Enhance a builder-grade ceiling by creating a cottage look with wainscoting.Brian Patrick Flynn, decordemon.com
Standing on ladder, use a tape measure to determine the length and width of the ceiling. Use the spirit level and pencil to mark a straight line down the center of the ceiling's width and length, crossing in the center to create four quadrants.
Locate the ceiling joists with a stud finder, and then mark each joist with a spirit level and pencil. Cut furring strips to size with table saw. Place each furring strip along the ceiling perpendicular to its corresponding joist. Attach furring strip by drilling drywall screws through strips and into joists.
Referring to dimensions of each marked ceiling quadrant, cut sheets of wainscoting to size with a table saw. To appropriately account for any ceiling trim, deduct width of pine or MDF trim from overall cut size of sheet.
Have a partner assist by standing on ladder to hold each sheet of wainscoting up and in place. Attach wainscoting to furring strips by drilling drywall screws into recessed grooves on left and right edge of each sheet.
Use drill and drywall screws to attach 1 X 2 pine or MDF trim to furring strips along center and perimeter of ceiling. Fill holes from drywall screws with spackle and spackle knife, then lightly sand with sanding block.
Protect floors with drop cloth. Standing on ladder, use a caulk gun to fill any gaps between trim and sheets of wainscoting. After filling paint pan with flat latex paint, attach extender pole to roller handle and apply paint to wainscoting with roller. Touch up any hard-to-reach grooves with a one-inch paint brush.