How to Install Beadboard Paneling

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How to Install Beadboard Paneling from Marty's Musings 

When Tim and I started talking about our bathroom problems (leak behind the shower kit, ugly tile walls and inefficient use of space) we knew we wanted a different look than what we’ve lived with for 22 years now. We literally spent hours upon hours tossing ideas back and forth, estimating products and measuring the space.

In the bathroom reveal I showed you how thrilled I was that everything came together beautifully.

I first showed you the amazing shower makeover, both part one and part two.

Next up on the list of projects to share is how to install beadboard paneling.

I’ll start with the ugly before. Don’t you just love the green sponge painting on the walls?

Good grief, could it be more dated? And that lovely “security light” or whatever it’s called? If the power goes out, I’ll certainly remember to press this big white plastic circle , although it won’t come on because the batteries will be dead!

How to Install a Beadboard Wall

Do you see this lovely tile? It was 3/4 of the way up the wall over the entire bathroom. If I remember correctly, it contained gold specks in it 22 years ago when we moved in.

Even covered with white paint it was truly ugly.

I’ll turn over the details to my DIY hubby.

How to Install a Beadboard Wall

From Tim: Usually every construction project begins with de-construction of some sort.  In our little hovel’s bathroom, the mosaic tile simply had to go.  I knew from other projects that this would come at the cost of the sheetrock underneath, so rather than deal with an entire room filled with repair work, we decided that leveling and covering was a better option.  And the answer was beadboard!

How to Install a Beadboard Wall

 See what I mean about repair?  YIKES!  This was intimidating, but it gets even worse…

How to Install a Beadboard Wall

Not only did the tile come down but most of the sheet rock as well.  There was both electrical and plumbing work to be done behind it all so almost everything you see here was removed and replaced.

How to Install a Beadboard Wall

SO many transitions here!  Coming out of the tub surround was the Durock (cement board), then new sheet rock running into existing sheet rock.  The concern was to maintain everything at the same level – 1/2″ thickness in preparation for the beadboard.  Not looking for perfection, just level.

How to Install a Beadboard Wall

 A good idea, even before this point, is to mark the studs in some way on the floor and/or ceiling so you know where the solid points are.  I used painter’s tape and a marker.  Even though the beadboard would be glued and sparsely nailed, I still wanted to hit those studs as much as possible.

How to Install a Beadboard Wall

 Again, not pretty, just level.

How to Install a Beadboard Wall

The electrical is new, a GFCI and a three-way switch for the new ventilation fan/light combo (with the existing light above the vanity).  These were additional obstacles to consider when cutting the beadboard…but I had a solution…

How to Install a Beadboard Wall

A template!  Beadboard comes in 4′ x 8′ sheets, so we made a replica out of brown construction paper that comes on a roll.  The template was held up on the wall and all those things we knew we had to cut around were easy to find; pipes, electrical and even the big hole for the medicine cabinet!  There is NO wiggle room when using beadboard, especially when running it from the floor to the ceiling.  Everything had to be in exactly the right place or the $32/sheet beadboard was toast.  The template was genius!  After marking and cutting out the holes, those were transferred to the sheet of beadboard with a marker and then everything was cut out with a jig saw.

How to Install a Beadboard Wall from Marty's Musings-10

 Ah, the obligatory pause in the project for the camera…

How to Install a Beadboard Wall from Marty's Musings-11

And here is the perfect fit!  Each piece was glued to the sub-surface with Liquid Nails construction adhesive and then nailed along the top, bottom and corner where I knew the trim work would hide the nails.  In the entire bathroom, I only had 4 partial seams that were not in corners, since the tile coming out of the tub surround ran right to the beadboard.

How to Install a Beadboard Wall from Marty's Musings-12

 Glued, nailed, and moving on.  You can see what I mean about those cutouts needing to be exact.  No wiggle room…

How to Install a Beadboard Wall from Marty's Musings-13

 These seams would either be covered or lightly caulked; crown molding at the top, corner molding and then baseboard at the bottom.  Everything got a coat of paint to finish it off.

