Let’s lay the groundwork. Emotionally, you’re ready for the look of open wood beams. Financially, maybe not so much. Physically ready to lift heavy wood timbers up to the ceiling and secure them in place, um… no.
Enter these simple faux wood beams:
Ceiling Beams The Easy Way
I’m not sure the picture above does this ceiling justice. This photo was taken in a local model home and I’m telling you first-hand, it looked fantastic! I’ve done so many jobs with faux beams before that I was sort of stunned at the simplicity of this method.
It’s mostly drywall and paint!
These create the look of wood beams for a fraction of the cost and can be created easily on your existing flat ceiling.
The materials list to build this right over your existing ceiling is quite short:
- some 2×4 or 2×6 lumber to frame the beams
- a sheet or two of 1/4″ or 3/8″ plywood
- enough 1/2″ thick drywall to cover the beams
- drywall mud
- some strong anchors for drywall (wingits)
- a little bit of paint!
That’s really about it.
You could probably do this without the plywood by just attaching a 2×6 to the ceiling using the drywall anchors. Home Depot carries an anchor called WingIts that really hold well. (Use plenty, don’t want these falling)
Then you attach the drywall, cut to the depth of your beam, to the 2×6 on the ceiling with regular drywall screws. Either put the factory edge against the ceiling, or be sure to get a very clean cut edge against the ceiling to reduce mud-work on the existing ceiling.
The best method is to use a very clean, non-factory therefore non-tapered, edge against the ceiling. If you do this cleanly enough, you can just finish that edge with caulking saving you from doing any work at all on the existing ceiling.
You can then screw another 2×6 at the bottom of the drywall strip which will form the framing for the bottom of the beam. If you don’t damage the drywall and use enough of the right size screws the drywall itself would be enough to hold the bottom 2×6. You could also use a 1×6 or a series of 2×4 blocks to reduce the weight.
My recommendation though is to use thin plywood to connect the upper and lower 2×6’s (as I’ve shown in the drawing below) This provides total assurance that the beam won’t come apart.
CAUTION!!!! – The strength of the anchors you use is obviously of great importance here as is the condition and thickness of your ceiling. If the attachment of the top 2×6 to the existing ceiling isn’t strong enough, the entire beam could fall on your head and bring a decent chunk of the ceiling with it! If in doubt, use solid wood blocking above the ceiling between existing framing members and attach securely to that or hire a professional.
Ceiling Beams In No Time!
The end result is a great looking ceiling requiring little mess and little expense.
Did I say be careful and warn you about the sky falling?