How Do I Build a Tray Ceiling?


Quick Answer

A tray ceiling features a recessed center and a crown molding, and it adds perceived height to any room with a low ceiling, including master bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms. Building a tray ceiling takes a few hours only, says DoItYourself.com.

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Full Answer

  1. Design your tray ceiling

    Determine the depth of the recess, the number of necessary crown molding levels and the distance of the soffits. Start planning your tray ceiling once you have accomplished the initial design.

  2. Build the soffits

    Rectangular soffits add depth build to the ceiling. You can build these soffits according to your design specifications. For example, a 4-inch recess requires a box with a height of 4 inches. Build four or more boxes. Attach the soffits to the ceiling by screwing anchor bolts to the ceiling joists.

  3. Cover the soffit with drywall or plywood

    Choose either drywall or plywood to cover the soffit. Pick drywall if you want to achieve the most finished look. Cover the corners after setting up the drywall, and then tape the seams. Apply the drywall mud, and smooth it out by sanding.

  4. Cut the crown molding, and paint the tray ceiling

    Cut the crown molding, and make 45-degree cuts so the molding wraps around the corners firmly. Finally, paint your tray ceiling, making sure to paint the recessed area a bit darker to create the effect of additional depth in the recess.

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