Last week's tip was about coffered ceilings with four-way mitered joints. But mitering isn't the only approach, and sometimes it won't work. You just can't form a nice, neat mitered joint between beams that are irregular, rounded and heavily distressed. To make a coffered ceiling with irregular beams such as our Timber or Rustic styles, use the butt-joint method shown in the photos. 1. Choose the beam style you like, and order it in two different sizes. Order the larger beams to run along the entire length of the room, and the smaller beams to bridge the short spaces between the larger beams. 2. Install the large, long beams in the usual way, following the standard installation instructions . Be sure to use adhesive along the top edges. 3. Let the adhesive set for a day, so the large beams are fully stable before you start squeezing the smaller beam pieces between them. 4. Cut pieces of the smaller beams slightly oversize, to fit snugly between the larger beams, and install them following these tips: • Usually you can install a single support block at the midpoint of each piece. Use more supports if the piece is longer than 5 feet or the ceiling isn't quite flat. • Do use adhesive along the top edges of each beam piece. • Don't apply adhesive to the ends of the small beam piece, because it will smear all over the large beam when you squeeze the small piece into place. The snug fit will keep the joint tight. 5. If needed, fill any gaps with matching caulk or filler. Next week we'll have one more look at coffered ceilings, with tips for using smooth, elegant, painted beams.