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Yes, a woman’s work is never done. But sometimes it moves ahead at a satisfying pace. Here’s the weekend’s big accomplishment:

The ceiling of the bedroom-to-be. It’s just under half done, since yesterday afternoon. I’d have made it farther, but I’m only good for an hour or two at a time hammering overhead.

This very thin tongue-and-groove pine isn’t meant for ceilings; it’s for walls and wainscotings. But it’s working fine. Before I committed to putting it on the bedroom ceiling, I nailed a few pieces up on the ceiling of the screenporch where it held up well for a month in all weather — and that was without the glops of Liquid Nails I’m supplementing with here.

Though the material is more expensive than drywall (and — gasp — I didn’t scrounge it or even get it on sale), I can apply it myself instead of bringing in The Wandering Monk. So the cost of the completed ceiling is about the same as drywall, and the labor is one heck of a lot more pleasant. Drywalling ceilings is the worst.

Kinda pretty, too. I was planning to paint it white, but now I dunno …


  1. Pat
    Pat November 12, 2017 4:44 pm

    That’s pretty. I’d like that to look at while lying in bed. You can always paint it later.

  2. Claire
    Claire November 12, 2017 4:55 pm

    Thank you, Pat. Another possibility that just occurred to me is pickling it — staining it with a highly diluted white so that the color is lighter but the features of the wood still show through.

    But yeah, I’ll probably leave it unfinished for now and I will enjoy looking up at it.

  3. John
    John November 12, 2017 4:57 pm

    Clear polyurethane coat perhaps?

  4. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran November 12, 2017 5:45 pm

    My father in law used the same sort of tongue-and-groove pine for a stairway ceiling in his place and I thought it was a nice touch, It looks good in your place as well, Claire!

  5. Claire
    Claire November 12, 2017 6:38 pm

    John — If I decide to keep the pine unpainted, possibly. Not if I still have any thought of painting or pickling. So we’ll wait and see.

    RV — Cool. You know, they’re very big on saying NOT FOR CEILINGS. But so far so good and I’m glad to hear somebody else used it to pleasing effect. I’ve used 1 x 6 T&G pine on ceilings before, which I also like. But it would have cost twice as much, at least. I’m very happy with this stuff, other than the fact that (like any thin wood) it warps easily and some of the warpage has induced cussing. I expected that, though. The few pieces that have been difficult, I set aside to cut up, since I need both long and short segments.

  6. bud
    bud November 12, 2017 7:17 pm

    Looks nice. I have a friend who used T&G flooring for the ceiling on his 2 story high great room, but that was a scaffold and two guy job.

    You’re lucky to work that long over your head. Unless you work into it, like for a living, most people can’t. I’m only good for 5 minutes or so, the bone “lumps” where I broke both collarbones reduce the blood flow to my arms so much I lose strength.

  7. larryarnold
    larryarnold November 12, 2017 8:55 pm

    It can be used overhead as long as you use nails that have a head, not finishing nails.

    Hammering nails overhead is indeed tiring. It’s even worse when what you’re nailing into has give. (One of the hooches I slept in in Vietnam.)

    I’ve used 1 x 6 T&G pine on ceilings before, which I also like.
    Don’t think I’d do that. 1X6 is heavy, and the tongues lock it into large pieces. If in a storm or earthquake it came down on you…

  8. R. L. Wurdack
    R. L. Wurdack November 13, 2017 6:57 am

    Pneumatic nailgun?

    Little late but paint it before you install it.

  9. Claire
    Claire November 13, 2017 7:10 am

    Pneumatic nailgun? That would drive the nails straight through this thin stuff. Besides, I don’t have one even to try and good ones are pricy. I did consider painting the pieces before putting them up, but again there’s a technical difficulty. The tongues and grooves are so thin on this stuff that if I so much as slopped a dab of paint onto them, it would keep them from going together.

    Box nails rather than finishing nails is probably a good idea. I’m using finishing nails plus Liquid Nails, but I’ll be watching for sagging & if it happens I’ll go back in with box nails.

    And bud — ouch on the collarbones cutting off circulation. I feel fortunate compared with you.

  10. R. L. Wurdack
    R. L. Wurdack November 13, 2017 8:43 am

    If I knew how to include a picture I would send you an example.

  11. Claire
    Claire November 13, 2017 11:29 am

    R.L. — Example of …? Since I don’t have access to a nail gun and I’m not painting the ceiling (for now), I’m not sure what you want to show me. But if it would help somebody else, I’d be glad to have it. Is there a link to what you want to show? If not, you can email me a pic and I can post it here.

  12. Joel
    Joel November 13, 2017 2:28 pm

    Very cool! I’m jealous.

    Now you need to find a scaffold, so you can paint an enormous Angry Saint on it. (ducks the blow, runs away…)

  13. Claire
    Claire November 14, 2017 6:00 am

    Thanks, Jordanms. I’m aware of that stuff; in fact I even had a couple partial sheets I bought at a garage sale, intending to use it as wainscoting if I ran out of actual beadboard on an earlier project. (It was the mdf version and I ended up tossing it out because it had a terrible odor that got worse as I kept it stored.)

    But here’s the economics. Stuff I’m using now: $210 plus tax and no labor costs. Six 4×8 sheets: $132 plus tax and probably $160 labor for The Wandering Monk because I can’t put up those sheets alone. (Let’s not even talk about trying do do it alone with either jury-rigged or rented lifts.)

    Besides, the one thing people are missing is what an enjoyable job it is putting up real pine in small pieces. Not to mention how nice it’s going to be to have a real pine ceiling.

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