out where the studs in the ceiling are. We drew a thick line across the whole ceiling so we didn’t have to second guess. You can see in the picture just how bad the ceilings looked.

Step Two

Next you want to measure and cut the boards to size. We used ready made shiplap boards for this project so there was no need to use spacers between the boards. We added a thick bead of construction adhesive to each board before installing it.

Step Three

Using a nail gun put two nails where every stud is across the length of the board.

This is the progress after we installed a few boards. Already looking much more polished and brighter.

Step Four

After we installed the crown moulding we caulked any joints and filled all the nail holes with wood filler. The final step was to give it all a light sanding and a nice coat of bright white paint.

And there you have the finished look! I couldn’t be happier and can’t believe what a difference a nice ceiling makes to the space.

I ended up giving the whole kitchen a fresh coat of paint to brighten the space up.

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Frequently asked questions
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  2 questions
  • Debra Wendel Debra Wendel on Nov 03, 2020

    Could this be done over a textured ceiling? Previous owners popcorned the kitchen ceiling and it’s a grease and dust magnet!

  • Bette Bette on Nov 05, 2022

    Height of your ceiling? Would humidity be a factor? I’m thinking about doing this in a bathroom.

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3 of 23 comments
  • Kelli Cook Kelli Cook on Nov 20, 2020

    Looks good, now put kick plates under cabinets and you’re kitchen will be completed!

  • Cindy Hayes Thompson Cindy Hayes Thompson on Jun 30, 2021

    We're your ceilings level. We have the same problem, but the sheetrock said in places and we are concerned the shiplap won't be even.

    • 56680139 56680139 on Mar 01, 2023

      If that is an issue, you can nail up 2x2 (or even 1x1) strips and attach the boards to the strips.