How many porches have a captivating ceiling? Most often, a few whitewashed gypsum boards nailed to the roof trusses do the work. Or, perhaps there’s no ceiling, just naked roofing! Come on! It’s time to go Michelangelo with these inexpensive DIY porch ceiling ideas!
We’re bringing creative, low-cost ceiling ideas that use natural materials and repurposed everyday homestead items to introduce earthy, rustic, and romantic charm to your porch.
Let’s swing a few ideas from the rafters, shall we?
- 25+ Inexpensive Porch Ceiling Ideas
- 1. DIY a Tongue & Groove Porch Ceiling
- 2. DIY a Wood Slat Porch Ceiling
- 3. Use Old Barn Wood for a Porch Ceiling
- 4. Cut Timber Poles & Branches for a Porch Ceiling
- 5. DIY a Plywood Porch Ceiling
- 6. Buy Cheap Pine Picket Planks for Ceiling Boards
- 15 Small Front Porch Ideas on a Budget [+ DIY Tips]
- 7. Make a Porch Ceiling with Drywall
- 8. Raise an OSB Porch Ceiling
- 9. Use Pallet Wood for a Porch Ceiling
- 10. Use Rusty Corrugated Tin as a Porch Ceiling
- 11. DIY a Burlap Porch Ceiling
- 20+ Beautiful White Porch Swings to Inspire Your Decor
- 12. Hang a Canvas Porch Ceiling
- 13. Drape Mixed Fabrics for a Soft Porch Ceiling
- 14. DIY a Bamboo Porch Ceiling
- 15. Craft an Abstract Branch Porch Ceiling – With Pretty Festive Lights
- 16. Suspend a Fishing Net Porch Ceiling
- 17. Hook up a Camo Net Porch Ceiling
- 18. DIY an Industrial Steel Mesh Porch Ceiling
- 19. Hoist a Cattle Panel Porch Ceiling
- 20. Hang a Whole-Pallet Porch Ceiling
- 21. Fill Burlap Sacks for a Farm Porch Ceiling
- 22. Create a Rope Lattice or Woven Bamboo Porch Ceiling
- 23. Make a Porch Ceiling with Woven Reed Baskets
- 24. DIY a Porch False Ceiling with Wallpaper
- 25. Create a Crackle Effect on a Wood Porch Ceiling
- Dancing on the (Porch) Ceiling
25+ Inexpensive Porch Ceiling Ideas
Inexpensive porch ceiling ideas use low-cost materials to create stylish and safe porch ceilings. Wood beams, boards, fabrics, steel, branches, bamboo, and reeds are popular ceiling decor alternatives. DIY paint effects, hanging plants, and mood lighting add unique character to porch ceilings.
Porch ceilings also involve one of the semantic oddities of the building industry that we will discuss in this guide. Here is what I mean.
- A regular ceiling (yes, that flat thing atop the walls) is officially called a FALSE ceiling.
- And the underside is referred to as a TRUE ceiling! (We think it should be the other way around. But what do we know?)
It’s all good. We’re taking all types of porch ceilings into account with practical transformative DIY ideas:
- DIY false ceilings (aka a suspended or dropped ceiling).
- Solid porch ceilings (wood, tin, gypsum, etc.).
- Suspended 3D grid-style porch ceilings (anything that can dangle or hang!).
- Soft porch ceiling ideas (suspended reeds, fabrics, fibers, etc.).
- Exposed porch ceilings (aka open or vaulted plenums) where the roof trusses are visible, with –
- Roof truss inlays (timber, tin, paint, etc.)
- Porch ceiling paint effects, plus:
Our primary directives for inexpensive porch ceiling ideas are:
- Cheap materials.
- Structural strength and durability.
- Visual appeal.
- Easy to DIY.
A porch ceiling can become an inspiring focal point, a fifth wall – a sky bridge linking your living room and garden.
DIY one or more of these ideas, and you’ll cast your eyes upwards from your porch seat. You will also be saying, “WOW!”
Let’s take a look!
1. DIY a Tongue & Groove Porch Ceiling
- Porch Ceiling Designer: The Unprofessional
- Learn More: Watch their Tongue and Groove Installation tutorial.
Create a classic country cottage feel on your porch with a tongue and groove ceiling. To save costs (new tongue and groove boards from a store aren’t cheap), look for old tongue and groove boards on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. Try your local salvaged timber yard for a T&G bargain!
- You can paint the tongue and groove boards with your favorite color or allow the natural wood grain to shine.
- Tongue and groove boards work perfectly to create a suspended porch ceiling and an exposed beam ceiling, cladding the underside of the roof between the roof trusses.
Watch this DIY video for a tongue-and-groove timber porch ceiling. It’s an epic DIY makeover!
