Introduction

a finished coffered ceiling
Photo: Ryan Benyi
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If you'd like to add dimension and character to a plain room, nothing beats the traditional look of a coffered ceiling, with its grid of bold beams. Constructing coffers on your own may seem daunting, but we'll show you how even the average DIYer can create this hallmark old-house feature. The secret is our low-profile coffer design, which greatly simplifies the task of working overhead because you're installing flat boards and molding rather than assembling box beams.

See for yourself as This Old House contributor Chris Beidel, owner of Pernt, a handmade-furniture company in Brooklyn, New York, walks you through the steps of this ceiling beautification project.

Primed lumber: WindsorONE+ 1x6 finger-jointed pine, $1.35 per linear foot; WindsorONE
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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Measuring tape
    • Painter's Tape
      Painter's tape
    • studfinder
      Stud finder
    • 1/8-inch drill bit
      -inch drill bit
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • pneumatic finish nailer
      Pneumatic nailers (16 gauge and 18 gauge)
    • chalk line
      Chalk line with nonstaining chalk
    • Rafter Square
      Rafter square
    • small plastic putty knife
      Putty knife
    • caulk gun
      Caulk gun
    • 2½-inch sash brush
    • paintroller
      Small paint roller

    Shopping List

    1x6 primed finger-jointed pine. Get six 16-footers.

    Cove-profile shoe molding

    Panel adhesive

    2-inch 16-gauge pneumatic nails

    1 inch 18-gauge pneumatic brads

    Wood shims

    Wood glue

    Wood putty

    Latex caulk

    Semigloss paint