Not just for porch ceilings, old-fashioned beadboard adds cozy cottage style indoors, too. To ease installation—and reduce your time on a ladder—choose prefab medium-density fiberboard (MDF) planks instead of traditional stick-built beadboard. Embossed with a beaded design, the 7-inch-wide by 8-foot-long tongue-and-groove planks closely resemble the real thing. And once mounted on the ceiling, you'll never know the difference. When working with a flat or peaked ceiling in good condition, like the one shown at right, the simplest approach is to use panel adhesive and nails to attach the beadboard directly to the surface. Ceilings in rough shape require first installing a solid framework of wood furring strips to fasten the panels to. Either way, begin at a corner and put up your first panel; leave a inch gap, which can be covered with trim, at the walls. Because most MDF planks come preprimed, you need only to fill nail holes and apply a top coat of paint to finish your new beadboard ceiling.
$150 to $350, depending on the room's size. MDF Cape Cod Beadboard Planking, $65 for 42 square feet, and Liquid Nails Paneling and Molding Construction Adhesive, $3.67 for a 10-ounce tube; homedepot.com