Faux Wood Beams

Faux Wood Beams

Build faux wooden beams to add a rustic feel to a room.

5 col

Difficulty: Difficult

2" × 4" wood blocks for sleepers (3 per beam)
1" × 5½" × 124" prestained pine boards (3 per beam) (Note: The length of the pine will be determined by the length of the ceiling.)
¼" × 5" toggle bolts (3 per beam)
Drill driver with ¼" drill bit
Chalk liner
Measuring tape
18-gauge finishing nails
Pneumatic nail gun
5/8" spade drill bit
Safety eye gear
Squeeze clamp

Note: This is a two-person job.


1. Determine where the first beam will be placed on the ceiling. It’s easier to start near the wall instead of in the middle. The first beam should be at least 16" from the wall to provide ample space to build. Use a ladder and the chalk liner to create a level line where the first beam will be placed. You can also use the tape measure to measure 16" from the wall on each side to guarantee that your beam won’t be crooked

2. Using the drill driver and the 5/8" spade drill bit, drill 5" away from the intersecting wall onto the chalk line. This hole is where the sleeper will go

Carpentry FAQ: What is a sleeper?

A sleeper is a piece of timber or metal used as a support to build a stern frame for the fixture

3. Take one of the 2" × 4" wood blocks and drill a ¼" × 5” toggle bolt with the ¼" drill bit, and then twist the anchor on the open end as shown

4. Twist the anchor about ½" onto the bolt, and then use the ¼" drill bit to secure into the already-drilled hole in the ceiling. This is your first sleeper


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Carpentry FAQ: How does the anchor get through the hole in the ceiling?

Fasten the mouth of the anchor by simply folding the pieces into each other, and it will naturally close – they will spring open once they have successfully entered through the ceiling and act as the sleeper’s anchor

5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 for the remaining two sleepers. In our room, the opposite end sleeper was positioned about 5" away from the wall (just like the first), and the middle sleeper was approximately 52" away from the end sleepers

6. Now that the sleepers have been inserted, it’s time to build the beam. First, position two 1" x 5½" x 124" prestained pine boards perpendicular to each other, and make sure the ends are flush as shown

7. Secure the two pieces together with the pneumatic nail gun and 18-gauge finishing nails. Insert a nail every few inches. The more nails, the more secure the boards will be. Make sure to insert the nails where the two boards meet

8. Repeat on the other side to make a U shape, and secure with finishing nails

9. Install the beam onto the sleepers. Make sure to work with someone else. With one person on each end of the beam, line the open end of the U-shaped beam onto each sleeper.

10. Now that the beam has been placed over the sleepers, secure the beam to the sleeper with the pneumatic nail gun and 18-gauge finishing nails. Insert the nails where the beam and the sleepers meet, on both sides of the beam. (This is why it’s important to make sure you have left a 16" between the wall and the beam so that you have plenty of room to insert nails on the other side.)

11. Repeat all steps for the desired number of beams

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