Reclaimed Barn Wood Ceiling and Open Shelving in a Guest Bath

On the main floor of our home we have a tiny guest bath.  I have tried to spruce it up many times, even going so far at to paint it Kelly green (yikes!  that lasted less than 24 hours).  I decided to go the opposite of bright.  I went for a feeling of weathered, worn, dull and peaceful.  Style influences vintage, industrial, farmhouse, and beach.

 This is my Reclaimed Barn Wood CeilingDetails of Vintage Industrial Farmhouse Guest Bath

I painted the walls a light grey (Ralph Lauren Tudric Pewter interior eggshell paint – mixed and matched at Lowes)

I wanted to something on the ceiling.  This was a small space with nothing interrupting the ceiling except a bathroom fan (which I later spray painted gray to blend in).  About a year earlier I came across a lot of FREE wood (read about it HERE).  I nabbed two small sheets of very weathered ply wood.  I had enough square footage to cover the ceiling.  My husband cut them into 5″ wide planks.  We sanded down each edge lightly with a mouse sander, put small globs of Liquid Nails on the back, lined them up in a wood floor pattern and air stapled them to the ceiling.

Reclaimed Plywood on Guest Bath Ceiling

I couldn’t believe how beautiful the ply wood looked when installed.  It looked like thick boards but didn’t take up the head room in our 7′ tall bathroom.  I countersunk any of the staples that were visible and the rest just blend in.  All of the natural weathering of years exposed to rain and snow really brought out the grain.

Reclaimed and Recycled Wood Ceiling

The vanity that came with our house is a bit awkward.  My husband has wanted to change it out since we moved in, I’ve been trying to work with it.  Last year I added a few home made stencils to it.  The Stock NO. is the zip code where we were married, No. 6 for six people in our family, and the contract no is J for Justin, A for Amanda, and our anniversary.

Bathroom Vanity With Stencil Numbered Door and Drawer

I liked the stenciling, but have always loved open shelving and the merchandising ability it gives me, even for my guest bathroom.  I left the false drawer front and took off the door.  When my husband was out of town I decided to tackle this one on my own.  That means finding scrap shelving, cutting it to fit (even if it was not deep enough, it doesn’t matter anyway), Jerry rigging shelf supports with screws and (a woman’s best friend) a glue gun.  Needless to say…YOU can do this, no husband required for this project.  I used his table saw and an electric hacksaw…and I felt powerful!  But, if you are buying a shelf at a home improvement store, I’d just have them cut it for you.

How to add storage under a bathroom sink

Here is my merchandising/storage for now.  Extra toilet paper is hidden in the back of the drawer.  In front of the t.p. are two of my souvenir sands in Ikea jars.   Since I only buy white towels (I like to know they are clean, and bleaching makes it a sure thing) I took a pile of  extras and folded them up neat and tidy.  I used an extra metal janitorial bucket from an old nursery project to hold easy access toilet paper.  Bar soaps are opened and placed in a metal basket giving off a yummy soapy smell.  Stacked wash cloths tucked in a tall metal basket hide the unsightly but needed flush-able wipes.

Open Storage Toilet Paper, Towels, Soaps Under the Sink

Vanity with Display

Accessorizing with new mirror from Ikea, an old map print from Target, a leaf sculpture from Pier 1 and a magazine rack from Pottery Barn (all but the mirror were gathered from around my house).  I love the finished look.  It is a nice peaceful place to glance at every time I walk by.

Details of Vintage Industrial Farmhouse Guest Bath

Linked Up: Home Stories A2Z, Handy Man Crafty Woman, Primp, Blue Cricket Design, DIY by Design, Funky Junk, Tater Tots & Jello, Thrifty Inspirations


  • I think that ceiling is the best thing I’ve seen in a long time. Oh and BTW, according to my mother, unwrapped soap not only makes things smell good but it also makes the bar last longer in the shower. Who knows. Love all these projects.

  • Wow! That ceiling looks incredible! What a great idea, I might have to copy it… Seriously, that looks awesome!

  • Newbie here. Absolutely LOVE that ceiling. I’m going to convince my husband, one way or another, that this is the way to go in our bathroom and possibly the hallway. Thanks for the great inspiration! I love your blog.

  • That. Ceiling. Amazing! Who would have thought ripping ply into strips would work so well. Awesome stuff!

  • I absolutely love your makeover. This would be a perfect solution to hide the ugly popcorn in my 1/2 bath. I also have a 7 foot ceiling in there, so this gives me hope! Great job.

    • Tanya, I didn’t think about it covering up popcorn, brilliant! You should totally do it!

  • I don’t even know how to start with my gushing over your bathroom makeover. It’s absolute perfection. Ok, never thought I’d say that about a bathroom… I LOVE the ceiling and will be sharing a link to this with my husband for our unfinished basement bathroom. Also, the new shelves in the vanity are so adorable! I love the stencil too! Great job!

    • Thanks Ellie! That ceiling would look great with your new painted doors :)

  • Amanda, this is simply AMAZING!! I’ve been wanting to do this in my bedroom for about a year now, and after seeing your amazing bathroom, I’m even more convinced that I want a wood ceiling! Now I just need to find a big pile of wood that someone wants to give me for free…LOL. I featured this on my blog today. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  • Incredibly beautiful. I have ceiling envy. Had to pin this baby.

