Below is a step by step guide to installing board and batten, the perfect beginner DIY project!
Board and batten in my opinion is a look that is timeless, I had it in my previous home and I just recently installed it here in this home! I have tackled many different accent walls over the years, and I would say that adding board and batten is the most friendly for those just starting out. So for all of you on the fence and nervous about tackling this project, I promise you it is one YOU CAN DO!
My foyer space started out fine, however I knew I wanted to add character to the space and board and batten was the perfect solution for this. I had added some shiplap when you first walked in, as you can see below. However, the rest of the space still lacked in design and I wanted you to feel the beauty of our home the moment you stepped in.
In addition to adding the board and batten I also added some beautiful peel and stick faux grass cloth. I will detail how I installed that in a separate post, but let me tell you that is also a great beginner DIY and one you can certainly tackle.
There are many different ways you can approach this project, and many different ways you can change the look up. However I chose to go the most budget friendly route and the easiest products to work with since I was doing this by myself.
So here is a breakdown of what I used:
Prior to heading to the store to purchase my supplies, I took a measurement of the whole space, measuring each wall horizontally and adding it all together. This gave me an idea of how many boards I would need to buy, for this space I only needed 4 of the 1×4 boards (these would be the top boards as you can see below) and 4 of the 1×2 boards which I used as the ledge.
For the vertical boards, I used that same measurement and estimated that I would maybe space them every 12″, I knew that I would not have them closer than this, but might have them farther away. Therefore, with calculating 12″ a part I knew I would have enough boards to complete the project.
Along with knowing I was going to place them at least 12″ apart, I also knew that I was going to make them 48″ long, this way you would get 2 vertical boards out of one 8 foot board.
For my particular space I decided to NOT remove my base molding. This was my personal choice, and one that saved money as the base molding runs continuously throughout the first floor of our home. So there would have been no way to remove the base without having to redo ALL of the first floor.
In total for the boards I bought for this space it cost me $240, I already had the white paint I was going to use as well as the caulk and wood filler.
If you are adding new baseboards in, then you would FIRST want to but your baseboards down. Considering I was not adding in the baseboards I did not have to worry about this step.
Since I knew I was going to make each of the vertical boards 48″, I took a measurement of my current baseboard and added that number to the 48″. My baseboards are 3.5″ therefore the bottom of the top horizontal board would sit at 51.5″.
Truthfully, you don’t have to have them 48″ this is totally a personal choice for your space. In my dining room we made the boards 54.5″ and we used wider vertical and horizontal moldings. You can see it in the picture below. Our ceilings are only 8′ tall, and since this foyer space isn’t too large the 48″ vertical’s worked perfectly.
Next you will want to go around the room and mark your wall at your measurement, mine being 51.5″ I made a few marks and then took my large 4′ level and drew a line. You will want to do this all around your room.
Once you have this line, you can measure and cut for your first horizontal board. Place this board on your line. It should be level, but to be sure throw your level on top to make sure. Once level take your nail gun and secure it to the wall.
Continue this same process all the way around your space.
Once you have the horizontal boards up you can now move onto the verticals!
I know I mentioned above that I calculated having the boards be 12″ a part, however now that I was in the space and looking at all the different outlets and switches I decided to space them 13.5″ apart. This ultimately helped me to avoid having to cut around these points.
Another thing to think about when planning your spacing is the overall look you are wanting. For this space, considering it wasn’t a huge area I thought visually the closer together would look better vs. farther a part.
In our dining room, we did wider spacing at 19″ between the boards. Our room is larger, we were using wider boards and the verticals were higher.
This is all a personal preference, so lay it out and see what looks best for YOU.
I worked on each wall, and made the measurements according to that wall, I didn’t look at it as a whole, but rather each as its own. Of course, making the adjustment if the wall ran into another one.
For example, below you can see the corner, for this situation you will still work with your measurement, so on the right side wall it was 3.5″, so the vertical piece on the left would be 10″ from the corner. I hope that makes sense!
If you followed along on Instagram in stories you know I asked everyone how I should have the base of my vertical boards look.
Since I was not removing my baseboards I would have to work the verticals into these some how. There is really two options, well two that I was considering.
The first being a straight cut, meaning I would just run the boards flat into the baseboard. I did this look in our dining room. Here you can see how it looks up against my baseboards.
The second option (and the one I ultimately went with) would be to angle cut the bottom of the boards at a 45 degree angle. Here you can see how this looks.
Honestly, I think either way works and once everything is caulked and painted you really DON’T see it.
In order to cut the angle you will have to rotate your saw from the back to tilt to the 45 degree mark. Here you can see how my saw looked.
Next, you will want to flip your board OVER so the white pre-primed part is down and the back side is up. If you caught my stories during the time I was doing this then you knew I messed this part up. If you cut it the other way it won’t be the correct angle.
When you are making the cut, you will want the blade to hit the very end of the board, that way you don’t lose anything from the length of your board, so in my case the board would stay at 48″ long.
Once you cut the board, this is how it should look.
Once you have the board cut you can fit it in your space. You want to make sure to have the appropriate level handy to ensure the boards are level.
With the boards level, nail it up with your nail gun and move along the rest of your space!
The last molding step is to add the ledge on top of the horizontal piece. This is super simple and just requires you to take a measurement of the top horizontal piece and cut it accordingly. I used my finish nailer again and made sure to nail it into the base, or angled into the wall if it was a tough spot.
For me I stopped here, you can easily add another piece of molding underneath the ledge to give it even more detail. I might down the line, but for right now this was perfect!
Lastly, you will need to putty all the nail holes and caulk all the seams. I love the white wood filler I have linked above as its with, fills the holes easily and really does a great job with concealing them.
For caulking, you will want to caulk every open space. It seems like a lot, however it really makes a huge difference in how the finished product will look. So make sure to take the extra time and knock this part out. I PROMISE you it will be worth it.
Once you get everything puttied, sanded and caulked you are ready to PAINT!
I chose to paint my boards in Sherwin Williams Extra white in Semi Gloss. I love how bright this white is and I love how the semi gloss allows it all to pop.
I am thrilled with how it turned out, and the board and batten was definitely the right choice for this space. It made such an impact and really gave the space the coastal look I was looking for!
I hope you found this helpful and informative, and that it gives you the courage to tackle a space in your home YOURSELF! I promise you, you can do it!8