How to Install a Beadboard Wall-14

 It is astonishing how these long, vertical lines make the little bath seem bigger.  I’m glad we decided not to stop it with a chair railing.

How to Install a Beadboard Wall from Marty's Musings-15

 Some finishing touches and ready to move to tiling!

How to Install a Beadboard Wall from Marty's Musings-16

From Marty: My husband does such a great job of making everything look easy! In case you’re wondering, the entire bathroom remodel took about 6 weeks, working almost every day. 

Smal Bathroom Remodel from Marty's Muisngs

It was totally worth it! Every little detail was planned, down to the rustic jars, coral accents and blue baskets.

How to Install Beadboard Paneling from Marty's Musings

I love the way the beadboard makes this tiny bathroom feel so much larger. It’s a fabulous clean look for us. 

How to Install Beadboard Paneling from Marty's Musings

Want to see more of our DIY projects? You’ll want to start with our recent home tour. Just click on the picture to go directly to the post.

Summer 2013 Showcase of Homes from Marty's Musings

Small Kitchen Design

Home Tour from Marty's Musings; Craft Room

Home Tour from Marty's Musings; Den

Linking with: DIY Showoff, Between Naps on the Porch, Savvy Southern Style, The Shabby Creek Cottage, The Shabby  Nest, Chic on a Shoestring Budget, Craftberry Bush, Shabby Art Boutique, Imparting Grace, Remodelaholic, Beneath My Heart, Thrifty Decor Chick

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  1. Ann says:

    Wow what a project…and it turned out amazing. Your sink is wonderful!

    • Marty Walden says:

      Thank you, Ann. I love the sink, too. It’s so different for us and I still kinda keep waiting for the water to just fall out of the bowl! Lovin’ the style, though. Thanks so much for hosting a Pinterest party each week!

  2. Marty – the room and the beadboard look fantastic and what a great tutorial! Thank you so much to you (and hubby! 🙂 for sharing and pinning! Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Marty Walden says:

      Thanks so much, Cindy! My husband did a great job and now it’s a fun and pretty room (although it’s still small!)

  3. Marty, we used beadboard in the laundry room for pretty much the same reason. The sheetrock was damaged from where we ripped out the minuscule closet where the pantry shelves currently are now. The problem ran into where we had to add another foot to the 4×8 sheet because of our 9′ ceilings. It was not easy to line up those horizontal seams. 🙁 I still love your bathroom and love that it was a family project. The best kind. xxoo

    • Marty Walden says:

      Sorry your beadboard was so fussy! I guess that’s the good thing with having a lower ceiling! I absolutely love the beadboard and that it’s different than what most people do. I still love the bathroom, too, even though it’s still little. Now at least it’s pretty 🙂

  4. maureen says:

    it looks great! You’ve given me the incentive to upgrade my toothpaste globbed bathroom now (no it’s not really toothpaste; the previous owner was just overly generous with the texturing. UGH!!
    I keyed into your outlets immediately–what did you do to make them stand out the way they do? Please share.

    • Marty Walden says:

      Hey, Maureen. Here’s my husband’s reply:I am assuming you are looking at the receptacle covers. They were purchased at Lowe’s and are allen + roth found here ( I needed something slightly over-sized to cover just a little gap around the receptacles and I thought these complimented the space nicely. Oh – I also found them on clearance at a fraction of the list price! Lowe’s has a rather nice selection of decorative covers in a number of styles and materials.

      • maureen says:

        Thanks so much for the reply- I hadn’t realized face plates have gotten so fancy. Will definitely look for these.

  5. Andi C. says:

    Amazing! I especially love the shelving over the throne! I have an ugly wire storage rack with extra long legs over mine with plastic shoe boxes holding my stuff. I’m going to try to find the studs in the wall as soon as I’m done posting this so I can try to replicate yours! Lucky lady having such a handy hubby 🙂

    • Marty Walden says:

      Thank you, Andi! I’m glad you like our “throne” room!Good luck with your project and I do have a great handy hubby!

