Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Master Bedroom Ceiling Makeover

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

It's been a long time coming friends but today I'm finally sharing the master bedroom ceiling makeover.  We moved in to this 1740 saltbox farmhouse almost three years ago and I've always known I wanted to expose the ceiling beams in our bedroom so it's a huge project milestone to finally have this complete.

If you follow me on Instagram (you should it's fun!) then you've already seen a few sneak peeks of the exposed ceiling beams.  Below are more before and after pictures plus I'll share the complete process it took to uncover the beams.

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

Typical to many antique homes we had low ceilings composed of plaster and lath which cover the ceiling beams (also known as floor joists for the upstairs flooring).  The plaster tends to crack over time and you can see from the picture above it's uneven, almost textured.  This plaster had a linen paper over it to keep the cracks under control.

I'm only sharing the next picture because I want you to see just how much things have changed.

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

This MLS listing picture above is from October 2012 when the previous owners put the house on the market.  This is exactly how the master bedroom looked when I decided I wanted and needed to buy this house.

And now:

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

Dreams do come true folks!

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

Every day I look up at those beams and think holy smokes the men who built this house in 1740 were amazing.  I think about them all the time (and all the owners who have cared for this home since then) and wonder just how on earth they were able to create such beauty using only hand tools.

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

Exposing the beams really changes the look and feel of this room.  It's super cozy now almost like sleeping in a log cabin.

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

I'm not completely convinced that mirror should stay above the fireplace but for now it's good.  It's a diy project I made long ago, the tutorial is here

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

I always say we should make our homes a reflection of ourselves and do everything possible to make them the best version.  I believe that by exposing the wood beams I've not only made a vast improvement on this room but given honor to this historical home. 

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

* This post contains affiliate links below, by clicking on an affiliate link and making a purchase I may receive a tiny commission.  This small commission helps me keep this site full of free content so I thank you for your support. * 

Part of this master bedroom ceiling renovation involved a complete bathroom renovation as well which I will share soon.  The return vent you see below originally was in the wall just above the molding however because of the bathroom remodel we had to move the return to the floor:

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

And I opted to use a vintage cast iron return grill versus the standard metal return vent cover.  It just adds a tiny bit of character and charm.

Below is the step by step process to exposing wood beams in the ceiling:

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

Step 1: Move every piece of furniture possible out of the room.  I opted to leave the poster bed frame (because I built it in the room - plans here) and wrapped it with stretch wrap to protect the finish.
WARNING: THE DUST WILL GO EVERYWHERE EVEN WITH THESE PROTECTIVE MEASURES!  Just be prepared for a lot of dust no matter how much you seal the space.

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

Step 2: Protect yourself.  A good respirator maskprotective eyewear and cover your body head to toe in clothing.  When the plaster comes down it's a mix of dust and horsehair plus all the mouse poop flying in the air, you don't want that stuck in your hair ;)

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

Step 3: To get started peel back a piece of the linen paper (if you have that) then start hammering away at the plaster.  It will crumble and you can pull it down.  Then use a pry bar to pull the lath off the beam.  This is just to start.

* The goal is to take the plaster down in BIG CHUNKS which creates less dust and easier to bag up and remove.  Same with the lath, it's easier to pry off a full piece of lath rather than breaking it.

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

You'll want a plastic tarp below your work space along with a garbage bin ready to collect the plaster chunks.

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

Once you get started use a hammer to loosen the plaster from above then you can pull it off in chunks.

Work in sections.  The lath ususally runs across 3 or 4 beams so go with the lath.

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom

You can see the flooring above, I could've left that exposed and painted the underside white but I choose to install sheetrock in between the beams mostly for sound.  Also if you have electrical you will need the sheetrock to conceal any wiring.  (We have electrical in the dining room ceiling - see my post here for details.)

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom ceiling

Once the entire ceiling was down I called in the big guns.  My contractor and his guys are amazing and I asked them to sheetrock in between the beams and then later tape and mud went up to finish it off.

I painted the ceiling using Benjamin Moore waterborne ceiling paint.  Looks like it was always meants to be this way:

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom ceiling

This master bedroom ceiling is the second room in this house where I exposed the beams.  Previously I did almost the same process in the dining room:

Exposed wood beams in master bedroom ceiling


I'm linking up to:

TDC Before and After


Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

WOW! it's beautiful!!!

Amber Koogler said...

It's downright gorgeous!!!

Schulz Family said...

I don't normally comment on stuff. But this is amazing, honoring the work of the people who built the house. And it is so beautiful So many would think the job is just too hard, well done.

Shanna Gilbert said...

I know it was a ton of work but it was worth it! Gorgeous job!

reFresh reStyle said...

Amazing! I love it! So beautiful!

Mindi Carwin said...

Oh my beautiful!!! Wow Jaime!! I love it! I wish my house had beams like that!

Cristina Garay said...

Wow, lots of work but totally worth it. It's beautiful!

Debbie Pearl said...

I'm amazed you had the courage to tackle that project, but so worth it! Can't believe those gorgeous beams were hidden. Well done!

karen@somewhatquirky said...


Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

Gosh - the beams just MADE the space. It was lovely before, and now it's really incredible. Love it.

Marianne C. said...

Wow!! That is so beautiful! great work!! Love your house btw, what a gem!

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick said...

Jaime this is really stunning -- great job!!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Wow, wow and wow!!!! I love beams and those are beauties. Lucky you!

Mindy said...

Absolutely beautiful.

Chris said...

Get out!! That is the most incredible transformation I've seen. And now I want beams in every room of my house. And that wide-planked floor. it looks amazing, Jaime! Job WELL done!

Sammy said...

I love, love your new bedroom! It's all so clean, and has so much personality!