How to Beadboard the Length of the Ceiling

Owners of older homes typically use beadboarding -- a technique where small strips of wood are nailed together -- as wainscoting. Since most of us don't have time to nail individual strips of wood up, beadboard paneling is a great alternative. These panels can be used to cover entire walls, or even the ceiling. The majority of beadboard panels come in 4x8 sheets, so if you have a ceiling longer than 8 feet, you'll have to cut and fit to successfully complete this project.

Things You'll Need

  • Studfinder
  • Tape measure
  • Ladder
  • Matched paneling nails
  • Hammer
  • Dropcloths
  • Circular Saw with carbide blade.


    • 1

      Prep the room for your project. Remove any furniture to make it easier to get to all parts of the ceiling. Lay down dropcloths over the floor and tape them into place along the walls with masking tape to avoid having them shift under your ladder.

    • 2

      Use an electronic stud finer to locate the ceiling joints. Mark location with a pencil.

    • 3

      Get your panels ready. Decide how many full panels you will need and how many panels will need to be cut to fit. Use a tape measure and a pencil to mark off cut lines on your beadboard. Cut the necessary panels ahead of time so you don't have to stop while you are working.

    • 4

      Attach the first panel of beadboard. You may need to have someone help you hold the panel in place while you nail it up. Start in one corner of the room. Nail paneling nail into the joist. Place a nail every 12 inches on every joist.

    • 5

      Continue putting up the beadboard. Panel over the rest of the ceiling. Fit together each panel as closely as possible -- you won't be able to hide your seams with drywall tape.

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