When I started the boys room, I wanted to add a little pop and pizzazz, but in a simple and traditional way. What screams traditional, but chill at the same time, more than beadboard? And what’s an easy way to add a sprinkle of pizzazz with minimal effort? An accent wall! I am going to share how I was able to do this beadboard accent wall in under three hours and how you, a beginner, can do it as well. I tell you my mistakes and how you can get this look with little to no power tools if you’re on a budget.
What you will need:
- This beadboard panel. (Measured to the length of your wall) this will be cut down*
- This cap trim piece (measured to the length of your wall)
- Hammer or nail gun
- Skill saw, hand saw or box cutter
- Meter stick
- Measuring tape
- Paint (I chose Benjamin Moore Brewster Gray)
- Paint brush
(These are not affiliate links, just what I used)
Note: they do sell half sheets of beadboard, for my project it was more affordable to use only one big sheet.
Buying the supplies
First you will want to go to Lowes, put all your long trim and paneling in one of those loud hard to push carts for big items and struggle your way through the store. I’m kidding… but am I really?
Okay back to the tutorial, I planned to get the beadboard paneling cut there but of course, the machine was down. So I had to get creative. (which lets be honest is more fun, anyways)
I searched, i.e. accidently hogged, the trim aisle for a while for something to use as my top trim piece. Because I didn’t trust myself to get the beadboard cut straight, I knew I didn’t want the traditional chair rail anymore.
Ultimately, I ended up deciding to get a cap piece instead. A cap piece is like a chair rail but the back has a notch cut out the back instead of being totally flat. This allows me to cover up my errors better, because the paneling just slides behind it.
Now this is where if you don’t own power tools you can use a hand saw and the table at the store. An associate even helped me once, so that’s always an option.
Just make sure you have measured, measured, and measured again before you left your house so you can be 10000% percent sure they are correct. I personally think it’s better for it to be a tad shorter than too long because caulk can cover up small gaps.
Let’s get to work
I got all my supplies home and got to work. The first thing I did was paint the edges that were going to be close to the wall.
I’ve never had good luck with painters tape, so I did this where I knew it would be hard to paint without getting paint on the wall. I don’t have a picture of this process but you will see what I mean in a later image.
Measuring for the beadboard wall
Next, I measured from the floor to four feet and marked that on the window trim. Then I took my meter stick and level and marked on the other side of the window as well. If you have one of those long levels in your arsenal, then more power to you, but I’m working with what I had.
The reason behind this is because I knew I wanted it to look level and symmetrical on the window since it’s the center and it would be very noticeable if it wasn’t. I didn’t measure from the floor up on both sides because I didn’t want to assume the flooring was level.
I have learned that when it comes to houses nothing is what it seems! It’s not level and it’s not square I’m telling you now.
Then I measured from the floor trim up to my mark and used that number for my height measurements.
See what I mean? Almost a whole quarter inch off. But it’s level so that’s all that matters.
Now, I could’ve just subtracted two inches from four feet and ran with it but I know the trim isn’t level so that wouldn’t have given me equal measurements on each side of the window, you know what I’m saying?
Would this have made that much of a difference? Probably not but I wanted my measurements to be as precise as possible so I would know the amount of wiggle room (or lack thereof) that I had when cutting the beadboard.
I also needed to go under the window so I measured the distance between the base trim and the window trim. It was only about four inches. My windows are large and low.
Cutting the beadboard panels
On to cutting the beadboard paneling. I marked my measurements on both the left and right sides of the backside of the panelling and drew lines for guidance.
Then I used a box cutter to cut through the paneling. It required a bit of force but it worked. As long as I got it close I could trim it up with our small table saw. Or you can notch it down with your box cutter some more.
But anyways, after it was all cut, my arms were tired but it turned out pretty straight. The only problem was when cutting through from the backside it messed up the finish on the front a bit. BUT this is why I bought the cap piece! It covered almost all of the imperfections. Also, with paint and caulk, you can’t even tell.
Tip: I did clean up my line a bit later. I learned it’s easier to do this when its upright as opposed to laying flat.
Hanging the beadboard panels and finishing touches
I hung up the two bigger pieces first, made sure they were level and nailed them up.
I put up the paneling under the window last because it was too long. Since this piece was narrow, I was able to cut it with a miter saw, but you can definitely go in with the box cutter again if that’s all you have to work with.
After all the beadboard was hung up it was time to nail up the cap pieces.
Lastly, I caulked all the holes using my finger and painted and the beadboard accent wall was done.
*Yes there is paint on the blinds. I slipped and fell with the paint roller in my hand because that’s just the way I am. Let’s just say it’s part of my charm, shall we?
Also, we took those blinds down so no biggie.
Mistakes to avoid
- Cutting from the backside This is the reason the finish on the front was damaged. If I would’ve cut from the front side I would have been able to control that better and since the back side isn’t as important it wouldn’t have mattered much if it was damaged.
- Using a roller to paint. The grooves in the beadboard make it really hard to paint with a roller. I ended up having to use a brush on the grooves. Probably would’ve saved more time if I just used a paint brush from the beginning.
- Not removing base trim. I don’t really see this as a mistake but I do think that it would have made it easier and gave me more wiggle room with measurements.
- Not measuring beforehand. I got lucky and one piece was enough but I really suggest you have your measurements triple checked before you head out to the hardware store.
- Not painting the edges of the beadboard. I was so worried about the trim that I forgot about the beadboard. I just thought “oh it’s touching the window trim and that’s already blue so no big deal.” Don’t be like me. Think ahead. Or if you’re a pro at using tape then just go for it. I ended up just holding a large metal scraper up as I painted the edge and it worked pretty well.
Well, there you go, an easy beadboard accent wall for beginners. All in all, this took me about three hours but with the proper power tools it could take you a lot less time. It probably took me longer to write this blog post about it than it took to actually do it. I tried to be as thorough as possible but if you have any questions, just let me know down in the comment section. I hope this inspires you to create something beautiful even if you don’t have fancy tools. The tools don’t make you, you make the tools!
Thanks for stopping by,