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Post and Beam Ceiling

Project Overview

Post and Beam Ceiling

These hand-crafted ceiling beams will add instant rural charm to your kitchen or great room. We love the look of weathered timbers combined with all-white cross beams. And it's a look that you can achieve yourself using basic lumber, paint and elbow grease.

12 Steps

  1. Square boards
  2. Mitre board edges
  3. Joint the beam
  4. Assemble the beam
  5. Spacer blocks
  1. Finish and distress beam
  2. Create weathered look
  3. Install ceiling cleats
  4. Install beam
  5. Build posts
  6. Assemble posts
  7. Finish posts
Show all steps »

Step 1

Square boards

With a table saw, square rough edges of pine by ripping all boards to the same length.

Mitre board edges

Step 2

Mitre board edges

Rotate the table saw blade to 45° and rip a mitre along one edge of each board – 3 in total for each beam. Then rip a second mitre on one board to form the base of the beam. Note: In order to rip this second mitre safely, you will need to clamp a strip of 3/4" MDF to the fence so that the mitre cut does not slide under the fence during ripping.

Joint the beam

Step 3

Joint the beam

Lay the 3 boards out on your work surface with mitres butting against each other. Mark each mitre every 12" and cut slots with a biscuit joiner set at 45° and a depth of 5/8". These will accept #10 biscuits.

Assemble the beam

Step 4

Assemble the beam

Assemble the beam using carpenter's glue and clamps. Use 2" brad nails to secure mitres.

Spacer blocks

Step 5

Spacer blocks

Cut spacer blocks from 2 x 8 lumber. Glue and pin blocks every 12" to stabilize beam. Cut and install 2 x 12 end blocks with glue and #8 2" wood screws.

Finish and distress beam

Step 6

Finish and distress beam

Fill all screw holes and mitre joints with wood filler. When filler has set, distress beams with belt sander, wire brush and spinning wire brush on drill.

Create weathered look
Create weathered look

Step 7

Create weathered look

To create the barn-board finish effect, apply 3 layers of latex paint, diluted, 1 part paint to 3 parts water. Begin by wetting the beams. Then apply the brown spray. Wet again and apply a grey spray created with 50% black paint and 50% white paint. Spray with water. Using a brush and undiluted black paint, detail knots in the wood. Spray again with water before adding a wash of diluted white. Blend layers by dabbing with a sponge.

Install ceiling cleats

Step 8

Install ceiling cleats

Install 2 x 12 cleats to ceiling, screwing into roof joists with 3" wood screws.

Install beam

Step 9

Install beam

Fix beam over cleat with 2" wood screws, 1/2" from ceiling.

Step 10

Build posts

Rip a 4' x 8' sheet of 3/4" MDF into strips: For each post rip 2 pieces at 6"W for sides and 1 piece at 3" for base. Make an additional rip at 3" to create spacer blocks. Cut them 3" x 3" on a mitre saw.

Assemble posts

Step 11

Assemble posts

Recess the base by 1/2" and then glue and pin it between sides with 18-gauge 1-1/4" brad nails. Complete post by installing 3" x 3" spacer blocks at ends and every 12" along post, with glue and brad nails.

Finish posts

Step 12

Finish posts

Sand, fill holes and caulk posts. Paint with white latex. Use method in Steps 8-9, using 3"W cleats, to install posts between beams.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Intermediate

Time: 5 hours

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.


  • 18-gauge 2" and 1-1/4" Brad Nails
  • #10 Biscuits
  • Carpenter's Glue
  • Plastic Wood Filler
  • 1 x 12 Rough Sawn Pine Length Determined by Ceiling Span
  • 2 x 12 x 10" for End Caps
  • 2 x 8 x 8" for Spacer Blocks
  • 4" x 8" x 3/4" MDF
  • 1 x 4 pine & Length Determined by Ceiling Span
  • #8 Wood Screws
  • Latex Paint, 1 Gallon each: CIL Painter's White, Espadrille (brown) and Black in Matte Finish
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