Beach House Kitchen – Ceiling

After doing a shiplap ceiling in the small bathroom, we decided every area we remodel will get a new ceiling. The great thing about old houses is that the sub-floors are wood boards and can make really nice ceilings. The bad thing here is that part of it was replaced with plywood due to water leaking from above. So if we wanted wood, we needed to add it. 

The good thing about adding a new ceiling is that we have the space for recessed lights, wiring and insulation.

We started off with running OSB pieces (called strapping) across the floor joints. We did this because we wanted the direction of the ceiling boards to be from back to front. They are attached with ring-shank 12d nails – never coming loose.

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The material we put was really lightweight, so the OSB gave enough support, especially with the beams we added afterwards. It’s called “rabbited bevel” siding, made of spruce. This was left over from residing our main house, so it didn’t cost anything extra.

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The siding is rough-sawn on the bevel side, and smooth on the backside. It’s typically applied to a sidewall as shown here:

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We put it on backward with the smooth side out, and it made a flat surface. With the expansion gap, it looks just like regular shiplap. The boards are attached with 2 inch, 18 gage finish nails.

The kitchen is 12 feet long, so we hung it in 8′ and 4′ pieces. We didn’t worry about the joints between the boards, as they would be covered by a beam.

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Since the wood was lightly primed, we decided to paint it. We added water to latex paint to make a wash. It gave color, but allowed the grain to show through a bit.

The beams are made of 2×4’s with a 1×4 facing. Once the cabinets and trim are in, we will wrap the sides of these with 1×3. We used 16d nails and a few 3 inch screws to attach the 2×4’s through the OSB into the joists above, then we glued and finish-nailed the facing on.

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The light in the center of the kitchen was original, and we wanted to keep it there. It’s the only thing besides the back door that will remain after the remodel. It’s kind of fun to have something to remind us what it looked like before.

We added four recessed lights, over the sink, stove, back door and bar. Now there’s way more light in the places we need it. I bought the light units (cans and trims) at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $3 each – they just needed repainting. They were really low-profile, so they fit easily into the 2×8 joist space.

Time and Money:

  • About 8 hours to paint, prep and install the new ceiling
  • Ship-lap – free
  • Lights – $12 from the restore
  • Two 10′ 2×4 beams – $10
  • 1×4 facing – free. The neighbor building a house gave them to me.
  • Wiring – about $10 in materials

So all in it was under $50. If we would have bought the wood for the ceiling, I would guess about $100 more.



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