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What is Beadboard?

| Braustin Homes Blog

What is Beadboard?

Beadboard is a type of decorative wood paneling with evenly spaced grooves. You can get large 4’ X 8’ sheets of beadboard from places such as your local home improvement store, and it will be textured to look like original beadboard, which has individual tongue and groove boards assembled together to be placed on areas such as on your walls.

The old style beadboard however, is assembled with individual sticks of wood, and is both expensive and time consuming, which is why most beadboard installed today are made from MDF.

Image of a living room with half wooden walls and half beadboard. There is one full recliner pictured in the scene, and some wall art. Next to the recliner is a small table with a lamp and a few decorative pieces on top.

What is MDF Beadboard?

MDF Beadboard is made from Medium-Density Fiber board, which is wood fiber mixed with really strong resin, and pressed together. You will find different looks available for your beadboard that simulate different widths of wood, different wood grains, or come primed and ready to paint. 

What is Great About Beadboard?

First off, beadboard gives you a great wood slat look without costing an arm and a leg. Second, bead board tends to be very durable. For example, it is very difficult to drive a nail into MDF beadboard by hand without predrilling a hole.  Third, even if you start with a laminated, wood grain beadboard, you can still go back and paint it later.

Image of beadboard on wall with two outlets, there are signs of wear and scratches all over the beadboard wall.

Any Downside to Beadboard?

Beadboard is going to scratch almost easily as wood or drywall (though it is a bit more scuff-resistant), so while it is strong, you can’t abuse it as if it was made of steel. You should also note that if you have a wood laminate beadboard, you will need to prepare it before painting it. Nowadays there are primers that promise a sand-free experience before you add that coat of paint, however, sanding is normally recommended before priming over laminate.

Can I Repair or Install Beadboard On My Own?

Absolutely, in fact, it is very easy to repair. Simply use wood filler to fill a hole or deep scratch, sand smooth, and paint. You can’t find too many home repairs as easy as that. If you are a DIY kind of person, installing beadboard is only moderately difficult to install. If you can install laminate plank flooring, you can install beadboard. The only difficult part of installing beadboard is making your cuts right, especially around outlets you find toward the center of the board.  Beadboard can be glued right to your old wall, or if you are down to the studs, you can use ½” beadboard nailed directly to the studs.

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