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Install beadboard wainscoting boards or panels

  • Difficulty: hammer
    Close Difficulty
    Beginner Do-It-Yourselfer - Easy
    Intermediate Do-It-Yourselfer - Moderate
    Experienced Do-It-Yourselfer - Difficult
    Professional - Expert
  • Completion Time : 1 jour

Available in strips or panels, made of wood, MDF or PVC, beadboard panelling or wainscoting instantly adds charm and warmth to walls. Simple steps for installing this type of wall treatment.


Tools and materials required


  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Mallet
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Stud finder
  • Mitre saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Pneumatic nailer
  • Notched trowel


  • Wainscot boards or beadboard panels
  • Finishing nails 
  • Screws and plugs
  • Construction adhesive 
  • Pre-notched baseboard moulding 
  • * There are special baseboard and chair rail mouldings designed for use with beadboard wainscoting. They have been rabbeted at the back to create a space for the ends of the wainscot boards or panels.
  • Outlet box extenders

Beadboard wainscoting comes in a variety of materials and formats:

  • MDF beadboard panels: Easy and quick to install. Can be left with white primer or painted the colour of your choice. Various sizes available, imitating beadboard of different widths.
  • PVC beadboard planks: Lightweight, mould-resistant, quick and easy to install. Perfect for bathrooms and other high-moisture areas.
  • Wood beadboard strips: Species include pine, oak and teak. Can be painted, or stained to bring out the wood’s natural beauty. Variety of widths.


  • Vertical: Makes the room seem higher and narrower
  • Horizontal: Makes the room seem wider and lower
  • Diagonal: Adds interest and a touch of modernity


Beadboard can be installed in two ways: with randomly staggered joints or in a regular brick-joint pattern.

  • Random joints: The strips are laid end to end without being cut to any specific length, which creates randomly staggered joints. This is the simplest, most common and most economical method.
  • Random joints: The strips are laid end to end without being cut to any specific length, which creates randomly staggered joints. This is the simplest, most common and most economical method.


The substrate is the surface to which the beadboard is attached.

  • Directly to the wall framing: This method, which is not very commonly used and is more complex than other installation techniques, involves building a support framework from blocking and furring to which the beadboard or wainscot panels are fastened. This technique allows the wall to "breathe" and is used especially if the wainscoting is very thin or if the wall surface is uneven.
  • Over drywall: The boards can be screwed or nailed to furring strips, or, depending on their thickness, they can be glued and nailed to the wall directly.
  • Over concrete (using furring strips)



  • Very easy to do.
  • Substrate must be clean, smooth and dry.
  • Use neoprene-based adhesive suitable for the substrate.
  • To remove, the beadboard must be pulled away, which can damage the wall. Glue is sometimes used in conjunction with other fastening methods, for greater solidity.


  • Use headless finishing nails.
  • Nail through the side of the board or panel.


  • Staple through the tongue or groove of the board.
  • Set the stapler to a power that will not split the board.


  • The clip fits onto the board first before being nailed to the framework or substrate.

Before you begin, remove the beadboard from its packaging and leave it in the room for 24 and 48 hours to allow it to adjust to the temperature and humidity levels.

Before Assembly



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Install beadboard wainscoting boards or panels