Installing beadboard paneling OVER old drywall ceiling?

alouwomackNovember 6, 2010

Hello all,

Forgive me first if this is a repeat topic. I found several postings about beadboard planks but haven't found quite the answer I'm looking for...

We have a 1952 home that we purchased 3 years ago. We just started on a kitchen remodel. The old drywall/popcorn ceiling is less than ideal. It has stress cracks in a few places as well. We are honestly afraid to repair the drywall due to the history of just such an attempt in a neighboring room, the den. We tried repairing that drywall ceiling and it basically fell apart! We had to replace the whole ceiling before it was all over. What a nightmare it was! The insulation above happened to be the old loose kind that fell everywhere...making it all the more enjoyable :(

Anyway, enough about that old situation...and on to the next!

We want to install the beadboard panels over the top of the old drywall ceiling. I plan on painting it a nice, crisp white and of course doing crown molding throughout. Has anyone here experienced such a project? We're thinking about using furring strips (securing those adjacent to the ceiling beams first) and then nailing the panels to the strips. Does this sound crazy? or logical? or just plain mad?

Thank you ahead of time for anyone's thoughts or suggestions!


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Just use long enough screws to get into the ceiling joists.

If the texture is rough it can cause some problems with the new surface being flat.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 1:23PM
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Thanks for the suggestion Brickeyee. I've been doing research all day online and found a product that I think might be suitable for our situation. Its called Armstrong (Woodhaven) Ceiling Planks.

I failed to mention earlier that not only is the drywall ceiling slightly popcorn textured and stress fractured, but it also has some slight bowing in a few places.

My concern with directly screwing the paneling (or any material) into the joists without furring strips is the possibility of it looking wavy when all is finished. I hope by shimming the furring strips I can manipulate them into a somewhat level surface to install the new material on. Does this make sense, you think?

Check out if you get a chance.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 2:25PM
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Many times I've merged living and dining rooms and a hallway--the standard first floor configuration on old homes here--into a single room while retaining the old ceiling. I then drywalled over the ceiling or built up low areas then popcorn textured the whole thing. Firring strips should work, provided you can find the joists.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 6:14PM
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Its been sometime since my original post . . .

Thank you all for your input. We did finish the ceiling a while back. The hardest part was finding the joists . . . just like the rest of the house, the joists weren't always staggered evenly like they "should" be. But after we managed to secure the furring strips, the rest was pretty straightforward. I really like the Armstrong system. It came with brackets that are specifically designed for ceiling or wall installations.

I do have one problem that I saw coming but I was too far in to turn back! I'm still not sure how to fix it . . .

Before the ceiling redo, we installed a few kitchen cabinets on a wall that was blank before. I plan on doing crown molding throughout the room . . .

THE DILEMMA: We did not level the ceiling to its best in that particular area. So now I have an uneven gap between the ceiling planks and the cabinet tops.

There could be a simple way to fix this, or not??? I can't seem to grasp my mind around making the molding look level with the tops of the cabinets and its doors? Any suggestions out there?

I'll upload a pic or two when I get home to try and show the "issue" . . . Thank you all! AMBER

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 2:47PM
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