  6. Great job! You know I love my beadboard!!! 🙂

    • Marty Walden says:

      You and me both, Anne! Good luck on your project gallery 🙂 It will be amazing, I’m sure!

  7. Jana says:

    Hello, I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE your “small bathroom remodel”!! We are in the infant stages of doing a COMPLETE remodel of our mail bathroom (long story…) I LOVE the beadboard, especially for covering up drywall that had wallpaper on it, but my husband is not sure how it fits behind the toilet……we are replacing the toilet, so this would be the time to hang the beadboard. But, my husband is afraid that it would be too tight of a fit behind the toilet….any suggestions? Thanks so much! Oh, and I can’t tell you how much I LOVE the sink/cabinet/over-the-toilet shelf idea!!!!! Gonna have to show that one to the husband!!!!!!

    • Marty Walden says:

      From Tim: There may be two options for you. First, you could just use a lower profile bead board that is only 1/8″ thick. It is less expensive, has a slightly different design, and will still glue adequately to existing sheet rock. The other option is to go with a different toilet manufacturer that has even the slightest variation in tank dimensions. You would have to really pay attention to your clearances, but even if you gained an 1/8″ that would allow for the bead board. Hmmm – maybe one last option would be to cut the bead board right behind the tank and just let it be sheet rock. If you do it tight enough and paint before the toilet goes back in you may not even see it. As a painter, I see a LOT of wallpaper behind toilet tanks that never got removed and no one is the wiser!

      Good luck!

  8. Jennie says:

    Looks amazing, what a difference that after made. love the colors, the bead board, and the organization. Well done! I shared this on my FB page. Hugs, jen

  9. JaneEllen says:

    Wow what a fix/redo. Your hubby must be a very patient person, bless his heart. It looked like a lot of work to get it all finished. Did you get things you way you wanted them?
    Does he do things the way you ask him to or completely ignore your requests to do things his way? As you might wonder why I ask is because my hubs is very handy also but it’s getting him to do things the way I have in my mind, not. Yeah right. We have many “discussions” about things like that. Then that’s if I can even get him started on anything, he’s retired so not like he has to go to work.
    Isn’t it incredible how awesome a room can look with paint, beadboard? I’d so love to do some beadboard in our bathroom. It’s a nice size room but I have my ideas and “somebody” else has his. He’s very determined that his ideas are better. Nuff said.
    No I’m not asking you to referee. I just have to wait til I can say things in just the right tone of voice and way to ask hubs to do things. I waited over 3 months to get him to finally spray paint my bargain wire bird cage from thrift store. Why don’t I spray paint? Hubs has a control problem, only he can do certain things right. If I tried to do it he’d be out there grabbing the paint can out of my hands then I’d have to kill him, um I mean walk away.
    I have a really pretty geranium I got at City Mkt on clearance for $2 that’s doing way better than geranium I bought at $4, go figure. Anyway, when I bought the bird cage I thought of putting a pretty flowering plant in it to put on my big table on front porch.
    Love your shelves over the throne. The baskets are so pretty in the room with the coral. It just so happens the blue/aqua and coral are my bestest colors this summer.
    We had one of those stands over the toilet so I had hubs cut off the legs, just hang the cupboard over the throne, looks so much better now.
    You two must have been determined to get your throne room done to keep at it, bless your hearts. My hubs would have just done what he could to get it done, call it thru. YIKES. Be very grateful for your hubs. I am for mine also but there are times….. Enjoy rest of summer. Sorry this is so long.

    • Marty Walden says:

      Hi, JaneEllen! Thanks for commenting! I appreciate you sharing and I know I’m blessed with a DIY husband. We’re like all normal couples with push back and forth, but we eventually work it out, one project at a time. Have a great day!

  10. Brooke says:

    WOW! What an amazing transformation! It hardly looks like the same bathroom. Don’t you love a good DIY project? Well, at least the end product makes all the work worth it. Thanks so much for sharing! Enjoy your day!

