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
- 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
Grab adhesive - No more nails is always a winner
MDF primer - this one is great
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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