Nothing adds rustic charm to a home like a beam running along the ceiling, and you can get the look without installing a real one.
Our faux beam is based on a framework made from a 2-by-6 and two 2-by-4’s.
We rip out the 2-by-4’s on a table saw to three inches in width. This dimension will vary depending on the pitch of the ceiling and the amount of reveal you want on the bottom of your beam. The length of the boards will depend on the room where they’re being installed.
Attach the 2-by-4’s on either edge of the 2-by-6’s using 3-inch-long screws every 12 inches or so.
This U-shaped assembly will be attached to the ceiling at the peak of the vault.
Locate and mark the rafters on the ceiling so you can measure them and transfer those measurements to the inside of the frame. This will allow you to start screws in the 2-by-6 before you lift it into position.
Once you lift the frame into place, be sure it is centered on the ridge and level from side to side. You can attach it to the rafters with 4-inch-long wood screws.
After one end is secure, you may have to adjust the position and level of the other end before you secure it.
Because this room is long, we need two sections of framing to cover the space. It isn’t necessary that they touch — just be within a few inches — but they do have to line up with each other.
The outer skin of the beam is made from 1-by-6 lumber. We stained ours before installing it to simplify the process.
The bottom, or horizontal, piece goes on first and is nailed on flush with the outer edges of the 2-by-4’s.
It may be necessary to squeeze them together with clamps before nailing them in some spots.
If you’re using two pieces, the center end of each piece should be cut at a 45-degree angle to better hide the seams.
Finally, the side pieces can be nailed in place.
If the boards are being seamed, use 45-degree cuts again and offset the seams from the bottom seam.
We leave about a half-inch reveal between the bottom of the sides and horizontal piece to allow for some variation in the ceiling and the lumber.
Once the beam is in place, you can touch up the stain and coat it with a clear finish.