Herringbone Board and Batten Accent Wall

by Sarah
4 Materials
8 Hours
Adding molding to a space can make all the difference in taking a room from good to great. If you’ve been following along with this guest room update for the One Room Challenge, then you’ve seen that these walls started as wood paneling!! So much amazing progress has been made already, but this herringbone board and batten accent wall is definitely the cherry on top!

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Length of time for project: Weekend project

Cost: ~$20 for the wood strips (mine was free because I used scraps). You’ll also need caulking and paint, so an additional $30 or so for that. Grand total: Less than $50!

What you’ll need: 1.5″w x .25″thickness wood strips. I took a small 1/4″ sheet of plywood and ripped it down to 1.5″ strips. You’ll need caulk to smooth out the seams and then you need to paint.

Also: miter saw, nail gun

What I learned: Most definitely make yourself two scrap guides for spacing! Makes a huge difference in keeping things spaced evenly. Also, I made a small jig for my miter saw to cut angles greater than 45 degrees. Highly recommend this as well and here is a great video of how to do just that!

Step 1: Prep Your Wall

First thing you should do is make sure you’ve filled all holes or blemishes with a filler for a smooth surface. If you are repainting the wall a different color, now is the time to do that as well. It is WAY easier to paint a flat surface than to paint around all the molding you are about to add.

Step 2: Vertical Strips

Now my herringbone accent wall was added to an existing half wall, so I did not need to add a top rail. For a normal wall (assuming you are not doing the whole wall) you would need to determine the height you’d like. Then add the top railing first and use a level to make sure it is straight. I’d recommend a 1×3 or 1×4 piece of molding for this top, though you could also consider a tapered molding that is thicker on the top and thinner on the bottom.

Next determine the placement of your vertical pieces. There are a few ways to go about this. If you are doing a full wall, find the center and start there. Place your center railing first followed by the the outside edges and then find the center of your new section and keep going like that until you get the look you want.   Honey Built Home has a great tutorial showing this method. Mine was less involved as I had 48″ panels with visible seams that I wanted to hide with molding. I added one more in the middle so, for the most part, my vertical stiles are 24″ apart, with some slight variation on the ends and smaller side wall.

Step 3: Add Herringbone Strips

In order to add your cross strips you need to figure out two things: 1) what angle do you want and 2) how far apart would you like these cross strips? For angle I tried out both 45 degrees as I saw in this tutorial from  Southern Revivals  and I also tried out 30 degrees which I also saw from Honey Built Home (referenced above). Both were good but I opted for 30 degrees for my space. 45 degrees seemed to steep for my small sections.

Angle for Herringbone stripsI measured my first cross strip by cutting one end at a 30 degree angle, placing said angle in the bottom corner of a vertical piece, then seeing where it naturally crossed the next vertical piece and marking that for my cut. If your walls are square and your sections are even, you should be able to cut lots of pieces at once. That said, mine are not and were not so I opted to cut as I went.

Herringbone Spacers

The top and bottom cross strips were a bit more difficult as the angle of the top/bottom edge was no longer 30 degrees. Using the same method as above, place your 30 degree side on the vertical stile and try to find where it will cross the top/bottom molding. Make a mark. Then the trick it to try to find the angle on your miter saw. My angle was greater than 45 degrees which proved difficult until I came across this  youtube video from Finish Carpentry TV to create a jig allowing me to cut greater than 45 degrees. I also showed in my instagram stories how I did this process and saved to my  highlights. 

Spacing for Herringbone stripsNext up, determine your spacing. Again, my wall is just a half wall and I wanted a few cross strips so the pattern would really show through. So my cross strips are 8″ apart. Most definitely create two spacer pieces for this step! They will ensure consistency and speed things up. I promise.

The wood strips were all attached using my nail gun and 1.5″ finishing nails wherever there were studs. In the area where no studs were present (again, this is a wood paneling wall, not drywall) I used construction adhesive and a bit shorter nails.

Step 4: Finishing

This step is a bit boring but totally necessary. First, fill all the nail holes with wood filler or spackle. Then, and bear with me, use caulk on all the edges of each vertical and cross strip. And caulk everywhere the two pieces meet. Like everywhere. It’s tedious. And annoying. But if you don’t do this step you’ll regret it once you paint. Oh, that reminds me. Now it is time to paint. If you have already painted the wall (as I recommended prior to adding the herringbone board and batten), then you will essentially just be painting the molding. Depending on the paint, you will likely need to do two or more coats.

Final Herringbone Board and Batten Wall

This project was a bit more tedious than I typically like…but isn’t it beautiful?! Herringbone board and batten really adds so much character and style to this guest room. I’m kind of in love. You need to check out some  before photos  of this space in order to truly appreciate it though….because it is quite the transformation! And you absolutely need to check out some of the amazing projects going on over at the  One Room Challenge! Seriously incredible. I’ve also included a little sneak peek of another project I haven’t yet shared…this  stenciled wall!

Herringbone Close Up

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