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How to Install Beadboard and Trim

Host Fuad Reveiz shows how to transform an ordinary bathroom into an eye-catching space by painting, adding some beadboard and new fixtures -- all in one weekend.

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Step 1: Strike a Line Across Wall

After deciding on the height you want the beadboard, strike a level line across the wall. Measure for the first piece along the side wall.

Expert advice: Paneling needs to be acclimated to the location where it will be installed for at least 24 to 48 hours prior to the installation.

decide on height for beadboard

Step 2: Cut Beadboard and Add Adhesive

Cut the beadboard (paneling) using a circular saw and add some construction adhesive to the back.

cut beadboard and add adhesive

Step 3: Align and Secure Beadboard

Place the beadboard on the wall, making sure to align it up with the guide.
Secure the beadboard paneling by using a brad nailer and nailing the corners and edges. This will hold the board in place, and the trim at the top and bottom will hide the nails.

Tip: During the installation of most paneling, a gap of 1/16" should be left between panels to allow for expansion during periods of increased humidity.

Step 4: Measure and Mark for Holes

The next piece of beadboard goes on the sink wall. Measure and mark for the holes for the drains and supply lines.

Step 5: Drill Holes

Drill out the holes using hole-saw attachments on the drill.

drill out holes in beadboard

Step 6: Attach Beadboard

Place the beadboard up through the drain pipes and supply lines, and attach it the same as before with a brad nailer.

Step 7: Install Beadboard Around Room

Measure and cut the rest of the beadboard pieces and install, working your way around the room.

Step 8: Install Chair Railing

Cut the chair railing with a miter saw and install it along the top of the beadboard. The baseboard goes on the same way as the chair railing.

Expert tip: If you're looking for a good alternative to wood molding, consider medium-density fiber board (MDF). It won't warp or splinter, and it come pre-primed and ready to paint.

install chair railing along top of beadboard

Step 9: Fill Holes with Caulk

Finish off the trim by filling in the exposed nail holes and any spaces that aren't perfectly aligned with caulking.

Step 10: Apply Drywall Compound

The final step is to apply one more coat of drywall compound to the wall, and since it's quick-set, you'll need to work fast. Sand any rough spots and apply the second coat of mud "lighter" than the first.