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DIY Timber Frame Beam

Faux Ceiling Beam

We had a number of things in mind with this project. Our primary goal was to completely change the look and feel of this room and compliment the adjoining great room. We decided to add a lighted ceiling fan so as not to rely on the recessed flood lights for everyday illumination. The best way to add the fan was to build a “faux” timber frame beam that looks like a solid timber. So, the project began to create a faux ceiling beam.

The look of solid timber

Due to the high arch of the ceiling, we either needed to create a “box” from which to hang our ceiling fan, or add a beam running the length of the room. We chose the beam because it would have the same finish as the trim and ceiling in the next room, thus helping pull the two rooms together.

I built a false beam, a 3 sided box (the false beam) needed something to be anchored to, so I layered two 6″ x 6″s with the top board cut to the angle of the ceiling as illustrated below.

The 6″ x 6″s provided a secure anchoring platform for the “box”.

By cutting a reverse angle on the top of the boards that touched the ceiling, provided a snug fit and a perfect look

A close-up of the hollow beam. You cannot tell this from an 8″ solid beam. The finished beam looks as if it is part of the support structure of the house.
A 16′ shelf and new paint
Next, we added a shelf that runs the length of the wall. We used one board cut from “blue pine” to match the other wood. The shelf supports were made from 5/4 blue pine and finished off with decorative buttons to hide the screw holes and add character.As you can see from the previous photos, the walls were quite dark. We chose a light butternut color that would lighten the room and absorb the softer tones of the abundant woodwork.

 You be the judge

Adding the ceiling beam accomplished a number of things. It helped to tie this room to the adjoining great room by extending the timbered look into a plastered room. In addition, it provided the mounting platform we needed to hold our ceiling fan and conceal the wires.

Does our faux ceiling beam work?

We think the finished room looks great. The lighter color and the new wood accents produced the desired effect. This is my wife’s concept of what a cabin in the woods (master bedroom) should look like.