When we first started talking drywall, Paul proposed that we use wood to cover the ceiling in the great room + loft. He was concerned that drywall would sag over time since that was such a large area. It's roughly 48x22 for that space.
Trying to find the most cost effective way to accomplish this we used standard pine boards and grooved them to make our own shiplap. Now, don't mistake that with it being cheaper than drywall. When we purchased the boards we estimate it was roughly the same cost as having the drywall. It is WAY more labor intensive though since Paul installed the ceiling and grooved all of the boards. Drywall would have been done by the crew that did the rest of the house. So, unless you're doing it yourself you're not going to even break even. It was about the look we wanted over the cost of the project... to some extent.
Fun (or tragic) fact: we paid $5.99 per 1x8' 10 foot standard pine board back in September 2020. Today that same board is $13.19, making the project double the cost that it was.
The original plan was to paint the boards white, which is why Paul installed them unfinished. It would have been easier to use the paint sprayer and do it along with all of the walls. Once the install was complete, I totally changed my mind! I didn't realize how beautiful the wood was going to look, so we decided to go in a different direction and white wash the boards.
If white washing the ceiling was the plan from the beginning we would have done each board before putting them up. This would have saved a LOT of headache and neck ache! We knew that we wanted to add some kind of finish to the ceiling because pine will darken/yellow over time, and not in a way that would flow with the rest of our decor. We're mostly a rustic/modern style, and letting the pine do its thing would be more rustic than we like.
Because the original plan was painting Paul did prime the grooves and the knots in the wood. This quickly presented a problem. The blotches of primer made the ceiling look AWFUL. It's been kind of stressful this week! The entire process of sanding and painting took many more hours than were scheduled, but Paul nailed it. The final result for the main ceiling is beautiful, and it will work with the rest of the finishes. We kept the beauty of the natural wood characteristics while keeping our personal style.
If you're interested in doing something similar we purchased 1x8' standard pine boards in 10' and 12' lengths. We used Sherwin Williams Super Paint in Extra White, 50/50 paint to water mixture. To apply Paul used a basic paint roller and then staining pads to rub the finish into the wood. Of course the Metaltech Scaffolding was an essential part of the project. If you haven't gotten one for your project you're missing out!