Try out a new look with wallpaper that looks like beadboard. Here’s what you need to know…
I saw some beadboard wallpaper online and was intrigued. I installed real beadboard in my kitchen, but wallpaper sure sounded easier than the sawing, nailing, and painting that real beadboard requires.
My local Lowe’s had two different brands in stock. I was glad I went to see them in person instead of purchasing online, because there was a big difference in quality. One was slightly cheaper, but it was a far cry from looking like real beadboard. It looked more like embossed paper; the grooves weren’t deep at all, and I’m sure they would practically disappear if you painted them. (I know they LOOK the same in the online pictures, but trust me– you will be disappointed with the Style Selections brand.)
So I chose to go with the Allen & Roth brand. It has an interesting texture, kind of like foam. From reading reviews online, I guess it thickens and hardens more if you paint it. It has a lot of depth to it and was closer to the look I was going for. It came in a 15 yard roll that was 20.5 inches wide and cost about $20. I only covered the lower half of one wall in my little bathroom, so I have more than half the roll left.
When I was shopping online, some reviewers claimed that the pre-pasted backing didn’t hold all that well. I can’t recall which brands did fine and which weren’t sticky enough, so I just decided to play it safe and buy a small tub of wallpaper paste for extra adhesion ($5). Better safe than sorry!
So, I cut the paper into strips long enough to fit my wall, plus an extra couple inches for ease of trimming once it was hung. I soaked the paper and folded it in half according to the instructions, and let it sit for a few minutes to get tacky. Meanwhile, I added a thin layer of wallpaper paste to the wall using a small roller.
I started in a corner to make sure I was hanging it straight. You don’t overlap this paper at all, you just line up the following strip with the previous one. Because of the softer texture of this wallpaper, I didn’t want to risk harming it with a wallpaper squeegee. Instead, I used a clean rag to firmly smooth the paper down. You want to squeeze any excess paste out through the sides. There shouldn’t be any bubbles or bumps.
I hung 5 strips in all, then went back and trimmed off the excess with a razor blade. It cut easily and I was really pleased with the result. I’d say I spent an hour hanging the paper– it was fast and not hard at all.
Stuff you should know:
1) Your walls need to be smooth… an orange peel texture is fine, but anything bumpier will show through. Feel your walls before starting, if you notice any bumps, scrape the plaster smooth with a putty knife. (You can purchase “wall liners” that are intended to smooth out very bumpy or cracked walls… but I haven’t had experience with those.)
2) You probably already have a baseboard in place– great. But, you’ll need to cover the top edge of the wallpaper with some type of trim or chair rail, or it will look strange. My bathroom already had this under the windowsill, which is the main reason why I chose wallpaper over real beadboard– I didn’t want to have to take down the trim & reinstall it!
3) Yes, you can paint it. And from reading others’ reviews, you probably should, even if you plan to paint it white. This makes it thicker, more durable, and easier to clean. But, wait 24 hours after hanging.
4) I don’t think I’d use this in a high-traffic area, like a child’s bedroom. It’s wallpaper, after all, and would you trust your toddler with wallpaper? (Okay, maybe it’s only my children who are so very naughty with crayons and scissors…)
5) Will people be fooled into thinking it’s real wood? Hm, probably not. Definitely not if they go up and rub it. (But what kind of weirdo would rub your walls?) But, I still think it’s a charming finish.
By the way, you can see the tutorial for my Mason Jar Wall Organizer here.