Powder Room Makeover Update: Installing Wall Panels

I have been busy at work in my powder room and have progress to show you. This is not a pretty post – no glam shots or pretty colors or decorations, but the basics of installing wall panels of beadboard and picture ledge to the long focal wall in my powder room.

This powder room is small and narrow.  If you remember from my post on how I stripped the wallpaper, I don’t even call it a room – it is a space…a dark one.   My vision is to add lots of light.

Small Room Decorating ideas

I like the classic look of this wide bead board panel that I bought at Lowes.  I would love for the space to have a white sink and toilet, but I have to work with what I have – which is off-white.  There is no budget to buy new.  I am intentionally using the color as part of the color scheme. White, off white, and turquoise, along with a mix of a few other colors that I still have not decided on yet.

supplies needed:

  • 1 – WallDesign 5/16-in x 4-ft x 8-ft Ultra White HDF Wall Panel
  • 1  – 3/4″  x  1 – 1/2″ x 8′ board
  • 1 – 21/32″  x  3 1/2″ x 8′ primed board
  • Measuring tape
  • Jigsaw
  • Bubble level
  • Finishing nails  – 4D  1 – 1/2″
  • Nail punch
  • Hammer
  • Liquid Nails
  • Caulk – my favorite is made by DAP and comes in a “CheeseWiz” style bottle.  No caulk gun is needed.
  • Dust mask to wear when cutting the wood and wall panel.
 I only needed to buy 1 – 4′ x 8′ bead board wall panel. It was $27.17. I had it cut in half at Lowes.  This made it easy to get in my Jeep, but it also saved me time, since 4 feet is how high I want the panels to go.

How to install bead board wall panels and a picture ledge to a wall

I attached the left side panel against the wall with finishing nails. The other panel had to be cut with a jigsaw to fit around the sink cabinet.


To cut the panel to go around the sink cabinet, I fitted cardboard around the cabinet and made a template. I laid the template on the panel and drew around it to get the exact shape and fit.


This is when I asked Ed to help. Four hands are better than two when working around a saw.  He cut and I helped hold the panel still.  We had to run back down to the basement a few times for more precise cutting, but it finally popped right into place.

We made one cut that took the white surface off along the edge against the counter because we moved the board after cutting it while the blade was still turning. Note to self:  Wait for the blade to stop, then slide the board away from it and you will have a nice clean cut.  Our boo boo…nothing a little SPACKLE and paint can’t fix.


To attach the wall panels, I found the studs and hammered in finishing nails  along the upper section of the wall panels.  Where  the two boards meet, there was no stud, so I used a few dollops of Liquid Nails to hold the edges to the wall.  I used a nail punch to countersink each nail.   I put SPACKLE over each nail hole and sanded the areas smooth.


I also added a top board and a narrow board to act as a picture rail. I used the same finishing nails to attach each board.

1.  – 3/4″ x 1 – 1/2″ x 8′ board
2. – 21/32″ x  3  1/2″ x  8′ primed board
3. – WallDesign 5/16-in  x  4-ft  x  8-ft Ultra White HDF Wall Panel


This is how it looked.


Time to fix all the gaps.  If you have ever worked with wood and molding then you know that caulk is your best friend. It makes all your mistakes – gaps and uneven joints, look perfect or at least much better.

I used my favorite “CheeseWiz” style caulk to hide all the gaps between the wood joints and the wood and cabinet.  I can only find it at Walmart.  I like using it because the can is small and you only need one hand, plus it stores easily and there is no waste.


 I don’t have a photo of the caulking step.   To caulk around the cabinet and where each piece of wood meets, simply apply a line of caulk along the gaps and then use your finger to smooth.  Have a wet paper towel handy to clean up any smudges.

TIP:  You can also smooth a line of caulk by running an ice cube over it.


This is as far as I have gotten. I am going to finish caulking and painting everything this weekend.  Next week I will have some pretty in-progress photos to share with you.

Happy Weekend!


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  1. Great job! Looks awesome! I can only think of one thing to add to it. When I caulk I use masking or painter’s tape on the length of each side of the area I want to caulk. Then I caulk and smooth it with either a wet finger or the curved end of a wet plastic spoon. Depending on what type of caulk you use, check to see if you can remove the tape immediately or need to let it dry a tad bit. But, don’t let it dry permanently!

  2. OMG!!! This is EXACTLY what I want to do with our bathroom!!! Forget the board and battan!! This is perfect!! Now I just need to figure out how to do this in a not so permanent way. Any ideas? I’d love to pick your brain with the measurements of this bathroom to see if you think this is ‘doable’ or not!! Can’t wait to see what you think!!


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lisa – The powder room is 3′ x 7′ Attach it to the wall with screws or use Command Brand strips all over the back so it can be easily removed.

  3. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    Thank you Diane for another tutorial that is worth more than…… well gold. Cause you always teach us the easier, better, less money way to fix and upgrade our homes.

  4. Excellent post full of great info! Looking forward to seeing the finished space!

  5. Thank you for this blog on bead board. I have an “ugly” wall area that needs this! You make it look so simple. And, I would like to find caulking in a “cheez whiz” can, as well….My experiences with caulking guns are less than satisfactory. Patiently waiting to see the final bathroom photos.

  6. I keep thinking that I need a finish nailer to do anything like this but I really don’t, do I? I have never seen caulk in a can like that but it is brilliant! Even shoving a nail in the top of a tube of caulk to “seal” it between uses really doesn’t work and I end up having to make another cut in the end of the tube. I hope my Walmart has it!

  7. Such great info. You did a really good job. I am happy to learn about the caulk. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Can’t wait to see the finished result!
    I’ve never heard the ice cube tip before. May have to try it!

  9. Love a during picture! It makes everything seem more doable! Thanks for the caulking tip. I always need a little bit of caulk and end up throwing the tube away. Thanks for telling us where to find it. Looking forward to more during pictures! Hope the projects clicks along!

    Have a great weekend!

  10. Love it, love it, love it…already :) You make installing bead board look so easy. Vikki in VA

  11. It’s going to look fantastic! Can’t wait to see the reveal!!