DIY Farmhouse Ceiling Makeover

I know I know, I have been a blogging slacker! We had our semi annual Green Living Market a couple weeks ago and the number 1 question I got was “How’s the house going?”

So this will be the first of several house updates I am working on πŸ™‚

Before we jump in, let me address the 2nd most common question I received at the market! “When is the new shop opening?”

I had hoped to start our monthly shop events back in September, alas I grossly over estimated how much I could accomplish in a matter of a few months. We ARE still planning to host monthly vintage pickin events in the old mercantile in Fieldale. We WILL be inviting some of our Green Living Market vendors to join us! I expect to have exact dates and details in the next couple weeks. I will post them over on our Facebook page and here on the website. It’s going to be unlike anything around here and we are getting really excited for what is coming!

Let’s get to what you came here for! Ceilings!

A few weeks ago I posted some pictures of the ceilings we were working on in the upstairs bedrooms of the fixer upper. We had a ton of questions about the process so I thought I would do a quick blog post to explain how we achieved this quick, easy and cost effective look in our farmhouse bedrooms!

Here is a peak at what we started with. This is my son Carter’s Room right after we removed the old Carpet.

Carter’s Room


Here is a peak at my Daughter Mackenzie’s Room from when we first started the renovations.

Mackenzie’s Room
Mackenzie’s Room

Not bad right? What you can’t tell from the photos is that the ceilings were covered in wall paper and underneath they we’re in pretty bad shape. Β The walls were also covered in NOT 1 but 2 LAYERS of wall paper that had been painted over multiple times. The first thing we did was remove allllll that wall paper. IT TOOK MONTHS…..

Here we are AFTER wall paper removal. Ain’t it pretty? (Insert sarcasm)

After wall paper

Once the paper was removed from the walls and ceilings, we repaired all the cracks in the plaster, and fixed the places where the plaster had pulled away from the walls and ceiling. (When I say WE, I really mean The Hubby did it and I watched πŸ™‚




Finally we sanded the walls and painted! 2 coats of kilz primer and 2 coats of Valspar in a soft gray called “online”.



With the painting out of the way we were finally ready to move on to the ceilings. Yay! There was a lot of contemplation on what to do. Tearing them out was not an option. Doug originally wanted to hang drywall over the old plaster. What? Noooooo! That’s boring! It’s a farmhouse, I wanted FARMHOUSE ceilings…. I thought it would be a good idea to cover them with sheets of beadboard. He was not on board with this plan because it would leave 4ft seams where the sheets meet and frankly he thought that would look stupid. But but but…..FARMHOUSE……

So I researched annnnd researched. I love love love the look of tongue and groove but it’s expensive and we really wanted to save money for more important things like my apron front sink for the kitchen.

Eventually I discovered THIS Edge V planking. It was perfect! It’s thin, so using it over an existing ceiling worked well. You could certainly use this product to cover old pop corn ceilings as well as plaster. You could also use it for accent walls.

I would NOT recommend it for a new ceiling installation where the ceiling is being installed directly to the joists. It’s to thin for that. We purchased it from Lowe’s. They do not keep a ton of this in stock so be prepared for them to have to order it.

Cost was around $1 per square foot. They are pine planks and they are reversible! The other side looks like beadboard. We decided against the beadboard side and used the plain side. It would be beautiful either way.



To install this ceiling you will need the planks, liquid nails, (1 tube per 2 packs of planks) a brad nailer, 2 1/4in brad nails, saw and a little patience.

The boards are 8ft so we cut them into 2,4,6 and 8 foot lengths and staggered as we went.

You are going to have some bad boards in the bunch, check each one before you install! You may want to dry fit the board before you apply the liquid nails. We are impatient and did not dry fit, we just slapped on the liquid nails and went for it.

It is imperative that you get the first run straight, if you don’t, the ceiling will get wonky by the time you get to the end. We left 1/4 gap around the entire room to give the boards room to expand. This gap will be covered later by the crown molding.

The boards are 3 inches wide. For the first run we measured 3 1/4 inches from the wall and snapped a chalk line. This provided a straight line to start the first run.

Doug managed to keep things straight as we went along by checking the measurements on each end to the wall to make sure they were the same. This worked well considering there is no such thing as “square” in an old house.

Apply liquid nails to each board


Ceiling install

The hubby was able to install the short boards by himself. It took both of us to fit the longer boards into place.

Apply liquid nails to the back of the board. Slide the board into the groove with the board tilted towards you.

Press the board to the ceiling to lock in the liquid nails, then nail it in place with the brad nailer.

There is a learning curve to locking the boards together but once you get the hang of it, things go pretty quickly.

Nail in place

When we got to the edge of the wall we had about a 1/2in. gap between the last board and the wall. No biggie. We knew the crown molding would Β cover that right up!

At this point we primed the ceiling with 2 coats of kilz primer. Since the boards are knotty pine it is a good idea to use a high quality primer to avoid bleed through.

I personally don’t care for super white ceilings. I think it makes the room look stark and formal. Instead I chose a soft off white color to provide warmth to the space. The brand was valspar and the color is called snow cap.

Carter’s room

We did use a nice, bright, gloss white for the window trim and crown molding.

Crown Molding

Tada! That’s it! The entire ceiling project for both rooms took about a week from start to finish. The total cost including, planks, supplies, paint and crown molding ended up around $800. I was super pleased with the results!

But this is not the end of the story…..You didn’t think I was going to leave you hanging did you?

Next were the floors! I will spare you the details. The floors were rough. We sanded them and applied 1 coat of Jacobean stain, and 2 coats of poly.

Let me just insert here that it appears by the photos that the hubby is doing all the work. I did help. When he would let me πŸ˜‰ You know what he did let ME do? Strip allllll the wall paper πŸ™ anyhoo…….

Staining the floors


Once the floors were dry, and new windows were installed the kids moooooved in! Finally!

We had been sharing the master bedroom with my daughter for 2 months and my son was sleeping on a mattress on the floor in another room.

We still have doors and baseboards to paint in these rooms, blinds and curtains need to be purchased, closets need to be redone….but they are thrilled to have their own space again.

Here are a few pictures of what they look like today. There were no ceiling lights in these rooms so we added boxes and are waiting for the electrician to run wire. Once I get some lighting in there, I will take better pictures but you get the idea πŸ™‚

Carter’s room
Carter’s room
Carter swiped my chairs….

As you can see, Carter confiscated a few pieces I had redone for the market to put in his room.

I found a lovely French provincial furniture set for Mackenzie about a year ago.

I repainted it with Fusion Mineral Paint and placed the chest, nightstand and desk in her room.

She is wanting to do a boho/goth look so we are on the hunt for accessories for her. She has been going crazy making her own dream catchers. Her goal is to fill the entire wall behind the bed with them.

Mackenzie’s room today


Mackenzie’s room today



Mackenzie’s room today
Mackenzie’s room today

That is all for today. Give us your thoughts in the comments!

Thanks for sharing in this journey with us! I will be posting a full update on everything we have done on the Fixer Upper soon! Stay Tuned!

Much love,


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