Installing Bead Board Ceiling

Installing Bead Board Ceiling

Do you have a room in your home where the door stays closed most of the time? Ours is the laundry room. I hate doing laundry! I figured with four kids, the laundry wasn’t going to go away, and I needed to make the room a more pleasant place to be in. The laundry room needed a makeover. Last year, Traci at Beneath My Heart made over her laundry/mud room with a gorgeous bead board ceiling. I was inspired!  Installing bead board ceiling was exactly what our little laundry room needed!

Installing a Bead Board Ceiling

Our last home had the washer and dryer out in the garage. Doing laundry out in a freezing cold garage in the dead of winter was no picnic. I’m very grateful to have a laundry room in this home, even if it’s ugly.

laundry room before

We’ve installed bead board before in our 1949 Bathroom Renovation and our daughters’ Bead Board Bathroom. I’ve learned a few tips along the way I’ll pass along. We purchased 4×8 foot sheets of plywood bead board. I do not recommend the large compressed fiber board sheets. Granted they are lighter to work with, but it chips and dents easily, and doesn’t look as authentic. We also purchased all the trim for crown molding. We primed and painted all the wood work before we made a single cut. Painting overhead is no fun. Trust me.

prepaint bead board  and molding

Hubs cut out a few corners with a Skil saw and used a jig saw to cut out an opening for the light fixture. Turning your piece upside down usually results in a cleaner cut.

cutting bead board

Now came the fun part of lifting the 8 foot board into the air, while standing on two ladders and holding it up to the ceiling. This was exhausting. Dry wall installers use a “T” shaped device that helps hold the dry wall up. We didn’t have that and so we used a makeshift contraption of a few 2×4’s. It helped for sure, but still required holding the board. We started nailing the bead board in place with a finishing nail gun, but ran into a major problem.

Installing a bead board ceiling

We did NOT find out where the joists were in the ceiling before we started. HUGE MISTAKE! The nails were not hitting wood! This is a dilemma when you are holding something over your head FOR-E-VAH!!!


My daughter captured this oh-so-lovely-exhausted shot of me after our little joist crisis.


I couldn’t find my safety glasses either, so my sunglasses had to do the job. The bead board has a tongue on one side and a groove on the other. When you add an additional piece of bead board the tongue is slid into the groove and that helps create a seamless appearance.

bead board ceiling

Needless to say, there were a ton of nail holes to fill with food filler. Hubs added the crown molding and I caulked the edges and seams with paintable caulk, then touched up the paint in any areas that needed it. I won’t give you a lesson on crown molding today. We’ll save that for another post. It is not easy to do, let alone to teach it. We still screw it up,and all I have to say is thank goodness for caulk and wood filler!

painting bead board ceiling

The bead board ceiling is finished and looks amazing! I’m so happy with it! I started painting the walls in Aloe by Sherwin Williams which is a lovely turquoise color, but color can be tricky. This room gets a ton of sunshine and the color became a bit over powering and honestly, it didn’t blend well with the play room’s color, Atmospheric by Benjamin Moore. The play room is right next to the laundry room and the two colors clashed. So less than 24 hours after painting the room in Aloe, I decided to re-paint the room in Rainwashed. The walls are still wet in the pic below and not every wall is covered, but it’ll give you an idea of where it’s headed.

Rainwashed and Aloe paint

The walls are highly textured too, which is makes painting very time consuming. Shelves will be installed and a new lighting fixture has been ordered.  I’m excited for the final reveal which will be soon! So stay tuned!



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  1. It is looking good! You did a great job on the ceiling. Ceiling work is painful!!

  2. Love the look of a white ceiling feels so clean and helps all the beautiful wall color stand out!

  3. The process doesn’t look fun, but the result is gorgeous! I really like that shade of blue in Rainwashed.

  4. Wow!! What an AMAZING transformation!! I too LOVED the bead board ceiling in Traci’s new kitchen & love it just as much in your laundry room 🙂 You & the Hubs are quite the team!!

  5. LOVE bead board and LOVE your ceiling!!

  6. I am in the process of figuring out the details of my laundry room redo….this is just the ticket! Thanks for the idea and the tips. Looks great!

  7. We installed bead board on our kitchen ceiling 12 years ago. We used a product called liquid nails to hold up the board first before we nailed it with the nail gun. People are still giving us great complements after all this time.

    • We thought of using liquid nails, but this sheet was 8 feet long, pretty heavy, and no amount of adhesive was going to keep it up with out some assistance. I would surely recommend it if someone uses the thin fiberboard panels. Liquid nails is a great product.

  8. Kim, it looks great, I would love to do this in my bathroom, actually my whole house! Can’t wait to see the finished room.

  9. Looks fabulous Kim! Are those designer shades you’re wearing or are those actualy protective eyewear, lol???
    – Jenna

  10. Gorgeous! I want to do this in our bathroom, but thought I’d practice in my son’s closet first. It’s just a little 3×4 rectangle so it shouldn’t be too bad, right? Right? 🙂

  11. Beautiful! Looks like it was worth all the hard work! 🙂

  12. I love it! It transforms the room beautifully. I’ve been thinking of adding beadboard to our bathroom and would never have thought to add it to the ceiling!

    And those shades and frustration shot are the best. Thanks for keeping it real, I feel like almost every project ends up with one of those moments, haha!

  13. Perfect timing! We have a beachhouse and the fornt porch is where we spend all of our time. we just got a metal roof installed and the screws came through the ceiling (Like they should…) but to cover it up my mom wants a bead board ceiling and I told her, of course you can do that!!! and look two days later, I found your blog! It looks great!

