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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

Tongue and groove paneling - a DIY tutorial

Updated: 11 hours ago

How to install brilliant beadboard - an easy alternative to tongue and groove paneling

If you love tongue and groove paneling (the beadboard version) and want to know how to install it, this blog post is for you. Let me know in the comments if you also want a tutorial on how to DIY the individual plank version.

If you follow me on Instagram or Tiktok then you’ll already know that I’m a huge fan of wall panelling and have tried lots of different styles over the past few years. I recently added some tongue and groove paneling to our living room and thought I'd share how I did it just in case it is useful to anyone. I chose the beadboard variety rather than the individual vertical strips that you can buy.

Why should you choose tongue and groove paneling

Beadboard is brilliant for the following;

- covering over imperfect walls

- creating a feature

- adding some texture to a room

- breaking up a plain wall

It's cheap and so easy to fit that anyone can do it.

What you will need

Spirit level

Cutting Saw (I used a basic handsaw but a jigsaw or circular saw would speed things up!)

Grab adhesive - No more nails is always a winner

Damp cloth

Decorators caulk

MDF primer - this one is great

Paint (I use matt emulsion from DCO)



Bead-board panels like these from Wickes that I used


Measure and prepare

- Measure the width of each wall to be panelled

- Decide the required height for the panels

- Cut panels down (if required) to the desired height

- Cut the final end panel for each wall to the correct width (I chose to position the panels I'd cut vertically so that they are in the least prominent position).

tongue and groove paneling preparation stages

Paint and attach the panels

- If using mdf beadboard you will need to prime the panels prior to painting. I used a multi-surface paint initially, which included a primer this time round, but usually I'd do it as a separate step.

- Once the panels have dried, attach to the wall using grab adhesive.

- Before the adhesive sets, check the panels are level and straight, using a spirit level.

- If the wall isn't completely flat it can, in places, reduce the adhesion of the panels. In this scenario, the panels might need to be held in place while the glue sets. (I propped a heavy coffee table up against the panels for this purpose).

tongue and groove paneling

Fill the gaps

- The seams between the panels should be filled using wood filler.

- Once applied to the gap, use a damp cloth to wipe off any excess filler.

- If there are any gaps at the top of the panels (where the wall surface undulates) these gaps can be filled with decorator's caulk.

Tongue and groove paneling

Attach the trim

- Tongue and groove / Beadboard panelling looks best when finished off with a wood moulding or trim of some kind at the top.

- There are lots of this kind of moulding available at hardware stores and it's really down to personal choice.

- I elected to fix the moulding with the widest point at the bottom, but I know some people prefer it up the other way - again, go with what you love as you'll be looking at it every day.

- Attach the moulding with grab adhesive.

- Once the adhesive has set, fill any gaps between the moulding and the wall with filler or decorator's caulk.

- Once the caulk has dried, prime and paint the moulding.

tongue and groove paneling trim

You'll notice from the pictures above that I changed the colour of the panels before I attached the moulding. This was not planned, but I realised once they were attached to the wall, that I just didn't love the feel of the colour I'd used initially when it was in that quantity in the room. I changed to Strong White by Farrow & Ball and instantly felt calmer and happier.

Finishing touches

Tongue and groove paneling complete

As this is a really quick and simple DIY you can use all the spare time you have left to style up your newly decorated room!

Thanks so much for reading. I'd love to keep you up to date with future DIY, decorating, interior styling and upcycling projects, if you would like to receive my (not more than weekly & no spamming I promise) emails then please subscribe by scrolling down to the box at the bottom of the page.

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