Lets talk about beadboard. Oh how I love beadboard, usually slathered up with white paint BUT I must admit I love the look above painted a with color!

One of my bedrooms growing up (we lived in several different homes) had it on the ceiling..the old kind with the gaps and cracks (which I actually love..don’t like it too perfect..more about that in a bit)…However, I must say, beadboard is not a good floor treatment..yes I am serious, we lived in a historic home when we were newlyweds and it had beadboard on the bathroom floor..not a nice feeling on the feet!and just a weird use of beadboard.  Not to mention the cleaning!  ha!

{Image from Meredith Corporation}

So with the exception of floors, I think beadboard is perfection in many different areas..obviously ceilings, mudrooms, kitchen backsplash, nursery, entry, mudroom, ceilings and of course bathrooms.  I think some of the tile companies even market a ceramic tile beadboard look if humidity is a concern.

Here it is below in classic white. I love it in hallways and entryways where there is not a lot of room for artwork or even a bench.

And everyone is talking about what The Remodeling Guy says here and even the NYTimes did this article..because beadboard is not just for cottage anymore..its popping up in newer homes and even the city!

No matter how popular and widely loved it has become, there is still nothing to me like seeing it on an old porch ceiling…in that great Southern tradition of haint blue..great combo!

… or inside a piece of authentic utilitarian furniture.  LOVE.

Yes, old beadboard surely makes me swoon whether on a porch, inside an old cabinet or on a ceiling!

So we know beadboard is great in many places but my question is..which type of product do you prefer for current projects:

  1. vintage style strips or planks, installed the old school way… I like this method, the history major part of me feels this is “authentic” and most accurate..ha! It is also probably the most expensive and most unless you live in an historic home and really care about details…this may not be the way to also can shift and show gaps over the years..I like this but it might drive some people crazy!
  2. beadboard “panels” or sheets  they come in various grades and price points but I know for a fact you can buy the sheets really inexpensively at big box home improvement stores…This is a great solution if you are trying to cover an ugly or scarred wall in a bath or on a do have to consider seams, perhaps add a strip of molding/trim over the seams but not the gaps and cracks like the old stuff.
  3. beadboard wallpaper. Correct me if I am wrong but I think this has been in the home improvement stores for a while..along with other “paintable” heavy wallpapers.  Recently, however it has stormed the Internet.  Rhoda at Southern Hospitality did a great post on it complete with fab pictures and links to others who have used the product.  Very easy and like Rhoda says, if you don’t want to mess with removing molding and cutting trim, nails etc.., this is a great way to go.and it is inexpensive! I have even seen this product in Ballard’s catalog!

SO WHICH HAVE YOU USED for your projects?? Where in your home? Which look do you prefer??  Is there really even a difference visually unless you really take note and are a beadboard snob ..ha!??? I can’t wait to hear what y’all think, share links and leave comments!

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  1. Rachelle says

    Put up beadboard on a bathroom wall next to my master bath vanity (about 4ft tall)and used as a corner jet tub surround in the same bath. Our house is new construction, but my goal is to give it that loved-in feeling. Glad you mentioned that beadboard is going in homes that are not necessarily “country”, because my home is more transitional style.

  2. Personally, I prefer the old fashioned “genuine” beadboard. The strips. Perhaps, I am a bit of a snob, but that is what we used in both of our bathrooms. It may take longer, but is actually so much easier to work with. For some reason, I feel like if I am going to add character, it seems like I am cheating it with wallpaper or paneling. Course, that’s how I feel about my own home, but I am not opposed to others using wallpaper or paneling in their own homes.

  3. Hi. I’m Melissa and I am a beadboard snob.


    Seriously, I love the tongue and groove type of beadboard. I have used it at my last two houses and until this brand new house, I’ve never lived in a house that didn’t have real tongue and groove or board and batten wood walls or ceilings somewhere in the house. I’m going to do my best to change that in this house!

    I do not care for the sheets of that simulated beadboard. It is definitely noticeable to me, but maybe that is because I am a wood snob. LOL. I like the wood and the grooves to be thick and real and if they have gaps from expansion or shrinking over time, YAY! Love it. I have never used beadboard wallpaper, although I can see the ease of its use being a major plus in some applications.

    It is good to have options!

  4. I also love beadboard. We installed it in our entry with a display shelf … and I am definitely considering the wallpaper for my kitchen cabinets. And my master ceiling. And about thirty other places in my house. It’s just so easy to love!

    Here are some pics of my entry.

