Jen Woodhouse of The House of Wood wanted to make her laundry room a little more inviting and attractive. Her solution was to add texture to the wall using tongue and groove planks. This cottage look – inspired by beadboard paneling – is much more robust than a traditional beadboard application. It is constructed with pattern stock board which looks great while being very sturdy and easy to clean.
As you’ll see, the beadboard wainscoting looks terrific, and it’s tough enough to handle the scuffs and scratches that come with being in a high-traffic part of the house. It was easy to install, too, even though there was the problem of an over enthusiastic husband…
Our laundry room leads out to our garage and is one of the most heavily trafficked areas in our home. Dated, dysfunctional, and disorganized, it was in desperate need of some attention.
The space is very small and narrow and there wasn’t much I could do by way of major renovations, so I decided to install solid wood tongue and groove boards on the wall to infuse the tiny room with some cottage charm. This option gave me the most bang for my buck, completely changing the look and feel of the room, without having to knock down any walls. I also wanted to upgrade the ugly wire shelving with a storage solution that would provide better functionality while complementing the traditional beadboard style.
Here’s how it turned out:
Almost makes you want to come do my laundry, right? Please say yes.
Okay, so let’s get started.
How to Install Beadboard Paneling
Painting the Tongue and Groove Planks
The tongue and groove boards are available in 8-foot lengths and I cut them to 60 in. long simply because I liked the look of the beadboard coming about two-thirds up the wall. Then I used my paint sprayer (which you could rent from The Home Depot) to paint all of the boards white. I used Behr’s Ultra Pure White latex paint in a satin finish. I sprayed on two coats.
While the paint dried, I prepped the drop zone (as my Army husband would say).
Removing the Baseboards (without destroying them)
I tried (quite unsuccessfully) to remove the baseboards. Those suckers have been stuck on there for over 20 years, and I am the weakest person on Earth, so I had to call in the Big Guns. And by “Big Guns” I mean said Army husband. He’s basically the Hulk when it comes to smashing things. But when you call in the Big Guns, expect there to be collateral damage. Unfortunately, I had to replace all the baseboards and quarter rounds because they were in itty bitty pieces by the time he was done. Guess what his nickname was growing up: Wrecker. Fitting.
If you’d like to salvage your baseboards so that you can reuse them, here’s how to do it: cut the caulk line with a utility knife, then use a pry bar to gently but firmly pry the baseboard from the walls. Use a scrap piece of wood to protect your walls, so the pry bar doesn’t punch a hole right through them! Work your way along the wall until your baseboard comes off in one piece. The key word here is ‘gently.’ That word is not in Wrecker’s vocabulary, apparently. But he does get things done. So there’s that.
Attaching the Planks to the Wall
And can I just tell you what a Godsend this battery-powered caulk gun is? Had I squeezed the caulk gun manually, I would’ve had “the claw” for a hand by the time I was done with this project. Thank goodness for power tools!
Then, starting in one corner of the room, place the groove side of the board into the corner, so that the tongue side is facing out. Be sure to use a level to make sure everything is… well, level.
Then using a brad nailer, nail 2 in. brad nails into the tongue at a 45-degree angle. This way, you are attaching the boards to the wall and hiding the nail holes in the tongue, which will get covered up by the next board. The tongue fits into the groove so the boards ‘interlock’ with each other. By nailing into the tongue, it saves you the tedious step of filling in nail holes later. #twobirdsonestone #worksmarternotharder
Extending the Outlet Box
I had to cut around outlets and light switches, so I measured, marked, and cut the wood with a jig saw. Because the boards will add depth to the wall, you’ll need these outlet box extenders to bring the outlets and light switches forward so that they sit flush with the new beadboard wall.
These box extenders were a breeze to install. I am not a professional electrician; I just followed the manufacturer’s directions on the package. If you’re uneasy about completing this task, please consult a professional.
First, I turned the power off to that whole side of the house – I wasn’t taking any chances on being electrocuted. That would be bad. And painful (so I hear). Then I unscrewed the outlet screws from the wall, slipped the box extenders in and screwed the outlets back in, with the box extenders behind them. I put the faceplates back on and voila! I have outlets that are flush with my new beadboard paneling. Then I did a little happy dance because I didn’t get electrocuted. Be glad I didn’t post video of that mess. You’re welcome.
After putting all the beadboard paneling up, the room was starting to look great except for these ugly wire shelves. I removed them and built some DIY floating shelves in their place.
I love how the floating shelves turned out. They look built in and are a much prettier, more solid and functional storage solution. The tutorial on how to build these floating shelves can be found on my blog.
So there you have it. A new look for the laundry room that may entice you to do laundry more often. Maybe.
I just love how the beadboard paneling totally transforms the room.
By the way, the cute laundry guide signs are from Lettered & Lined, which has tons of clever signs to decorate your home.
How often do you do laundry? Do you wait until you have to buy new socks and underwear before you throw a load in or do you do laundry consistently?
I’m not a “laundry day” kind of person. Every day is laundry day at our house. I like to throw at least one load in either every day or every other day to keep the pile at bay. But vacuuming… well, that’s a whole ’nother story.
In addition to being a Nashville singer/songwriter, Jen Woodhouse is a talented decorator and DIYer. Check out her lifestyle and design blog The House of Wood for DIY projects and plenty of great decorating ideas.
Visit The Home Depot’s Lumber and Composites Department for pattern stock board for your next DIY project.
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