Board and Batten Wall Tutorial

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Okay so one of the things that I am adding to our living room walls is the board and batten wall finish.  We’ve done it before a few times in our very first house over 10 years ago, and in our third house living room.  Can I admit that I am a little tired of board and batten?  Or at least I am board of the board and batten wainscoting.  

The issue comes down to the fact that I love moldings.  I need to be surrounded by moldings, apparently they didn’t make into Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for living, but they might make my list for adding joy to my life.

So I wanted the wall to have some texture.   More of a background than a large statement.  And since we have that farmhouse vibe going on I started looking at farmhouses and barns like this one.  See how the little side shanty has baord and batten?

old barn

Then I found these other great options Image 1, image 2 and image 3 sources.Board and batten exterior wall2 Board and Batten garage Board and Batten Home exterior

So the idea was born, of a full board and batten wall that is smaller scale and closer together, more like an exterior wall. 

Simple Board and Batten Wall tutorial @remodelaholic #board_and_batten #tutorial

Board and Batten Wall Tutorial

I really liked the style of these walls, more for the fact that it isn’t really a wall finish, more of a subtle texture.  So I decided to go ahead and try this as a texture builder in the space.  

1. We started with a huge base molding.  We just used a 1″ x 8″ mdf piece.  Plain and simple.

Flooring base boards living room 009

The stair used to be wrapped with carpet, but we wanted to avoid that and clean up the look.  We built out the stair a bit and then wrapped it with the MDF.  We got lucky and the MDF was the exact same height as the stair (and no we didn’t plan that)

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2. After the base was installed we did the crown.  We opted for simple rather than ornate look.  We chose just a 1″x4″ Mdf.  We ran one on the wall and one on the ceiling to create a wrapped corner look.

Start by using the ceiling piece as a spacer, push the wall piece up to the ceiling piece and nail in place (you will need a helper to do this, which is why we didn’t get any pictures)

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3. Now install your ceiling piece. 

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*TIP*  We didn’t have joists to nail to on this portion of the ceiling.  You can use anchor bolts for a LOT of extra work or you can do what we did.   A good tip for helping the board to stay in place it to nail 2 nails at a 45 degree angle to the right and then immediately turn your nailer the other direction and add two more in a 45 degree angle to the left that way.  This way there is a “V” effect on the nails that holds the boards in place.  The “v” acts like an anchor.  I wouldn’t do this with heavy beams, but for a light weight molding it works well.

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Now that the top and bottom moldings are in place it is time to add the battens!   In the past we have used 1×4 or 1x 2′s that are the same thickness as the upper and lower molding.  But this time I wanted the battens to be small and insignificant.  So that generally they just added a light texture without making a  large statement. 

At our local home depot they have some 3 3/4″ x 1/4″ thick unpainted MDF  strips. They are called something like MDF Bending boards, they were actually in the lumber isle near the plywood and NOT with the moldings.   They are a great prices and they were wide enough to be ripped in half to create the subtle look I was going for, so two for one!  Score!

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Because we cut ours in half we took the time to sand down the top two edges of the board to make sure the battens look  clean and do not have rough edges.  

*TIP* Any cut edges of MDF always needs sanding.  Because it is so smooth you will really see the imperfections once you paint if you skip this step.

4. Install battens.  Be sure to make your spacing perfect.  Follow this board and batten spacing tutorial and you will  NOT look like a beginner!  Mark out the spacing.

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Now place the bottom of the batten according to your spacing and nail once, near the bottom of the board just to hold it in place according to your spacing mark.   Place a level on the side of the batten board and get it aligned properly.  Then nail in place again.  Secure to that wall with a few more nails. 

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5. Patch the holes and caulk the edges of the battens next to the wall to minimize any cracks, which then to make a project look unfinished.  (of course there are no pictures of the caulking actually happening cuz I did that part!)

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6. Paint (Sherwin Williams  High Reflective White) oh the difference the paint makes!  See how the battens just sort of melt in to the wall, there is a slight textrue but they are not the focal point!  And then the angels sang!  YAY!

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For painting the trim next to the floor, I used  heavy weight scrap book paper as a “drop cloth” of sorts.  It moved along easily and slid under the gap of the base boards perfectly, no taping required!.
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 Obviously the stair is not quite done inthe picture above… but the wall sure is!  Booyah!  What to you think if the simple texture see below for the full effect!!? 

Build-a-Swedish-clock-tutorial-Yellow-Swedish-clock-national-painting-week-9-400x600

 

 (The truth is we did this project plus about five other in a time crunch.  Technically every single thing from this post in one week and we didn’t die!  (barely)  So we have another wall to do, but we will get to that soon enough.

About 

Cassity started Remodelaholic with her husband, Justin, to share their love for knocking out walls together. She is an interior designer, wife, and mother of two. She and Justin have remodeled three homes from top to bottom and are working on their fourth. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

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Comments

  1. says

    Great tutorial. I like the smaller size of the battens. The tip on using scrapbook paper to paint the trim is worth it’s weight in gold; I was dreading having to tape.

    I love those two paintings, do you have a source for them?

    • says

      Mel!

      Thanks I am glad the scrap book paper tip was helpful! I HATE taping for projects too!! Anywho, I got the paintings about a month ago at Target. Hope you can find them too! They were about 39.00 bucks I think (each)

  2. says

    So classic. I like how you carried it all the way to the ceiling. I’ve done it about a third of the way up my walls, but really like how this looks. Need to find a room to copy this to.

    • says

      Thanks! I think it is a nice change too! I’ve done the wainscoting versions too but wanted a slight change! If you try it i would LOVE to see pictures!

  3. Jemma says

    i love this rustic look, i come from the countryplace and miss these patterns of walls all around me, Great post..

    • says

      Thanks Marianne! I love how if I can dream it he can build it. (I miss the building part a bit too, but with “the littles” running around it is just not my time to build, when they get a bit older! Hopefully I can do more!) Zie je later!

  4. Lauren H says

    Oh. My. Word. That clock! I want one! Of course, the b&b is beautiful, too. ;) Saw you have a tutorial for the clock- now I just need to find a friend with heavy duty tools.

      • Greg says

        Curious, did you wind up using a Brad Nailer or a Finish Nailer for the larger base boards? I’m currently working on my own board & batten project and am using 11/16″ thick boards and not sure if a Brad Nailer will support the boards.

        Thanks!

        • says

          I did use a brad nailer on all of it. I think I used 2 1/2″ brad nails and tried to hit the studs behind the wall. One thing that I also noticed, if you can’s find a stud shoot at an angle one way then the other, and that will help hold the MDF to the wall.

  5. Greg says

    Curious, did you wind up using a Brad Nailer or a Finish Nailer for your trim work? My wife and I are doing this same project for our nursery and I can’t determine which nailer is appropriate. The boards we are using are 11/16″ MDF. I planned on putting a bead of liquid nails on the backs of each piece but am not sure if a 18 gauge brad nail will be sufficient enough to hold the larger base board and top horizontal board.

    Thanks!

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