Painted verses Stained Beadboard Ceiling

musebluesSeptember 24, 2010

I really want to have it installed painted...

My beloved desires stained.

My fear is that a dark kitchen will appear even darker if it is stained...(we already have dark beams).

Any thoughts on how to gently persuade him?

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My first thought was to let him have his way--you can paint over stain, but switching back to stain after painting is a pain. You put it up the way he wants, then two months later, you say, "The ceiling really makes the kitchen look dark. Why don't we paint it?" Of course, this hinges on him coming to his senses once he sees what it actually looks like--and that depends on his temperment and how dark the room will actually look.

One argument you could make now is that you can probably save money on the beadboard if you are going to paint it, since you would probably need a better grade of wood for staining. Maybe.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 1:17PM
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My experience is that stained/oiled beadboard ceilings (ours are oiled) are a *lot* easier to maintain than painted ones. I painted the beadboard ceiling in the upstairs bathroom and despite using BIN and BM Aura paint, the knotholes are showing through and it needs another treatment of BIN and more paint, and yes, it will not be in the lovely creamy white this time, more like black (which I actually want to experiment with, yes, I am a paint ho).

So, my advice is to consider the time involved in painting initially, how you will feel if knotholes show through and how you will feel about repainting it, especially painting around beams. But, if you have your heart set on painted beadboard ceilings, tell your beloved how much it means to you and don't take no for an answer.

Just some food for thought.

Good luck-


    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 1:37PM
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Thank you!
Those are indeed Good Ideas :)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 2:11PM
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I had not considered the "knots"...mmmm
I need to look into that more~appreciate the heads up.

A paint "?" lol
Me too I am afraid!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 2:21PM
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You can get MDF beadboard, which would be appropriate for paint but not stain--I don't know how the price compares, but would solve the knot issue.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 2:57PM
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We don't have beadboard, but we do have wood tongue and groove paneled ceilings in about half of our 1942 house, and the effect is similar. We have stained wood in the living room, and it is very, very dark and cave-like. Part of the problem is that the walls on two sides are also wood, but I think it would be dark even without that aspect. This wood is original to the house and would look terrible painted, so it's not something we've seriously considered.

A sunroom was added about 30 years ago, and the owners at that time decided to carry the wood ceiling theme out there, but this wood is painted white. The knots do show through, but it hasn't bothered me enough to repaint yet, and we've lived here 14 years.

In our kitchen, we used wood ceilings as a solution to problems matching the original plaster when we removed the wall between the kitchen and dining room. We figured it would look like it belonged, given the wood ceilings in the adjacent rooms. Since our cabinets would be stained and since the kitchen is right next to the cave-like living room, we painted the kitchen ceiling, too. We primed thoroughly with Zinsser BIN to cover the knots. My husband did the painting, and he made sure as he primed with the BIN that all the knots were coated a couple of times. It's been nearly three years, and there's not a single place where knots show through. Eventually, we will repaint the sunroom ceiling and cover the knots with BIN first. The painted wood ceiling in the kitchen is one of my favorite features.

I would strongly recommend that, whether you decide to stain or paint, you do it BEFORE you install. If you paint, I would at least prime it before it goes up. A first paint coat would be a good idea, too. We did ours after it was installed, and my husband cursed the whole time. It took two coats of primer and, if I remember correctly, three or four coats of paint to cover it well.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 9:35AM
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How about a compromise? Do white wash!

Here's a picture of our knotty cedar ceiling (it smelled heavenly going in!) with a whitewashed finish. We wanted the knots to show, so it would clearly be real wood and not a manmade composite that is so common these days.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 10:13AM
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smarge, that is nice. We just installed a pine tongue and groove plank ceiling in our outdoor porch that has a vaulted ceiling and exposed beams. We were thinking of white washing, too! Would you mind sharing how you did it and what product you used? Thanks! Museblues, the white washing is a neat idea b/c you won't get the dark you are afraid of and also the wood grain shows through...which I personally like.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2010 at 6:48AM
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Check out the Minwax product called Pickling Stain, its for White Washing.

Here is a link that might be useful: White Washing Stain

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 2:40PM
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Has anyone used pine beadboard with a clear natural stain on a sunroom ceiling? Our home has white trim everywhere, and I thought it might help the sunroom have a more outdoorsy feel to do this on the ceiling. The floor will be a gray slate tile, and the fireplace surround and windows and trim will be white. My intuition tells me it will be fine, but my designer believes the beadboard should be painted or even stained pale blue-gray like an old-fashioned Southern porch.
Any opinions?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 9:05PM
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I sooo agree with Sandy Ponder. I just finished painting my small dining room beadboard ceiling on Friday. It took me days. Dh primed before he put it up, but that's it. There were a lot of knot holes that I had chunks out of them that I had to fill, and a lot of miscellaneous holes and cracks. They weren't very noticeable until I got the first coat of semi gloss on it, and then all the big dents, cracks and holes held dark shadows. So I filled some more. And once filled, it takes another 2 or 3 coats of paint to get the gloss to match the rest of the paint.

Plus the caulking. Sooo much caulking.

It's done now and I think it looks great. But the living room will be stained wood. We'd always planned it that way; it wasn't because of the experience with this ceiling.

I don't regret having a painted ceiling, but I do wish we had used mdf instead of solid pine. Would have gone so much faster.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 10:46PM
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We have a three season porch we built about seven or eight years ago. We have a natural wood, beadboard ceiling in it that I finished myself. I'm trying to remember the name of the product because it is for outdoor use and you can buy it in different colors; it is a multipurpose sealer with a bit of color in it. I really like the look of the natural wood on the ceiling.

I also have beadboard walls on the porch, and for those I used something similar to a whitewash but instead did a light, blue green wash by thinning the paint and wiping it on. Since this is a porch I then covered that with poly. It is a very pleasing look too because the natural wood grain shows through.

I agree with the once you've painted it you can't go back group. The color of stain you choose can make all the difference; go light for starters. Another thing to think about is that if this is painted white it is going to eventually need to be repainted. Stained wood is good for decades.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 11:33PM
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I too agree with the light stain/whitewash look. We have knotty pine T&G ceilings and walls throughout our house. Some painted, and some whitewashed. The knots will start to bleed through on the painted wood no matter how well you seal and prime after some time, (usually a few years) ..but the stained whitewashed wood has never needed maintenance in 26 years

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 12:21AM
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