DIY Board and Batten

9 Materials
6 Days

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Board and Batten, Box Molding and Wainscoting are all so popular and the perfect way to add interest to your home. Today I am going to share with you exactly how to add board and batten to a wall.

diy board and batten

First thing you need to do is decide what materials to use. You can use 1X4 pieces of wood or you can do what I did and use MDF. The reason I chose MDF was two fold. One, it's cheaper. Two, if I had used the 1X4 then it would have stuck out further than my base boards and I didn't want that. I wanted it to all be seamless.

So I went to Home Depot and grabbed a few sheets of 1/4 inch MDF and had them cut it down to 4 inch strips, and some at 6 inches for the top rail. Some Home Depots will do this, some won't. You will have to check with your local store to see if they will cut it that small for you.

If they won't cut it you will need a table saw, or a friend with a table saw!

Once you have the cuts sand the edges smooth.

Now you need to decide how high the board and batten will go, for me I knew I wanted it high and I wanted to add the box detail at the top. I also used a 1X6 at the top to make the top board look a little more substantial. You also need a 1X2 board for the top to cap it off.

I actually drew on the wall to decide how far apart the boards should go. I am a visual person so this really helped me.

Using liquid nails on the back of the board and a nail gun with 1 1X4 inch nails, attach the wood to the wall. I started with the top rail going around the room making sure that I used a level to keep it straight. Like I said earlier I liked this board to be 6 inches, a little more beefy than the others.

Once you have the top on the wall you can measure the vertical boards and cut with a miter saw to the correct lengths. Using the same method, liquid nails and a nail gun attach to walls.

diy board and batten

Once you get all the vertical boards up you can add the box detail by adding a horizontal board in between the verticals. Measure and cut with the miter saw and use the same method to attach to the walls. Make sure they are level!

Finally add the top rail, the 1X2 piece of wood at the top to cap off the MDF.

diy board and batten

Now comes the fun part! Wood putty the nail holes and calk the corners and where the wood meets the walls. Once the putty is dry sand smooth.

And now you paint! This project took 3 coats of white paint for me. You can use any kind of paint you want but I like this one from Home Depot that is a mixture of latex and oil based, cleans up with water but is a bit stronger than regular latex paint.

diy board and batten

After three coats of paint (and some wrist PT because man, this killed my wrists!) it's clean up time and putting it all back together.

I also did this in my stairwell, after refinishing the steps. I did a beautiful box molding that you can see HERE.

diy board and batten

Here is the finished project. Now all I need to do is paint the wall above, add curtains and a rug. UGH! Well at least the hard part is done! This project isn't really all that hard it's just time consuming. But man what an impact it makes! I just love it.

Suggested materials:

  • 1/4 inch MDF  (Home Depot)
  • Miter Saw  (Home Depot)
  • Nail Gun  (Home Depot)
See all materials
At Lane and High

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


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