Sunday, January 19, 2014

Project 8 - Entryway Ceiling Update

With the weather getting cold, I was ready to tackle a BIG project: updating the ceiling in our front entryway. Do you have an old house with original textured /cracked plaster ceilings?   Our entryway ceiling was an eyesore...not quite the exciting first impression.

After dry-walling a small section of our upstairs bathroom during a previous project, I was dreading tackling this ceiling (can I say messy, awful, exhuasting, etc??)  But then I came across a great idea on Pinterest -- check out my inspiration from House of Smith's beadboard ceiling tutorial.

Genius!!  No sanding drywall compound, no straining muscles from working overhead to get a perfect, smooth finish -- I was ready to get started!

First stop...Home Depot (the first of MANY trips to HD for this project).  I headed for the moldings aisle & played around with a few options until I came up with a combination that wasn't too ornate, yet added a bit of snazziness to just plain beadboard.  Here's the combination I used:

I also chose to go with beadboard planks (pre-primed).  These were easy to fit together, using a tongue-and-groove system:

With my inspiration in hand, I took measurements of our entryway and drafted a quick drawing with dimensions (I'm a 'picture-in-hand-to-stay-on-track' kind of gal):

Since we were giving the ceiling a makeover, I couldn't ignore the boring recessed light -- that needed to go, too.  I found a great, nautical light fixture from Shades of Light that was an ideal fit for our coastal NE home (and it's even installed on beadboard in the product it!)

Nantucket Ceiling Light

OK...we're ready to get installing!  Here are the steps we took:
1) Cut all pieces to size & paint 2 coats (I chose high-gloss white to match all of the trim in our house)

Setting up the paint shop in the basement

2) Next, we marked the studs on the ceiling, so we knew were to nail.  BTW...if you need an amazing stud finder, check out this tool:

3) Drumroll...finally, we're ready to install the wood!  We installed in this order:

  • First, we installed the frame using the pre-cut, pre-painted poplar (added a little squeeze of Liquid Nails + 16 GA straight nails)
  • Next, we installed the exterior cove molding (using 18 GA brad nails -- didn't bother with glue)
  • Now, time for the beadboard planks (added a LOT of Liquid Nails + 18 GA brad nails)
  • And finally, the interior quarter-round molding (using 18 GA brad nails, no glue)
We started with the back corner and worked our way toward the front door (wanted to leave the tricky cuts for the light fixture + fire alarm for the end).  We only had a center stud for most of the hallway, so we used the quarter-round molding in sections to keep the beadboard planks flat against the ceiling.

It got a little tricky with the light -- there was a significant amount of re-cuts (and cursing) to get the opening around the light just right (plus lots of wood filler to fix my mistakes...sigh).

Once done, it was time for my favorite 'fixers' to cover all of my carpentry boo-boo's...spackling and caulking sealant.

Be sure to use a nail set to countersink any nails/brads before applying spackling (you want the tip or head of the nail to be just slightly below the wood surface).  Now...I just need to wait for the spackling to dry and sand to a smooth finish, before applying touch-up paint.

For painting trim, I discovered a great product called Floetrol (sold at HD).  I add a bit of this to my  trim paint -- it makes a HUGE difference in reducing brush marks.

Finally -- all DONE!!  Wahoo!  And it looks amazing, I must say.  The high gloss paint really reflects the light.  What a great way to add a ton of personality to our entryway.  Check this one off the list!

I must say...that was a LOT of work (total of 5 days over several weekends & close to 100 cuts between the planks, frame, and 2 trim details), but completely worth the effort.  Yay!!! Thrilled to finally check this one off the to-do list.

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