The Ultimate Beginners Tutorial to Board and Batten

4 Materials
2 Days
Here are my tips and tricks to the Ultimate Beginners Tutorial for Board and Batten Wall Treatment
Before this picture was taken I didn’t have the tools or the training on how to make a Board and Batten Wall. But, that wasn’t going to stop me. Being a novice DIY’er and professional Pinner, I researched Pinterest until I found the means to create my own B+B design my own way. I wanted simple steps, a beginners level tutorial, and minimal tools. Not finding exactly what I was looking for I decided to “make it my way” and it turned out pretty great, if I do say so myself!
Lets Talk Tools
This is a list of beginner level tools that I have purchased for my DIY endeavors and I have listed them for you:
  • Long Level
  • Handheld Orbital Sander
  • Drill
  • Circular Saw
  • Saw Horses
  • Nail Gun ( I have the 16 Gauge one).
Get your Supplies
Now that we have gathered our tools, we need supplies. This is the step where a lot of people vary. As you can imagine there are hundreds of ways to do things with hundreds of different tools and supplies. So, I have narrowed down the list to exactly the supplies I needed to get the job done.
  • White Paint + Primer
  • Finish Nails
  • Paintable Caulk
  • Wood Filler
  • Liquid Nails
  • 80 and 120 Grit Sand Paper
  • A few spare rags (this is the perfect time to clean out your husbands white undershirt collection).
Create a Cut List
I took some time thinking about what size wood I wanted use. I measured my existing base boards and decided I would go with something to balance out the existing 3.5″ baseboard. I also researched wood types and what type of budget I would have for this project.I chose to use Common Board for this application because it was inexpensive and easy to work with (I am a wood working novice). ***Warning- Common Board is not the prettiest of woods, but it is best on price. It will be knotty and have imperfections that we will remedy later in the tutorial.***
  • 1″ x 2″ Common Lumber- Used as my “base trim”. The was added on top of the existing baseboard to bulk it up and to also give me a flat edge to build from.
  • 1″ x 4″ Common Lumber- I used this for my vertical “Battens” . Tip: buy an 8′ piece and have them cut it in half at the store. Save time and money!
  • 1″ x 6″ Common Lumber- I wanted a beefier top board to balance the baseboard.
Measure and Cut your Lumber
We have now measured all of our pieces…twice and we are ready to cut. Don’t be afraid to write on the board and also inspect the board before you cut so that you can decide what pieces are nice quality and what aren’t and can be cut away for scraps.Now get to cutting! I suggest cutting one board and then fitting it in your space just to double check your measurements. You don’t want to get too far into cutting and realize, whoopsie, I cut the wrong size.
Sand the Lumber
We want a nice clean surface and smooth edges. As you are aware, the common board isn’t the absolute best, so use the magic powers of your sander, and let it work it’s magic.For a majority of the project I used the 80 grit sandpaper to really get out some of the imperfections. This step doesn’t take too long but it makes a huge difference in the final outcome. I finished it with 120 and then 220.
Measure the Wall Spacing
Measure out your spacing (using that middle school math) and draw your spacings on the wall. Use pencil for easy clean up.
Use Liquid Nails to Adhere the Boards to the Wall
Secure with a Nail Gun
With your boards cut and sanded we are now ready to nail everything in place. I suggest starting with the lowest horizonal piece first and let that piece act as a guide for the vertical battens. From there put up your vertical pieces, then crown it with the larger horizonal piece, and poof you are done…I wish it was that simple.
Fill in the Gaps, Holes, and Imperfections
You have successfully nailed up your boards and there is an end in sight. If you are like me, you are starting to see some gaps and some imperfections in the wood. Not to worry…I introduce you to Wood Filler and Caulk. Make sure to use paintable caulk.
Rule of Thumb:You want to FILL the holes and CAULK the gaps.
At this point I suggest only applying one coat, take a break, and let it dry. This will let the remaining imperfections come to the surface and you will notice more holes and gaps. Fill, caulk, and sand as needed. Then paint another coat or two. I used a small brush for the edging and a roller for the rest. You are done!

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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  1 question
  • Pdmkiss Pdmkiss on Nov 22, 2021

    I’m inspired! Can you tell me what is the dimension from the floor to the top of your horizontal piece please?


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3 of 5 comments
  • Deb Schroeder Deb Schroeder on Nov 21, 2020

    Wonderful job Andrea! I think your bathroom looks great!👍🏻 The new wall treatment fits perfectly with that style tub. Hope you and your family have a blessed holiday season. 🤗

    • Andrea Runk Andrea Runk on Nov 22, 2020

      Thanks Deb! It was a really fun project and wishing you a blessed holiday season as well

  • C. D. Scallan C. D. Scallan on Nov 21, 2021

    Well done. It looks great!