How to Paint a Beadboard Wall

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Sandpaper (120 and 220-grit)
Tack cloth
3/8 inch roller
Paint sprayer (optional)

A beadboard wall, made from wooden routed paneling, provides texture and depth. It is commonly used as wainscoting, walling, backsplash, or around kitchen islands. Follow these guidelines for painting beadboard walls.

Step 1 - Know Your Beadboard

The steps you need to take are dependent on the beadboard. If you have an opportunity to prep and paint the beadboard before installing, do so. Also, determine whether your beadboard has been sanded and pre-primed. If not you will need to do so before painting.

Step 2 - Sand if Necessary

Sanding will be necessary if restoring old beadboard that has already been installed, or if the sheets you have purchased have not yet been sanded and primed. If you are working with sheets that have not yet been installed, lay down on a flat surface. Sand both sides (clearly only one the front side can be sanded if already installed) with 120-grit sandpaper, bending the sheets in half to sand in the grooves. If possible, sand with the wood grain, not against it. After sanding with 120-grit, sand again over the entire area with 220-grit sandpaper

Step 3 - Remove Sanding Dust

Before priming and/or painting can be down, wipe down the entire area with a tack cloth to remove the fine sanding dust.

Step 4 - Prime if Necessary

Before painting, prime both front and back sided of the beadboard if you are working with it pre-installment. Priming the back side will help to protect against short-term moisture damage from the primer and long-term moisture damage from the walls. Priming the back side of beadboard is especially helpful if it is being placed in bathrooms or in a home surrounded by a humid, moist climate. Apply primer with a paintbrush, painting with the grain. Allow the primer to dry completely before painting.

Step 5 - Paint Beadboard

Painting the front side of the beadboard with a paint sprayer will save you time if you are painting a substantial amount of beadboard. If you only are painting a small area, a paintbrush works well to get into tall the grooves. If you don’t have access to a paint sprayer and have a considerable amount of work, apply paint with a paintbrush to the grooves and go over the rest with a roller. Paint with the grain of the wood and allow to dry completely in between coats.