Follow these DIY Plywood Plank Ceiling install steps for a beautiful cross between shiplap and V-groove plank.
I’ve seen a lot of DIY Plywood Plank Ceiling install steps on Pinterest lately. It can turn out really pretty. But, my heart was really set on the v-groove panel I’ve used in my Powder Room Makeover and my Colorful Modern Farmhouse Laundry Room Makeover. Unfortunately, they don’t sell those awesome 4′ x 8′ MDF panels anymore. So, I had to kinda make my own.
I started out thinking I’d buy 1/4″ MDF 4x8 sheets. Then I’d route a v-groove into it myself. But, MDF is a bit heavy. I was afraid I’d go through all the effort only to have the boards rip at those lines when I tried to glue and nail it onto the ceiling
So, after giving it some more thought, I decided to make planks with plywood strips. After gluing and nailing each plank to the ceiling (without the gaps that people use for shiplap) I painted the boards.
After looking at it for a few days, I wasn’t a huge fan of the lines. So, I caulked the gaps and painted again. Now, I LOVE THIS ceiling so much, guys! The lines are subtle but add great texture and interest to the ceiling. You can see the full DIY Plywood Plank Ceiling install steps below.
The goal of this ceiling was to hide the weird angles on this ceiling so that the new bathroom could shine. I have to say, after 2 months of living with this makeover, it totally worked. The bathroom tile and fixtures are the star now. And, the ceiling makeover is just a subtle cherry on top of that bathroom.
Cost of Making Plywood Planks
Before getting into the DIY Plywood Plank Ceiling install steps, lets talk about the cost and extra time that goes with making your own planks from 1/4″ plywood.
Lumber prices will vary in different locations, different times of year, and during high demand times. Based on local pricing at Lowe’s and Home Depot, I can buy a 4x8 sheet of 1/4″ plywood for about $26.
If I bought the 8′ long primed shiplap to cover that same area, it would have cost $54. And, 8′ long pine tongue and groove to cover that area would have been $72. So, the plywood I used is 50% cheaper than the primed shiplap and 65% cheaper than the Pine T&G.
That can add up to a huge savings on large projects. The DIY Plywood Plank Ceiling install cost for our Master Bathroom was about $130 for just the plywood, since I used 5 sheets. That’s a $230 savings off the pine tongue and groove that I wanted to use. Truth is, it wasn’t really the cheaper cost of making DIY Plywood Planks that sold me on this project.
I went with plywood on this project mainly because of all the weird angles on this vaulted bathroom ceiling. The thinner material made accounting for those angles and trimming them out easier on me. I HIGHLY recommend getting exact measurements and drawing out a diagram of your space before deciding which material to use on your project.
This will make it easier to figure out exactly how much plywood you need so you can calculate the cost of a DIY Plywood Plank Ceiling install for your room. You can see examples of ceiling diagrams that I drew for my Simple DIY Low Profile Coffered Ceiling and my DIY Wood Panel Vaulted Ceiling Makeover.
Materials Needed for this Ceiling Makeover
- Circular Saw or Table Saw to cut strips
- Miter Saw
- 1/4″ Plywood 4′ x 8′ sheets
- Finish Sander and 120 or 180 grit sandpaper
- DAP flexible and paintable caulk, like this one
- construction adhesive
- caulk gun
- Brad Nailer and Brad Nails
- 1x3 primed pine or PVC trim
- wood filler and sandpaper
Cost and Install DIY Plywood Plank Ceiling Video
DIY Plywood Plank Ceiling Install Steps
Start by cutting the plywood into strips. I cut 8′ long 5 3/4″ strips to leave the smallest amount of unused material possible. I cut mine on my table saw, but you could set up your circular saw with a straight edge cutting guide too.
Sand the face side and cut edges of the strips, nice and smooth. I used 120 grit sandpaper. I also like to do the first coat of paint before hanging the plywood. Just makes life a little easier. You can see me going through these DIY Plywood Plank install steps in the video above.
To hang the strips on the ceiling, I measured the length I needed, then cut them with my Miter Saw. I glued and brad nailed them in place WITHOUT leaving any gaps between the strips. Only because I preferred that look here.
Do this to the whole ceiling or area. I kinda have 4 areas because of the vault in my ceiling. Side note, the construction adhesive holds the planks in place long term. The brad nails just hold the planks tight to the ceiling while the adhesive dries.
Then frame the ceiling or area with whatever trim you like. I used 1x3’s around the edges and some smaller moulding pieces between the flat and vaulted sections of my ceiling. Use adhesive and brad nailer for this part of the DIY Plywood Plank install too.
Now, it’s all about making things pretty. Use wood filler on all of the nail holes. Once dry, sand those smooth. Then use caulk between each Plywood Plank. Caulk where the trim meets the wall and the trim meets the plank too. If you’re new to DIY wood trim check out this post for tips on where to use caulk or wood filler on wood trim.
Finish with 2 or 3 coats of a good paint. I used Behr’s Polished Pearl in Eggshell on this DIY Plywood Plank Ceiling Install. It’s the color of all the trim in my house. 🙂
Well, that’s it for this DIY Plywood Plank Ceiling Install. If you’re looking for more home remodeling inspo check out my remodeling videos here, on my YouTube channel. 🙂
You might also like this DIY Pine Tongue and Groove Porch Ceiling Makeover.
Or this Simple DIY Low Profile Coffered Ceiling Makeover.
Feeling inspired? Now you know how I did my DIY Plywood Plank Ceiling Install. Let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.