The Simple Board and Batten DIY That Anyone Can Do

9 Materials
1 Week

Do you ever just wake up with an idea that you have to run with right away? Unfortunately for my hubby, it happens around here all the time.

One weekend, I knew I wanted to jump into a new DIY project, but I wanted to keep it simple. I was thinking about wallpapering or pencil shiplap.

But then, I had another idea. Board and batten. I wanted to start in our main bathroom, but I had also been itching to try out board and batten down our back hallway.

And it just wouldn’t have made sense to do one without the other, right?

Now that we’re all in agreement…

So when my husband woke up and I hit him with the idea, I was expecting a little push back.

Instead, I got an, “Okay, let's do it.”

And I ran with it!

I did some quick research on other board and batten DIYs to get a sense of what I was getting myself into. There were so many takes on it.

Remove the baseboards, don’t remove them. Add more detail, add less detail. Space the batten this many inches apart.

The list goes on and on.

What I realized was that I needed to pick and choose what I wanted and run with it!

Measure, Plan, & Gather Materials

I began by measuring for materials. I read a lot of things when it came to the height of the railing, how far to space the batten, etc.

But what I ended up doing was simply eyeballing what I thought would look best. Simple.

This helped me get a sense of the materials I wanted to use.


We chose 2.5in x .5in poplar wood for the railing and 1.5in wide lattice strips for the batten.

We also decided that we’d keep our baseboards as is, and we measured 43 total inches up from the top of the baseboards for our height.

That way, the railing would be 43 inches high, and the lattice strips would reach a little over 40 inches.

We drew out and marked where each piece of wood would go and wrote out all our wall measurements so we could buy the amount of wood we needed.

Then, I taped where we marked so we could get a quick visual!


Our very first lesson learned was OVERBUY THE WOOD!

Overbuy and return the extra once you’ve finished the project. We somehow ended up short and had to make a mid-project run back out to Home Depot that could have been avoided!

Anyways… once we had the materials, it was time to get started!

But before you get started, I’d highly recommend making sure you have the right tools on hand.

In addition to the wood for this project, you'll need...

  • Miter saw
  • Nail Gun

You also need:

  • Caulk
  • Sand paper
  • Wood putty (to fill nail holes)
  • Paint and brushes/rollers
  • Painter’s tape
  • Level

Okay, now it’s time to keep rolling!


Next, we double-checked our measurements and began cutting our 2.5in x .5in poplar wood for the railing!

Don’t let this part scare you — if you don’t have a power saw or are afraid to use one, you can have your friendly Home Depot workers cut it for you!

Once the wood was cut, it was time to nail it all up!

Do not forget to use your level, no matter how many markings you placed on your wall. Use your level for each piece of wood you nail up! The last thing you want is a slanted railing at the end of the hallway.

Luckily we didn’t make that mistake, but not all walls are created equal (ours are notoriously warped). So levels are our friends around here.

If you have the right tools on this step, it goes pretty quickly! Especially if you measured ahead of time!


Measure and cut down your lattice, and start taping them to the wall! I used tape first to make sure the spacing was exactly how I wanted it before I nailed them in. This was a personal preference!

Once you've determined how far apart you want your lattice, use your level and nail them in! Simple as that!

Once your wood is all nailed to the wall, you’ll notice some cracks, gaps, and nail holes. Lots of them.

This is where caulk and wood putty are your very best friends.

You just fill the nail holes with wood putty, wipe off the extra, and sand it down once it’s dry. And then you’ll be asking yourself…. what nail?

I also ended up caulking every edge of the wood and lattice to ensure there was a seamless finish.

Once the wood putty and caulk are dry, sand it all down just to makes sure there are no rough edges left. Then it’s time to paint!


This is the easy part! Grab your paint, rollers, and brushes and get to work!

One of my friends told us to paint at the beginning of the project instead of waiting until the end. We did this in the bathroom but not in the hallways just because of the time we had to get the wood up, but it did make putting the finishing coat of paint on the bathroom walls much easier! Maybe consider this tip depending on what you need in terms of timing!

We matched our paint to our baseboards so it would match the rest of our home and look like it was always meant to be there, Then we put on two thick coats of paint and called it a day!


This took us about 1 week to board and batten the bathroom and hallway while we were both working full time!

So bottom line — you can do this! If you’ve been considering jumping into a DIY with power tools and wood, this was a pretty good one to start with!

What do you think? Will you give this board and batten project a try in your home?

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • PLCWeber
    on Jun 23, 2020

    So if you have the typical “orange peel” texture it might not look very finished???

    • Lauren
      on Jun 24, 2020

      If your walls are textured, it would change the look! For a smooth board and batten finish, you might have to add a true board piece instead of using your walls!

  • Sandy
    on Jun 24, 2020

    Are you sure your wood plank was 5x2.5. That would seem it would stick out from the wall too far.

    • Lauren
      on Jun 24, 2020

      It's actually 0.5in x 2.5in! You're right - 5in would be too wide!

  • Joan Stanley
    on Jun 24, 2020

    How could you nail in the vertical pieces at any place you chose? Are your walls not drywall and you have to find the wall studs?

    • Lauren
      on Jun 24, 2020

      Because we used super light lattice strips, we weren't too concerned about finding studs! You can also angle your nails into the wall to make sure they won't pull out easily or use some liquid nails for added security!

Join the conversation

2 of 16 comments
  • Gena
    on Jun 24, 2020


  • Michelle Street
    7 days ago

    I love it. To answe a couple of comments. In my older home, locating the studs at a task. Even the ceiling joists are not where they should be. So yes, mail the lattice into the wall. Caulking each piece will help give stability. I’ve actually finished a 110 year old farm house room in this manner. I only wish I would have painted as opposed to would be surprised what a little ingenuity will yield. I’ve seen it and done it with the most accomplished master carpenters.

    this turned out beautifully, and come tomorrow morning, the hallway is getting this very same make over. Thanks for this project. Just love the finished work.

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