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How to Install Beadboard

Beadboard panels feature a row of narrow wood planks lined up vertically and in between each wood plank, there is an indentation known as a “bead”. Similar to wainscoting, beadboard is often used in bathrooms, but can be used in other rooms like your bedroom, living room, and more to add a touch of elegance. Best of all, beadboard is easy to install:

how to install beadboard

What you’ll need to install beadboard:

  • Utility Knife
  • Crowbar
  • Laser Level
  • Chalk Line
  • Baseboard
  • Miter Saw
  • Wood Glue
  • Nail Gun
  • Chair-Rail Molding
  1. Before you install your beadboard, make sure you remove any baseboard molding you have on around your room. (You can do this with a utility knife and a crowbar.)
  2. Measure the height of your beadboard, then set a laser level to that same height along your wall.
  3. Measure from the laser line down in several spots to make sure the height is consistent, then using your chalk line, mark along the laser level line to determine the top of your installation.
  4. Repeat the same process for the other walls that will be have beadboard.
  5. Many stores sell baseboard that’s been pre-notched to fit wainscoting, so if you’re using pre-notched baseboard, cut it to size using a miter saw and attach it to your wall using wood glue and a nail gun.
  6. Starting at one corner, set your beadboard against the wall to preview how many panels you’ll need.
  7. Then, cut your panels to fit the area. Where two panels meet, cut one piece at a 15-degree angle at the front and the complementary angle on the back (if they aren’t already pre-cut). For pieces that meet in the corner, cut them on a 45-degree angle (also known as a scarf joint).
  8. Apply a generous amount of wood glue to the back of your first panel and slide it down into the notch on the back of the baseboard.
  9. Place your level against the top and the side of your beadboard to make sure it sits level. If it doesn’t, adjust it so that it’s correct.
  10. Once it’s level, use your nail gun to permanently attach the beadboard to your wall.
  11. Continue along the wall with the rest of your panels and if you come across an obstruction like an electrical outlet or cable jack, measure the location on the panel and cut it so that it fits around the obstruction.
  12. Use wood glue and your nail gun to fasten the chair-rail molding on top of your beadboard for the finishing touch.

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