Board and Batten Wall in an Afternoon for Less Than $50!

6 Materials
4 Hours

Tired of having a boring bland wall? Adding a little architectural interest to any space is visually and aesthetically pleasing. Installing your own board and batten wall can be easy and inexpensive, best of all it can be installed in an afternoon!

I’m a very visual person and it’s helpful for me to map things like this out. I simply took a piece of graph paper and mapped out the dimensions of our wall. I knew I wanted the boards to be 4″ wide so I cut several strips that would be equivalent to this measurement on my chart. Then I was able to move them around and play with the design of the wall before committing to anything. This was so helpful! 

Here’s a list of the supplies we used to install the board and batten.

  1. Visual blueprint of design to guide us during installation
  2. Precut and lightly sanded boards (At this point each board was cut into 4″x8′ strips, cut at Home Depot from a 4'x8' piece of MDF.)
  3. Large and small level (A small one is fine, but a larger one is helpful for the vertical boards.)
  4. Pneumatic brad nail gun
  5. Box of 2″ brads
  6. Pencil. We also used a white pencil to mark on the dark navy wall.
  7. Speed square
  8. Measuring tape
  9. Tube of liquid nails adhesive
  10. Caulk
  11. Caulk gun

If you’d like to see this wall transformation take place from beginning to end, check out the video above! You will see this transformation in a sped up process as I guide you through each of the steps.  

Step 1: A 5" baseboard was measured and marked to the length of the wall, cut to size and installed first. We applied liquid nails to the backside of each board before nailing them into place. The baseboard was nailed into position at the top of the wall flush to the ceiling. 

Step 2:  Once the top border of the design was installed, we began to install all the vertical boards. We began on the right side of the wall. First hold the board to fit it into place, then take the board from the wall and lay on the floor to apply the liquid nails. Once the adhesive has been applied, place the board onto the wall in the designated place, use the level to make sure everything is aligned and level and secure with brads. This first board was installed to the far right of the wall, flush with the other wall.  

Step 3: After the first board has been secured to the wall, take the measuring tape and mark where the next board will be installed on the wall. Be sure to mark the wall near the base board at the bottom and the top of the wall.

Repeat step 3 to install each vertical board. Carefully measure where the next board will be installed, mark the wall, fit it into place, lay the board on the floor to apply adhesive, fit it into place, make sure it’s level and secure with brads.

Step 4: Installing the lower horizontal row. Now, if you’ve done the math correctly, measured and installed the vertical boards really precisely, you’d think that each horizontal board would be the same measurement. In theory yes…but it’s always a good idea to measure each space before cutting each board due to slight variations in measurements. 

To install the first horizontal row, measure up from the floor to where the bottom of the horizontal board will be. Place a mark on the wall on the inside of each of the vertical boards. Then measure the horizontal distance in the space and cut the board to fit. Repeat this step for all of the horizontal boards on the first row. We measured and cut all the horizontal boards at the same time. After each was cut, we labeled the backside with the measurement and a corresponding number to what row it would be installed in.

After the board has been fit to size, apply the adhesive and use the level to make sure it’s aligned in place, then secure with a couple of brads on each end. 

Repeat step 4 to measure and cut the horizontal pieces for the upper row. To do this we measured down from the ceiling to the desired height and marked the wall in-between the vertical boards. Then we took horizontal measurements for each section and cut each board. We again labeled each board in case they were to get mixed up. 

Step 5: Putty in all of the nail holes and seams. The less putty you apply the less sanding needs to be done when it's dried. Take a small piece of sandpaper or a palm sander and lightly sand each area with putty until it's smooth and level with the wood.

Step 6: Time to caulk! Eeek! We’re getting so close to the completed wall! (A little known fact about me: I like to caulk. I know that’s weird! I guess it’s because I’m a perfectionist and I like how neat and finished caulking makes any project come together.) Make sure to caulk around the inside of each of the shapes you’ve created with your design.  

Step 7: Last but not least, it painting time! Now you get the satisfaction of painting all the board and batten your wall color. The easiest method for me is to take a paint brush and first paint over the caulk in a section, then I brushed the boards. I applied the paint with vertical brush strokes for the vertical boards, and horizontal strokes on the horizontal boards.  

PRO TIP: To get an extra crisp and straight paint line at the top of the wall where it meets the ceiling, I used a little trick I talked about in another tutorial about painting perfect stripes. You can see what I’m talking about  here.  This trick is especially helpful when painting a line at the edge of the wall and a textured ceiling!

So really we could minimize the number of steps and say there are only 5.

1. Cut boards to size

2. Install boards

3. Putty holes

4. Calk

5. Paint

That’s it! The Easy Peasy way to install your own DIY Board and Batten wall for only $50!

Ta Da! The wall is finished! Now you can take a step back and enjoy your hard work! (This project actually comes together pretty quickly! I know there are a lot of steps, but it’s hard to describe how to do everything in any fewer steps. If you start with a good visual blueprint of your design and measure and mark as you work it goes pretty smoothly!) My Hubby and I had this installed start to finish in an afternoon. I actually spent more hours puttying in all the holes, sanding, caulking and painting to create the finished look.

To see the FULL tutorial with more step by step instructions and detailed pictures please visit our site

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2 of 44 comments
  • Jan Mynatt Casady
    on Sep 28, 2020

    Wow! Striped curtains, white accents, rustic bed all come together with that wall! That is a beautiful room. Saving this project for when we buy a house. Hopefully soon.

  • AndradeTea
    on Sep 28, 2020

    I love how it turned out. The color is gorgeous, too!

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