How to Install Beadboard Wallpaper In A Bathroom

by Ashley

Paintable Beadboard Wallpaper Installation

Paintable beadboard wallpaper is the perfect addition to any bathroom remodel.  It’s inexpensive, easy to install, and looks great!

When planning our bathroom renovation, I knew that I wanted some texture on the walls. I considered several different options. I thought about adding a wood plank accent wall like we did in our master bedroom, or the ever so popular board and batten look.

The cost of lumber or paneling can add up quickly, and I wanted to keep the bathroom updates cheap. So I kept coming back to beadboard wallpaper. Graham and Brown’s Paintable Beadboard Wallpaper costs less than $20 per roll making it perfect solution for a bathroom makeover on a budget!

White beadboard wall with trim and wood floors below. Text overlay says, "How to: update your bathroom on a budget with beadboard wallpaper"

Why Use Paintable Beadboard Wallpaper?

You may be thinking to yourself, “Beadboard wallpaper..? Is that even a thing??” Those were the exact thoughts I had when I first came across this product. So let me fill you in on a few of my favorite things about beadboard wallpaper.

  1. The price – I’ve already touched on this, but I had to mention it again. If you are looking for a way to add beadboard to a bathroom (or any room) on a budget, this is a great option
  2. The quality – this is a textured wallpaper and has actual 3-D grooves in it, making it look like the real thing after being painted
  3. The versatility – I love having the option to paint it any color I want, plus its perfect for if I ever want to switch up the look in the future

Two rolls of beadboard Wall Doctor wallpaper on a jute rugBefore we get into the step-by-step tutorial, what’s a makeover project without a before photo? Here’s a quick look at what our bathroom looked like before the remodel.

bathroom with red walls and basic vanity

Ready to see how we brightened this space up? Let’s jump into the tutorial!

How to Install Beadboard Wallpaper

(Affiliate links are provided below for convenience. For more information see my disclosure, here.)

Step 1: Gather Supplies

The supplies we used for this project are as follows:

Step 2: Prepare The Walls

For this space, I only wanted the beadboard to cover the bottom 2/3 of the wall so before applying the wallpaper I painted the upper portion of the wall. I didn’t bother painting the bottom half since the wallpaper would end up covering it up anyway. I used the same color grey that’s in our modern farmhouse guest room (Benjamin Moore Pale Oak).

A halfbath in the middle of being painted and sanded in order to apply wallpaper

We then removed all of the baseboards and trim pieces, as well as the toilet. (Luckily my handy husband was able to do that part!) We also had to use a sander to remove the texture from the walls to give the wallpaper a nice even surface to adhere to.

Step 3: Mark Where The Wallpaper Will Stop

Since the wallpaper was only going to cover the bottom 2/3 of the wall, we used a long level to draw a horizontal line at 64″ across all four walls. This acted as a reference point when we went to hang the wallpaper. (If you’re applying the wallpaper to the entire wall, skip this step.)

Step 4: Measure & Cut The Beadboard Wallpaper

Next, we rolled out the wallpaper over cardboard and used a level and box cutter to cut a straight line creating 63″ strips.

Overhead view of someone using a level and boxcutter to cut a strip of beadboard wallpaper

Tip: Cut the wallpaper into strips about 1″ shorter than the space you are applying it to. (For us this meant 63″ strips.) Here’s why – the bottom of a normal sheetrock wall is uneven; by cutting the wallpaper a little short, it saves you from dealing with pieces that may hang lower than the sheetrock. In the end, it will all get covered by baseboards anyway.

Step 5: soak & set

Once the wallpaper was cut into strips, it was time to soak it and activate the paste on the back. Our sink wasn’t large enough to fit the 24″ wide strips, so we had to use the bathtub. In order to soak the entire strip at once, I would gently fold the paper a few times so that it would fit. I then applied light pressure, holding the wallpaper completely underwater for 30 seconds.

Overhead view of someone soaking beadboard wallpaper in bathtub

After 30 seconds, I would carefully remove it from the water and let all the excess water roll off. To activate the paste, I set the paper paste-side up on the floor folding both ends toward the middle. You want the paste side to be completely folded over itself for best results. After 5 minutes, the wallpaper is ready to apply!

Beadboard wallpaper on the ground during the paste activation step of the application process

Step 6: Apply wallpaper to the wall

For bigger areas, it would be a good idea to use a plumb line to mark a straight vertical line to use as your starting point. Since this space was so small, I opted to start in the corner instead, and worked my way out from there.

