How to Easily Install a Shiplap Ceiling This Weekend

If you’ve ever thought about putting a shiplap ceiling in your house we’ve got a few pointers on how to make the process a little easier! It is working over your head after all!

shiplap ceiling

Who needs a Shiplap Ceiling?  We do.  That’s who.

The ceiling in the primary bedroom’s only fault is that it’s too low.

It’s not in bad shape, it’s not ugly.

It’s just. Boring?

We haven’t lived in a house with 8 foot ceilings in a very long time and if the ceiling is going to be that close to us then it’s going to need some visual interest.

Shiplap to the rescue.

Since we live in a ranch house in Texas, we can easily incorporate shiplap into our home’s aesthetic.

It’s been popular here since before Fixer Upper made it into a national trend. We actually do have old ranch and farmhouses with the original shiplap still in them.

This house isn’t one of those, but it’s definitely a ranch style on a property so it can easily incorporate just about any style into it.

A shiplap ceiling is an easy addition and adds a lot of visual interest.

In a bedroom, where you spend some time, or lots of time, looking at the ceiling, we thought it would be a nice change.

We’re also adding can lights everywhere because there’s not enough lighting in this house.  Not in any of the rooms anywhere.

Some people may not like can lighting but we love to layer lighting so we’re getting it overhead and we’ll have lamps as well.

Of course,  once I repaint the burgundy walls it might not seem so dark in here but new can lights and paint will surely help brighten things up in here.

before adding shiplap ceiling

The ceiling is in pretty good shape, other than it needs a fresh coat of paint.  It used to be white but it hasn’t been painted in a very long time so we’re going to add a shiny white finish to our new shiplap.

Shiplap is a great way to cover up a ceiling (or a wall) that needs some work but we don’t have that problem. 

We are just wanting to add some visual interest to the space without making it feel to busy and this seems like a great idea.

Because we love working on overhead projects, am I right?

Hopefully I’m going to have some nice arm muscles from this project!

That would make up for the almost permanently sore neck!

Supplies for a Shiplap Ceiling Project

You are definitely going to need a ladder for this project and if you’ve got two ladders that’s even better.

Because you are going to want a helper for this project.

Scaffolding would be fantastic but we don’t have room for it right here right now.

There are lots of projects that I can complete all by myself, but working overhead means that another set of hands are necessary. Well not absolutely necessary but it sure is helpful and will make this project go so much faster!

And be sure to wear eye protection.

Always use eye protection!

The rest of the supply list:

  • Tongue and Groove Shiplap
  • Circular Saw
  • A jig saw or dremel tool
  • Sandpaper
  • Stud Finder
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Nail Gun
  • Nails
  • Wood Putty
  • Caulking
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush and Roller
  • Trim boards
ceiling half with shiplap

We are adding can lighting so that we will have some light in the room.

We’re also planning to exchange the ceiling fan for a model without a light kit.  It needs to be a flush mount model so that it doesn’t hang down from the ceiling either.  We need as much head space as possible.

A ceiling fan is really a requirement here in Texas because you’ve always got the air conditioning running or a window open and keeping the air circulating is a necessity.

It also makes a pleasant air whooshing sound when we’re trying to sleep.

You can see the marked chalk lines on the ceiling that we made before we started installing the shiplap. These mark each of the studs so that we can see exactly where to add nails.

adding shiplap ceiling

Here’s another shot of the ceiling during the work.  It’s a slow process.

How do you like our workshop storage? It’s currently right in the middle of our bedroom and it’s almost impossible to get photo’s without getting it in the shot!

How to Install the Shiplap Ceiling

Use your stud finder to mark the studs in the ceiling so that you’ll know where to put your nails.

Then you’re just going to start nailing your boards to the ceiling. 

The fun thing about tongue and groove boards is that they easily fit together and that makes your job easier.  Easier except for the fact that you’re working over your head.

You’ll need to cut out the holes for vents, lighting, etc.  That’s where your jig saw or dremel comes in handy.  You can use a circular saw to trim the boards to the correct length.

It’s much easier to do this project with two people but the tongue and groove helps hold the board in place.

Once the Boards are Up

Once you get all of your boards up, be sure to tap in any nails that aren’t flush.  Then run a light sander over the whole project and you’re ready to putty!

Oh wood putty. 

It’s a huge job all by itself. 

So much wood putty.

Well it’s not really a lot of wood putty, it’s just a lot of tedious work applying wood putty.

Optionally you can just skip this step and leave the nail holes exposed.  When it’s all painted it’s a great look also.

We want a pretty smooth finish though, so we will spend the time adding the putty.

Finishing the Shiplap Ceiling

Next, we will add shiny white paint on the ceiling and trim boards to finish this project.

Or to finish this part of this project!

After paint we’ll add the can light trims, the ceiling fan and the vent covers.

Then there’s still flooring, wall paint and trim to be added to the rest of the room!

Progress is progress and we’re excited to be moving forward on this project!

What about you? Are you thinking about adding a shiplap ceiling in your house? Or have you done it already? Any tips on making the project easier or faster?

Traci Signature | My Simpatico Life Blog

If you’re interested in another shiplap project check out how to DIY Faux Shiplap.
If you want to see the outside of the house before check out our Before Photo’s.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest for more inspiration!

How to install a shiplap ceiling

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