What started as a flaky spot on our bathroom ceiling that I couldn’t look away from, has finally been transformed into a beautiful ceiling.
Oh the things this ceiling and I have been through.
Last Spring I was laying in our bathtub, in our half-remodeled primary bathroom, and stared at a peeling spot on the ceiling. I couldn’t get over what an eye-sore it was–dusty, crumbling, and covered in popcorn texture.
I had a vision to make our 90’s skylight look less like a dust trap and more like a beautiful detail on a pretty ceiling.
So I made a plan to fix it. I planned to scrape the popcorn ceiling texture on a week when Nathan was traveling. I could do it while the kids were in bed, and during my limited preschool care time. I budgeted under $100 too–win, win, win.
But one late night while I was working on the ceiling, a heavy rainstorm hit and water started pouring through the ceiling right above our shower. We had a roof leak!
After 9 months (!!!) and trial and error, we finally figured out our skylight flashing wasn’t sufficient for our intense Texas rain storms. We had it replaced and extended, and gave it a few months (and a few rainstorms) to make sure we were in the clear for more leaks.
The day finally came when we trusted the problem was solved and we could move forward with this ceiling project.
The area pictured above is before I replaced the damaged ceiling drywall. I cut a hole in the ceiling to try to catch the pouring water, in hopes of not damaging the shower system below it. I shoved towels in the open wall and it definitely helped. Replacing and repairing drywall is much cheaper than replacing an entire shower!
I removed the damaged drywall, replaced it, and started the process of adding drywall compound to smooth it all out again.
This is when I learned drywall is my enemy. Maybe it’s just because it was on the ceiling, but I hated it so much.
I was so tired from this 9 month ceiling repair process. So I started getting quotes for someone else to finish the project instead. All that was left was to smooth out the new drywall piece, sand the ceiling where I had added compound in other areas (to cover up knicks, dings, and nail holes), and then prime/paint.
The quotes came back around $925. And that didn’t include the cost of primer or paint.
If you’re anything like me, a stubborn DIY’er, then you probably had the same thought.
I could do so much more than just paint this ceiling with $925.
So we blocked out a weekend, ordered shiplap, and got to work transforming this plain ceiling into a beautifully designed look.
Our final cost ended up at $1,170.
- Premium paint (2 gallons) – $150
- 32 12ft shiplap boards pre-primed – $640
- Trim – $65
- Shiplap delivery – $80
- Jig saw – $75
- Paint sprayer mask – $40
- Paint supplies (mesh strainers, plastic sheeting, painters tape, painting suit, etc) – $60
- 18 gauge 2″ nails – $25
- Liquid nails (5 bottles) – $20
- Caulk – $15
SO much better than just plain ‘ol paint, right??
I debated on several trim options, including no trim at all. I love that built-in, seamless look. But truthfully, it came down to how precise we wanted to be with our cuts and measurements, and how much time and effort we were willing to give this project.
We have two young kids and are doing this project ourselves.
We gave ourselves the gift of not needing to be super precise. This saved us time and money! It was okay if there was some gapping between the wall and the shiplap because it would just get covered up anyway. This saved us from wasting usable pieces of expensive shiplap.
For trim, I wanted something really low-profile that would just outline the ceiling. We just used lattice trim from Home Depot.
Crown moulding could have added a nice transition between the ceiling and the wall too. There’s lots of good options to choose from!
The upper walls and the ceiling are Simply White by Benjamin Moore.
I used this color on the ceiling so that the green shiplap on the lower-half of the walls would draw your eye more. I didn’t want the focus of the room to be the ceiling. It’s beautiful and subtle, almost just in the background.
Why We DIY
While this wasn’t my first design choice for this room because we already have shiplap on the lower-half of the walls, I love how it turned out.
We choose to DIY almost every single project we encounter in our home because it saves us so much money. Our home is very basic builder-grade and I’m constantly looking for ways to add charm and character, while on a budget.
By DIY’ing ourselves, I can put more money into the design of our home. We essentially pay ourselves by adding value to our home too.
We genuinely love doing renovation projects. We’ve gotten better at doing it together as a couple too. I mostly have this 2 year bathroom project to thank for that.
I’m currently writing up a blog post ALL about the design decisions that went into this shiplap project, so keep an eye out for that soon!
This project took us one full weekend of working together, and about 2 days for me to finish prepping and painting it once more after it was installed. (This is all in-between working full time, managing our family, and generally having a life, ha).
I’m so happy and relieved to have this project done. Our bathroom renovation was a project we stumbled into right after we bought our house. Our shower wouldn’t stop leaking, and one thing led to another and suddenly we were remodeling the whole room.
For the last 3 years we’ve been slowly updating this small space bit by bit, while also managing all our other home projects.
We have ONE more project in here to finish before we can call it officially updated: the vanity! More on that soon.
I’m finishing up our vanity project this week! This is the last piece of this bathroom project (for now, ha).
Comment below with your design or DIY questions about this project! Thank you for following along with this project.