Hey Friends, as promised, today I am showing you how I built these DIY faux wood beams installed in my dining room. The idea came to life when planning the makeover of the dining room for the One Room Challenge this Spring. You can read all about the 8-week process here.
After I had decided on faux beams DIY project. It was time to do research to understand what the process entailed. I enjoyed this YouTube tutorial by Break It Yourself. Here is my mood board for the faux beam project.
I love how versatile DIY faux ceiling beams can be. You can use them in your living room areas, master bedroom and other areas. They add a lot of character and can be used with varying decor styles from modern, classic, traditional and farmhouse style.
When we were building our home, we took pictures of all the joists, electrical etc. It was an essential step for us to embark on any home improvement projects in the future. The pictures allowed me to have an idea on how the joists were positioned in this area.
How to Make Faux Wood Beams
I took measurements of my space and made a list of materials and equipment which you can find at the end of the tutorial. The original plan was to have 6 DIY faux wood beams but ended up with 4. This was more optimal for the space. I needed to work in pairs to avoid having to deal with a beam directly under the chandelier. This helped keep the project in budget.
I headed to Home Depot and got the common board planks in a 1X6X12 and 1X8X12. Fortunately, the width of our dining room measured approximately 12ft. As such I was able to use one long plank instead of adjoining 2 shorter ones.
Wood Prep for DIY Faux Beams
Once the lumber was on site, it was time to prep the wood. Started off by using this pre-stain wood conditioner to treat all planks that needed stain. The conditioner is essential to allow the stain to be applied evenly without blotches.
After the pre-stain dried, it was time to apply the stain to the planks.
I applied 2 coats of this stain allowing a couple of hours of dry time between both coats and then letting it sit overnight.
The next day, I took exact measurements of the width of the dining room and cut the planks accordingly. Most planks are usually a half inch to an inch longer than the stated length.
Our dining room had crown molding installed during the build. As such, the project required taking down the molding on the width for both sides and cutting the molding on the longer sides approximately 7.5 inches to fit the width of the faux wood beams. This allowed for a fitted look once the beams were installed.
The multi tool came in handy to cut through the molding on the length. I used wood shims and a pry bar to take down the moulding on the width, so that most of it stayed intact. This process allowed me to save on having to buy more molding after plans changed. As mentioned earlier, the original plan was to put in 6 wood beams. As a result, I had cut the molding on the longer sides in some areas to the length that would fit 6 instead of 4.
Installing DIY Ceiling Beams
The next step was to put together the faux wood beam. The process involved building a box with 4 planks and attaching it to the ceiling. The 1X6X12 planks go on the top and bottom and the 1X8X12 go on each side.
Since this is practically a one man show, this involved building it in sections. The top of the box shaped beam went on the ceiling first. I used spacers from scrap wood to ensure that I had enough of an allowance on either side when placing the ceiling plank.
These planks did not require staining because they are invisible once the wood beam is put together. Using the stud finder, I marked off the ceiling precisely where the joists were located and attached the plank to the ceiling with 2 ½ inch dry wall screws that went into the joists.
Using 2X4 scrap wood on hand, I also made L-Shape anchors to give it additional security. These L-Shaped anchors were attached to the wall and the ceilings on both ends as pictured below using 3-inch dry wall screws.
The next step was to build half of the beam. Using 2-inch brad nails, I built an L-Shape with a stained 1X6X12 (bottom of beam) and 1X8X12 (side of beam). For the beams on the end, a section of the L-shape (1x8X12 plank) was attached to the wall as pictured below using 2 ½ inch dry wall screws.
At this point, ¾ of the beam was up and it was just one section left to install. This last section was attached to the top and bottom planks with a nail gun using 2-inch brad nails. This process was repeated on the other side of the room.
The next step was to install the faux beams in the middle. To figure optimal placement required measuring from the already installed end beams and the chandelier and placing the ceiling planks in the middle of both on either side.
I started off with the same process of building the beam as an L-Shape for the first half and then attaching the last plank on the other side. The only difference is the planks were attached to the ceiling plank with 2-inch nails on both sides.
I do not have a lot of pictures of installing beams, as this process took my husband and daughter helping me hoist and attach them to the ceiling.
The result of the DIY faux wood beams was everything I hoped it would be and very happy with how the project came together.
You can see all the details of my room reveal in this post. I am hoping to install in our master bedroom and also our home office.
DIY Wood Beams
Project Equipment and Supplies
- Mitre Saw
- Impact Drill
- Brad Nailer
- Common Board
- 2X4 wood
- Pre-Stain Conditioner
- Wood Stain
- 3-inch dry wall nails
- 2 ½- inch dry wall nails
Hopefully this tutorial is helpful as you plan your own project. Thank you for stopping by.