2. DIY a Wood Slat Porch Ceiling
- Porch Ceiling Designer: Jaime Costiglio
- Learn More: Read their excellent installing a slat ceiling tutorial.
Here’s a relatively easy and inexpensive way to replace old ceiling boards with a rustic matrix of reclaimed lumber stained to your tastes. Save on wood costs with a slat ceiling for your porch.
- Use any slat board, from 1” x 2” and 1” x 4” dimensional lumber to picket fence pine, plywood, and pallet wood.
- With your ceiling beams exposed – you can mount timber boards safely and creatively.
- You can mount different-sized timber boards to the roof joists to create a freestyle suspended timber ceiling.
- Wood slats configured to show the vaulted ceiling add a sense of coziness and volume to the porch.
Check out this DIY slat ceiling project for insights on transforming your porch ceiling with timber slats.
3. Use Old Barn Wood for a Porch Ceiling
- Porch Ceiling Designer: Life With Neal & Suz
- Learn More: Read their blog teaching how to install a wood-porch ceiling.
More reclaimed lumber put to good use! In this case, boards from an old barn – all for costing next to nothing! Sand down the old wood and stain it any way you desire to fashion a historic cabin ceiling!
Here’s an excellent porch ceiling renovation project, where a standard plywood porch ceiling is painted black and covered with salvaged barn timber boards.
Get your saw, hammer, and nails out! Here is an ideal DIY project for two handy souls!
4. Cut Timber Poles & Branches for a Porch Ceiling
- Porch Ceiling Designer: Living In a Container
- Learn More: Read their article about a beach house armed with containers.
If you’re after a natural, inexpensive ceiling for your porch, your best bet is to use timber poles and branches. You can DIY a false timber ceiling with raw lumber to create an organic slat-type ceiling beneath the roof of your porch.
- Thick poles can get used for beams with thinner rods of similar size, creating the slatted ceiling.
- If your porch doesn’t have adequate trusses, you can mount the beams on timber posts and bearers, as depicted in the pic.
If you have dead trees on your property, you can harvest all the necessary lumber for free!
The Porch Book by Better Homes and Gardens is an outstanding reference for sprucing up your existing porch or building a new one from scratch. It's an excellent brainstorming session and includes many porch-sprucing ideas, including inspiration for lighting, kitchen ideas, fans, decorative ceilings, and flooring - plus lots more. The book also features many before and after photos to help kickstart your motivation.
5. DIY a Plywood Porch Ceiling
- Porch Ceiling Designer: PawPaw’s Workshop
- Learn More: Watch their video tutorial teaching how to make wooden ceiling planks – for cheap!
Strike a clean, natural wood look on your porch with a plywood ceiling! Standard 8’ x 4’ ¼-inch plywood can get mounted directly to the roof joists of the porch. You’ll be spared extensive woodwork, only having to cut the plywood to fit where necessary.
You can create more headspace on your porch with an exposed beam ceiling where plywood is cut to size and mounted between the trusses.
- Use a nail gun to mount the boards to the roof joists.
- Decking screws will provide a super-secure suspension of the plywood.
- Treat the plywood with a clear waterproof sealant.
Watch this video to see how you can make shiplap ceiling boards from plywood sheets. An inexpensive and stylish solution!
6. Buy Cheap Pine Picket Planks for Ceiling Boards
- Porch Ceiling Designer: Strivers Homestead
- Learn More: Watch their video tutorial showing them build a DIY ceiling in their shed.
Mount characterful pine picket boards to your porch roof trusses and save yourself some cash! Picket boards aren’t smooth, so get that sandpaper working for you!
Here’s a picket board ceiling install video showing how easy it is to achieve a cost-effective and charmingly rustic timber effect!
7. Make a Porch Ceiling with Drywall
- Porch Ceiling Designer: Drywall Repairman
- Learn More: Watch their video tutorial teaching how to repair patio drywall ceilings.
If your porch has never had a false ceiling, you might want to use drywall sheets with a unique finish. Also called sheetrock, drywall is cheap, fireproof, and can get painted in all manner of finishes and even given a texture.
- Here’s a neat video demonstrating the cost benefits of using drywall instead of ceiling tiles.
You’ll need a few materials and tools to execute a drywall ceiling suspension:
- Cover the joins between drywall sheets with Drywall tape.
- Cover the sticky tape with drywall compound.
- Cut the drywall with a utility knife.
Fancy a marbled porch ceiling?
- Learn how to dramatize a drywall ceiling with a special paint effect!
When you think of your porch ceiling as an extra wall to your house, you can clad it with almost anything.
Drywall makes the perfect budget canvas for a ceiling artist!
