I have installed bead-board on the ceilings in the bathroom, kitchen, and sunroom as well as for wainscoting in the bathroom and kitchen, and finally for the walls of the pantry. From all of that experience under my tool belt, I have collected a few “tips” from these projects.
The best time of year for installation is either fall or spring when the boards have neither expanded due to gaining moisture in summer or contracted due to loosing moisture in winter. This is key.
These 8 feet long bead-board planks are usually sold in bundles, and there are often one or two planks in each bundle that are defective in some way. Plan and purchase generously then sort out the “prime planks” for long spans like ceilings to avoid butting end-to-end.
Planks with bowing, edge knots, or other defects can often be cut down and used in wainscot applications or small projects. Always test fit planks together before installing them. Running a screwdriver along the groove side of planks will help them better receive the tongue side of the next plank.
Prime the planks on both sides before installing them. If using anything other than a shade of white, you might consider having your primer tinted. The spaces between the planks are difficult to cover even with a brush, so the primer will save time while helping to seal the wood.
Another major “tip” is to secure the planks to furring strips with screws if you are working on a ceiling installation. It is very difficult to nail upside down, and the screws seem to control gaps or buckling due to seasonal expansion and contraction better than nails (not sure why). For wall applications, screw into studs when possible. Keep planks held tightly together while securing.
I do want to share one last note about the shelves. Although they are made from 3/4″ thick pine boards, the edges have been cut at an angle so that where they catch the light, they are only 1/4″ thick. To me, this gives them a lighter feeling.
This photograph was taken Late Summer 2012 with early morning lighting. The pantry was completed Early Winter 2011.