The Best Decision We Ever Made

Shane and I HATED the ceilings in our house with a passion for the last 5 years. We felt so stuck with them because re-drywalling ceilings is a messy, painful task. We just didn’t want to go through the trauma of all that work, but this just continued to stare down at us…


We had that awful stomped stalactite ceiling all over the house. Some rooms were much worse than even this picture. There were places all over the living room where previous owners had patched and re-patched in places. It was horrible to say the least.

I quietly stewed over a fix for years. Eventually, I thought we could cover them with bead-board and trim to give it a lightly coffered look.Β It took Shane a bit to warm up to the idea. I’m not sure he had the same vision in his mind as I did. Eventually, we jumped in. We started in our bedroom and really loved the outcome.


This project was super simple. All it takes is nailing sheets of cheap bead-board to the ceiling. The 4×8 sheets are just under $20 a piece. Once those are up it just needs to be trimmed out.


Some paint and several tubes of caulk later, and you have a beautiful coffered-look ceiling! Goodbye horrible stomped ceilings!


I can’t tell you what a difference this made with minimal effort. Caulking and painting were by far the hardest part. Now we have the same ceilings in our living room, dining room, and kitchen. We just have the bathroom, hallway, and spare bedroom to go.





The ceiling project was, truthfully, the best thing we could have ever done for our house, and the best decisions we’ve ever made!


74 thoughts on “The Best Decision We Ever Made

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  3. Looks Awesome!! πŸ™‚ Any chance you can update this post to include more details? Such as what you used for paint (color, sheen, brand, etc) nailing patterns, nail type used, misc tips and anything else you can think of to share about the process.

  4. What a great idea! We have obnoxious popcorn ceilings in our home that have been troubling us…this looks like a great solution. What is the height of your ceiling?

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  6. Emily, did you have to nail up plywood strips first for so you could nail the beadboard to them? Or did you just nail the beadboard into the ceiliing? Looks wonderful, btw!

    • We were able to nail right into the plaster because of the lath board behind the plaster. If you have drywall I would recommend plywood strips that are nailed into studs. You wouldn’t want to only nail into drywall because it would not be strong enough to hold it. I hope that helps!

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  9. I love your ceiling. We have been contemplating doing something similar in our family room. I was wondering if you tried to centre the plywood panels so that the rectangles would be centred on the room. Also did you remove the stucco bits from your ceiling first or did you just go for it. We have popcorn ceilings and I was wondering if we can just go for it or if we need to remove the popcorn bits first.

    • I’m glad you like it! We didn’t center the rectangles instead we centered a seam. We wanted the “beams” to cross in the center of the room. Does that make sense? While our ceiling is not popcorn, it’s something kind of similar. We didn’t remove all of the texture, but we did knock off some high spots before we started. I’d recommend if there’s any “popcorn” that seems to be sicking out more just remove those. Good Luck!

  10. I LOVE this!! Quick question…when you painted, did you just paint the trim?? Or did you have to paint all the bead board as well? We just closed on our first house and want to do this in one of the rooms.

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  12. That looks amazing! I love the look but am at a loss at how to carry that into a hallway. Did you do a hallway? If so, how did you do the look on a smaller scale?

    • Hi! Hallways can be tricky!! Luckily we have door jams between our larger rooms the the hallway so we are able to change our pattern up and do smaller squares. My advice is take your time and really plan it out!

    • The beadboard comes in 4ftx8ft sheets. But in some rooms we cut them down to smaller pieces in order to avoid strange little pieces along the edges and corners. Taking the time to really measure it all out and figure out a nice layout is important!

  13. Looks awesome! Really want to cover the nasty popcorn in our bedroom and living room.
    How large was the biggest ceiling you covered and what was your total cost?

  14. Your textured ceiling is identical to mine. I even thought it was mine. Ha. I love your idea. Such a difference. The ceilings are what I hate most in our house.

