This part of the project was fairly intense for one person. It didn’t turn out as nice as I would have liked and I will make notes of what I would change but here is what I did. I cut 1/4″ ply to the width I needed and cut them in segments because I knew with all the holes I needed to cut out, having a one piece panel would be difficult. I painted each piece white and started from the back to the front.
I made sure to mark and cut where I was going to add the recessed lighting. I then used self-drilling screws to attach the panels to the metal ribs in the ceiling. I quickly learned this was going to be labor intensive for one person, even with the smaller panels. So I made my own little helper. This was a HUGE help.
Even with this, the panels were not all that easy to hold up and screw into the top. Because of this, I have more of a gap from panel-to-panel than I would like. If I were to do this again, I would recruit help. If you are reading this because you are researching, plan to recruit 1-2 people to help you with this stage.
Once the paneling was done, I then cut cedar wood for a decorative look. I got these tongue and groove boards as a pack at home depot and just ripped them to the width I wanted. I added a constructive adhesive to the back, pressed it to the ceiling and nailed each piece. While this was not the most difficult job, it took a ton of time! If doing this again, I think I would have made these a bit wider (I like that they are not all the same width) and a bit thicker of wood to give a bit more depth to the ceiling, I was just super worried about not adding much because I wanted to be able to sit up in bed without hitting my head and every inch mattered. I am beyond happy with the choice of cedar however. It helps keep the nasty wet smelly kayaking gear and dog smell to a minimum.
And finally, the ceiling was complete. The lights were super easy to install. I bought these lights off amazon and I absolutely love them. I am extremely happy that I spent the money and installed a 2-zone LED light switch because these bad boys are bright! Trust me, just do it if you are adding lights.
Next up, the floor!