How to Install Barn Wood on a Porch Ceiling

installing barn wood on porch ceiling diy home improvement project

We installed old barn wood to our front porch ceiling. Click HERE to see how we previously installed barn wood on our lakeside porch ceiling.

Note: We actually have two blog posts about installing barn wood on a ceiling. Both projects required some of the same steps but there are some differences due to the size of the porch ceilings. This blog post describes installing barn wood on a small porch ceiling whereas the other blog post describes installing barn wood on a much larger porch ceiling. We suggest you read both posts if you are considering a similar project.

Below is a BEFORE picture of our front porch (before we installed barn wood on our ceiling).

Below is our front porch decorated for fall AFTER we installed the barn wood on the ceiling. 

Step 1: Removed existing trim and crown moulding.

We used a flat bar and hammer to remove the moulding around the edge of the ceiling and the batten in the middle of the ceiling.

Step 2: Painted the ceiling black

We used imperfect wood (actual reclaimed barn wood from a demolished barn) which creates gaps between each wood plank. Hence, we painted the ceiling flat black so the gaps would be less obvious.

Step 3: Ripped and Squared Each Board

Because we used imperfect wood that had different widths and rough edges, we used our DeWalt table saw to rip the edges of each board. If you are using multiple pieces of wood in the same row (as we did on our other porch ceiling), then you will need to rip all the boards to be the same width on each row.

We also used a square and our DeWalt circular saw to square the end of each board.

Daisy decided she wanted to be our supervisor. Oh, how we love Daisy!

Step 4: Nailed each board in place

It is essential to nail each board to the rafters. Rafters are typically 16 inches apart (covered by the Hardie board now painted black in the picture below). We used a heavy-duty nail gun to nail each board in place.

We ripped the two final boards (on each side)  to be the proper width to complete the ceiling.

The picture below shows the barn wood installed but it was before we installed the crown moulding.

Step 5: Added crown moulding

Adding crown moulding was simple because our porch ceiling is a perfect rectangle. In other words, there are no major angles – – just four inside corners. Click HERE to learn how to install crown moulding.

Below is another AFTER picture of our front porch decorated for 4th of July.

Click HERE to see how we previously installed barn wood on our lakeside porch ceiling.

Porch transformation

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Let us know what you think or if you have any questions by commenting below.


  1. Marianne on 08/12/2020 at 3:18 PM

    You guys are very talented! The wood is beautiful.

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