How to box a bulkhead drop ceiling

Written by michael straessle
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How to box a bulkhead drop ceiling
Bulkhead drop down ceilings have many purposes. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Bulkhead drop ceilings are ideal for dressing up a room. They add a new dimension to a room and help to set off wall decor. Bulkheads, also known as soffits have a wide range of functions. Sometimes used for running air conditioning ductwork in basements, they also act as filler between the top of cabinets and the ceiling. Decorative lighting easily installs in a bulkhead to accent artwork on a wall or table. In addition to this, painting the bulkheads a different colour than the ceiling brings out the texture of the ceiling.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 5 by 5 cm (2 by 2 inch) boards
  • Electric mitre saw
  • Variable speed drill
  • 4.5 mm (3/16 inch) drill bit
  • Philips head screw tip
  • 6.2 cm (2 1/2 inch) plasterboard screws

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Determine the length of the bulkhead ceiling and cut four 5 by 5 cm (2 by 2 inch) boards to that measurement with an electric mitre saw. Think of these as the top and bottom boards of a wall. The vertical pieces that go between the top and bottom boards are studs.

  2. 2

    Subtract 7.5 cm (3 inches) from the height of the bulkhead. This is the length of the vertical pieces, or studs. Cut enough 5 by 5 cm (2 by 2 inch) boards this length to place one every 40 cm (16 inches) on the top and bottom boards.

  3. 3

    Measure from one end of the top and bottom boards and make a mark every 40 cm (16 inches). Drill a pilot hole on the marks with a 4.5 mm (3/16 inch) drill bit.

  4. 4

    Secure the studs between the top and bottom boards through the pilot holes with the 6.2 cm (2 1/2 inch) plasterboard screws. These are the walls of the bulkhead. Lay them down and drill pilot holes through the top and bottom boards directly in line with the studs.

  5. 5

    Deduct 7.5 cm (3 inches) from the depth of the bulkhead drop ceiling and cut as many 5 by 5 cm (2 by 2 inch) boards as you did for the studs. Secure them to the top and bottom boards with the plasterboard screws through the pilot holes. This is the box for the bulkhead drop down ceiling.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use screws longer than 6.2 cm (2 1/2 inches) to prevent splitting the 5 by 5 cm (2 by 2 inch) boards.

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