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Ceiling Ideas for Rough Cut Lumber

Lorna Hordos

A rustic home has warmth and character, and there are some interesting ways to use rough cut lumber to add country charm to your ceiling. Mills cut rough sawn lumber from green wood and ship to customers, skipping the drying and sanding processes. This shortened method offers a natural roughness to the wood and saves you money while leaving additional thickness for any error.


Dry rough cut lumber outdoors for one year per inch of thickness.

Wood beams are costly and sometimes hard to come by. If you’re contemplating building a summer cottage or hunting cabin and you have some good quality, green rough lumber, plane, glue and bolt three 2-by-6s or four 2-by-8s together to make your own heavy-duty exposed beams for the design. By using green wood, you should avoid the cracking and twisting that can occur with the usual open-air drying process. Check with your local building inspector to ensure the homemade beams pass for use in your structure. For a non-structural, or decorative, beam, build hollow box beams to secure to the ceiling joists.


Change up the usual hardwood flooring idea and cover your ceiling with planks. This project is best suited to thinner lumbers because of the sheer weight of thicker wood overhead. Mill the planks to 1-inch thick and securely strap the boards to the ceiling's framework. Stagger differing widths of planks for a casual and relaxed style statement.


Outline your ceiling using chunky, rough cut lumber as oversized trim. A room bordered with rough lumber is sure to present some country appeal. Wide planks along the ceiling will make the space feel top-heavy; use the same sized planks to trim along the floor for balance. With some bulky, log-crafted furnishings, you’ll create a warm and comfy room. Alternatively, tear 1-by-3s from your planks for a more traditional sized trim.


If you have an unleashed artistic side, let it loose on your finished yet plain ceiling canvas. Create a sunbeam design around a chandelier or fan; form a canopy grid of wood diamonds or squares or run evenly spaced planks on the bias. Practice your design ideas on paper until you are sure you have a pattern that will make you look up to your ceiling with admiration.

Crown Molding

Country-style crown molding makes a truly rustic statement. Use a router to carve a pleasing design along one corner of your lumber. Mitre the kitty-corner edge to fit the homemade molding snugly on an angle against the ceiling and walls.