Monday, February 27, 2012

Beadboard Wainscot Options

I am a huge fan of beadboard.  It provides a lot of durability and creates a beautiful, classic look.  When we bought our project house, it already had lots of beadboard in the kitchen.  We want to keep it, and add some more as well.  But we need to make sure we are using the best type for our application.

There are 3 different kinds of beadboard.  The first is true beadboard with strips of tongue and groove wood that lock together.  This allows the strips to shrink or swell with humidity.  This is what we have in our kitchen.  But the downside with this is over time and with successive coats of paint, it always ends up with unattractive gaps.  So for the dry winter months, I hate it (and we live in Maine, so there are a lot of winter months)!  But the rest of the year it looks great.  Click here to view the finished beadboard kitchen. 

The other 2 options are paneling, sold in 4' x 8' sheets.  One variety is very thick (1/2 inch or more).  It's nailed right to the studs and makes a great wainscoting, because with the chair rail nailed to the top, it's thicker than the sheetrock and provides nice definition on the wall. It's also very pricey, so we use it sparingly.  We've used it on this stairwell of our own house and it holds up to any traffic that kids and dogs can deliver!  

The 3rd option is thin paneling, but there are different quality levels to be aware of.  Some is really cheap with two thin grooves pressed into the surface..... and it never looks good.  But there are other grades, for just a few dollars more, that have a curved 'bead' built in and look very nice (it's also great if you have a curved wall - such as the back of this kitchen island we put in another house - because it conforms to the curve).  Its reasonably priced, you just need to make sure it is well sanded before it is painted.  

For our 1900 Victorian, we are keeping the existing beadboard that is in the kitchen (so yes, I'm trying to squeeze paint in between the gaps!).   And we will add new beadboard paneling in two additional places.  First, on the back of the new kitchen island - it provides lots of durability for kicking feet when people sit on the stools.  

The second application is a new project - a foyer coat rack and bench with a beadboard backing.  In Maine we go right from 'wintah' to 'mud season'.....both which require a place to sit and remove boots.  And in the summer, there are lots of beach goers with piles of flip flops by the front door.  A couple of baskets will give them a place to land.  

I've been saving clippings from magazines for years with lots of ideas.  But then this week, I stumbled across this great blog post that has fabulous ideas.  Take a look-  My favorite is shown below:

Source:  Conner Homes
What do you think?  I've sketched up some ideas.....and you can check out the finished product here!
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  1. New follower from the blog hop! :-)

  2. Love this article. However have you ever thought of using painters cock and filling the gaps when they show up in the beadboard then painting over it??? It is suppsosed to be verry for-giving in the fact that it expands and shrinks well and is verry paintable!!! Just an idea!

    1. I have tried caulk when the gaps get big in the wintertime.....but when the wood swells in the summer, it gets all swollen and funky looking. And then come winter, it sometimes creates a gap again. Very frustrating! But I still love the look of bead board!

  3. Some favor utilizing beadboard wainscoting designs which might be specially measured rectangular planks of wood vinyl ceramic or other supplies organized in a very ribbed pattern. With regards to picking wainscoting panels this kind of as these it really is an excellent idea to find out a lot more in regards to the components you might be picking in a very sensible perception at the same time.


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