How to Decorate a Bathroom with Beadboard Paneling

One affordable and gorgeous way to decorate a bathroom is beadboard paneling. This is the modern, fiberboard replica of the paneling that used to cover bathroom walls in the 19th Century. In the same vein, beadboard paneling can do more than decorate by concealing humidity stains and covering ugly walls that could use a coat of plaster beneath the coat of paint. The look of beadboard paneling is very similar to that of old-fashioned wood wainscoting and the effect is stunning. So if you are looking to add ageless grace to your life, here’s how to decorate your bathroom with beadboard paneling.

What You’ll Need to Decorate Your Bathroom with Beadboard Paneling

  • Beadboard paneling, which you can find at home improvement stores.
  • Chair rail molding
  • Floor Molding
  • Glue gun
  • Hammer and nails
  • Level

How do You Install Beadboard in a Bathroom?

Prepare Your Bathroom for Beadboard Installation

Beadboard will be installed on the bottom half of your bathroom walls. Therefore, it’s important to clear the area of any mirrors, laundry baskets or even a toilet and sink that may be in the way. After the walls are clear, measure the width of the walls all around the bathroom, to determine how much beadboard you will be needing to decorate this portion of the room. Since it is sold in packages, simply opt to buy a package that has a little more beadboard than you are going to need, to be on the safe side.

Decide on the Height of the Beadboard Paneling

If you have a floor molding, remove them and save them for reinstallation over the beadboard paneling. You can make decorating your bathroom with beadboard an easy affair, if you accept the height the beadboard comes in and simply install it as is. If not, you will need to cut the beadboard down to size, preferably with an electric saw. Rest one piece of beadboard on the floor and flush against the wall to see how high the beadboard paneling will reach.

Install the Beadboard Paneling.

Begin decorating your bathroom with beadboard by setting the first panel in the right corner, up against the wall. Use the glue gun to prep the wall first, then rest the beadboard panel in place. Nail the beadboard tongue for extra security. Keep adding sections as you go around the room and use a level to make sure that the beadboard are standing flush and straight. When you reach corners, overlap the beadboard paneling, to save you the trouble of mitering the edges.

Install the floor molding and Chair Rail Molding

If you have removed floor molding prior to beginning your bathroom decorating with beadboard paneling, you can reinstall the floor molding along the bottom of the beadboards. Then add chair rail molding at the top for a beautiful, elegant look. For the molding it is important to miter the corners with a miter saw or by hand, using a jig that allows you to cut 45-degree angles.

Decorate Your Bathroom Beadboard with Painted Designs

Now comes the truly creative part of decorating your bathroom with beadboard paneling. You can paint the paneling a solid color that stands as an accent color to the rest of the bathroom. Be sure to use semi-gloss or gloss paint, for a silky sheen. If your bathroom is dark, choose white colors for your beadboard panels. If the bathroom is light, choose accent colors like navy blue, eggplant purple, or seafoam green for your beadboard panels. You can also paint your beadboard in striped patterns or faux paint them with a sea sponge for extra flare.


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