Originally Posted by TMcG Side-Project #2 - Coffered Ceiling - not theater related
The other large project that kept me out of theater was a big coffered ceiling project my wife wanted installed in our main living area.
This was the original plan from the builder. It looks nice, but is made of painted drywall and was a $4800 option. Plus it was a standard tic-tac-toe board which is a bit boring.
A neighbor in our development has the same house style we do and forked over the $4800 for their drywall ceiling:
So I said if I was going to do a coffered ceiling, I was going to do it out of stain-grade wood and set it at a diagonal. So I drew up a quick hand-sketch....er.....I mean engineering drawing....
I rarely, if ever, hire professional help. But this was a case where I needed skilled help and not just a second set of hands, so I hired a finish carpenter who was willing to allow me to work alongside instead of having him bring in even more professionals. I ordered all the material based on my design and spent the next week or so staining all of the lumber (no picture of the setup, sorry!). Once complete, we scheduled a time to get the job going where I could take off from work.
Here's a few before pics after I emptied the room of everything, removed the ceiling fan and stacked our furniture anywhere I could find a spare foot of space
Make note of the HVAC duct locations....that will come up later....
First, we discussed and almost immediately ditched the perimeter beam I was showing in my drawing and instead decided to run everything right to the drywall. We then recalculated the size of the boxes, squared the room and started snapping some lines for the layout. Right out of the gate we f'ed up where were snapping the lines, so we had all kinds of extra lines, adding to the hilarity of constantly looking to see which red line was the correct one (sigh)
Then, it was on to attaching some #2 grade 1x6 pine to the ceiling with a dab of adhesive and 2.5" finish nails into the studding where we could
Remember those HVAC ducts? Yeah, the layout couldn't have been more over top one of the ducts and far too close for the other. In short, they both had to be moved. Pics on that later.
Once the ceiling blocking was complete, we moved on to cutting 7.5" base mold which I was installing upside down. We had five full boxes, so we cut 20 pieces identically with 45 degree mitered corners and glued / finish nailed them together perfectly on the ground
Then it was just a matter of both of us lifting them to the ceiling and firing nails into the side of the 1x6 ceiling strapping to attach
Before moving further, we had to move the supply lines. After I removed the diffuser, it was apparent that there were large metal flanges that extended between the drywall and studding, making removal impossible.....or so we thought. After debating it over a cup of coffee, we decided to cut holes large enough that I could crawl up inside my ceiling with a battery powered sawzall to cut the metal tabs. So that's what we did. Thankfully I had a bunch of extra HVAC supplies on-hand from the basement so I was able to reuse everything and just remove 4' or so of ducting length from each supply line. I then blocked for the new vent and patched the holes to immediately get the compound drying
And since my luck was running hot, I come to find out that the ceiling fan box was also four inches off center in the room. So I ended up tearing into that, moving the box and patching
All the boxes installed
Next, we moved on to the legs of each area that abuts the drywall
Completed the base molding
Next, it was on to the crown. I chose 5.25" Curtis Crown molding. The procedure was the same....make the crown molding "box" on the floor out of mitered pieces and lift into position
Now here is where hiring the pro became VERY helpful. We had an incredibly tight miter with a 123 degree interior angle. Well, nobody's saw goes that high, so we had to make a jig. After more than a few attempts (before we discovered the jig was moving in relation to the blade), we had our final jig template. The length of this miter cut was almost 11 inches long!!
There were a couple of other funky dimensions to figure out as well, but nothing my digital protractor couldn't handle with aplomb
Crown almost complete, all of my bad chalk lines primered, 2nd coat of mud on all the drywall patches. I had a long night wiring for recessed lighting inside the coffers, taking care to either trim or bend away the hundreds of finish nails. Even being careful, my hands looked like I fought off 5 wild cats.
So after finishing the crown the following morning, we moved on to the stain grade 1x6 pine, cutting holes for recessed lighting where needed. In total, I added 12 lights to the coffered ceiling and 2 3" gimbel lights that aim toward the fireplace
You'll notice more clearly in this picture that I recessed the 1x6 slightly. The reason for this is I wanted to add some visual interest and not just have a flat coffer. I therefore bought and stained some door stop moldings and I used a little 6" piece to set the depth of the 1x6 entirely by feel, stopping when the door stop was even with the baseboard.
Door stop installed on the right side of this beam, not the left to illustrate the difference in look
Ran short on door stop by two sticks
Ceiling carpentry complete!
Next, I moved on to painting. I quite literally just found my wall paint color and chose a shade exactly two shades lighter on the little paper color thingys. There was NO WAY I was risking bumping any of the finish carpentry, especially since I didn't have the nail holes filled or the wood polyurethaned. I normally never tape and can cut in well, but this was my insurance policy against bumps. It was a nice change to fire paint to the edge with reckless abandon! Taping took forever, fyi.
I cut the holes in the drywall for the two gimbel lights
Fully taped and ready for paint
You can see the dramatic difference between the original white and the tan color
I painted two coats and removed the tape
No pictures, but I then filled thousands of nail holes and gave all the wood a first coat of satin polyurethane Next, I sanded and the spray painted with high-temp paint 12 recessed trims and installed the the lighting. The flash is showing unstained areas you cannot see in real life.
The final result!!
So now you know what else had been soaking up all my time. There was a third, smaller project - a new gas fireplace in the Master Bedroom. Everything is framed, electrical installed, drywall, durock but I haven't got to finishing the drywall or adding the marble tile to the hearth and surround. Probably over the next several weeks I'll tidy that one up as well and post some pics.