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DIY Faux Ceiling Beams

You know those beautiful ceiling beams you see on Pinterest? Most of them aren't real beams! Which means, you can get that look without the huge price tag. Ceiling beams are a great way to add depth and character to any room!


We're putting an addition onto our house and I really wanted some beams and decided to tackle it myself!and... I am STILL pinching myself on how my DIY ceiling beams turned out... would you believe me if I told you that I used engineered flooring to make these?


This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.



(Before the drywall and shiplap ceiling were completed, I added some blocking between the studs to help hold the weight of the beams). If you have studs where you want the beams, this shouldn't be an issue)


Step 1: Measure and Plan

I've seen so many styles of ceiling beams and of course started on Pinterest searching for different ideas. I then sketched up a bunch of different layouts. Next, I mocked it up in photoshop. If you don't have photoshop, I recommend this free Homestyler program.


I also built a small mockup to test out the size. The miter seams will be invisible and the goal is to have each beam look like a solid piece of wood.


I had my husband hold it up to the ceiling to help me visualize. (Can you tell he was thrilled?)


Step 2: Confirm measurements and mark

It's critical that your measurements are correct — I didn't take one into account, which caused an issue later on. (Which I'll be sure to cover). Keep the spacing between each beam consistent and make sure each beam will be attached to a joist or for my case, the blocking I had installed previously.


Step 3: Add Cleats & Blocking

Attach 1"x 6" boards to function as cleats to the joists or blocking which will serve as the base for the beams.

Next, add some additional 2"x4" blocks to help hold the weight of the beams. I used some Tekton 24" ratchet bar clamps to help hold the blocks in place as they needed to be flush with the cleat.

Step 4: Choose Materials

We looked at getting custom beams made, however, this was really pricey. I then considered other materials, however, I really wanted the beams to match the flooring in our home to tie everything together. So, I ended up using our flooring to build the beams, which was Laguna Oak Hardwood by Hallmark Flooring. It still wasn't "cheap", however, it was still cheaper than custom beams and I was sure to get the right color!


(The boards are only 7ft in length, so I knew there was going to be seams which I was ok with).


Step 5: Build and Install Beams

Time to start cutting! This is the trickiest parts of building seamless faux wood ceiling beams. I set up my Milwaukee Tool Table Saw to make a 45 degree bevel and adjusted the fence accordingly. (I made a 45 degree cut wherever the floor boards met another floor board)


Use a featherboard to keep the wood pressed against the fence and press the board down onto the table as you feed it through. I also found a pushblock was super helpful with the longer boards.

I used my Ryobi Brad Nailer to nail the boards into the cleats and blocking.


Step 6: Burnish the Edges

If your edges or miters are less than perfect, don't fret! Here's an easy technique to close minor gaps. Simply run a screwdriver shaft along each corner of the miter to help close the gap.

(Source: Wood magazine)


After one side of the room was complete, I decided to tackle the center beam... (This is where I had goofed). After almost completing the center beam, I realized my mistake... The center beam should not be the same size as the other beams because of the angle and roof pitch. Here's a drawing to help explain it a bit better. (I was pulling my hair out over this as I'm also terrible with math)


Incorrect:

Correct:

After installing the center beam, I had to take it down to re-do it. Surprisingly, it didn't take too long.


The next part was pretty boring to document as it required lots of miter cuts, measuring, re-measuring and more miter cuts.


One more to go!


Step 7: Finishing Touches

Time for the finishing touches! (Which probably took longer than actually installing the beams themselves).


I started with wood filler, filling all the nail holes and any seams. I use and prefer Elmer's Wood Filler, however, it has a very yellow tint to it which didn't go well with the color of the wood. (This wouldn't have been a big deal if I was sanding and staining them, but I wasn't). So, I tested out many wood fillers — even purchased some wood filler dye (which would have worked), but then came across a wood filler that worked well with the color of my floors; Minwax Wood Filler.


(P.S.) This stuff has a STRONG odor, so definitely wear a mask when using. I then used 100% acetone to wipe off the excess wood filler.


Next up was fixing some minor imperfections with where the ceiling and the beams meet. Because the ceiling wasn't perfectly level, there were small gaps in areas.

To fix this, I used backer rod and caulk. The backer rod is really helpful and used to partially fill deep cracks or joints before applying caulk or sealant.

I'm so happy with how this turned out and hope this blog post was helpful and gives you some encouragement and motivation to go out and build your own faux ceiling beams!


I will say, the only noticeable imperfection is the seams — it may not be ideal, but you have to really be staring at them to notice and once the chandelier is up, you'd never notice!


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