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Beautiful DIY Vaulted Ceiling Makeover

Turn that vaulted ceiling into the feature it should be! This DIY Vaulted Ceiling Makeover gave our Master Bedroom instant style.

DIY Vaulted Ceiling Makeover

You know you’ve hit a home run with a DIY when it becomes the instant star of a room. This DIY Ceiling Makeover is definitely the star now! In fact, when my Mom first saw the update, she said she didn’t even notice we had a vaulted ceiling before. What?!

Something like a vaulted ceiling should always be the eye-catcher in a room. But ours had some problems. The drywall tape job had bubbled and cracked in quite a lot of spots. So, that needed to be fixed.

And we made the mistake of painting the ceiling with the default ceiling paint color sold in the stores. It was so stark white and cold. It definitely should have been tinted before we painted it.

But we lived with it like that for 5 years before I had the nerve, and time, to fix it. I was a little worried that this project would be hard.

DIY Tray Ceiling Molding and Paneling Feature Steps. If you're wondering how you can turn your boring tray ceiling into a feature, I have the how-to steps for adding trim moulding and panels. Here's a DIY Tray Ceiling Idea you can do. With easy to follow steps. #TrayCeiling #CeilingFeature #CeilingIdeas

You can see the bad drywall tape job in this picture.

But the hardest part was really settling on a design. After tons of Pinterest searching and pinning, I picked a design and the molding and paneling I’d use.

The install work was relatively straight-forward. I’ve worked with v-groove panels on my DIY Porch Ceiling Makeover and trim in our powder room makeover and also in adding a Mudroom to our Laundry Room.  And I’ve installed crown molding in a few rooms, so I had a pretty good idea what I was getting into.

Honestly, the most challenging part of this DIY Vaulted Ceiling Makeover is just the fact that you have to go up and down ladders over and over and over. And you are working over your head. Which can be tough!

But just keep reminding yourself that it’ll look awesome and you’re getting a workout too. Yea! So, let’s get this ceiling makeover started. 🙂

Turn that vaulted ceiling into the feature it should be! This DIY Vaulted Ceiling Makeover gave our Master Bedroom instant style.

Save this DIY Vaulted Ceiling Makeover on Pinterest. 🙂


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DIY Tray Ceiling Molding and Paneling Feature Steps. If you're wondering how you can turn your boring tray ceiling into a feature, I have the how-to steps for adding trim moulding and panels. Here's a DIY Tray Ceiling Idea you can do. With easy to follow steps. #TrayCeiling #CeilingFeature #CeilingIdeas

Before updating the vaulted ceiling in our Master Bedroom. The stark white ceiling clashed with our creamy crown molding. And the ceiling was just kind of boring when it should have been the feature of the room. And I was tired of the green walls. This room needed some love! You can see in another post how using a light paint color on walls in my home has been AMAZING.

Materials needed for this Ceiling Makeover

DIY Tray Ceiling Molding and Paneling Feature Steps. If you're wondering how you can turn your boring tray ceiling into a feature, I have the how-to steps for adding trim moulding and panels. Here's a DIY Tray Ceiling Idea you can do. With easy to follow steps. #TrayCeiling #CeilingFeature #CeilingIdeas

I used my Empire cutting guide with my Circular Saw to make sure I always had straight cuts.

How to Panel a Vaulted Ceiling

PLEASE NOTE: I only used these plywood panels because I wanted to cover the textured ceiling for a finished look. If this part of you’re ceiling is already smooth, skip the plywood steps. You won’t need to do them to get the same look. Lucky you!

Step One

Start by carefully measuring the length of the vault along the wall and ceiling. Also measure the space between the wall and ceiling. Making a diagram of the ceiling will help you plan how many sections you’ll need, visually check that the layout will look balanced, and easily track the measurements of each section for your cuts.

Based on the length of my walls, I went with 4 sections on the long walls and 3 on the short walls. I was able to reduce cuts by sticking with the default 48″ width panels on the 6 center sections. Planning before you start is the key to a successful DIY Vaulted Ceiling Makeover.

DIY Tray Ceiling Molding and Paneling Feature Steps. If you're wondering how you can turn your boring tray ceiling into a feature, I have the how-to steps for adding trim moulding and panels. Here's a DIY Tray Ceiling Idea you can do. With easy to follow steps. #TrayCeiling #CeilingFeature #CeilingIdeas

This is the diagram I drew up and used while making my cuts. Clearly, my #1 skill is drawing ceiling fans. 😉

Step Two

Now, that you’ve double-checked your measurements and made a diagram, you can cut your panels. I used my Circular Saw and a cutting guide to cut each panel. I find it easier to cut all of the panels at once, so that I save time and only get covered in sawdust once. 🙂

Make sure the primed side of the panels will face out when your marking and making your cuts. Brush all of the sawdust off of the panels before carrying them inside.

Step Three

Use your stud finder to mark the location of the studs in the wall where you are attaching the panels. I marked those studs on the crown molding and the ceiling so that I could see the marks after the panel was in place.

Step Four

Now you can install those wood panels in the vaulted ceiling. Since I knew my crown molding was level, I used that as the base for each panel. As long as I had it perfectly pressed against that crown, it would be square. If you don’t have crown molding already, you’ll need to install that before the panels to get the same DIY Vaulted Ceiling Makeover look.

Step Five

I used quite a bit of adhesive on each panel, as you can see. And also tons of brad nails. Those panels will never budge! Don’t worry about up to a 1/2″ gap between panels, the molding will cover that. Just make sure that the panels don’t overlap!!

DIY Tray Ceiling Molding and Paneling Feature Steps. If you're wondering how you can turn your boring tray ceiling into a feature, I have the how-to steps for adding trim moulding and panels. Here's a DIY Tray Ceiling Idea you can do. With easy to follow steps. #TrayCeiling #CeilingFeature #CeilingIdeas

Adhesive is on, ready to carry these guys up the ladder and nail them to the wall. Big thanks to my husband for being my partner for measuring and attaching the panels and boards. It’s definitely a 2 person job.

Step Six

Once all of the panels are glued and nailed into place, use that wood filler on the nail holes. Caulk will shrink and isn’t sandable, so wood filler or spackling is best for this job.

After all holes are filled and sanded smooth, I primed the panels. It may not be necessary, since the board is primed, but I felt like it was a good idea. Plus, with light paint on dark panels, I needed 3 coats of paint anyway. I primed my crown molding too. It was due for a new paint job.

DIY Tray Ceiling Molding and Paneling Feature Steps. If you're wondering how you can turn your boring tray ceiling into a feature, I have the how-to steps for adding trim moulding and panels. Here's a DIY Tray Ceiling Idea you can do. With easy to follow steps. #TrayCeiling #CeilingFeature #CeilingIdeas

You can see here how many nails we used along each stud. Better safe than sorry, right?

Step Seven

Next step for this DIY Vaulted Ceiling Makeover, I marked the studs in the ceiling so that I could attach the base board to the ceiling. Be sure to put those marks where you can still see them once the molding is up.

Then I marked a straight line, with my spirit level, across the top of the paneling. This was my guide for the edge of the base molding along the panels.

I used the already level crown molding as my reference point here. For my ceiling, I marked 38″ from the crown molding to the top of the panels across the boards, then connected those marks with my 4′ long spirit level.

Sorry I didn’t get a picture of this, but this line was very close to the top end of the panels. I wanted the base board to sit on top of the edge of the panels to hide any uneven lines along the panels. Each panel was slightly longer or shorter at the top, due to natural cutting and measuring differences. BUT the bottoms were perfect since I pressed them up to the edge of the crown.

DIY Tray Ceiling Molding and Paneling Feature Steps. If you're wondering how you can turn your boring tray ceiling into a feature, I have the how-to steps for adding trim moulding and panels. Here's a DIY Tray Ceiling Idea you can do. With easy to follow steps. #TrayCeiling #CeilingFeature #CeilingIdeas

You can see where I marked the studs for the base molding on the ceiling here.

Step Eight

Attach the baseboard to the ceiling with nails at the studs. It’s so lightweight, I skipped the glue. Just be sure to nail it in at every stud. You’ll need to make angled cuts here. Make sure everything lines up perfectly before nailing. You want those corners to look as perfect as possible.

If you have to move off of that straight line you just marked (a little bit) to make that corner perfect, then do it. You’re eye will always notice a bad corner before a 1/4″ difference in height. Also, I bought 20′ long pieces of base board for this ceiling. That way I could use 1 single board for each of the 4 sides.

If you can avoid using 2 pieces, it gives a nicer look and you don’t have to go through all of the work hiding the seam with caulk or wood filler.

Step Nine

Now that all of the baseboard is attached, you can add the lattice. The measurements for each should be very close, but I checked the measurement at each spot to get the best fit possible. I brad nailed the lattice into place.

You can use 1/2″ nails here, if you used plywood panels. If you already had a smooth drywall ceiling, then you should skip the nails and apply the lattice with adhesive. Painter’s tape should help you hold it in place while it dries.

