How to Replace Your Wood Ceiling Paneling

  • 10-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 500-1,000
What You'll Need
Old sheets
Ceiling paneling
A ladder
Saw horses
A power saw
A hammer
Finishing nails
Chalk line
A pry bar
A paint ray
A paint roller
A long handle

Ceiling paneling adds a warm, cozy atmosphere to a room. Over time the wood paneling can become worn and damaged. An older wood ceiling may require replacement. You can complete this home improvement project yourself and save a great deal on labor costs.

Step 1 – Preparing the Space

Remove all of the furniture possible from the room. Remove any items that are hung on the walls. Lay old sheets over any furniture that cannot be removed. Lay more sheets over the floor to protect it.

Step 2 – Removing the Existing Ceiling

Use a three foot pry bar to loosen the paneling from the ceiling. Push the straight end of the bar into one of the center panels. Turn the bar around and use the curved end to pull the bar downward toward you in order to loosen the panel. Remove the panels, piece by piece. Pile the boards as you remove them, making sure there are no nails left in the panels.

Step 3- Removing Nails from the Joists

Use the pry bar to remove any nails remaining in the ceiling joists. Slide the bar under the nails, and pull it downward to pull the nails from the ceiling. Place the nails in small container.

Step 4 – Installing the First Row of New Paneling

Position the first panel across the ceiling joists. Secure the board with finish nails. Drive the nails until they are flush with the board. Boards should be cut at a ninety-degree angle so that they meet each other perfectly. Be sure to secure the boards so that they meet in the center of the ceiling joists. Cut the length of the final board to fit into the required space.

Step 5 – Installing the Remaining Rows of Paneling

Use a chalk line to mark lines across the ceiling, every six inches from the first row of panels. Position and secure the next row of boards, using the chalk line as your guide. Continue installing the rows of paneling until you come to the last row of paneling. Use a power saw to cut the paneling to fit the last row of the ceiling.

Step 6 – Sealing the Ceiling

Read the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the sealant before you begin. Pour the sealant into your paint tray. Roll the paint roller brush through the sealant in order to evenly load the brush. Roll the sealant, using long, even strokes, over the ceiling panels. Be sure to work in the direction of the wood grain. Allow the sealant to dry completely. If necessary, apply a second coat of sealant to the ceiling. Allow it to dry thoroughly.