How to Install Wooden Ceiling Paneling

  • 6-20 hours
  • Beginner
  • 200-1,250
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Stud finder
Wood paneling
Nail gun
Finishing nails
Nail set
Caulk (colored to match wood)
Wood saw

A traditional look for a ceiling is drywall, but if you want a different look for your ceiling, wooden ceiling paneling gives a crisp look to any room. Installing wooden ceiling paneling is a little challenging but definitely something you can do on your own.

Step 1 - Determining How Much Ceiling Paneling to Purchase

The first step in installing wooden ceiling paneling is to measure the ceiling and the sample plank from your local home improvement store to determine how much ceiling paneling you’ll need. You should add an extra 15% to your measurements to account for errors and excess.

Step 2 - Finding the Studs

Using a stud finder, find the studs in the ceiling. Use a pencil to mark at both ends, and then make a chalk line from end to end. Your ceiling panels will be attached perpendicular to the ceiling joists.

Step 3 - Preparing for Installation

Remove all furniture from the room. Remove any molding or trim that will be in the way of the project, making sure to remove it carefully if you plan on putting it back when you’re finished with the project. Remove any lighting covers, such as globes, track fixtures, ceiling fans, etc. Also, remove any vent covers that might be on the ceiling. You can practice piecing your wood paneling together on the floor to make sure that everything fits properly, or you can begin installing without practice.

Step 4 - Attaching the Ceiling Paneling

You’ll need to pre-drill holes for your ceiling paneling and attach the pieces with finishing nails. Start your project in one corner of the ceiling and work your way out across the room. The first piece must be nailed into the wall on the face with the tongue facing outward. The following pieces will be nailed on the tongues at an angle into the joists of the ceiling. Continue attaching the ceiling paneling until the entire ceiling is covered.

Step 5 - Trouble Spots and Other Options

If your wooden ceiling paneling came with an adhesive, you can use the directions to apply this as necessary. When you approach a light fixture or vent, it’s easiest to apply the paneling until you reach the object and then measure and cut the next piece to size to fit around the object. If you want, with each new row of ceiling paneling, offset the row from the previous one to achieve a different effect.

Step 6 - Finishing the Project

Once your ceiling paneling is all in place, use a nail set to drive any finishing nails into the paneling. Using a caulk that matches the color of the wood you used, apply caulk to any nail holes or gaps between planks. Wipe away extra caulk.