Bedrooms,  Home Remodel

Nautical Farmhouse Beadboard Ceiling

The Kemper family is finally working our way out of the plague over here. Each of us have taken our turn at being miserably sick and now we are slowly progressing back to civilization again. It all started with Jackson, then moved to me, and then to Colton, and finally to Jerod. I swear even our dogs were feeling off this past 7 days.

This just means that we’re getting this all out of our system and we won’t get hit with this again the rest of the flu season, right? 😉

So now that I’m able to sit up straight for longer than…ohhh…five minutes…I’m finally getting out my tutorial on Baby Kemper #3’s Nursery Ceiling! One of my very favorite projects we’ve done on our sweet Fixer Upper to date. The cost was low, the work was minimal, but the outcome is beautiful! Beyond beautiful. It’s a show stopper! I’m so proud of this project and I’ve been dying to share it with all of you!


All of the rooms in our Fixer Upper were dirty popcorn ceilings that had been poorly repainted since their original installation in 1985. You could truly see spots that spray paint…yes, spray paint…was used to cover a stain. There were obvious roller marks where some of the ceiling was retouched, but not well at all.

Baby Kemper’s Nursery during our first walk-through before we put in our offer.

Our carpets looked much the same (and had a tiny smell of cats to them from the previous owners) so we knew that we wanted them replaced before we had ourselves another crawler.

Then, it turned into a Mouse and a Cookie book right before our eyes. If we want our carpets replaced, we might as well scrape our popcorn ceilings and paint them. If we paint the ceilings, then we might as well paint the trim and doors. If we paint the trim and doors, we’ll need to paint the walls, too. Well then, OBVIOUSLY, we can get to the carpets. Ohhhh, brother. We had ourselves quite the undertaking ahead of us.

So we priced out carpets, set our installation date, and went to work on the projects. Except when the ceilings were scraped by Jerod, they came off haphazardly. Some areas were difficult to scrape because of the spray paint used on them. Some areas flaked off a little too easily. It didn’t turn out smoothly, so we were off to get quotes from painters.

$3,000 for painting three bedrooms?! You’ve got to be kidding me! Time for Plan B and one of the best decisions we’ve had in a very long time.

A beautiful nautical-inspired, beadboard ceiling for our nursery!

Materials Needed

Okay, that seems like a lot so let me show you another “after” picture to keep you going. 🙂


Using your stud finder and painter’s tape, move around the ceiling finding all the joists that run above your drywall. Which way do they run? How far apart are they? Mark these with long lines of your painter’s tape.

You can see how we put long strips of painter’s tape all along the ceiling and even to the walls to show where our joists ran. This is where the beadboard and trim boards will be screwed in to allow for the strongest hold.

Next, make a plan. Now that you see where your joists run, how will you run your beadboard planks? Horizonally? Vertically?

You will want to run your 4″ boards along the seams of the boards, along your joists, so there is a strong hold and so all screws from securing your beadboards will be hidden.

Our plan looked like this:

Once the plan was set, we went to work cutting our first piece of beadboard to the correct measurements with our circular saw. Since we have two air vents in our ceiling, as well as a light fixture in the center, we needed to also use our jigsaw to get around those areas when the time came.

Remember to measure twice, WRITE DOWN THOSE MEASUREMENTS (😉) and cut once!

We did one cut at a time instead of doing all pieces at once. Once one piece of beadboard was cut, we put construction adhesive along the back and stuck up on the ceiling. Then it was a pilot hole along the joist followed by the screw. We ran the screws right along the joists where our painter’s tape marked.

After cutting the next piece, Jerod and I worked together to measure the next space again to ensure that we didn’t have a change in our measurements.

Place the next board up, lining up the lines in your beadboard. We wanted our lines to run as perfectly as possible along the wall from one side all the way to the other, looking like one solid piece. This is why we didn’t cut all our pieces at once, but choosing to do one piece at a time.

When all the beadboard was put up, it was time to start trimming out the pieces with our 4″ x 16′ boards.

We measured and cut our outside boards first, doing one at a time. After the cut, we ran construction adhesive along the back of the board, placed correctly in place and then ran a series of screws along the seams.

Some areas being a little trickier than others. 🤨

Finally, it was time to do the interior boards. We ran the long, uncut boards perpendicular to the direction of the beadboard, right along the joists. Another time that having the painter’s tape marking the joists along the wall made it extremely beneficial for us. Now all the other series of painter’s tape was covered.

When the two long boards were put up, it was time to do all the little cuts running parallel to the beadboard lines. This totaled 10 boards for us (2 different boards around our light fixture).

The process was the very same each time: Measure, cut using the circular saw, construction adhesive along the back, screws put in place along where we knew the joists were.

This project was certainly not highly difficult. It was more a matter of patience with the amount of measuring and the redundancy of steps. Quite a beginner project with a look of advanced skill!

As we finished the process, we saw just how dirty and marked each of the boards were. Although we got painted beadboard and 4″ x 16′ boards, we needed to finish the space with ceiling paint.

All of our ceilings are painted in a flat sheen in Sherwin Williams Snowbound (SW 7004). I mixed in 8 oz. of Floetrol with my paint to help reduce the brush strokes as I knew I would be using a paint brush and not a roller for this project.

I used a 1 1/2″ trim brush to paint the entire ceiling as I worked to edge along the boards and ensure paint got in between the lines of the beadboard. I purchased a small, extra smooth roller used for cabinets and doors, but never ended up using it.

When the paint had dried, I saw that there were still areas that had gaps and seams still present. Using a caulk gun and white caulk, we ran a line of caulk along the seams where the beadboard met the 4″ boards. Then using the Allway Caulk Applicator Tool, we cleaned up the excess and wiped away the tool using old rags. It blended in the seams flawlessly and there was no need for touch-ups after with paint.

The end result: One gorgeous ceiling ready to go for our baby girl!!

And for details on our light fixture we chose, check out my post on our Nursery Lighting here and all the Closet Details here!

You can do this project. I promise you. To have an architectural piece for a FRACTION of what it would cost to have a painter simply paint your ceilings white is well worth it. You’ve got this!!

The final nursery reveal is coming early next week!!


    • growingupkemper

      Thank you so much, Kathy! I just adore how this nursery turned out and the ceiling was a major part of that. Hoping this post will allow others to add that beauty in their homes, as well!

    • growingupkemper

      Hi Gretchen! The total cost will really depend on what materials you have and what materials you’ll need to rent or purchase. For us, we tackle a lot of DIY projects so we own materials like a caulk gun or a circular saw. We also took a sizeable cost away when we painted the boards with leftover ceiling paint from our remodel. Ceiling paint can run anywhere from $30-80 a can. I’ll give you a cost breakdown for what materials we needed to purchase. You can refer back to the post to see our list of materials needed for this project. You may need to add or take away a bit to the cost if you don’t have something else there. I hope you tackle this project! I still look at this ceiling with big heart eyes!

      Panels: $20 x 8 = $160
      Pine Boards: $16.50 x 8 = $132
      Construction Adhesive: $3 x 3 = $9
      Wood Screws: $2.50 x 3 = $7.50
      Painter’s Tape: $4
      Caulk: $2.00 x 3 = $6

      TOTAL COST:: $318.50

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