Plans for planking a vaulted ceiling

Vaulted or cathedral ceilings used to be no big deal to me. Even when we bought our house, the vaulted ceiling in the living room wasn’t a huge selling point. I didn’t dislike it. I just didn’t really care.

But now, the vaulted ceiling in our living room is one of my favourite features in our house. It makes the room feel bigger and makes the space much more interesting.

Living room with vaulted ceiling

I have a plan to make the ceiling even more special: plank it.

You know that I’m on a continuous quest to add more country character to make our house feel more farmy. I think wood planks would be a great way to do that.

Plus, the planks would be an easy way to eliminate the dirty stipple that covers the ceiling currently. In all of the bedrooms, we’ve scraped the stipple, but the living room is large. There is no way I want to scrape that ceiling.

I’m inspired by this ceiling that Sarah Richardson did in her farmhouse many years ago. I think something like that would be great for our living room. (The chandelier would also be a lovely upgrade from our current terrible green ceiling fan, thankyouverymuch.)

Sarah whitewashed her planks. I like seeing a bit of the wood grain. But plain white paint is another option. What would you do?

The other part of the photo above that’s inspiring me is the centre beam at the top of the vault. Our ceiling has a beam as well. It’s about 6×6, which looks a bit wimpy. It also appears that someone tried to make it look handmade rather than commercially milled (we have a hand hewed barn beam for our mantel, so I know what the real thing looks like and this beam does not compare).

Faux beam at the centre of the vault

We could clad our beam like Sarah did (this would allow us to beef it up and also cover the faux distressing). My other idea is to strip it back to real wood, or cover it with something that looks more like real wood (something like this from The Handmade Home, but without the “vertical” pieces). What would you do with the beam?

The vault extends into the dining room, so I’m also trying to figure out what I want to do there.

I’m more open to scraping this ceiling. It’s about the size of two bedrooms, which feels doable to me.

Vaulted ceiling in the dining room

Whatever I do to the centre beam in the living room, I’d do the same in the dining room. But what about the rest of the ceiling? Would you leave it flat? Or plank it like the living room? Can you coffer a vaulted ceiling? Or is there another treatment that would add some interest?

This project is a little while in the future. So we’re in the thinking stage still. I appreciate your thoughts. What would you do?

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10 thoughts on “Plans for planking a vaulted ceiling

  1. I love vaulted ceilings too. Of all of the ideas that you mentioned, I would scrape the entire ceiling, beef up the center beams with cladding, and whitewash vs. paint all new beams. 🙂 Also, it’s a lot of wood, but I would consider planking the dining room ceiling too. Your open floor plan sways me in that direction. I think if it’s all whitewashed, it won’t look too heavy.

  2. That beam definitely needs to be clad to make it look more substantial. As for planks on the ceiling, I’d go with the whitewash – makes the room seem lighter yet allows some grain to show. I also vote to get a new ceiling fan – not a green one – to circulate the heat from the fireplace back down to where you are sitting. Can’t wait to see how this project plays out.

  3. Love the plank idea. And a white-washed plank ceiling? Joy! Lifts the eye and gives a sense of lightness while still showcasing the grain. I’d do both rooms for a sense of cohesiveness. Of course this is easy for me to say as I’m not the one who has to spend the money or do the work! Good luck and I’ll look forward to seeing what you decide.

  4. Oh goodness!! Do it! That’s gorgeous! I love the whitewashed look. Although I hate working overhead! My neck aches thinking about it. But I bet it would be worth it.

  5. I love vaulted ceilings – they add such graciousness and beauty to a room! If money/labour were no object, I would plank the whole thing (LR and DR) and either whitewash or paint white. I would clad the existing beam to make it a more substantial. I absolutely love the Sarah Richardson inspiration picture. Her work is so beautiful; it feels both on trend and timeless.

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