  11. Dria says:

    Wow what a difference, I love what you’ve done can’t go wrong with beadboard and I love the new blue baskets. You did a beautiful job 🙂

  12. Cassidy says:

    Wow! Such a great tutorial. I’ve always wondered what people do with the seams between the beadboard. Now I know that and a whole lot more!

    • Marty Walden says:

      Hi, Cassidy. I’m glad our tutorial was helpful. Please come back and visit!

  13. Wow I love all your rooms! Your craft room is fabulous! All your breadboard is beautiful. We put some up in our old house…ohhh it was hard! Come link to centerpiece Wednesday and share this post with us.

  14. Annet M says:

    Hi – found you from Not just a housewife. We’re in the process of contemplating our bathroom remodel, hence my desire to click! Love the tap fittings, can you mention where you got them from? and the sink?

  15. Jeanette says:

    Loads of work but a beautiful outcome! Thank you for a great tutorial.

    • Marty Walden says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Jeanette! My husband is very thorough in his tutorials!

  16. kristin says:

    I love this, thanks for the tutorial, just pinned.

    • Marty Walden says:

      Hey, Kristen! Thanks for the encouraging words. My husband did a great job on the bathroom (with a “little” coaching from me!)

  17. Ann says:

    Love this bathroom update gorgeous!!! Mine is on my to do list too!!!

    • Marty Walden says:

      Hi, Ann! Thank you so much! The bathroom was a labor of love, that’s for sure! More labor than love at times, but a great result!

  18. Sande Sivani says:

    Your tutorial was great and I love the final transformation!! Please link-up this terrific post at our rules free Blog Strut Link Party/blog hop, Thursdays at 5:00 PM PST. Our Blog Strut isn’t your average blog hop, it offers many ways to promote and give exposure to your blog and posts. We pin all links, featured posts, as well as offer free co-host spots and button/logo redesign, plus free social network link ups. Join us and show what you’ve got!!

  19. Oh my stars I love your bathroom! That sink is fantastic, the color scheme is fun, and the beadboard looks great! Don’t you just love having a handy hubby?!?!

    • Marty Walden says:

      Hi, TaMara! Yes, I’m blessed with my handy hubby. If it wasn’t for him I’d be living in a condo because I’m sure not handy. But I can write about! Thanks for stopping by.

  20. Amazing transformation! Love it Marty 🙂 Pinning!

  21. TidyMom says:

    I LOVE what you’ve done with this space Marty!!
    Thanks for linking up! I featured your post in my wrap up
    Have a great rest of the weekend!

  22. Becca says:

    Love the coral and blue, love the counter, love the bead board! Great project! I can’t wait to redo our master bath. Thanks for sharing! Stop by my Friday’s Five Features and link up this post (and others)!

    • Marty Walden says:

      Hey, Becca. Thanks so much for the compliment. I enjoyed all the finishing touches in the bathroom, and I hope you enjoy yours as well!

  23. malia says:

    Thanks so much for linking this up at Project Inspire{d}! I featured you this evening: Have a great night!

  24. Great tutorial! I’m hosting a Wall Decal giveaway that you should enter!

  25. What a beautiful makeover! I love the bead board paneling! This was the most viewed link as last week’s Whatever Goes Wednesday link party, so we’ll be highlighting it at this week’s party tomorrow. We hope you’ll stop by and join the party again!!

    • Marty Walden says:

      Thank you, Miranda! I’m so excited that it was the most viewed. I’m not sure I’ve ever had that honor anywhere! This room was a labor of love, and sometimes, just a labor! Have a great day!

  26. Sherry says:

    Hey, I love the bead board idea, and it looks great! We were considering it for our remodel over previously tiled walls in our main bathroom, but when we went browsing home improvement stores, I am saw that it is not recommended for high-moisture areas. Is there a particular way you worked around that with a certain paint and/or primer?

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