How to Make Faux Ceiling Beams

To update the look of your home, install faux ceiling beams. Real ceiling beams are part of the structural framing of a house that shows through the ceiling. Faux beams, however, do not provide any structural support and so can be made of wood boxes, styrofoam, polyurethane or composite materials. The lighter weight of faux beams makes it easier for you to install them overhead, and you can paint them to resemble any effect desired, such as rough-hewn wood or finished, painted beams. Follow these easy instructions recommended by to add interest to any room in your house.

Measure the length of the ceiling where you want the beams to be and multiply by the number of beams you will install. This will give you the total length of beam material you need. Add 10 per cent extra so you will have enough in case of mistakes.

Mark the outline on the ceiling where the beams will be. Use painters' tape to outline the installation plan on the ceiling. Detect and mark the studs within this outline.

Buy faux beam materials or make your own. Many outlets online and in your local area carry them. Buy pre-made, extruded styrofoam or resin beams or get wooden planks and construct your own. To make your own, start with a wide board, such as a 2-by-6-inch plank. This will be the side of the faux beam that faces the floor. Screw two boards of equal width to each side of the plank for the sides of the beam, forming a three-sided, long box. If the beams will butt against the wall, it is not necessary to build ends on them. If they will show, however, you must build in end pieces.

Make wooden mounting blocks for the beams. Measure the inside width and height of the faux beam material and cut blocks of a 2-inch depth with this width and height. Make one mounting block for every stud you marked on the ceiling within the painters' tape.

Mount one block on each stud you marked on the ceiling. You must position the blocks in a straight line or you cannot mount the beams properly.

Place the beams over the mounting blocks to make sure they fit correctly. If they do, apply PL Premium Construction Adhesive or Liquid Nails on the edges of the beam that will touch the ceiling. Place the glued beam over the wooden blocks and seal tightly against the ceiling.

Drive screws through the beam sides into each of the mounting blocks and countersink them slightly to hold the beams until the adhesive dries. Remove excess glue with a damp cloth.

Fill the screw holes with wood filler to match the beam finish and you are done.


Let the beams acclimate overnight in the room where they will be installed before you cut them in case they expand or contract. Cut them slightly longer than needed so they fit tightly against the walls when installed. Use a chalk line to make sure the mounting blocks are evenly installed. If you need more mounting blocks than you have studs, use heavy duty wall anchors to attach them where there is no stud.


Consider carefully before deciding to use styrofoam beams. This material will eventually need cleaning, and if they are gouged it is very difficult to fix them.

Things You'll Need

  • Faux beams
  • Ladder
  • Tape measure
  • Blue painters tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Stud finder
  • PL Premium Construction Adhesive or Liquid Nails
  • Screws
  • Damp cloth
  • Saw
  • Blocks of wood
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About the Author

Karren Doll Tolliver holds a Bachelor of English from Mississippi University for Women and a CELTA teaching certificate from Akcent Language School in Prague. Also a photographer, she records adventures by camera, combining photos with journals in her blogs. Her latest book, "A Travel for Taste: Germany," was published in 2015.