DIY Board and Batten for Under $150

3 Days
After much online searching, I decided to do an inexpensive board and batten wall treatment in our upstairs hallway, with a narrow shelf at the top where I could display family photos. Here are the step-by-step instructions ...
Here's a sneak peek at the "after."
Step 1: Decide where the first horizontal board will be placed. I wanted my top board to be flush with the top of the light switches. So I measured down from the ceiling and placed tick marks all along the wall at that spot. I used FrogTape® brand painter’s tape, placed around the entire hallway, to mark that starting line.
Step 2: Paint the walls to the ceiling above the line of painter's tape. I chose the color Anew Gray and had it mixed up in the lesser expensive Valspar Signature® paint (eggshell finish).
Step 3: Add the first horizontal board to the wall. I chose medium-density fiberboard to create my boards and battens. To save money, I purchased three, 8-foot sheets of MDF and had them cut down in the home improvement store. From each 8-foot sheet, I had cut one 7-inch-wide piece; the rest of each sheet was cut into 3.5-inch-wide pieces.

For the top horizontal board, I used the 7-inch-wide pieces, placing them directly under my FrogTape line, and using a level to make sure the pieces stayed straight. I applied a bit of panel adhesive to the back of each board and used brad nails to stick them to the wall.

Step 4: Eight inches below the top board, add a 3.5-inch board.
Step 5: Add baseboard. I used 3.5-inch pieces of MDF to serve as my baseboard. (Be sure to paint these boards prior to sticking them to the wall.) For the paint color, I chose to match the shade of our window and door trim.

Step 6: Add battens. I cut 8-inch battens from my 3.5-inch pieces of MDF and applied them about 11 inches apart on the wall in between the two horizontal boards.

I then applied my bottom battens parallel to the top ones. Mine are 32.5-inches long.
Step 7: Add the top shelf and molding. I chose a 1×3 birch board for my top shelf and inexpensive door/window casing for the molding underneath it.

Step 8: Sand, caulk and paint everything. MDF can be tricky to work with. It requires a few coats of paint for a smooth finish, so be prepared to put in some hours of work here. But the finished result is worth it!
Here’s my new hallway that I built for under $150!
Living Rich on Less - Susan
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