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?
So the idea was born, of a full board and batten wall that is smaller scale and closer together, more like an exterior wall.
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.
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)
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)
3. Now install your ceiling piece.
*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.
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!
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.
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.
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!)
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!
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!.
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!!?
(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.