DIY Drop Zone Update on a Budget


Hi, I'm Zoe

My mission is to teach you to confidently build magazine-worthy DIYs. I used to be terrified of power tools, which is why I'm a firm believer that ANYONE can DIY.

Search the Blog

Join Thousands of Others Getting Weekly DIY Tips and Tutorials

March 26, 2019
Zoe Hunt




<4 Hours



Easy dark mudroom transformation to hide scuffs

After weeks of trying to think of the best way to finish our drop zone and cover up all of the scuffs that my purse left on the white seat, I walked into a bar and found my answer. A dessert bar, not a real bar. Desserts are much more up my alley. Lining the walls was black beadboard. I’d never seen black beadboard before and I instantly fell in love with its class, which is ironic. 

I never loved beadboard and always thought it looked somewhat dated (sorry if you love white beadboard). So the fact that I fell in love with black beadboard because of its timeless class was hilarious to me.

Nevertheless, I put my pride aside and told Andrew that I figured out the plan for the drop zone and we needed beadboard. It took some convincing to get Andrew on board with a dark color, but now that it’s finished, we both love it.

Want to DIY buy don\'t know where to start? Click here to grab your free guide!

BUT getting the look wasn’t as easy as it seemed. The project itself was straightforward, but getting the beadboard was another story. First, we went to the store and could not find the beadboard anywhere.

Eventually, we stumbled across it, and they only had one type. It was made from something that seemed like cardboard and it was more expensive than the wood beadboard at a nearby store.

Regardless, we decided to buy it instead of driving literally 3 minutes to the other store. So, we took the beadboard to the car and this employee started laughing at us, saying we would never get that in my Nissan Rogue.

I was more irritated by his comment than I should’ve been and kept trying to get the beadboard to fit. It wasn’t going to work. For the first time, something didn’t fit in my Rogue and we had to rent a Home Depot van.

Our cheap project nearly doubled in cost because we had to rent the van to take it 5 miles home. Now we know that my car can’t miraculously hold everything.

If you don’t have a drop zone and have always wanted one, fear not! We have DIY drop zone plans. Alright, enough stories. Let’s start DIYing!

DIY drop zone reno in just a few hours | before and after drop zone

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)!


  • Nail gun
  • 1.5″-2.5″ Finishing nails
  • Miter saw
  • Circular saw (or get the beadboard cut by your home improvement store)
  • Paint Brushes (1 large for quick coverage, 1 small for details and cracks)
  • Painters Tape (we highly recommend this type of tape)
  • Measuring Tape

How to update your drop zone

New to DIY? Download our free 5 Steps to Getting Start with DIY guide!

Step 1: make your cuts

Cut the beadboard and trim to fit your drop zone. Measure twice, cut once is the motto! We recommend measuring before you leave for the store so that you can get your local store to cut the beadboard for you. For the trim, cut at a 45-degree angle so that the pieces fit together in each corner. 

Helpful hint: When cutting a long straight line, you can clamp a piece of wood to the object you’re cutting and run your saw along the wood. Be sure to measure the distance between the edge and the clamped board on each end before you start cutting. Adjust as needed. 

OR you can get this nifty Kreg circular saw guide

cutting beadboard with a jigsaw

Step 2: prep your drop zone

Remove any existing hooks.

Quickly sand your drop zone using 120 grit sandpaper. Then wipe or vacuum off any dirt and debris. This step is important to ensure you don’t paint hair or dirt into your drop zone.

Tape the edges of your drop zone.

Want to DIY buy don\'t know where to start? Click here to grab your free guide!

STEP 3: paint

Apply the first coat of paint to your drop zone. For multiple coats, follow the instructions specified on your paint can. Since the beadboard isn’t up yet, I would paint a few inches under where the beadboard will go. This will ensure that no white sneaks through the seams of the beadboard and trim. No need to paint the entire area where the beadboard is going, just enough to ensure that it wouldn’t peek through.

Step 4: add the beadboard

Add the beadboard by nailing it to the drop zone.

Step 5: paint the beadboard

 You can add the trim before painting the beadboard, but it will be more difficult to get all of the cracks. You’ll likely need more than one coat, so I like to add at least a coat and then add the trim to ensure that no hard to reach places are still white.

Step 6: Add the trim

Add the trim by nailing it on top of the beadboard.

Step 7: Finishing touches

Putty the nail holes. You can also seal any gaps in the trim by using a paintable caulk.

Paint the trim and look for any other areas that need touch-up. Make sure you covered all the nooks and crannies.

Step 8: Install the hooks

The screws might seem tighter because paint dripped into the holes. You can minimize this by putting screws in the hole while painting and then using new screws (that don’t have paint on them) for the hardware. Or you can poke something into the hole while painting to remove excess paint.

Step 9: Remove the tape

Isn’t it amazing the difference some paint can make?

DIY drop zone reno | dark gray drop zone with wicker baskets
Add a comment
+ show Comments
- Hide Comments
  1. Rachel says:

    Why didn’t you take it up to the ceiling?

    Planning ours now and have seen a lot of people don’t and wasn’t sure why.

    • Zoe Hunt says:

      We were just working with what the builder had already put in. I will say, we use the top of the drop zone as a shelf a lot of times. It’s nice to have an easy-to-access spot to temporarily store things when needed!

  2. Jordan says:

    Hi! I am looking to do the exact thing to my drop zone! I love the dark. What type of paint finish do you recommend for this project?

    • Zoe Hunt says:

      Hi Jordan! I recommend using a satin or semi-gloss paint. Semi-gloss will be easier to clean, but it’s up to you on whether or not it’s too shiny!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the List

Our mission: give you the resources to build magazine-worthy furniture.

First up? Sharing the 5 key steps to getting started with DIY.

 Get  the best DIY tutorials, project inspiration, and  DIY tips sent straight to your inbox weekly.

Get My Getting Started with DIY Guide as a free gift!

Find your next project

Premium, printable plans

3D renderings, detailed shopping lists, cut lists displayed two ways (both in chart form and visually), AND a bonus SketchUp file. Printable plans don't get better than this.

See the plans
diy with confidence

Our Courses

Whether you're just getting started or you're a seasoned DIYer who's ready to unlock the full potential of DIY, our courses are here to help.



Join us for project tutorials, behind-the-scenes, and quick DIY tips and tricks.