  15. Lowes website says their beadboard panels are not suitable for ceilings, yet they have a ‘how to’ similar to your idea but using 4×4 sections (approx). They say keeping it smaller like that prevents sagging. It looks like you did larger (approx 4×8) sizes. Have you had any problem with sagging? I so desperately want to do this in a home we purchased with popcorn in almost all the rooms! I’d thought to use the 4×8’s and just cover the butt ends, therefore creating beams going just one direction. Any comment? First, did you use larger sizes as it appears? Have you had sagging issues? And finally, do you THINK it would be possible to ‘skip’ covering the seams that run 8 ft. long? Sorry for all the questions and thanks for sharing!

    • We have had a small amount of sagging but nothing a few extra nails can’t fix. If I had the chance to do it over, I would have used an adhesive as well, such as liquid nails, on the panels, and then nailed them as well. I had a friend that did just the beams along one seam like you are suggesting. It looked good, but you could slightly see where the individual pieces met. depending on how high your ceilings are it wouldn’t be terribly noticeable, but too noticeable for my personal taste.

  16. Hi, your ceiling looks beautiful! I am also looking to do something like this in our family room and kitchen. Thank you for all the information. I was wondering, have you had any problems with the caulking cracking over time? My mom used beadboard on the ceiling in her sunroom and the painter caulked between the seams and along edges, and the paint has cracked around the caulking over time with the beadboard expanding and contracting. I would cover the seams like you did…did you caulk where the trim boards meet the beadboard? Would love to hear how it has held up! Thanks!!

    • Hi! Glad you like it! We haven’t had a problem with caulk cracking on our ceilings. I have had that problem in other areas of my house, though. I seem to see a correlation between the places I was in a hurry and painted before the caulk completely dried and cracking. Not sure if that would be your mom’s problem, but I’m pretty certain that’s been an issue for me.

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  19. There is a caulking called “Big Stretch” by Sashco. Believe me it is the best caulking on the market. It will not crack or peel. If I have a contractor do anything in or on my house and it needs caulking I always make them use Big Stretch. Trust me it is the best!!

    • Are we talking the type you drive or take places? I’d be concerned that a mobile home that was moved around the vibration would cause it to come loose. A mobile home that stays in place I think it would work great as long as you are sure you are nailing the pieces into studs.

  20. Did you have to nail strips of wood to ceiling to attach the beadboard, or did you just nail it straight to the ceiling? Did you have to find the studs or rafters or whatever they’re called on the ceiling. I’m just afraid it’ll drop on my kids. Also I have slanted ceilings in the family room. Everywhere else is flat.

  21. With the recessed lights, it looks like you just nailed up a square piece and then cut your hole for the light? Then trimmed up to it?

  22. Love this idea. Have a much older home and the bedroom ceiling had been wallpapered at one time and painted over, for I would guess, a few generations. Cracking, peeling and can’t be spackled. This looks like the perfect solution. Thanks so much for posting!!!!
    Would it be better to use screws into the plaster?

  23. Hi, what size nails did you use for the panels and where did you nail them in? Along the grooves? We are preparing to copy this and are also going to use an adhesive such like liquid nails. TIA!

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  25. I finally found something to do to our house that would add something to really increase the overall appearance of our interior.
    What’s more, it’s unique enough to be above average regarding it’s simplicity.

    Good job

  26. Its been a couple years now since you did this and I was wondering how did it hold up? Any issues? And did you say the trim was mdf cut to size? I love this so much we are thinking of doing this to our ceiling. Just was curious how it held up over the years.

    • It has held up great! It has sagged a bit in a few areas, but not enough to really bother me. It’s nothing a few nails wouldn’t fix. Also, I would recommend using an adhesive on the back of the panels, as well. The trim is MDF trim. not big pieces of MDF.

    • It did in a few areas, but not enough to really bother me. It could easily be fixed with a few more nails. I also didn’t use any adhesive and I think I would recommend using a liquid nails, that would also help.

  27. This looks awesome!! I was just thinking of just respraying the popcorn ceilings but the ceilings have been patched up several times and it is an eye sore. How expensive is it to do??

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