8. Raise an OSB Porch Ceiling
- Porch Ceiling Designer: Hunting for Georgia
- Learn More: Watch their video showing off their epic luxury timber cabin.
Cheaper than plywood, oriented strand board, or OSB, is an unusual choice of material for a ceiling, but – done right, an OSB ceiling looks stunning.
Use a nail gun and screws to mount and secure the OSB to the porch timbers.
- You won’t need to paint the OSB ceiling if you have a walled-in porch!
You can suspend a false OSB ceiling or tuck OSB between rafters from an exposed beam ceiling!
Versatile, easy to work with, and cheap!
9. Use Pallet Wood for a Porch Ceiling
- Porch Ceiling Designer: Spiral Design Works
- Learn More: Watch the video showcasing a recycled wooden pallet ceiling.
Do you want dirt-cheap remodeling material? Then you can’t beat pallet wood! Break up the pallet to get rustic boards to make a unique porch ceiling! Each pallet will have its rustic features – different grains and stains!
- Avoid using pallets treated with methyl bromide (marked MB on the pallet). Learn more about using pallets for DIY projects here.
A fantastic way to create stylish pallet ceiling boards is to give them a traditional charred finish with a shou sugi ban treatment.
- Learn about the shou sugi ban technique here!
- Start your shou sugi ban adventure with a propane torch.
You can mount pallet boards to your existing ceiling (sheetrock, plywood, etc.) or a new backing board (plywood, OSB, drywall) with screws or liquid nails.
You can experiment with different patterns and finishes when you get the timber for free – with much less stress or scrutiny.
Go pallet-wood and decor crazy!
10. Use Rusty Corrugated Tin as a Porch Ceiling
- Porch Ceiling Designer: RRBuildings
- Learn More: Watch the video teaching to install a metal ceiling under-porch.
Running a close second to pallet wood in the free DIY category must be old corrugated tin roofing sheets– ideal for a rustic porch ceiling!
- Cut the rusty tin sheets to fit your porch rafters with an angle grinder.
- Mount the tin sheets with nails or screws.
If you want to rust new tin sheets or get more rust on the old tin, try this DIY rusting technique!
Wow! A shanty porch ceiling!
11. DIY a Burlap Porch Ceiling
The natural fiber of sackcloth evokes pastoral harmony, making a burlap porch ceiling a perfect addition to a homestead veranda, especially when a light breeze blows! A ceiling with movement!
- Erect a lattice of 1” x 2” timber or a more rustic raw timber/log matrix and drape the ceiling timbers with burlap sheets.
- Use a sewing machine to edge each burlap sheet with burlap ribbon to ensure the soft ceiling remains securely attached to the ceiling framing and roof trusses.
Earthy, rustic, and inexpensive! Perfect!
12. Hang a Canvas Porch Ceiling
- Porch Ceiling Designer: Remodelaholic (Cassity Kmetzsch)
- Learn More: Read their guide about an easy pergola shade from canvas drop cloths.
Along the same lines as a burlap ceiling, a canvas porch ceiling is a low-cost alternative to a solid material, bringing dynamism and desert romance to your outdoor living space.
- You can use budget canvas drop sheets.
- Construct the canvas support beams using reclaimed poles, landscape timbers, or galvanized pipes (painted black!).
- Make the canvas sheets removable by fitting grommets to each sheet.
Anyone with sewing skills will shine on this DIY project!
13. Drape Mixed Fabrics for a Soft Porch Ceiling
Chances are, you have yard upon yard of unused fabrics in your sewing room. Use them to create an eclectic soft porch ceiling!
- Erect a lightweight set of poles beneath the rafters to support the drapery!
Easy as hanging curtains!
14. DIY a Bamboo Porch Ceiling
- Porch Ceiling Designer: Al Alumbro Zuniega
- Learn More: Watch their video showcasing a bamboo ceiling installation.
- Bamboo will need a support undercarriage of wood, but a reed fence can get stapled to the exposed beam ceiling!
A DIY job for the sublimely lazy!
15. Craft an Abstract Branch Porch Ceiling – With Pretty Festive Lights
- Porch Ceiling Designer: DIY Design Muse
- Learn More: Watch their video showcasing a majestic fairy light branch ceiling.
You can create a wonderfully organic porch ceiling with dry tree branches! That’s it! A crafty arboreal arrangement overhead. And your porch is transformed into a mystical forest!
- This idea works wonders under an exposed beam porch ceiling.
- Use craft wire to suspend the branches from the roof timbers.
- Create nighttime fascination by weaving string lights between the tree branches.
Lightweight, inexpensive, and low-labor – this DIY project is great for kids to get involved in!
16. Suspend a Fishing Net Porch Ceiling
Bring the Mediterranean Sea to your porch by creating a fishing net ceiling! Adventurous and romantic, net ceilings are versatile decor suspenders!
