How to finish the attic walls and ceiling like a Pro

The attic is that space in the house, which can be done up in any way the homeowner pleases. But before one can do anything creative and personal, a good finishing to the walls and ceilings is a must. Since the space is limited, a good finish will provide an overall finesse and background to the attic. Read on more to know how to go about finishing the attic walls and ceiling, professionally.

Materials required for finishing the attic walls and ceiling

You will require paint, insulation, and boards in 2by4 dimensions. OSB sheets, plywood of 3/4” thickness, screws, and nails.

The essential tools required

Most of the tools can be found in your toolbox. A pencil, level, nail and screw gun, a dust mask, a circular saw, a utility knife, a good quality roller and a paint brush.

Now, let’s read about the steps for properly finishing the attic walls and ceiling.

Step 1 – Framing of the top and sides of the knee wall

In the first step a knee wall is installed. The location of the top of the knee is marked and after checking the level long boards are attached to the ceiling joists. This step ensures that when installing the OSB and the plywood, there is no confusion.

attic knee wall

Step 2 –  Insulation of the attic ceiling and walls

The insulation now needs to be stapled between the studs of the walls and the ceiling beams. Ideally R-30 should be used for a ceiling and R-13 is best suited for the walls. Remember not to compress the insulation between spaces.

attic insulation

Step 3 – Installation of the OSB Walls

Now using a good quality nail gun, attach the OSB sheets over the insulation, onto the walls. It is crucial to nail into the studs of the wall. Always wear the mandatory safety gear when handling a nail gun.

attic osb walls

Step 4 – Finishing the work behind the knee wall

In case the homeowner is planning to install a piece of furniture that swings out in this area, then he needs to essentially install the plywood or OSB and cover the insulation.

finishing attic walls

Step 5 – Attachment of the Laminate

In the picture you will see that laminate is being used to give the edge a distinct look here. For installation just roll out the contact cement on the surface of the OSB wall.

The cement should be allowed to set till the time it gets tacky. When it feels dry to touch, all you need to do is to line it up carefully on the laminate, and let it adhere to the OSB.

When dealing with contact cement, there is no time to lose. Everything required in this step should be lined close by.

attic walls and ceiling

Step 6 – Removal of all bubbles

Now using a good quality rubber roller, all the bubbles under the laminate need to be removed.

rubber rolles

Step 7 – Complete the installation of the attic ceiling

Once the above mentioned steps are complete, sheets of plywood need to be attached to the insulation. The screws need to be tightly secured in the ceiling joists. The plywood needs to be secured right up to the knee wall.

attic ceiling installation

Step 8 – Use a primer and paint on the attic walls and ceilings

The walls and ceilings are now ready for a fresh coat of primer, followed by a good oil or acrylic based paint.


Your attic is now ready to be set up in any way you please.

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