If you are wondering how to install beadboard paneling, this post is for you. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll want to install Beadboard everywhere. Beadboard, also known as wainscoting, is charming and a great way to add character to a boring wall. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know.
How Hard is Beadboard to Install?
Beadboard is easy to install once you get the hang of it. I know, I keep saying that. It’s the following activities: cutting, gluing, adhering, nailing, caulking, and painting. Repeat across the wall. It’s a little cumbersome because the beadboard panels can be significant, but it’s not complicated. If I can do it – you most certainly can DO IT. And you can also install board and batten and a grid wall, so try those next.
What do I need to Install Beadboard?
You’ll need beadboard panels, duh. You should also have the following:
- a piece of wood for the top rail
- a tape measure (see how to read a tape measure)
- a level
- construction adhesive
- a Brad nailer and nails
- painter’s caulk
- paint and paintbrush
How to Cut Beadboard Paneling
Beadboard is not hard to cut. Measure your wall, then cut your beadboard panel to this dimension with a saw. Ideally, you have a table saw with a fence and ripping capabilities like the DeWalt. What does ripping mean? It means making lengthwise cuts. The fence ensures your cuts are super straight. You don’t need it, but it makes life easier. You can also use a handheld jigsaw or circular saw.
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Beadboard is sold in 4×8 foot panels at local hardware stores, like Home Depot, Lowes, or Menards. You can also order online and have the panels shipped to your door. This is especially helpful if you want a taller beadboard. Otherwise, you will need to line up two panels on top of one another, which can be tricky.
Does Beadboard go behind the Baseboard?
Nope! Beadboard gets installed on top of the baseboard. Even if you have thinner baseboards, you can install Beadboard on top, then caulk or paint to make the transition look a little more seamless.
How to Attach Beadboard to the Wall
Beadboard attaches using two things; adhesive and brad nails. Use a construction adhesive, such as liquid nails or LOCTITE, to first adhere the baseboard to the wall. The glue gets applied to the back of the panel, then pressed against the wall (use a level to ensure everything is straight). Then, grab your Brad nailer and nail the Beadboard to the wall at random spots at the top and bottom or wherever you see fit. You don’t need a ton of nails – less is more because we’ll have to caulk them all in the next step.
Can you paint Beadboard?
Yes. You should plan to regardless – even if you are painting it white again. Beadboard can be scuffed up from the store – and you need paint to cover the painter’s caulk. Caulking and painting are two steps that you cannot skip – it ensures your final project looks professional.
How Do You Install Beadboard over wall outlets?
Before doing anything, turn off the power at the breaker. Remove the outlet covers. Then, hold your beadboard panel against the wall and mark where the outlet is (you can feel it with your fingers). You’ll have to notch a space from your panel for the outlet. Then, use an electrical extender box around the outlet before placing it back in the wall and re-attaching the outlet cover.
How to Install Beadboard Paneling – Step by Step
Step-by-step tutorial for installing beadboard paneling.
Total time: 3 hours
Cut Beadboard Panels to Dimensions
Measure the width of the wall space, then cut your panel to match these dimensions. I always cut and hang my Beadboard one panel at a time, it’s a little more time-consuming, but I can ensure I make the perfect cuts every time. You’ll also need to cut a piece of wood or trim for the top, such as a 1×4. This piece gets installed on top of the beadboard panel.
Apply Construction Adhesive to the Panel
Apply construction adhesive to the back of the beadboard panel, then stick the panel to the wall, just above the baseboard. Use a level to ensure it’s straight – you’ll have time to wiggle it around until it’s right.
Brad Nail Beadboard
Use a brad nailer to install brad nails in various places on your beadboard panel. You don’t need a ton of nails! Determine where your Beadboard looks like it’s “popping” from the wall.
Install Top Rail
Installing the top rail is just like installing Beadboard – you’ll use construction adhesive and brad nails. Place your entire wood piece directly on top of the Beadboard.
Use painter’s caulk to fill seams, nail holes, and other blemishes. Once it’s dry, follow up with a quick sanding to ensure it’s smooth.
Paint Beadboard Paneling
Final step! Paint everything your favorite color for a crisp, professional-looking appearance.
That’s it, my friend. I hope this tutorial helped you. It’s definitely added some character to our little mudroom area off the garage.
Now that you know how to install beadboard paneling, go ahead and zhush up those plain walls!