  14. Love this look!

  15. Love this! And I never would have thought of it. Looks great!

  16. Love it and I love the blue color. We just had a beadboard ceiling installed in our laundry room yesterday. We had the individual boards that link together and they came primed but now tomorrow I have to paint them. Not looking forward to the neck strain!

    • I bet it looks gorgeous! Painting overhead is the worst! We made sure to paint everything before it went up, but I still had to go over all the nail holes. Good luck with painting today! ~ KIM

  17. This looks so good! Definitely inspiring. Hmm now what room can I try this on… 🙂

  18. Love it! Are the seams (the butt joints I think they’re called) visible? Not the tongue and groove seam but the other one? LOL, I’ve always been apprehensive about doing a ceiling because I don’t want the seams to stick out! Thanks!!

    • Thanks Nichole! The butt joints are visible. We only have one and it’s about 6 inches from the doorway, no it’s not too visible. We had a hard time making it flush because the seam didn’t land on a stud and there was nothing but drywall to nail it too. It’s pretty well hidden with sanding and caulking. If I had to do a large room, I’d probably just choose individual boards like Kevin & Layla (The Lettered did for their ceiling. We’re pleased with how it all turned out though. 🙂

  19. Bridie Blossey says:

    Looks great Kim, I love it.

  20. Kim!
    I didn’t realize you mentioned me as your inspiration for your laundry room ceiling!
    I am so sorry that I didn’t say “thank you” before now!


    Your laundry room is absolutely gorgeous!
    Love it!


  21. Anonymous says:

    Would this work over popcorn ceilings?

  22. I love your comments about crown molding and laughed out loud. We have studied, bought numerous books,have all the required tools, and are smarter than the average bears (I think so anyway 🙂 But, we still have to use caulk and wood filler with crown molding on occasion. Just when we think we’ve got it, we realize that we don’t!

  23. Hi-
    Can you tell me what sheen of white paint you used? Eggshell, satin or something else? Our laundry room gets really dusty, so I want to use a paint that will be easy to wash off once in awhile. Your laundry room is beautiful! Also, what kind of floors do you have in there?
    Thank you,

  24. Hi Karin,
    We used a semigloss on the bead board ceiling and trim. The floors are just a high grade linoleum, nothing fancy. Thank you!

  25. How did you make the seams look seamless on the 4 foot end of the plywood? We installed a ceiling like this and had to add faux beams to cover those seams.

    • Hi Jessica,
      We used paintable caulk between the seam where the boards met. You can see the darker seam line in the pic above where I’m holding a paint brush. After painting is it wasn’t noticeable. Now because these boards are 8ft x 4ft and the hallway part of the laundry room is longer than 8 ft, we had line up another section of bead board in the hall section. You can see the area where I’m talking about in the 5th pic where I’m holding it over my head). We caulked that seam and I ran a toothpick down each groove to pull out the caulk, so it would look more disguised. It is still visible but because of where it’s located (by the AC vent, no one notices. I recommend using this bead board for small spaces like this one, and use planks for large rooms.Hope that helps. 😉

  26. We went the faux beams route also to cover seams. We love how it turned out but thought it was necessary. Great improvement!

  27. Hi. Looks pretty good! Did you run into any problem with wires in the ceiling? I’m paranoid i’ll hit a wire with the nail gun? Do you think screws would be better then nails or doesn’t matter. Debating on doing the front hall and den with the 4 x 8 sheets. A lot cheaper to try and do it myself.

    • Hi CHarlie!
      Thank you!
      No, We didn’t worry about wires. If you figure out where the ceiling joists are then wires will not be an issue (use a stud finder). You can use screws, but a nail gun is a whole lot faster and easier when you are holding a 4 x 8 ft sheet over your head. 😉
      All my best,

  28. Melissa says:

    Hi Kim! I have been all over your site and love every inch! I live on the water in Hampton and am doing a fairly big decorative reno in our house… room by room. We have the same bead board that we put up in our family room when we moved in 8 years ago, but can’t find the 4×8 sheets anymore. Where did you find yours?? BTW- I am duplicating your pillow covers out of the Target napkins and LOVE the idea and the way they are turning out!! Smiles- Melissa

    • Hi Melissa!
      Thanks so much for the sweet comment! We found the 4×8 sheets at Lowe’s. They are usually along the back wall and you need to sort through them to check for cracks, knots, etc. If you can’t find them, just ask one of the lumber guys. (They sell out pretty fast). I love that you are trying out the napkin pillows too! Awesome! Have a fabulous week!
      All my best,

  29. Fabulous job you did on your Bead Board Ceiling. We put up a similar ceiling in our kitchen last year but instead of using the sheets we used individual strips that came in various sizes and clicked together. Unfortunately because we primed the wood before putting it up, the wood strips did not fit easily into each other. It was so much work that my husband was swearing and exhausted. I love the result and would love to do the same in my laundry room but have never even brought it up to him. Your idea, even though it is still a lot of work, is so much better. I may try to convince him. If I ever do a post about our kitchen ceiling I will definitely suggest that readers check out your tutorial. It is a much better option!! Love your laundry room, the colour is great!!

    • Thanks Margaret! Yes, DIY certainly has its fair share of frustrations. I bet your ceiling looks gorgeous though! Thanks again for the kind comment.

  30. Holy I LOVE this! I see this happening in the very near future.

  31. Carina Vause says:

    How do you deal with the seams on the butt ends?

    • Hi Carina,
      Unfortunately the seams do show, and they will need to be caulked then painted to minimize the appearance. Our space is very small so the only seam is one foot inside the door, so it isn’t very noticeable.
      Hope that helps 😉


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