Beadboard can give even a room in a brand new house a wonderfully antique look, and using faux techniques, you can also make your beadboard look as if it’s been in your room forever. Here are the basic steps to get the designer look for less money.
First, of course, you’ll need to come up with enough beadboard to fit your application. You can either find it in an architectural salvage shop or you can buy it new at most large home improvement centers. Either way will work, but you’ll probably find it easier to find a large quantity if you buy your beadboard new.
Once you’ve obtained your beadboard, the next step is to glue it to your wall, just as you’d do if you were putting up paneling. This technique works better than trying to nail your beadboard to the walls, because its thin strips won’t allow you the luxury of finding studs.
After the beadboard has been applied to the wall, you’re ready to being painting. Use two shades of the same color. In order to maintain the antique feel of your new beadboard, it’s preferable to use an eggshell finish, which will have a small amount sheen, slightly more than flat paint, but not as much as a satin or high gloss paint. Using an eggshell also will allow the beadboard to be cleaned more easily and makes it more resistant to stains and wear. Your second color should be two or three shades lighter than your first choice.
It’s a good idea to mix a little water into your dark shade to allow the paint to flow into the grooves smoothly. You’ll be painting only the grooves between the boards with this darker color. Use a sponge brush with a wedged tip for this first coat and then let the paint dry.
Next, dip a larger sponge brush–one wide enough to cover at least two grooves–into your second paint can, which should be undiluted. Then run your brush over the entire surface, keeping your brush flat so that the paint doesn’t run too much into the grooves. Allow that coat to dry, as well.
Finally, using a marine sponge, apply a coat of blue color wash consisting of a glaze tinted with color similar to your first coat. Apply it initially by just dabbing the glaze around in random patterns, and then work your sponge back and forth over the beadboard, rather than up and down, as with the first two coats. This will give your beadboard a nice striated effect, causing it to look older and more weathered than it really is, especially if you originally bought it brand new from your local home improvement center.
Take your time as you go and you should be quite pleased with the results. Applying a faux aging technique to your beadboard can change the appearance of a room dramatically and add a pleasant touch of whimsical Victorian charm–without breaking the budget in the process.