How to Decorate with Tongue & Groove Boards

Updated April 17, 2017

Tongue and grove boards come in a variety of styles, finishes, sizes and wood types. Some are prefinished while others await a coat of paint, stain or wax. Because they are so versatile, tongue and groove boards complement all decor styles, from cosy country to traditional and contemporary. Tongue and groove boards can be used both inside and outside your home. Use tongue and groove boards to highlight any room from floor to ceiling.

Install beadboard -- narrow planks of tongue and groove panelling -- halfway up your bathroom wall. Paint it white and top it with a chair rail. Paint the upper portion of the wall to coordinate with the room's colours. For a more country look, stencil around the wall above the beadboard or under the ceiling.

Clad your walls with knotty pine tongue and groove planks. Hang them horizontally and leave them unfinished to evoke the look of a rustic lodge. Or whitewash them and let the knots show through.

Lay beadboard on your porch floor. Paint it deep green. Install it on the porch ceiling and paint it pale blue for a Victorian flair.

Highlight a contemporary bedroom with a headboard fashioned from beadboard or wide plank tongue and groove panels. Shellac it until it shines or paint it a glossy black.

Update your kitchen with beadboard cupboards painted a crisp white. Add an island crafted from oak tongue and groove boards and topped with granite.

Surround a vintage claw foot tub with tongue and groove planks or beadboard. Paint it gold for a Tuscan influence or pale blue to echo Shabby Chic style. Clad the walls with matching board halfway up. Top with a chair rail and apply a complementary colour to the upper half of the wall.

Paint a floor fashioned from tongue and groove boards in a checkerboard design. Or highlight the floor with a stencilled border.

Cover an unattractive ceiling with beadboard or tongue and groove planks. Paint it white for a fresh look or sand it and leave it unfinished for a more rustic ambience.

Place a cupboard constructed of tongue and groove planks in your family room to act as an entertainment centre. Put one in your kitchen for food storage or in your bathroom to hold linens.

Craft or purchase wooden boxes fashioned from tongue and groove boards. Use them for storage or place terra cotta pots in them and plant flowers.

Things You'll Need

  • Beadboard
  • Tongue and groove planks
  • Paint
  • Painting supplies
  • Stencilling supplies
  • Shellac
  • Claw foot tub
  • Wooden boxes
  • Cupboard
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About the Author

Jan Czech has been writing professionally since 1993. Czech has published seven children's books, including “The Coffee Can Kid," which received a starred review from School Library Journal. She is a certified English/language arts teacher and holds a Bachelor of Arts in education from Niagara University.