Once the wallpaper was on the wall, I was able to easily slide it around to get it lined up with the horizontal line I drew earlier. I would then work all of the air bubbles out using a wallpaper smoothing tool.

A woman using a wallpaper smoothing tool to smooth beadboard wallpaper onto a wall

As I smoothed out the wallpaper, excess paste would squeeze out at the seams. I kept a damp sponge handy which cleaned it up easily. Once all of the excess paste was smoothed out, I would run the sponge over the entire length of the paper for some final smoothing.

Closeup of a hand holding a sponge against beadboard wallpaper

Repeat steps 4-6 until all of the wallpaper is on the wall

After the first strip was in place, I continued the process until all of the walls were covered. Each time, lining the top up with the horizontal line, and then pushing the vertical seams as close together as they’d go without overlapping.

To get around the vanity, we had to make special cuts into the beadboard wallpaper so that it fit together like a puzzle without any gaps. This part was pretty tricky and unfortunately we didn’t get any photos of the process (we must have been thinking too hard!).

The key here is to get these irregular pieces mapped out before you soak the wallpaper and activate the paste. The switches and outlets were quite a bit easier. All we had to do was cut out the outline with the box cutter while we hung the wallpaper.

Step 7: Install Baseboards and trim

Next we used a dual-bevel miter saw to cut down (4) 1″ x 3″ boards to use as trim along the top of the wallpaper. We cut the ends at a 45 degree angle so they would fit seamlessly in the corners.

Miter saw cutting a 1" x 3" pine board at a 45 degree angle

Using a stud finder, we located the studs and then nailed the boards to the wall along the horizontal line created in Step 3.

Two boards meeting in a corner with angled cuts and nailed to the wall as trim piecesStep 8: Finish with paint

One of the really nice features of this beadboard wallpaper is that it’s designed to be painted. Once the beadboard wallpaper had dried for 24 hours and all of the trim pieces were in place, it was time to paint!

An angled paint brush dipped in white paint being held in front of white beadboad wallpaper

I used a 2″ angled paint brush to paint all of the trim and baseboards in my favorite color of white paint by Benjamin Moore, White Dove. (Checkout 4 of my other favorite white paint colors in this post!) I also brushed paint into the corners and vertical seams to help fill in any gaps.

It worked like a charm! I finished by using a paint roller to add two coats of paint to the beadboard wallpaper and – voila – phase one of our budget bathroom makeover was done! Yippee!

Corner of a small bathroom with toilet removed featuring white beadboard wallpaper

(Don’t mind the missing trim piece on the back wall – we had to wait to put that up until after phase 2 of this makeover project was finished.)

White beadboard wallpaper against light grey wall

Below is a closeup look at how trim turned out.  It’s painted in Benjamin Moore White Dove and contracts nicely against the grey color (Pale Oak) on the wall above.

Closeup of white trim separating a light grey wall and white beadboard wallpaper

I think the beadboard wallpaper achieved my goal of finding a budget-friendly option to add texture to the walls. It definitely brightens up this little space and I love how it turned out!

White beadboard wallpaper with trim and baseboards

To see the other DIY projects in the space, checkout the posts below!

How to Update Your Builder Grade Light Fixture For FREE!

How to Add a DIY Wood Frame to a Bathroom Mirror

Farmhouse Bathroom Makeover REVEAL on a Budget!

A big thank you to Graham and Brown for providing the product for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

How To Install Paintable Beadboard Wallpaper

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7 comments

Arin February 15, 2018 - 6:18 am

Loveeee this Ashley!!! It looks amazing so far!

Reply
Ashley February 21, 2018 - 11:59 am

Thanks Arin!

Reply
Kathy Carpenter February 15, 2018 - 8:33 am

Wow!!!!!

Reply
Morgan February 16, 2018 - 10:48 pm

Love it! We used those exact paint colors for the same exact design in our powder room too!

Reply
Ashley February 21, 2018 - 12:01 pm

Too funny! I love that color combo, great minds! 😉

Reply
Choice Furniture Superstore February 25, 2018 - 11:18 pm

This is amazing. I liked this step by step tutorial. Thanks for sharing these ideas to update a Bathroom on a Budget with Beadboard wallpaper.

Reply
Ashley February 28, 2018 - 9:10 am

I’m glad you enjoyed the tutorial, it was such a fun project!

Reply

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