- Hang a fishing net from the roof trusses of an exposed beam porch ceiling for the best effect.
Adorn the net with all things nautical, including starfish, conches, coral, and a few mock crabs!
17. Hook up a Camo Net Porch Ceiling
Turn your porch into a safari camp with a camo net ceiling – easy as shooting fish in a barrel, but way more ethical!
Another low-cost, simple DIY project for the boys!
18. DIY an Industrial Steel Mesh Porch Ceiling
A semi-industrial look for your porch ceiling may be more to your taste – how about a steel mesh porch ceiling? You can get expanded steel mesh from your local building supply store.
- Mount the steel mesh to your exposed porch ceiling rafters with screw hooks or brackets.
- Paint the steel mesh matte black!
The steel mesh will allow you to suspend lights and all manner of objet d’art from the porch ceiling. Go Steampunk. Why not!
19. Hoist a Cattle Panel Porch Ceiling
Does a grid-steel ceiling with rural credentials sound good? How about suspending a cattle panel or two from your porch rafters? That’s right! Create a hanging garden with a cattle-panel-style porch ceiling grid!
- Suspend the cattle panels from the porch ceiling trusses with chains and safety hooks.
- Decorate the cattle panel with pot plants, lights, and other fascinating ornaments.
Simple and elegant, inexpensive and easy to fit!
20. Hang a Whole-Pallet Porch Ceiling
Get free pallets and hang them from your porch joists for freestyle fun! A porch ceiling using whole pallets!
- Use rope, chain, or cables with carabiner hooks to suspend the pallets from the rafters.
- Use eye screws to secure the chains to roof trusses and pallets.
Your guests will be surprised and entranced by this innovative and funky-cheap porch ceiling idea!
21. Fill Burlap Sacks for a Farm Porch Ceiling
Do you collect all your old livestock feed bags? Put them to use! Yep! A stuffed burlap sack porch ceiling!
- Fill the sacks with crumbled polystyrene, straw, crumpled newspaper, foam chips, or any material that puffs a bag up!
- Suspend the burlap sacks from the porch rafters with jute rope and eye screws.
An unusual and wholesome conversation starter before mealtime on the porch!
22. Create a Rope Lattice or Woven Bamboo Porch Ceiling
- Porch Ceiling Designer: The Hoy’s – Cora and Mike Philippine Adventures!
- Learn More: Watch their video showing off their epic woven bamboo ceiling.
You can create a bespoke natural woven porch ceiling by combining a steel grid or wood trellis with jute rope.
- A suspended cattle panel serves as an ideal grid for a rope-weave pattern.
- A hanging wooden frame with eye screws will offer the freedom to weave a unique rope pattern.
- Buy a big roll of chunky jute rope!
Become a porch ceiling dream weaver!
23. Make a Porch Ceiling with Woven Reed Baskets
Be inspired with an oriental touch for your porch! Hang a bevy of baskets from your porch ceiling!
- This idea will work wonders beneath a solid false ceiling and an exposed beam ceiling.
Hang the baskets with thin jute rope, eyehooks, and craft wire.
24. DIY a Porch False Ceiling with Wallpaper
- Porch Ceiling Designer: This Old House
- Learn More: Watch their video sharing how to wallpaper a ceiling.
We mentioned your porch ceiling being a potential fifth wall, so why not cover the dull gypsum ceiling with wallpaper?
- Create an authentic-looking wood ceiling with self-adhesive aged timber wallpaper.
- Spice up your porch ceiling with a stick-on floral ceiling mural.
For low cost and ease of installation, wallpaper offers a super-efficient alternative to wood, steel, and cloth ceiling materials.
All right then! Let’s roll out one more porch ceiling idea!
25. Create a Crackle Effect on a Wood Porch Ceiling
- Porch Ceiling Designer: Welcome to the Woods Blog
- Learn More: Watch their tutorial teaching how to plank a ceiling yourself.
Give your porch a ramshackle beach house vibe with a distressed wood ceiling!
- You can create an aged or weathered look on any timber ceiling board with different paints and brush techniques.
Learn how to get a crackle going on wood!
We love the aura of salty wisdom in this look!
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Dancing on the (Porch) Ceiling
There you have it! 25+ porch ceiling ideas that save you bucks and transform your porch into an inspiring and relaxing space. Remember – hunt for salvaged wood and steel! Get your heirlooms out of storage and hang them from your new suspended porch ceiling!
Don’t be shy to combine elements from these ideas. Mix the media! Create depth with an open ceiling concept. Most importantly, allow your imagination and DIY skills to fly free!
Inexpensive Porch Ceiling Ideas References, Guides, and Works Cited: