I remodeled my brother's kicthen and we used pre-primed beadboard on the ceiling and 2/3 the way up the walls, with a finish trim along the top edge. Looks fabulous, covered all the ugly problems, installed easily and when painted with a semi-gloss paint, it looks like new construction. (You can see a pic of it on my website portfoliio @ www.phinteriorsllc.com)
. You say you aren't handy so I would recommend hiring a handyman or basic carpenter to do this. Can be installed in one day, painted the next (remember to get it pre-primed). With all the time & elbow grease you save, it would be worth considering.