  • amazingly awesome…I have a bit of a old wood hoarding problem…lots of plans for it but nothing yet…:( Thanks for the inspiration…Have a great weekend…xo

  • Love this. I can’t do this at home, but I know of a little bathroom at the cottage that could use this. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Oh my word this is gorgeous! I want one!!! Love the warmth and character it offers your room!

    Shared on FJI Facebook and pinned for SNS 120. :)


  • y’all did a great job, both the ceiling and the revised cupboard are beyond fabulous. Way beyond fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing your results – totally inspiring!

  • Your bathroom looks totally great! Love that ceiling! And your vanty is fantastic!

  • Wow what a great bathroom. The ceiling and vanity are fabulous!

  • love love love the ceiling..wish your husband would come to my house and put one up for me..dont think i could do it myself !

  • I love everything about your bathroom! The ceiling is just awesome.

  • I love this bathroom. A couple of questions….. I would like to do this on a conrete ceiling. How thick was the plywood? Do you think there are staplers that can put staples into a concrete ceiling? I’m going to do this for the ceiling of my condo after removing the popcorn! Thanks for any tips you can give me.

    • Kreeva,
      The plywood is 1/2 inch thick. It probably came in 3/8 but with all of the exposure to snow and rain it expanded a bit. I’m sure you could just use liquid nails to hold up the wood, it is just figuring out how to hold it while it sets up. Maybe a temporary brace from one wall to the other. Maybe glue it with the liquid nails and hold it up with duct tape one piece at a time. Then remove the duct tape once it is set. Good luck, and send me a pic when you are done!

  • The ceiling is gorgeous and such a great idea. Love the cabinet both ways too. A great makeover!

  • You are quite the handy woman! They look beautiful, you should be proud.

  • You are quite the handy woman! It looks beautiful.

  • WOW This is pretty darn awesome. I’m wondering if I can convince my husband to do the plywood ceiling… i’m loving it!

  • Genius! I love the way this looks. I think it would add so much charm to a new construction home. Thanks for sharing!

  • such a great look. i live on oahu and immediately recognized the kawela bay and goat island sand! great idea! we are moving into a house that everything needs to be replaced but i think i’ll take another look at the vanity!

  • What an awesome look! I wish I could go do this right now!

  • Your ceiling is just beautiful. I love the warmth and character reclaimed wood adds to a room.

  • Holy COW I Love this, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this. Seriously I love this! Great Job!!!! Yup I’m totally pinning this into my DIY Project Inspiration Board!


  • Wow! I love everything you did…your inspiring! I painted my kitchen cabinets with a dark espresso color, and now I am thinking this might work well with the sink cabinet in there as well. I love that the numbers you used have a personal meaning as well. Love all the other projects as well, look forward to seeing, reading and learning more!

  • Wow…. amazing ceiling; I love it and the personal touches on the vanity! :)

  • I really adore this bathroom! My favourite look is vintage industrial farmhouse beach neutral! Ha! Really though, great use of plywood – cutting it up like regular lumber is a great idea! And those open shelves under the sink – brilliant. Just may have to give that a try to spruce up our bathroom!
    Shannon – aka design

  • I absolutely love this idea!! And, that you found the wood already weathered and FREE … that’s the best part. I’m totally pinning it. :)

  • I am in LOVE with this ceiling treatment! How clever!

  • oh!!! So warm and gorgeous!!!

  • Best idea I’ve seen in forever: so clever, so thrifty, and soooooo beautiful! You deserve to win “the Gold” for this one. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Wow, your guest bath looks amazing! I found it looking up plywood projects for my post today (I have this linked to it) but I also love that cabinet, it’s gorgeous!

    • Thanks Heather,
      Those are some great plywood projects you rounded up. I would love to try the plywood floor sometime but I don’t think the Mr. would go for it.

  • If you guys love plywood from reclaimed lumber you should check All the plywoods are engineered 3 ply from reclaimed antique pine/ fir/ oak. Some great stuff

  • Ladies: I purchased an old, rotten, weathered fence from Craigslist to take apart and cover the ceiling of my lanai. It took several days to remove all the nails and dismantle the panels, but it was well worth it. My ceiling is absolutely beautiful … knotholes and all! Only cost $50 for the fencing.

  • Man! This looks awesome! I was just telling my husband I wanted to do something similar in our [very ugly] bathroom! Congrats on keeping those open shelves organized!

    • Organization is a bit of a compulsion for me :) Instead of getting stuff done that was on my to do list today, I organized my freezer and pantry…again.

  • […]  I have made a few changes from the original “builder basic” bath it started as (read about the vanity and ceiling  HERE).  One of my favorite additions is the stainless steel industrial paper towel dispenser. […]

  • […] I’ve wanted to add a weathered wood ceiling in my bedroom for about a year now, so I was really excited to see this bathroom ceiling over at Burlap & Denim. […]

  • I absolutely love your idea. I currently have old beadboard ceilings and I am wanting to do something different (they are seperating and there is nothing between the beadboard and the insulation in my attic). Did you place these boards over am existing sheetrock ceiling?

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  • looking good

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