Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How to Fake Beadboard | Stairs Makeover Complete!


Yippee!  Our staircase's transformation from plain and dark to wainscoted and bright is complete!  I wonder how long it will take for me to walk in the door, look at the gleaming wood stairs, beadboard walls and picture ledge, and not break into a grin.  If you need a refresher on the steps that got us here, click here to see how we removed the old runner on the stairs, and here to see the painted risers and black banister.

I pinned this image a couple months ago and couldn't get it out of my head.  

horizontal plank wall + built in bench at base of stairs

The only thing that held me back from jumping right into this project with wood planks in hand was that to do it "right," I'd have had to rip up a lot of the existing moulding around the stairs and then deal with putting new ones up and all the angles and effort and time it would take just didn't seem worth it.

Enter Carmel from Our Fifth House.  A couple weeks ago I was reading her post about an update to her mudroom and she talked about a paintable beadboard wallpaper she got at Lowe's for $19.99 a roll.  And she swore it looked like the real thing.  I was sold.

The beadboard we have in our kitchen is hardcore beadboard, really deep grooves and beautiful.  What we have in our guest bath has slightly less deep grooves and this wallpaper looks more like that, but Carmel was right, it really does look like the real thing once you get a coat of paint on it.

I started by drawing a level line on the wall where I wanted the top of the beadboard to go and then cut a strip of the wallpaper slightly wider than what I needed.  I laid the piece on towels, sponged the glue side very generously with water, then carefully lined the top edge up with the line on the wall and smoothed it into place with my hands.  Then I used a plastic smoother tool (does it have a "real" name??) from the wallpaper department at Lowes and really pressed and smoothed the paper into place.  If any glue seeps out you just wipe it away with the sponge.



To get the edges where there was overhang nice and sharp, I used a straight edge and a razor blade.  I continued until I'd covered all the space below the line I'd drawn on the wall.  I caulked around the edges for a really smooth and finished look.  

I used a miter saw to cut the boards for the picture ledge, which is made of cove moulding underneath and a rounded edge ledge piece on top, and attached both pieces to the wall using a nail gun.  I let the wallpaper dry overnight then gave it one coat of paint, two coats on the picture ledge, and after another 24 hours drying I propped the pictures of my baby girls from 3 months - a year on the ledge.  I used a little piece of sticky velcro on the back of each one to give them a little extra grab on the walls.


Honestly, I could not be one bit happier than I am about how this came out.  I LOVE it.  It cost around $30 with the wallpaper and wood, everything else I already had on hand.


The before and after shot:

I'm all for the real thing when it comes to beadboard and other wainscoting, but in this case, the time, cost, and effort I saved were so worth taking a shortcut.  And other than you all who now know my secret, don't expect me to tell people it's not real.  They'll never know!

Linking to Home Stories A to Z, Liz Marie Blog, Crafty Scrappy Happy, Saavy Southern Style

28 comments:

  1. That looks so good!! We have used that paper in the breakfast room and powder room and down the side of our ginormous tub in the master bath.

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  2. Very cool - I couldn't tell it wasn't the real thing! It all looks brighter and more custom - really love it. Happy Wednesday from the enchanted oven.
    xo,
    Lisa

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  3. Wow! $30? I love how it brightens up the space! Could be a great solution for kitchen backsplash in a rental or while saving up for a solid surface!

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  4. This turned out amazing Jennifer!!! I was going to try this in our nursery but got lazy last minute and decided against it. You made it look so easy! It really changes the feel of the space and makes it look much cleaner. Great work!

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    1. Thanks! I'm so happy with how it came out. It was so easy, promise :)

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  5. So bright and sunny! I'm totally getting the cute and homey vibe, job well done. This is also my first visit to your blog, it's quite lovely, I think I'll have to stay a while :)

    xo Rachael
    arunawaymuse.blogspot.ca

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    1. Thanks, Rachael :) Cute and homey...love it!

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  6. What a huge difference - for only $30?! That is KILLER. I'd grin every time I walked in the door too! I love how you styled the photo. I feel like I say this every time I come to your blog, but I just LOOOVE your style!

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    1. You are too sweet...thank you! I feel the same way about your style :)

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  7. I've looked at that wallpaper several times and wondered how it would look painted. Well, I've got my answer....fabulous!! The addition of the picture shelf is perfect for a stairwell wall. Well done!

    Visiting from WOW.

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  8. This is awesome! I really want to add some beadboard to our house SOMEWHERE but I always get stuck on the idea of having woodtrim with white beadboard, but beadboard wallpaper could be the answer to my problems! Definitely going to have to look in to that!

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  9. It looks amazing! Way to go girly! I have a couple rolls of this in my garage and have been too afraid to use it. You've just given me hope! Thank you! :)

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  10. That looks fabulous - I can see why it's got you grinning when you walk in the door!!

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  11. Jennifer! Another amazing quick and easy re-do! It made such a big difference. I just love the fresh clean look!

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  12. Wow! Amazing transformation. I would not have guessed it was wallpaper from the pictures. Great job!

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  13. Jennifer, oh my goodness it turned out amazing!! Your black banister and accents on the frames and bench came together so nicely! Wonderful job!

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  14. I had to show my husband this and he didn't get that it was wallpaper. It was so funny and he just couldn't wrap his mind around it! I'm totally sold and HOW easy is that.

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  15. Wow! Amazing transformation! I can't believe it's wallpaper.

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  16. Isn't that paper amazing?! LOVE how this turned out.

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  17. Jennifer, I would love to do this in my bathroom. It needs a facelift and this may just be what I was looking for. One question though..is there a standard height when putting it up or can you make it any height? Love your site. This is my first time here!
    Tracie

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    1. It comes in a roll that is 20 1/2" wide and 56" long. I hung it sideways so the "boards" ran horizontal instead of vertical. But you paste up sheets of it end to end so really can create any height/width/configuration you want. Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your project!

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  18. What a beautiful transformation - I love it!

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  19. It looks so good! I've been tossing around the idea of trying the beadboard wallpaper. I'm just afraid of it getting scratched, but it looks amazing! I love your new stairs!

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    1. I say go for it! If it gets scratched it says it comes off in full sheets so isn't as painful to remove as regular wallpaper. Win-win!

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  20. Love this site - stumbled upon it this morning!! How do you keep the seams from showing or giving away the fact that it's wallpaper? Does the paint help with that or caulk? Love your page!

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    1. The seams just disappear into each other when you put the paper end to end. I did run a line of caulk down the corner where the two walls meet and also where the wallpaper meets the picture ledge.

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  21. Ingenious. I might try something like this for my dining room :)

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