A beautiful upgrade!

Learn how to install a beadboard like a pro

Our how to install a beadboard guide will make you the envy of all your DIY pals. Beadboard adds beauty and grace to any home. Basic installation instructions and the right adhesive ensures a job well done and will make you look like an experienced professional.

Prepping the room before you install beadboard paneling

Beadboards can be installed in any room in the house, but you’ll typically see them in kitchens, dining rooms and bathrooms. They are a very adaptable paneling that the new or seasoned DIYer can get creative with. Wainscoting, bed headboards, even whole ceilings and walls are all possibilities when you know the right way to install it.

Once you’ve measured and decided how much beadboard you need for the project, it’s time to plan the layout. Follow these steps to keep it simple. 

  1. Measure wherever you plan to install the beadboard. Take into consideration any electrical outlets, doorframes and baseboards as you record your measurements. 
  2. Mark the walls for chair rail and baseboard heights if used for wainscoting.
  3. Put all the parts together before installing them and ensure everything fits together correctly.
  4. If you are painting or staining the board, it is best to do this before installation.

Beadboards, like most paneling, comes standard in 8-foot panels. The standard height is 32 inches, or 1/3 of the room height if you’re adding wainscoting. Some lumber stores might even cut the paneling to fit for your job if you ask.

How to install paneling: What you need to know

Now you’ve done all the preparation, you’re ready for installation. Here’s how to install beadboard paneling over drywall:

  • Clean and dry both the walls and the back of the beadboard to ensure good adhesion.
  • Apply adhesive to the back of the board, then position the beadboard into place. A zigzag pattern of adhesive works best.
  • Attach the board to the wall following any marks or guidelines you have put in place. Fasten the board to the wall with finish nails or screws, if the manufacturer recommends this, until the glue dries.
  • Continue with all boards until they are all in place.
  • The chair rail (if applicable) typically sits right at the top edge of the wainscoting, capping it off.
  • If baseboard is to be used, that will be installed last.

Older houses often have floors and walls that have settled over time causing gaps and uneven surfaces. Take that into consideration when pre-fitting your paneling.

How to install beadboards: Choose the right adhesive

The best beadboard panel glue for the job is LePage No More Nails Paneling & Moulding Construction Adhesive. It features nearly instant grab, so you won’t have to clamp or nail the panels if you don’t want to. It is also water resistant for use in kitchens, bathrooms and other places where dampness is a possibility. No More Nails is water based, which means no strong odor, and easy clean up. 

Watch our instructional video on how to use LePage No More Nails Construction Adhesive.