DIY Tray Ceiling Molding and Paneling Feature Steps. If you're wondering how you can turn your boring tray ceiling into a feature, I have the how-to steps for adding trim moulding and panels. Here's a DIY Tray Ceiling Idea you can do. With easy to follow steps. #TrayCeiling #CeilingFeature #CeilingIdeas

One piece of lattice up! It’s looking great already. You may have noticed that I also painted the walls and ceiling. They are both Behr’s Sandstone Cove. Something about the lighting and shadows in the room makes the ceiling look darker. But it’s just a trick of the eye.

DIY Tray Ceiling Molding and Paneling Feature Steps. If you're wondering how you can turn your boring tray ceiling into a feature, I have the how-to steps for adding trim moulding and panels. Here's a DIY Tray Ceiling Idea you can do. With easy to follow steps. #TrayCeiling #CeilingFeature #CeilingIdeas

Bedroom furniture covered for the big ceiling update and paint job. Check out that bench in the front. I built that Chunky Leg Farmhouse bench last summer. You can get the full DIY steps for that bench here.

For the 4 corners, I used 2 pieces of lattice butted up against each other. No need to calculate angles. I started by cutting the lattice piece about 4″ longer than I needed. Since, lattice is flexible I could hold up the lattice in the corner to mark the cut points.

Just remember that you want the inside edges where the two lattices meet to make a line from exactly the corner of the new base molding on the ceiling and the corner of the crown molding at the bottom. I used my Circular saw for this cut.

DIY Tray Ceiling Molding and Paneling Feature Steps. If you're wondering how you can turn your boring tray ceiling into a feature, I have the how-to steps for adding trim moulding and panels. Here's a DIY Tray Ceiling Idea you can do. With easy to follow steps. #TrayCeiling #CeilingFeature #CeilingIdeas

A closer look at the line where the 2 corner lattice pieces meet for this DIY Vaulted Ceiling Makeover.

Step Ten

Now, on to the boring but kinda the most important part…caulking. Caulk along the top and bottom of the panel where it meets the molding. Caulk either side of each piece of lattice too. And fill the holes in the base board on the ceiling with wood filler.

When those dry, sand them smooth. Getting the caulk and wood filler looking great is the key to a professional looking job. Remember, caulk can’t be sanded. So, you need to have it looking great before it dries.

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. Once dry, paint with 2 or 3 coats of your latex and you’re ready to show off your hard work!

The Master Bedroom Ceiling Now

And, here’s the big reveal, guys! I love how this paneling and extra trim transformed our Vaulted Ceiling into a feature. It draws the eyes up and makes the whole room feel bigger with higher ceilings.

Be sure to check out my Before and After Master Bathroom Makeover or this beautiful DIY Simple Coffered Ceiling Makeover for more DIY remodeling inspiration.

Turn that vaulted ceiling into the feature it should be! This DIY Vaulted Ceiling Makeover gave our Master Bedroom instant style.

Turn that vaulted ceiling into the feature it should be! This DIY Vaulted Ceiling Makeover gave our Master Bedroom instant style.

Turn that vaulted ceiling into the feature it should be! This DIY Vaulted Ceiling Makeover gave our Master Bedroom instant style.

Don’t forget to Pin Me!


Looking for more DIY Ceiling inspiration? Check out this DIY Simple Coffered Ceiling Makeover.

Try this Simple DIY Coffered Ceiling Design I used to give my Dining Room ceiling a beautiful new look. Includes lots of pictures and a how to video. DIY Ceiling Design Ideas. DIY Ceiling Makeover Ideas.

Or, get the DIY Steps to add Board & Batten Molding to your walls. You can see more of my DIY Home Remodeling tutorials here.

A Fun Photo Canvas Bedroom Decor Idea that gives warm, personalized style to the room. You can find cute decor for any room in your files. Just pick a great, high-quality print that brings back fun memories and have it printed on a Canvas. I had mine done by the Canvas Factory and the quality and look is as amazing as I'd hoped.I love, love, love this DIY Over Washer and Dryer Laundry Table. It’s a Laundry Room game changer!

This easy DIY Table Over Washer and Dryer hides that ugly gap behind your washer and dryer, adds style, and gives you a great folding table!

And, check out the before and after pictures from our Colorful DIY Laundry Room Makeover too.


This tutorial for how to cut and hang drywall is great for beginners.

15+ beginner tips for how to cut drywall and hang drywall, by yourself. This DIY is easy if you know the rules and have the right tools! How to hang drywall on walls by yourself. Beginner steps for how to drywall your home.


That’s it for this DIY Vaulted Ceiling Makeover. Follow the links above to get the things you’ll need. Have fun and 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.

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