DIY Faux Ceiling Beams Straps
Getting creative with our fake ceiling beams, we wanted to find a way to make them look more like the real deal. So we engineered some metal straps/brackets out of cleats. We’re so happy with the outcome, and even more happy to say the ceiling beams are totally complete. Function meets fashion all the way. To recap, this is the final post out of a three-part tutorial on our faux barn wood ceiling beams. To see how we made and installed the ceiling beams, check out these posts 🙂
Brainstorming Beam Straps
Funny thing while we were doing our research, there’s already a bunch of pre-made solutions.
There’s actually a roll of rubber you can buy that mimics the look of what we were going for.
We thought that might look a little cheesy, so we rigged up our own. Plus, our version only cost around $5.
Just so we’re all on the same page, here’s what ours look like afterwards. Before there was just a crack showing where one beam ended and the next began. It looks way more unified now.
You will need:
- Metal cleats (you choose the length, thickness and amount you’ll need)
- Spray paint that will adhere to metal in the finish/color of your choice
- Power drill
- Dril bits
- Power drill attachment for weird angles (may or may not need depending on placement of beams)
- Tape measure
- Wire snips
- Lag screws or larger screws of your choice
- Vice grip
Getting Started – Bending the Cleats
Here are the cleats that will mimic the look of metal straps or brackets holding up our beams. These are very inexpensive and can be found at the hardware store. They might not look like much right now, but just you wait.
First, we’re going to bend them to fit around the wood beams.
Here’s what youre going for.
You’ll want to do some measuring and mark the places where you’ll bend the metal around the wood. Remember, you’re making a “U” shape. Only two bends are necessary because you can stop at the ceiling.
Once you’ve got the sweet spot, go ahead and put the cleat into your vice grip and make your first 90 degree elbow. Tap lightly with the hammer until it starts to bend. Then you can simply use your hands to finish folding it over.
You can see it’s pretty pliable metal. Now set up your second side of the “U” and do the same.
Do a final measure and then do the remaining cleats in the same way. You can even check that they fit snugly around your wood beams if it makes you feel better to know they’re going to be exact. Use your metal snips to cut off any extra length. Pro Tip: Leave the stickers on facing the inside where nobody will see them.
Painting and Prepping the “Straps”
Now that you’ve got the general shape down, it’s time to drill holes for the screws/bolts.
Mark the spots where you think the bolts would look good. It really doesn’t matter, just keep it consistent on all your cleats. We wanted two bolts on each. You’ll want to pre-drill holes with a drill bit. It helps to have a helper on hand with a vacuum so you don’t have metal shavings everywhere. Also, promise me to wear your safety goggles 😉
High five, you’re ready for spray paint. In our case, we have two holes for each side per cleat.
However, the beams are so close to the walls that only one side will be visible. So we can do two of these decorative lag screws on the side that shows, and regular screws for the wall-facing sides.
These are what’s going to give it an authentic, industrial look and feel.
Start by arranging your cleats out someplace well-ventilated where you can spray paint them and leave them to dry overnight. Place your screws into the pre-driled holes you made. You’ll want to paint it all!
We chose a hammered black spray paint that will go with our barn door’s sliding hardware.
Remember to keep the can moving to avoid drippage.
Here’s a before and after. They’re looking more like heavy-duty iron now. After they’ve dried overnight, go back and cover the other side as well.
Hanging your Beam Straps
You’re almost done. When your faux beam straps are dry and ready for action, get them lined up right where you want ’em. It should look as if they’re supporting your beams and they should be nice and snug.
For us, they are placed strategically over the breaks in the beams.
Drill those lag screws into place, making sure the strap is completely vertical.
You might want a partner for the second side. I held the cleats firmly against the beams while Joe did the backs with regular screws. He needed that special drill attachment to reach back behind there.
That’s it, you did it!
They look really rugged and bring an industrial element into any space.
We were careful not to go over this seam, but went just up to it so we are still able to access the hidden movie screen.
I don’t want to give away too much just yet, but it’s coming along.
I almost forgot to mention: Joe added surround sound by putting a speaker in each corner of the room, and a fifth one directly in front of the screen. Please don’t ask me how he does that part…
But my point is, he mounted the speakers to the beams. And guys, we ran the speaker wire through the hollow beams so they’re not showing anywhere. Pretty cool, right? My idea, not to brag or anything. But seriously, this could be a thing. Instead of a basic boring ceiling, use faux wood beams to stash your electrical wiring and hide a whole movie theater up in there! Stash whatever you want up there, we don’t care. Bonus storage for the win.
Ceiling Beams ✔️
It’s all about the details. Well, at least for me. I am in love with these little beams straps. We accomplished the goal of setting up a killer movie room while making an ugly ceiling beautiful in the process. Not only do they look fantastic, but they also serve a purpose, solving our two design problems in one: logistics and aesthetics. Joe considers this room 100% done, but not if I have anything to do with it. There’s a nice long list of little touches I would like to add. This one is a small victory that feels like icing on the cake.