This board and batten project is so cheap and easy you’ll be amazed! Baseboards remain intact, cuts are minimal, plus it’s a project completed in two days! It’s entirely worth spending the time and energy to install this beautiful detail.
I’ve admired board and batten for years. Years I tell you! We stupidly paid a carpenter to add this feature to our dining room when we built our house. However, the entire time, a nagging feeling told me that we could have installed this element for a fraction of the cost. You know what? I was totally right. Don’t you love it when that happens?
B&B can be economical…IF installed in a smart, DIY manner. We’re all about luxe for less! This one design element will provide a lot of bang for the buck.
After investigating costs and material needed, we decided the kids bathroom was the perfect jumping off point. The installation cost was around $75 total. This price includes the wood, chalk & paint.
We started with the kids bath because the truth is, my guys could care less how their bathroom looks. Seriously, I’m not joking. You can tell this just by walking in there. The towels we had confirms this!
You can see my boys have a pretty sweet set up. However, the bathroom itself was B.O.R.I.N.G. and lacked personality.
Adding board and batten, it was imperative the baseboard was NOT removed. I felt it was needless and wasteful to rip out perfectly good trim. Plus saving trim saves money. My solution? Use 1/4″ lattice from Home Depot.
We purchased primed 1/4″ thick hobby board/lattice that came in 8-foot lengths on-line. In the bathroom, we were able to get two battens from a single board and opted for 4-foot tall battens in the bathroom. I wanted the top batten tall enough to place hooks for the kids bath towels.
Our board and batten lacks actual boards. The center part is just the wall. If you must have the wood panel insert, you can use the same approach but just use different sized boards and you many need to replace the baseboard. Your house, your choice 🙂
Our wall texture is orange peel, a relatively smooth texture and extremely easy to paint. The smoothness allowed us to paint the middle area just as we painted the boards.
Spacing the Batten
When installing the battens, play around with the spacing. For a cohesive look, make sure the distance is similar in all areas of the room. Not every batten in this room measured precisely.
We had to eyeball some of the areas, striving for similar spacing. Some wall measurements are ‘fudged’ but visually, you can’t tell. Don’t fret if the spacing of boards if one area is slightly different than another. In the above picture, the battens are not perfectly spaced, but they do appear symmetrical.
By installing the boards with a nail gun, the job moved quickly. Hammer and nails would have substantially slowed down the process.
Some people use both nails and liquid nails. Certainly use whatever you are most comfortable with. We just used a nail gun. We installed the board and batten over a year ago, and nothing has pulled away from the walls.
After mulling over some options for the top rail to finish the project, we ultimately opted for a very simple ledge top. We could have left it as just the top batten, but I wanted to ‘match’ what we had in the dining room. That whole cohesive feeling I strive for!
The top rail is inexpensive, costing a mere 50 cents a linear foot! We primed it at home just using the primer in a spray can. Ridiculously easy.
Caulk, Sand & Paint
The final step is to caulk, sand and paint…in that order. Then sand and paint one more time. You only need to sand the wood parts of the project. I used this caulk and this caulk gun. When it came time for painting using a foam roller worked like a charm. After the caulk dried, we lightly sanded the wood with fine grit (180-200) sandpaper. Use either a damp cloth or tack cloth to remove the dust particles. Sherwin Williams Pro-Classic (Dover White) was our paint for the self-leveling feature.
Overall, I’m super duper excited how the project turned out. We added personality, saved money by DIYing and tried our hand at something new. Additionally, the project will hopefully bring value to our house or at least increase visual interest if we ever decided to sell.
Tell me what you think of this little DIY project that packs a punch. If you like what you see, share it with your family and friends by pinning to Pinterest or sharing the love on Facebook! It would be most appreciated!