Step 2: Trim the first board

Trimming the first board.
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Before you put up the first piece, calculate how many boards it will take to cover the ceiling. Measure the actual width of several pieces of beadboard and average these out to get the true width of the wood after shrinkage. Divide the width of the porch ceiling by the true width of the beadboard to get the number of whole boards that will cover the ceiling.

If the last board will end up being less than 2 inches, then you will need to trim down both the first and last board to make the ceiling look evenly spaced. To do that, add the width of the last board to the width of a full board. Subtract ½ inch to account for the expansion gap. Then divide by two. This final figure is the width of each end board. Using a jigsaw, trim the first board to this width.
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    Tools List

    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw
    • pneumatic finish nailer
      Pneumatic finish nailer,
      rents for $35 a day, with compressor
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • pneumatic brad nailer
      Pneumatic brad nailer,
      rents for $22 a day, without compressor

    Shopping List

    1. PREPRIMED BEADBOARD

    Beadboard comes in different-width tongue-and-groove strips that fit together to look like one continuous bead-and-board panel. It also comes in lengths anywhere from 8 to 16 feet. Pick the length that’s just longer than your porch is deep so one board can run the whole depth of the ceiling without seams.



    2. LATTICE

    For covering the 1/4-inch expansion gap around the perimeter of the beadboard. Lattice is flat 11/2-by-1/2-inch stock, usually made from treated pine. For the amount you'll needmeasure the perimeter of the ceiling, then add 10 percent.



    3. 2-INCH FINISH NAILS

    For nailing up the beadboard. Make sure you get nails made to fit the gun you rent. About 200 will suffice for 100 square feet of 1x6 beadboard, which means two strips is more than enough.



    4. 1-INCH BRADS

    For attaching the lattice. One strip of brads should be enough.