Easy How to Build and Attach Ceiling Beams

November 12, 2020

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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Last month, I published a post all about how to make a tray ceiling a focal point. My technique for achieving this look was two very easy DIY’s. A couple weeks ago, I gave you a simple step-by-step on how to plank a ceiling. And today I want to focus on the other element that makes this ceiling amazing! Today is all about how to build and attach ceiling beams.

black planked ceiling with stained faux beams


First, you have a few decisions to make…

***Which way do you want your beams to run? I feel like perpendicular with the carsiding looks the best, but really nothing says you have to do it that way.

***How wide do you want your beams? I chose 8″ wide.

One more thing, if your tray ceiling is like mine, then you have trim all the way around where the rope lighting is. You can either get rid of this and put up new trim or keep it. I chose to get rid of mine and add trim that would match the new trim better. If you choose to get rid of the old trim, now is the time to do that.

Now you’re ready to attach your beams. First, you’re going to want to determine where you want your beams to go and mark that spot. Knowing the width of your beam, mark the center of where your beam will go. For example, my beams were 8 inches wide, so I marked on the wall where I wanted the center of the beam to line up. Now I know that the middle of my first board will be centered with that marking.

Let’s attach our first board. I used a 1x8x10, cut it to the length I needed, and attached it to the ceiling using my nail gun. To ensure that it will stay in place, I drove a nail every 6 inches along both edges of the board. Remember to line it up as instructed in the paragraph above. Then go ahead and attach your first board for your 2nd (and 3rd, if applicable) beam….

Carsiding in tray ceiling with beams anchor board attached

Next, we’re going to head outside and build our beams. Cut three 1×8 boards the same length you cut your board already attached above. Do this for each beam and then sand, if you’re planning on staining your beams. Sanding gets rid of the yellow pine naturally has, ensuring that your stain goes on the right color….

half sanded board to show contrast of not sanded part

Now you’re ready to build two more sides of your beam. We’re not going to add the last board until we get the beam in place and attached on the ceiling. Using your nail gun, attach your two boards together like this….

Half of a ceiling beam for tray ceiling

Both of my beams are now ready to go up and look like this…

two boards jigged together

Attach your partially built beam to your first board already attached to ceiling, using your nail gun.  I will say, this was a two man job…

Carsiding tray ceiling

Add your last board, using your nail gun, and you now have a beam!!

tray ceiling with carsiding and faux beams

Pretty simple!!

At this point, I was ready to add my trim around the perimeter where the rope lighting trim was before.

faux beam with trim in place

With a new light, I was already in love!

Carsiding tray ceiling with ceiling beam and new basket light

I found it easiest to stain the beams first…

Carsiding tray ceiling with faux beams

And then paint the carsiding. I chose Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black to match my carsiding ceiling in my master bathroom….

Black carsiding ceiling with

I’m so happy I went with black ceilings for this space. The Varathane Golden Oak beams really pop against the black. (Affiliate link included)

Carsiding tray ceiling with faux beams and basket light

I’m loving how well this room is coming together. It’s a far cry from what it was BEFORE….

master bedroom in middle of remodel

To what it is NOW….

Large bedroom with king size bed and large pendant light along with black carsiding ceiling and faux beams



Look for a tutorial on the bed build, coming soon!!!

Until next time,

Happy Building, Friend!!

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