Learn the best tips for covering a popcorn ceiling with cedar planks without having to scrape it first.
It’s done, it’s done, Noah’s room is done! We worked so hard on his room while he was on vacation with his dad and planned a big surprise reveal when he got back. In case you missed the video reveal on my IGTV, you can go back here and watch the replay. Spoiler alert, the ceiling was not his favorite thing. Womp womp wommmp.
But speaking of the ceiling, I received a ton of questions throughout the process, so I wanted to gather up the most commonly asked Q’s and share the answers here for you. I also popped in a condensed step-by-step DIY Tutorial in here, too, so you can follow the steps in your own home. Let’s get into it!
Why We Didn’t Scrape The Popcorn Ceiling First
Honestly, there was no need to. Scraping a popcorn ceiling is both labor-intensive and dangerous for breathing. That’s why most people hire it out. Since we knew we were covering the entire ceiling, we didn’t see a need to scrape it first. The planks sat just fine over it and there weren’t any issues applying over the texture.
The Exact Type Of Planking We Used (And How Much It Cost)
We used cedar planking from Home Depot. It comes in a pack of six and is 8 feet long by 3 and a half inches wide. It’s tongue and groove style, so each plank slides into each other. I wish you could smell this stuff in person, because after a month, his room still smells like cedar trees. It’s amazing.
The 6pks of cedar planks are $20 each, and we used 16 packs total. That equaled out to about $320 before tax. We reused the existing crown molding in the room, so we didn’t have to pay for any trim. But I did use a couple of thin strips of trim I had on hand to cover my seams since I didn’t brick-lay the planks.
How To Cut The Wood Planks
To cut the planks down to size, I just used my Hart Miter Saw. There were a few planks on the outer walls that needed to ripped down to be thinner than their full width, and for those I used a circular saw. The cedar planks are actually really easy to cut, and we trimmed them all down within 30 minutes.
How To Adhere The Planks To The Ceiling
We ran a wavy bead of liquid nails on the back of each cedar plank, then held it up in place on the ceiling and secured them with brad nails using a HART cordless brad nailer. This specific brad nailer was really helpful because it didn’t need an air compressor and had zero cords getting in the way on the ladder.
Tip: You need a helper, and also two tall ladders because you and the helper will be on ladders at the same time.
Can The Planks Be Painted?
Yes! I didn’t paint the ones in Noah’s room because he likes a rustic cabin-y vibe, but these planks can definitely be painted. Either prime them first or use a thicker paint with primer included. I think a sprayer like this one would be much easier than a brush or roller because it will get into the grooves and make the process much faster.
DIY Cedar Planked Ceiling Step By Step Tutorial
1. Measure ceiling and square footage to calculate the amount of planks you need.
2. Decide if you’ll stagger the planks or apply in a linear pattern.
3. Trim down planks if needed.
4. Mark ceiling beam lines using a stud finder and chalk.
5. Apply a wavy line of liquid nails on to the back of the first plank.
6. With a partner, place the first plank in a corner of the ceiling and make sure it’s straight (some rooms aren’t perfectly square in corners)
7. Add brad nails where the ceiling beams are to secure in place.
8. Continue adding planks until the ceiling is complete.
9. Add trim around the edges of the ceiling to hide gaps and make it look finished.
10. Paint or seal if desired.
Love That Green Accent Wall?
Shop For Supplies To Make Your Own Cedar Planked Ceiling
Use the arrows below to see all the exact tools and materials I used and get direct links to shop.