Seal the Knotty Pine
Staining and clear-coating the knotty pine ceiling boards before installation saves time and effort. It is much easier to stain and finish loose boards instead of climbing a ladder to apply stain and finish on installed boards. Experiment on a scrap piece of the knotty pine ceiling to determine the amount of stain to apply.
Applying a clear finish makes cleaning the installed knotty pine ceiling much easier. The amount of shine on the ceiling is a personal preference. Flat, clear finish has no shine, satin a low sheen, and high-gloss is very shiny.
Installing to Joists
In new construction or instances where the old ceiling has been removed, affix knotty pine boards directly to the ceiling joist, installing the boards across the joists. Start against one wall, and place a board with the groove side to the wall. Nail the edge nearest the wall as close to the wall as possible. Cover these nails later with ceiling mold or trim. Continue until the first row is in place. For a stronger, more attractive installation, stagger the butt ends of the knotty pine. Install the next row by sliding the groove onto the tongue of the starting row and nailing it to the ceiling joist at an angle through the tongue.
Installing Over Existing Ceiling
Install knotty pine boards directly over dry wall that is good condition with no obvious bulges. Nail through the knotty pine into the ceiling joist using nails that are long enough to penetrate the drywall and into the ceiling joist.
On drywall ceilings that are unsound, locate the ceiling joist and mark it on the existing ceiling with chalk lines. Nail furring strips at 16-inch intervals in the opposite direction. Nail the knotty pine ceiling to the furring strips.
Installing Manufactured Knotty Pine
Many manufactured knotty pine ceilings are installed with clips screwed into furring strips. The furring strips snap onto the tongue section of the next row of ceiling planks, eliminating the need for nails. This product requires no sealing or finishing.