  5. I LOVE beadboard.But I must confess I have been a “fake” beadboard user, but am now inspired to try the REAL stuff. Thanks, ladies! I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  6. We used beadboard panels for my daughter’s (and now my son’s) nursery and it came out darling. I’m considering using the beadboard wallpaper in our laundry room because I know I won’t convince my husband to put up beadboard in there and I can wallpaper myself!

  7. I, too, love me some beadboard. I am really not a slob about it, unless it’s just put up really poorly or it’s that lacquered kind that looks/feels like dry-erase board. Just not me, I guess. We have it going up our stairs, down the hall, and when we redid our guest bath (which is right off the hallway), we put it in there, too…I love it and it keeps the continuity of the beadboard in the hallway going into the bathroom. We are actually in the process of painting our house (wood exterior) and I am painting our porch ceiling haint blue…a very faint haint…haha! And I’m thinking about putting b.b. up there, too. We are doing it ourselves, so that means I have to talk Mike into it.

    Okay…my headboard…totally self-made….and it’s actually three white-on-white quilted throws I found at Belk. They have scalloped edges. Since they were all sold out of the bed-size quilts, I had to go for the throws. But it actually worked out nicely, I think, since I had to layer them. Two on each end, then one overlapping those down the center…with the scalloped edges. I love having an upholstered headboard even more than I thought I would! Don’t you?? It feels like just a big giant pillow back there to prop up on. ;o) Oh, paint color in my bedroom: BM Woodlawn Blue…love it, love it, love it.

  8. All I’m going to say is…. you’ve created a monster!!! LOL! I think you may have stumbled onto the solution for a very difficult kitchen situation…. beadboard wallpaper!!! I am sooo excited! 🙂

  9. Well of course I loved this post wonder why??????!!!!!!!Maryanne xo

  10. Hey, Holly, good discussion! I too, love the real thing, but sometimes it’s just not practicle, so that is why I have opted for beadboard wallpaper. I figure it really does look like the real thing unless you touch it or get really close & it has worked wonders for me. It would have been a bear to get the real thing up in our small toilet room of the masterbath, but that wallpaper slid right behind the toilet.

    So, if I had a handy hubby AND lots of power tools, I’d probably go with the real stuff too. I love the sheets of rough beadboard at the home improvement stores, those are just fine with me & I used them in my old house. I really do NOT like those slick versions at all. They look really fake. But, all in all, I’m very happy with the beadboard wallpaper & it had helped me get some architectural detail in my “new” house that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Thanks for the link!

  11. Lovely pictures! I love, love, love vintage! 🙂 Petra

  12. I have put beadboard (the panel kind from the home improvement stores) in our kids bedrooms, our kids bath and our downstairs bath. We have always done white, (and just put a small bead of caulk in between boards). I want to move our washer and dryer from our garage entry to upstairs so I can used that room as a mud room, and may try a painted version when we do that – I love the image you posted with the shelving and beadboard combo (with the hooks). Our room isn’t that large, but something like that could work well.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  13. Janice Ratliff says

    I never knew there was a difference…until a few years ago a client was building a very very custom home. They used bead board in the upstairs utility (yes, there were two) and up the back staircase. The builder did not use the single slats and apparently my clients were bead board snobs (have to laugh – they took it very seriously) so the builder had to yank out the “fake” and install the “real”. Honestly, I could barely see the difference once it was painted and trimmed out. I love the look! I see it in bathrooms, kids rooms and my fav is porch ceilings.

  14. I love beadboard and I make my own from rough pine. I use a planer and tablesaw to cut it to size and then a router to make the bead on the edge. This way you can make it as wide or narrow as you like. I get pleasure from making it myself!

  15. Holly,
    I just stumbled onto your site…I love your decorating style. We just purchased a home with alot of beadboard. In the past I have had baseboard (creamy and distressed in the kitchen area) now I am looking for a way to make a very “white” bathroom used by two little girls in the past a grown up young boys bathroom. I struggle with white. I love muted colors and cream trim vs white. I guess I have a white phobia but after seeing your website I am excited about the possibilities….

  16. Do you know what the paint color is in the first photo? I’ve been trying to find the match, but I can’t figure it out! Thanks!

  17. Have orginal board in our summer home. Would like to paint but for some reason I feel it should remain the orginal ugly brown. Tell me it is OK to paint,

  18. Molly Taylor says

    I LOVE old beadboard! I want to use it in my kitchen but I have no idea how to find it. I especially love beadboard that has an old paint color peaking through it. Please help! I live in Atlanta – how do I find a resource? Thanks so much … especially for the inspiration!

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