Board and batten is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to makeover a room. With just a few materials and tools even a novice DIY’er can transform a room over a weekend. My goal is to eventually have board and batten or shiplap covering all of my wall space. It makes such a statement in any room.
My latest addition of board and batten ties in very well with the farmhouse guest bathroom I remodeled a little over a year ago.
Some things to consider before adding board and batten:
DESIGN…There are several different patterns of board and batten:
These are just a few examples. Of course Pinterest is full of ideas too. You can check out my Board and Batten Pinterest board here.
The thickness of your battens (vertical boards) versus the thickness of your baseboards is something to consider. If your battens slightly hang over your baseboards, it shouldn’t be a problem. But if your battens are much thicker than your baseboards, it could be quite a noticeable thing and you probably won’t be very happy with the look.
You have two choices in this matter:
- Change your baseboards. This is the route that I have chosen, simply because I am slowly changing all of my trim throughout my home to thicker craftsman trim. Read all about upgrading to craftsman trim here…
However, that is a huge undertaking and probably not the route most people want to go. If the area that you are applying the board and batten is its own space, and separate from the other walls, you could probably get away with changing out just the baseboards in that area.
- Apply thinner battens. You can choose anywhere from a 1/4 to 3/4″ thickness, when applying my favorite board and batten technique.
It’s best to measure out your space before placing your boards. Not only because it’s always good to have a plan, but also if you are wanting to avoid having to cut around outlets, etc with a jigsaw. However, sometimes there’s no way around this.
How to Board and Batten Cheap and Easy:
4×8 Sheet of MDF Board (Amount and thickness is based upon space and preference; I prefer 1/2″ thickness)
Table Saw (optional) Home Depot will usually cut your boards to the size you need
Nail Gun (Hammer and nails works too, but much faster and easier with a nail gun)
Nails for Nail Gun (Size depends on thickness of MDF board)
Tape off area and paint walls white (or whatever color you’re planning on painting your board and batten).
Cut MDF boards length and width you desire for the look you want. For my hallway project, I cut my boards (battens) 47 inches long and 4 inches wide. My top border piece is also 4 inches wide and spans across the top of my battens.
Quick Tip: It is best to cut your boards on a nice sunny day….outside. 🙂 I tackled this project over the winter one year and cut all of my boards in my garage…NEVER AGAIN! It was a sawdust nightmare!!! I had to run the shop vac over the entire perimeter of my garage and everything inside it. What a job! What a mess!
Cut to fit and place top board first, using your nail gun and a level.
Now you’re ready for the battens. Again, I cut mine at 4″ wide, but it’s all about personal preference. Choose a starting point–preferably in a corner or at the beginning of a wall. Attach your first batten using a level and nail gun. Work your way across the wall, placing a batten every so-many inches. For my project, I spaced my battens 8″ apart. But again…personal preference. 🙂
Note: You may be wondering, where does the word board come into play for board and batten….The traditional way to board and batten a wall is to place boards, cut to fit, in between your battens. To save money and time, I choose to use the wall as my board section. It really doesn’t change the look at all and you still end up with a beautiful (less expensive) board and batten wall.
As I mentioned before, sometimes it’s impossible to not hit a faceplate/outlet. When this happens, use a jigsaw to cut the opening needed out of your batten…
All of your battens are attached and you are ready for the finish work…Run caulk all along the edges of your battens, making the transition from battens to wall seamless. Caulk is awesome and great at covering up any flaws/mistakes you may have made. Caulk is your friend! Use it liberally.
Use nail filler to fill in all of your nail holes and then sand to make smooth.
The fun part! Paint!!! Paint your walls (again) and the battens all the same color.
Allow to dry and you are finished…
Wall treatments are the easiest and most inexpensive way to update and change the look of any room. Here are a few more wall treatment ideas.
Here are a couple more super easy wall treatments, I put together in my brother’s office.
At just $20 per 1/2 inch sheet (4’x8′) of MDF from Home Depot, this hallway went from this…
I love the board and batten with my pallet wall. You can read all about the pallet wall treatment technique here.
As always if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to help you see how easy these projects are to DIY and overcome your fear of power tools. You’ve got this!!
Until next time,
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