Having painted the wood ceilings in the kitchen (they were pickled pink when we moved in), I can assure you that if you have any choose in the matter at all, you want to paint ceiling planks before they are installed. The money you will save on massages or chiropractor bills is worth it.
The first step is to fill all the knots. This is my favorite wood filler now. It doesn’t harden up in the can like others and it works on interior and exterior applications. It also dries in 30 minutes which is very helpful. I just use a plastic putty knife to smooth it on any knots, dings or scratches.
|Look for baddies like this and fill them with putty.|
|Here’s a knot that has been sanded and filled, but I went back and filled it again because there were still a few indentations.|
When it’s dry, I sand the entire face of the board. It’s important to get all the “mill glaze” off the of the boards as well as smooth out the wood filler. I only sand the faces of the planks and don’t bother with the v-groove or tongue. I use the random orbital sander (the most used power tool in the house) with 150-grit sandpaper, because that’s what I had. I would have used 180-grit if I had it, but either will do.
|After filling the knots and sanding, prime the tongue and the groove with a brush, then follow up with a mini roller on the flats, tipping off the primer with a brush.|
Start with a brush in the V-groove and on the tongue, then follow up with the roller on each board. This goes very quickly and you can move fast. Then follow up with the brush and “tip” the primer, just smoothing everything out and making sure the edges are covered. You want to pay special attention to the tongue and the outside groove and make sure you don’t have runs or puddles in these areas because that will make them difficult to mount.
|Our workbench is a mess, but I recommend a glass of wine with your paint tray.|
Wait for the primer to dry—usually about an hour—and then do it all over again. Two coats of primer may sound excessive, but remember, the goal here is to seal those knots. I don’t sand in between primer coats, and if there is a particularly dark knot that I can still see through two coats of primer, sometimes I go back and just touch that up. Better to be safe than sorry.
Let them dry and they are ready to mount. I’ll let the professionals handle that, and I’ll be back with a mini tutorial on what happens next when that’s finished.