How to expose wood beams.
The ceiling makeover in the dining room is complete.
There was a drop ceiling hiding all these beautiful, mostly original, rustic wood beams:
I ripped down the drop ceiling, had two electrical lines rerouted, then turned to my contractor and had his guys install blocking, sheetrock and plaster.
The finishing touch is a colonial style wrought iron chandelier.
The view above is from the master bedroom doorway.
(To see how I stripped the back stairway door click here.)
When we moved in last June the room was dark, had no light fixture, had a drop ceiling that was only 7 feet high and a tiny piece of moulding for a mantle:
Almost a year later and I've done a lot of work to this space.
First I painted the walls Benjamin Moore simply white and had the mantle replaced as soon as we moved in last June.
Then I just couldn't hold out any longer and ripped down the plaster and lath drop ceiling in March:
3 days of working overhead in a dustbowl might have been the worst project I've done so far.
But all the hard work was worth it.
I did find quite a few artifacts up in the ceiling.
A carriage manufacturer business card and other neat old trinkets.
But the biggest surprise:
About 100 corn cobs packed in between the beams right around the fireplace. I believe they were used as insulation in the 1800s.
How to expose wood ceiling beams:
1. Plastic and tape all doorways and openings.
Place a tarp over the floor to collect all the debris.
THE DUST WILL GO EVERYWHERE!!!
Score the edges where the ceiling meets the walls.
I was able to pull back a linen fabric layer first:
2. Using a hammer and pry bar smash the plaster and pull it down.
It will come down in small pieces.
In some places the plaster was 2" thick!:
3. Pull down all the lath from cross supports:
Then remove the cross supports to expose the floor joists.
4. Now you can see what electrical lines you have, most likely they will need to be rerouted up closer to the floor boards.
5. Install 2x2 furring strips that will serve as blocking for the sheetrock.
This gives the electricians 1 1/2" of space for the wires and junction box.
6. Now 1/2" sheetrock can be installed:
Finally the guys used plaster to fill in any gaps between the sheetrock and existing walls for a smooth look.
Sand and paint to finish.
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