ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Installing Beadboard Wainscoting - Paneling

Updated on July 6, 2015
Lily Rose profile image

In my next life, I want to be an interior designer. I love decorating and home decor, taking on projects, and helping others do the same.

Beautiful Cape-Cod Beadboard Wainscoting
Beautiful Cape-Cod Beadboard Wainscoting

I've been considering changing the look of my dining room and I'm really leaning toward a wall treatment, such as wainscoting. Here's what I've learned, in the process, about how to properly install beadboard wainscoting.

Bead board can give a wall a classy look, and change the overall look of the room or hallway that it's in. Wainscoting is when a decorative paneling is attached to the bottom part of a wall, usually from about 36 inches above the floor, to the floor, and it's a super easy way to cheer up a room, or even dramatize it. Wainscoting can also go from the floor to the height of a plate-rail, 48 to 60 inches from the floor.

Lots of different panels and trims can be used when installing beadboard; it can be recessed, raised, of even flat. Tongue-and-groove beadboard is usually readily available at most local hardware stores like Lowes or Home Depot and it's usually not very expensive per sheet. You can get it in unfinished wood, primed and ready for paint or already painted white. There's a style of wainscoting to match pretty much any décor.

  • Tape measure
  • 4-foot level
  • Power saw
  • Hammer
  • Jigsaw
  • Safety glasses
  • Notched trowel

Materials you will need:

  • Bead board panels
  • Wainscoting ply cap
  • Finishing nails (6- or 8- penny)
  • Construction adhesive
  • Wood filler
  • Primer and paint or stain
  • Pry bar
  • Stud finder

pry baseboard off, being careful not to damage your walls
pry baseboard off, being careful not to damage your walls

The how to:

1. Use a pry bar, or even a strong chisel, to carefully pry the baseboard off the wall, being careful not to damage the baseboard or the wall.  Remember, you'll be re-attaching the baseboard when your project is complete.  Use a spare piece of wood up against the wall if you're using a pry bar like shown in the picture to the right to help avoid damage to the wall.  Turn off the electrical power and install box extension rings (metal collars that allow the outlet to be brought to the wainscoting’s surface) to all the electrical outlets that the wainscoting will be going affecting.

use level to mark your height all around the room
use level to mark your height all around the room

2. Figure out what height you want your wainscoting to be - typical installation height is chair-rail height, which is about 36 inches (slightly higher if your room has high ceilings).  Once you do that,  use a level and mark a line at the height you want all around the room, or hallway if that's what you're working on.  With a stud finder, locate and mark the the studs so that you know where to nail the top trim (cap rail) and baseboard.

You can also use a jigsaw for this step
You can also use a jigsaw for this step

3. Cut the first piece of paneling to the height you measured (floor to your level line) with a circular saw or jigsaw.

Don't forget your safety glasses!

4. Measure and mark the location of the affected electrical outlets and cut a rectangle out of the panel with a jigsaw.  Apply construction adhesive to the back of the paneling and use the trowel to spread it. Starting in a corner and place the beadboard paneling onto the wall and nail in place.  With your hands, press the beadboard against the wall to insure proper adhesion.

5. Continue to cut and adhere, then nail the panels where the studs are. The tongue-and-groove paneling has a lip at the edges that should hide the seams nicely, but you may want to apply a bead of paintable latex caulk if you plan on painting the wainscoting.  Once you're finished attaching all of the paneling, you can judge whether or not that step is necessary.  You'll probably want to put a bead of caulk in any corners.

Final step, applying the wainscoting cap.  Now step back and enjoy your improved décor.
Final step, applying the wainscoting cap. Now step back and enjoy your improved décor.

6. Determine the length of cap trim needed and cut and nail it in with the 6-penny nails at the location of the studs (you can use the 8-penny if you don't feel like you're hitting the stud).  For a nicer, more professional look, you'll want to miter all the corners, inside and outside ones.  All that's left to do at this point is reattach the baseboard using 8-penny nails, also at the location of the studs.  Be sure to countersink the nails and use a latex caulk to fill in the holes.  The caulk should also be used to fill any gaps you may have.

Now just sit back and enjoy your beautiful new room!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Lily Rose profile imageAUTHOR

      Lily Rose 

      8 years ago from A Coast

      Thanks for the comments! I look very much forward to this project - I love the cape cod style pictured at the top!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      I love beadboard! I've used it in a couple of houses.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      9 years ago

      I agree, wainscoting certainly does formalize a dining room.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      This is a great idea and looks wonderful. Thank you for your hub.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)