Instructions for Installing MDF Bead Board Planking

Written by susan raphael
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Instructions for Installing MDF Bead Board Planking
Install MDF beadboard on bare walls to add a decorative element to a room. (A shadow of a window cast on a wall in black and white image by David Smith from

An room's design can be made distinctive and aesthetically pleasing in a number of ways. You just need to choose treatments, styles and looks that go together with your room's decor For instance, walls and ceilings can be made more interesting with decoration elements such as panels, boards or planks. One of the ways to make a surface stand out is to use medium-density-fiberboard (MDF) beadboard planking on the walls.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Circular saw
  • Mitre saw
  • Level
  • Wood glue
  • Finishing nail
  • Nail gun
  • Base moulding
  • Cloth

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  1. 1

    Measure the desired height and length of the area where you are going to install the beadboard. This will allow you to feel the proportions and choose the right dimensions.

  2. 2

    Prepare the wall where you will install the beadboard. Remove floor mouldings by sliding a utility knife along the connection between the wall and the moulding. Then tap a putty knife with a hammer between the wall and the moulding, running all through the length of the area where you will install the beadboard. Switch off the electrical power to the room. Then remove outlets and switch covers on the wall by removing the screws that hold them with a Phillips screwdriver.

  3. 3

    Secure the support for the beadboard planking. If you have a drywall with studs, locate the studs and mark their positions with a pencil. This will allow you to attach every piece of the beadboard with nails that go right through the stud. If your walls don't have studs, make sure to install the beadboard with glue only.

  4. 4

    Cut the beadboard planking to the desired height. Use a circular saw for the initial cut and a mitre saw to cut the edges on the side of the beadboard.

  5. 5

    Mark the height of the planking on the wall with a pencil and use a level to draw a thin line along that height. This will guide you when you mount the beadboard.

  6. 6

    Install one side of the wall with beadboard. Installing the first piece of beadboard is the an important step since it will determine the position of the rest of the beadboards. Use a level to make sure that the beadboard is absolutely vertical. Apply a liberal amount of wood glue on the back side of the beadboard. Place the beadboard on the wall. Then nail the beadboard in place with a nail gun. Nail the board every 6 inches.

  7. 7

    Continue to install the rest of the beadboards onto the wall. Regularly check if the boards are level.

  8. 8

    Mount the top moulding on the beadboard. Use a nail gun to attach the moulding onto the beadboard. Nail them slightly at an angle to make the nails less visible.

  9. 9

    Attach the baseboard or base moulding at the bottom of the beadboard. Cut the side edges of the base moulding at a 45-degree angle with a mitre saw. This is so the baseboard and its adjacent baseboard will have a clean joint.

  10. 10

    Dust and clean the beadboard planking. Wipe the newly installed baseboard with a clean cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • Cap moulding at the top of the beadboard is a great element to be playful with. Consider choosing a rope-shaped rail, a rail with an elaborate profile or an otherwise different and interesting style.
  • Be extremely careful when working with a mitre saw and wear durable gloves at all times, along with strong, plastic safety goggles.

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