Building a Tray Ceiling

tray ceiling
  • 10-30 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 500-1,000
What You'll Need
Crown molding
Coping saw
Miter saw
Nail Gun
2x4-inch wood board
Belt sander
Dry wall
Nail gun
Joint compound
Joint tape
Paint roller
Paint (a shade lighter than the color of your walls)

A tray ceiling creates an illusion of height without major renovation to your house. This fixture frames ceilings to either highlight the center of the ceiling or make the ceiling more interesting. Although you can hire a professional to install one of these in your house, building one on your own is cheaper and is sure to give you great satisfaction. Follow these steps to construct a tray ceiling.

Step 1 – Look for Crown Moldings

Go to home improvement shops and scope the various crown moldings that are available. If you have a particular tray ceiling design that you want to copy, look for the crown moldings that fit the tray ceiling from which you plan to base your work. Otherwise, make it a point to see crown moldings of different profiles, facings, and widths. Viewing a variety will help you formulate ideas on how to design your tray ceiling.

Step 2 – Determine the Depth You Want to Create

Decide on how high you want your ceiling to look after placing a tray ceiling. The more crown moldings you put in your tray ceiling, the higher your ceiling will seem. To calculate how many crown moldings you need, measure the perimeter of your ceiling and divide by the length of the crown moldings. For example, a 10x14-foot room has a perimeter of 48-feet. Suppose the crown molding are measure 8-inches. Divide 48 by 8 to determine that you need 6 moldings to complete the project.

Step 3 – Miter the Joints

Use a coping saw and a miter saw to miter the joints of the crown moldings. Fit them together in such a way that they overlap each other. Doing this will make room for the joints to contract and expand without breaking during the cold and warm weather.

Step 4 – Paint Your Ceiling

Even if you do not plan to paint a mural on your ceiling as with the Sistine chapel, applying a fresh coat of paint on it will make it stand out more. Paint your entire ceiling using a paint roller. Wait for the paint to dry.

Step 5 – Attach the Crown Moldings

When installing the crown moldings to your ceiling, remember that the nearer you place them to the center of your ceiling, the higher your ceiling will feel. After attaching the moldings, create studs using a 2x4-inch wood board. Use a nail gun to attach drywall on the studs that you have built. When you have finished attaching the studs, use joint tape to secure the joints into place. Apply joint compound on the joints and sand them with a sand belter to make them look even.