Ceiling Treatments: The 5th Wall

Designers frequently refer to the ceiling as ‘the 5th wall’, meaning it is as important to consider when decorating a room as the actual wall colors and treatments are.

So… have you? Have you considered your ceiling treatment? I’m going to show you some ceiling treatments that hopefully will inspire you to start thinking about your own ceilings and consider what they need to finish the room. Have You Thought About Your Ceiling Treatment?I love painted or whitewashed wood ceilings! Wood and Beam ceiling treatment

In our former house, the living room and kitchen, (great room) had this huge cathedral ceiling that was a main feature, really of the whole space. When we first moved in, it was all popcorn finish and looked awful. What a change it was when we had the beams with inset panel detail installed along with tongue and groove wood in between the beams! Wood ceiling with trim

For the adjoining hall and entry, coordinating with the great room, we added the same tongue and groove board ceiling, and a narrower trim piece around the top of the wall where it adjoins to the ceiling, because the hall/entry is only 8 foot high walls, but the great room has a much taller peak and needed much more visual weight to go with that scale. (if you notice in the great room, the top wall trim is about twice as wide as this hallway/entry trim.)

In the breakfast room, before it was a breakfast room, in our current 100 year old home, this is what it looked like: breakfast room wood ceiling before

I’m glad the wood ceiling was there, but no way was I leaving it the dark knotty pine look… after simply sanding the varnish a light sanding I painted a single coat of white paint in a flat finish. breakfast room wood ceiling close up

In this closeup, you can see how the brush strokes show, that’s the look I wanted… a sort of casual, white wash effect. finished breakfast room ceiling

It works perfect with the room’s decor.


Here’s another option for a ceiling treatment…

This is a highly textural and unique ceiling treatment I did in our former house’s library: woven ceiling treatment

This room, too, had a popcorn ceiling treatment. I was decorating this library room to have a sort of British Colonial feel to at the time, and I had found this natural woven material by the roll. I think it was intended for furniture, but I thought it looked great on the ceiling. I added faux wood trim detail. woven material ceiling treatment

The faux wood was made from a light weight rigid foam material, it took paint and finish beautifully, and was so lightweight and easy to cut and install by myself, working over my head, and had a totally believable look to it, I’d use it again for sure.

In the powder room in our former house, my son helped me install a glue up faux tin tile ceiling. Again, covering right over the popcorn ceiling. (I don’t remember, but we may have ‘dry scraped’ the ceiling first to remove the major bumps) glued on faux tin tile ceiling in powder room

One thing with this glue on tile, the seams show! It is applied by overlapping the tiles, so you want to have the edges facing away from view to hide that edge of the overlay. And it was a little tricky to get the tiles to dry super flat… in other words it was a bit tricky and we both were glad we were doing a tiny ceiling!

Obviously I liked that look though, because when it came time to do the kitchen, pantry and powder room ceiling in our new 100 year old house, I repeated the look. But, it’s not a glue up tile, this time we did it differently…

Let me take you back to almost the beginning…

This is the kitchen of our new 100 year old house when we first just started to renovate it. When we were renovating the old ceiling had to be ripped completely out to give the plumber access to underneath the 2nd story floor where all the upstairs new plumbing pipes were being installed.

Here are a couple of before and during pictures of our kitchen… kitchen before with soffit around upper cabinets

This is our kitchen before we ripped out the ceiling. as you can see there was a soffit above the upper cabinets. A look that was so popular in the 60’s and 70’s but really wasted space, so that was going to come out too. kitchen during rip out

When we ripped out the kitchen ceiling, there was tons of this filthy gray paper insulation stuff in there… it was awful!

And here is the kitchen ceiling now: kitchen drop ceiling with faux tin tiles

But it’s not a glue up tin (real or faux) ceiling this time… instead it’s a drop ceiling! Yep! A drop ceiling… with plastic or vinyl ceiling tiles, (not sure the difference) in a believable faux tin finish. I chose to do a drop ceiling because all the plumbing pipes for the two bathrooms on the 2nd level are above the kitchen, pantry and powder room ceilings, and I just felt nervous about covering that up, just in case we ever have any plumbing issues. kitchen faux tin ceiling with exhaust fan

Over the cooking area, we have an exhaust fan in the ceiling. My carpenter found this register cover, at Home Depot that coordinates with the silvery gray metallic finish of the tile ceiling really well.

I think the turn of the century tin tile look, totally works for in this kitchen, and adds to the character of the room for sure.

I hope this has helped you think about how important a ceiling, or 5th wall, in your space can be, and consider what treatment best suits it, as I’ve shown you, there are sooo many options!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Please feel free to follow and share this blog with your friends, as well as on Facebook, Pinterest, Flipboard, Bloglovin, YouTube and now Instagram!  I appreciate you reading along.


Here are some shopping links for the products, or like the products I’ve just told you about:

Vinyl Ceiling Tile for glue up or drop ceiling treatments at InterSource (I found this resource to be the best priced and best customer service too, when I did my kitchen project!)

Tongue and Groove wood boards at

Register Cover (for fan exhaust) at

Closed Weave Natural Material from

Polyurethane Foam Molding at Crown Molding

Yay!!! This post was featured: 9 Decorating Tutorials and Tips not to Miss and at: Home Stories A to Z and at: Coastal Charm

This post is also linked up at these other sites: Between Naps on the PorchSkip to My LouCoastal CharmMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaHome Stories A to ZStoneGableYesterday on TuesdayTip JunkieA Bowl Full of LemonsDIY DreamerJust a Girl and Her BlogSavvy Southern StyleDIY by DesignFrom My Front Porch to YoursPosed PerfectionJoy in Our HomeThe Charm of HomeMy Repurposed LifeDesign, Dining and DiapersFrench Country CottageThe Handmade HangoutMy Romantic HomeChic on a ShoestringShabby NestSerenity NowThe Girl CreativeIt’s OverflowingNifty ThriftyDIY ShowoffI Should be MoppingUncommon Design

Reader Interactions


  1. Suzan says

    We’ll be changing out the ceilings on most of the main floor next month (already did the kitchen )
    We used MDF molded panels – so easy and really pretty !
    Love all of the options you showed – but that last new one in your kitchen is just beautiful !
    Thanks for sharing!

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *