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.
- Finish and distress beam
- Create weathered look
- Install ceiling cleats
- Install beam
- Build posts
- Assemble posts
- Finish posts
With a table saw, square rough edges of pine by ripping all boards to the same length.
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
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
Assemble the beam using carpenter's glue and clamps. Use 2" brad nails to secure mitres.
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
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
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
Install 2 x 12 cleats to ceiling, screwing into roof joists with 3" wood screws.
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.
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.
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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Skill Level: Intermediate
Time: 5 hours
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