Easy One-Person Install Cedar Ceiling & Masonite Walls for Outdoor Studio Shed WRITTEN DIY

About four years ago, I had an 8×10 shed built with windows, in hopes of having an artist’s studio. I moved this shed when we moved to another town, and this year I moved my fence so the shed could be in the backyard, instead of the front. This is it in my front yard. It was built and covered with typical masonite siding and I had dreams of turning it into a quiet, secluded place to hang out and create or write someday.

I always planned to work on it during the fall and winter because it’s uninsulated and hot as heck in the summer. When the weather would cool down, I worked on it a bit, but winter comes quickly sometimes here in Colorado. There was always something more important that needed my attention or time. This is the year I’m finally finishing it so I can have a place to work with resin (& other stinky stuff) without having to use the garage and banish the cars.

I have an extreme intolerance of heat so I can only work on this shed until 11AM when the sun hits it directly, comes through the windows, and heats it up. Blackout shades don’t help because I need to see really well. I also can’t work on it everyday.

The difference between now and when I got it is that I have a really big project for an international wearable art show I need to start in Oct. I have to complete my building enough to be able to work in it, cut down the dust, and pour my clear resin without contaminates floating in it while it cures for twenty-four hours. Right now, there’s no way that’s going on in that space. It’s time to turn my should do it – into my MUST do it.

I spent one season, a couple years ago on insulation and I always felt like when I went in there, there was too much insulation dust blowing around, so I rarely went in it… for two years. It became my mannequin & dress form storage and it was sad to see. Most of the ceiling insulation was on the floor now too.

This building has a very steep roof so I had to figure out a way to cover the ceiling by myself. This was tricky. I am the handy one in our family, so I needed to come up with materials I can lift and attach without any help. I’ll be the first to admit I made some mistakes before it worked out.

I used spray adhesive to adhere the insulation to the ceiling so it would stop falling on my face… usually you would leave the facing or paper side out it’s much cleaner and the proper way to do it, but I was about to cover it entirely and I forgot while having my first cup of coffee. I sprayed the paper and stuck it up. I sprayed a line around the edges and a line across the center. I ended up with a hodge podge of types of insulation from left over projects, but ultimately I bought the faced kind to finish up.

My first thought was that I would get lightweight masonite to attach to the ceiling. I found one with a white coating on one side to lighten and brighten the small space. I had the hardware store cut the boards lengthwise so I could fit them in my Jeep. They were only two-feet wide now, and pretty easy to move around by myself.

I took them home and I immediately went to work covering the insulation I had put in the ceiling. It looked like this.

I got two sheets up and decided I really didn’t like it. I got the first one up, but I had to have my hubby help hold the second up. There was no way I could do it by myself, which was what I needed. I had screwed it to the framing that ran every 16 inches and it was sagging in between the 2×4’s. I tried to flatten it out, but it looked terrible. I took it down despite all the time I put into getting it up there (which was longer than I want to admit). There had to be another way.

I bought wide cedar fence pickets. They were rigid, lightweight, and easy to lift over my head. They worked great and could be cut easily to fit. I spent a few days putting all the boards up. It smelt nice and cedary when I was done, which should also deter bugs from making it home. I did have to be careful about the quality of the boards since they had to fit snugly together. Lay them on their side on the floor if you can’t tell. The floor will be flat. You don’t want bowed pieces.

I left the gap at the top of the peak because I’ll attach a board, parallel to the ground, to run wires through. I plan to have solar lighting, but that’s not imperative to starting my upcoming deadline so I’m leaving it alone. If I worked on it now, I feel I’d be wasting time. This ceiling was super easy to install and I just laid the pieces alternating like wood flooring so the seams never matched up. It made it look big and much closer to being finished.

The smell in the building is warm and comforting. The boards have shrunk a bit because they were green or fresh when I put them up, but I’m not bothered by it. Originally I figured I could fill the gaps and paint it all bright white, but I’m really digging the bare cedar. I can always migrate the pieces down if it bothers me in years to come. I like calling it done and I can breathe in there without breathing fiberglass dust!!

Luckily when I thought about the walls, I still had the masonite or hard fiberboard, I had intended for the ceiling. It was light, and could easily be cut using a metal square and a utility knife. Of course a jigsaw or circular saw would work better, but I work on this space before my neighbors are up in the morning. Originally I had put up a couple spare pieces of OSB, but I didn’t want to put up more because it’s so heavy and so much work to put on the walls, so I took those down.

I measured and cut the boards using a sharp utility knife and a straightedge to score the top. I used dry erase marker to mark my measurements. I lightly went over the edge with the blade a few times then turned it over and snapped it off.

You will get the feel for it when you are able to peel the back away, leaving your clean edge on the piece you’re using, not on the side you’re discarding.

I bought enough of this white board to do the ceiling, but it wasn’t nearly enough to do four walls. When I went back to get more, they were completely out. ARGH! I don’t have time to wait for it to come in, so I ended up finding more masonite boards that were brown , with one smooth side. The brown will probably need to be painted, but I was glad to have what I needed to finish in the same thickness as what I’ve already used.

Here you can see how it looks up on the wall. Not bad, huh? I just fit pieces in and screwed them in until the whole wall was covered.

Finally! I have walls covered enough to work around and finished enough to add my floors!!

Looking back on this project, I love how easy it was to do this all by myself. Now I have a space that is safe to work in, and I can use it more months out of the year, due to the insulation in the walls. Next we’ll be installing luxury vinyl plank floors, that will provide the nearly indestructible floor this artist’s studio needs.

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I Breathe I DIY

I love figuring things out & I'm constantly learning new ways to do it myself. I love sharing diys with the world! I'm an artist, author, intuitive spiritual healer, and energy & sound healer & but what I love doing is showing you how I do my art & projects. I can't wait to create new material for you. This year is going to be filled with more heart-centered ideas for I Breathe I DIY!

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