Give that boring ceiling instant character with this DIY Wood Board Porch Ceiling Makeover!
I’m so excited to share this DIY Wood Board Porch Ceiling Tutorial with you today. Adding wainscoting, molding, crown, and v-groove board is one of my favorite, big impact ways to add value to my home. You can see how I used full 4×8 sheets of v-groove in my Modern Farmhouse Laundry Room reveal and above my DIY Mudroom Bench.
If you’re looking for more Wainscoting and Molding ideas for your home, you can find the DIY steps for a Simple DIY Coffered Ceiling Design, a beautiful Board and Batten Wall and the Tray Ceiling Paneling and Molding Makeover in our Master Bedroom on this blog.
What Kind of Wood Do You Use for a Porch Ceiling?
I like classic bead board planks too, but for this house, the v-groove design fits better with the existing molding and style. You can usually find this tongue in groove in a few different styles at Home Depot, Lowes, or your local lumber yard.
Pick the style the works best for your home. This tutorial will work for almost any style tongue and groove planks that are a bit more than 1/4″ thick and about 4″ wide.
I would install 3/4″ Tongue and Groove Pine or Cedar Planks a little differently. They are heavier and can be nailed differently. So, just use this DIY Pine Tongue and Groove Ceiling Tutorial for this thinner version of tongue and groove planks. And, good new, these are easier to install and a lot more affordable. 🙂
- Brad Nailer with Brad Nails
- Miter Saw or Circular Saw and Jigsaw – to cut around light fixtures
- Power Sander -to smooth rough some spots and edges
- Pine Tongue and Groove Planks (sold in 6 packs – about 1/4″ x 4″ x 8′) – feel free to use the same size planks sold by different brands at Home Depot and other Lumber Stores too
- Latex Primer and Exterior Quality Latex Paint with brushes
- Dropcloth, Paint Brushes, Ladders, and Sawhorses
- 1 1/2″ Lattice Boards to Frame the Ceiling
- Wood Filler and a good exterior caulk with silicone
How to Install A Wood Ceiling on a Porch
Design Note: You can run your boards along the shortest or longest walls. It’s up to you. Running along the longest wall will usually require less cuts. But, you will have seams whenever a new board starts.
For this DIY Wood Board Porch Ceiling, I ran mine along the short wall, since they were less than 8′ long. That meant that each row of plank was just 1 board. I knew I would have more scrap this way, but the install would be quicker (at just 1 board/row) and I like the clean look of no seams.
Build Note: This DIY Wood Board Porch Ceiling Tutorial works best with a smooth plywood or similar board base. If you have a warped, or rotting old ceiling, it should be removed first. If you have exposed joists, I recommend using the thicker 3/4″ tongue and groove. They will provide more insulation and are less likely to warp without a base.
Start by removing any molding that might need to be removed. I didn’t need to do this for my ceiling. But, if you have molding that won’t look right after installing this plank AND the border lattice around the edges, go ahead and remove it. You want to keep the original plywood up, if you have it. See Build Note above about the plywood base.
Also, remove anything like light fixtures or outlet covers that are on the ceiling. Be sure to shut off the power supply first and follow all standard electrical safety precautions.
Now, clean off any dirt, dust, bugs, or debris that could get in the way or mess up your paint. I used a little Dawn dish soap in warm water with a scrub brush and old rag to remove stubborn wasp nests. Put a dropcloth down to protect the ground from paint.
Over your dropcloth, prepare your boards by priming each side and the ends with a good primer, like the Zinsser 123 Latex I used. Since I was running my rows along the short wall, I measured and cut my boards before priming.
Priming each side is important. This will block water and humidity. If one side or the ends of the board aren’t treated, the board might swell and warp. DIY Tip: Prime the ceiling (rough) side of the board first. That’ll prevent the side that will show from accidentally being messed up when you flip the boards when painting.
Once the boards are fully primed and dry, you can start putting them up. You’ll probably need a partner. My husband and I each had a ladder at each end of the board. The groove of the first board should be along the edge of the ceiling. The tongue will face out, towards the next row. Also, leave a 1/4″ gap around the edge of the ceiling to allow for any expansion that might happen in extreme weather. This gap will be covered by the lattice trim board later.
Use a brad nailer to attach the plank to the plywood. I nailed every 12″ to 18″ along the plank. Since these boards are so light, nailing into the plywood will be more than enough to hold these up. Make sure each end has a nail about 1″ in from the end. This will help keep the end from warping.
Each rows groove should fit snuggly with the tongue of the last board. Make sure you hold the boards tightly together while nailing. Use a jigsaw to cut out for any light fixture or outlets.
Once the ceiling is completely planked, frame the ceiling with the 1 1/2″ lattice boards. I used pre-primed boards, just to make life easier. 🙂 I nailed these into the planks, every 3 planks should do the trick.
Then, fill all nail holes and knots in the wood with a wood filler, like my favorite. Then run a bead of caulk along each groove to get a more finished and beautiful look. Make sure you wipe away all excess caulk with a damp rag before it dries. The wood filler can be sanded smooth, but caulk can’t. If you’re new to DIY wood trim check out this post for tips on where to use caulk or wood filler on wood trim.
Once you’ve finished caulking and filling the planks. You can paint with 1 or 2 coats of your favorite paint. I used Sherwin Williams’ Snowfall.
Install the light fixtures again and you are finished. Time to grab your favorite drink and admire that gorgeous new ceiling, guys!
You might also like this DIY for Board and Batten Walls. This wall is just beautiful and would fit with so many home styles.
See my full Laundry Room Makeover for more home inspiration and DIY tutorials.
Feeling inspired? Get out there and follow this DIY Wood Board Porch Ceiling. Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.