Coffered Ceiling DIY Demo | Finish Carpentry

Introduction: Coffered Ceiling DIY Demo | Finish Carpentry

About: I'm an average guy trying to to above average DIY projects. I'm driven by my desire for nice things around the home with a desire not to pay someone else to do them. This drives me to constantly learn about …

www.howidothingsdiy.com

In this finish carpentry video I'll be doing a coffered ceiling demo to show how you can transform your ceiling by DIY. The best part, is you can DIY to save LOTS of money! This was one of my favorite projects because of how much it transforms a room.

I'll walk you through the coffered ceiling framing, then installed the coffered ceiling boards and even the crown molding. You will also be shown how to caulk for perfect joints.

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Supplies

-Kreg Crown Molding Jig https://amzn.to/3v9Ncvi

Step 1: Design

Carefully design your layout. Measure out your room and determine how deep and how wide you want the coffers to be. My ceiling is 9ft high, but they can be wider on taller ceilings. This step will also help you plan out how much material you need. If you have access to 3D software, it's very helpful. Otherwise make a sketch.

Step 2: Mark Out Layout on Ceiling

Carefully mark out your layout on the ceiling following your design you made in the previous step. I used a laser level for perfect perpendicular references and then marked with a pencil. Observe the close up in my demo.

Step 3: Cut and Install the Frame

Using straight wood the same width you chose for you bottom pieces, (in my case 2X4), install all frame pieces perpendicular to the ceiling joists. Ideally, this should span the entire room. Then install the frame pieces in the other direction. These will be shorter. Whenever possible, always screw directly to ceiling joists. If absolutely necessary, you can use some heavy drywall anchors. Use them sparingly and only as a last resort. During this process, continue to check the two sets of frame pieces for square.

Step 4: Install Vertical Trim Pieces

For my verticals I used 1x6 primed pine boards. Cut and install all of them in one direction, then cut and install perpendicular pieces. These pieces all need to fit nice and snug. They should be brad nailed to the frame pieces and brad nailed to each other on the ends. You can also glue them at the ends in addition to nailing.

Step 5: Cut and Install the Bottom Pieces

Cut and install all of the bottom pieces in one direction. I like to install mine 1/4" recessed for a shadow line, but this is just personal preference. My bottom pieces where 1x4 primed pine. Ideally, the first direction should span the entire room. Then cut and install the shorter perpendicular pieces. These pieces should fit snug and be flush with the other bottom pieces and should be installed using brad nails.

Step 6: Install Crown Moulding

Carefully cut and install crown molding using brad nails.

Step 7: Finish

Sink all brad nails and fill holes. Then sand everything smooth and wipe down with a damp towel. Finally, caulk all joints and paint.

Enjoy your beautiful ceiling!

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    16 Comments

    0
    charlessenf-gm
    charlessenf-gm

    Tip 1 year ago

    Nice work, pretty result.
    Heavy, though.
    They make lightweight trim boards that could replace all but the 2 x 4's used as the base. And the 2x4's could be replaced with one inch material (pine, etc.) The trim board offers a very smooth finish that takes paint and filler well and Crown is also offered in the lightweight foam material. I suspect that the crown could be installed with CA glue given its weight - no nails to countersink or holes to fill and sand.

    When I tried explaining this idea to my wife, I realized there was no need for solid wood at all. The entire thing could be created using the foam core trim boards and crown eliminating the need for finishing nails since CA and Activator would fasten everything - albeit requiring a second person to hold 'the other end' at several points in the assembly.
    By the way, instead of using a quarter inch guide for the reveal, why not 3.25" x 3.25" support blocks strategically located within the structure? Helping to maintain 'square' along each run, support (every 16"?) for the top piece and a quarter-inch reveal throughout?

    0
    travis.muszynski
    travis.muszynski

    Reply 1 year ago

    These are all great ideas! Thank for adding.

    0
    danlemke56
    danlemke56

    1 year ago on Step 7

    I think it looks fine without the crown molding for a more contemporary look, and with the price of lumber... Thanks for the instructable, I am remodeling a house I just bought.

    0
    travis.muszynski
    travis.muszynski

    Reply 1 year ago

    I guess you could do that. You could also use 1/4 round or something like that. Good luck on your remodel!

    0
    danlemke56
    danlemke56

    Reply 1 year ago

    I was just thinking of alternatives that would be less costly and yet look awesome as your project does. I wish you could include costs to do this project, as well as others that submit projects. For the record, I do love the crown molding, but looking at the pictures, it looks great without it. I guess it would also depend on how flat your ceiling is and if it needs the molding. Again, thanks for a great submission, it has spawned another way to do a ceiling that is something other than the conventional popcorn or mud ceilings.

    0
    travis.muszynski
    travis.muszynski

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks for watching. If you need a estimate, I would say I have about $600 in materials in this project.

    0
    rrhill
    rrhill

    Question 1 year ago on Step 7

    What is the height of the original ceiling? 8 feet? 9 feet?

    0
    SueP170
    SueP170

    1 year ago

    The sample piece really helped with visualizing the concept... I thought that it would be more difficult, but your instructions are clear. My home doesn't lend itself to this style, but it was interesting to read. It looks fantastic....Thank you !

    0
    travis.muszynski
    travis.muszynski

    Reply 1 year ago

    I'm glad you liked the way I presented this build. I'm sure you will find what style of upgrades work best for you home!

    0
    MuzicMaker
    MuzicMaker

    1 year ago

    I just wanted to acknowledge how awesome it was that you made a sample piece for clarity. That was extra work solely (I’m assuming) for the purpose of helping us visualize the construction. Thank you for being awesome!

    0
    travis.muszynski
    travis.muszynski

    Reply 1 year ago

    No problem. I was trying to figure out the best way to visualize what I actual did, so I'm glad it was helpful.

    0
    muadibe
    muadibe

    1 year ago

    Wow, that is an outstanding piece of work. It really looks the business. What a result.

    0
    travis.muszynski
    travis.muszynski

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you! My wife is super happy!

    0
    LincolnsCreations
    LincolnsCreations

    1 year ago

    I do like coffered ceilings, but never had a house that would fit the style.

    0
    travis.muszynski
    travis.muszynski

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yes, you defiantly need to stick with upgrades that make sense in your space.