How to Caulk Beadboard

Keep rags on hand for cleaning up before and after applying caulking.
Keep rags on hand for cleaning up before and after applying caulking. (Image: towels 1 image by dana nicolescu from

Beadboard is used as wainscot paneling inside homes and is available in both tongue strips and 4-foot by 8-foot sheets. Beadboard is often installed at the top of baseboards and finished with a chair rail at the top. Caulk is applied to fill the gaps and seal the seams between the beadboard, the chair rail and the wall. Caulking prepares the surface for painting and leaves clean lines.

Things You'll Need

  • Rags
  • Mild soap
  • Pail of water
  • Caulk gun
  • Acrylic caulk

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Clean the surfaces to be caulked. Use a mild soap and a wet rag to wipe the tops of the chair rail and along the seams of the beadboard. Make sure to wipe any soap residue off before caulking.

Apply a thin bead of caulking. Run the tip of the caulking tube along seams while exerting even pressure on the trigger of the caulking gun. For a smoother application, keep the tip at a 45-degree angle. Release the trigger just before you come to the end of the seam—a little caulking will still push out of the tube even after pressure is released.

Create a concave surface on the wet caulking. Run the tip of your finger along the top of the caulking, pushing down slightly. This will push the caulking into the crevice and leave a smooth finish.

Clean off excess caulk. With a damp rag, clean any stray caulking from the chair rail or the seams of the beadboard. It is easier to remove this before it has dried.

Repeat the process until all seams have been sealed.


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