Board and Batten everything you need to know
I’m excited to share with you everything you need to know about board and batten. We recently added a gorgeous board and batten accent wall in our office. This was not our first time doing this profile but we did elevate. I’m excited to show you how pretty it looks.
Monte and I have had a designated office in this house he has been working from home for several years when he isn’t traveling.
This office is large and a little boring.
What to do in the office
Not much had happened in this space since we moved in 5 years ago. So I was ready to make some incredible changes. I have a few ideas but lets talk about the accent wall first.
I really wanted something unique and classy. There was a lot of looking and thinking about the options and finally decided to do something a little different then I’ve done before. The truth is no matter what we do I can change it or remove it if I don’t love it. A bonus to DIY.
Our Gorgeous Barn Doors
We built and installed barn doors on our office shortly after moving in. Because it is just off the main living area I needed to be able to shut a door if Monte was on a call. You can see how we built our barn doors here. They are a statement piece alone and I love them.
We had also installed a gorgeous wood beam to hang the barn doors from. It is a show stopper and a piece I will always love. Check it out here.
The office had some great elements but was in need of a little or a lot more attention. Thankfully it came to the top of the list and is now getting the love it deserves.
Board and Batten Accent Wall So Easy
I decided I wanted the office to be a classy space. We have installed a lot of board and batten in our home but I wanted to change it up just a bit and make it a little more elegant. Check out some of our other installs here and here.
If you are new to DIY or would like an easy inexpensive project board and batten is the way to go. You don’t need a bunch of fancy tools and a minimal list of supplies.
Buying the product
We purchased the product at Home Depot using primed baseboards. The quantity you need depends on your space and the design of your board and batten. Are you making them spaces small or do you have a bigger wall and wanting the actual spacing to be a little larger? There really isn’t a wrong here you just need to make it consistent.
Because we have gorgeous 5″ baseboards we left them installed and incorporated them into the design. I also used the same width of board for the vertical and horizontal pieces. I love the look when you use the same size boards. We went with the 3 1/4″ primed baseboards.
Everything you need to know when installing board and batten
We first installed the horizontal piece along the ceiling. Our office is a larger room so we did need 2 boards which requires a seam. Don’t worry I’ll show you how to manage the seam and make it invisible.
After the top and already installed baseboard are good to go we installed the two vertical pieces. These are super easy as well. Luckily our walls were square enough that we were able to use the adjoining wall as a guide. If your walls are really out of square use a level and maybe fudge the board away from the wall where needed. It will look better having the board straight and away from the wall then making sure it’s against the wall from top to bottom. Plus you will use caulking to fill in the cracks.
We did use a 4′ level along the boards before nailing in place just to make sure everything would be perfectly square. If you don’t own a 4′ level it is inexpensive and readily available. It will also come in handy on a lot of projects.
The wall is framed now what
We have 10′ ceilings in our home. Because the boards come in 10′ lengths we were able to get it installed without any vertical seams which is great.
The wall is framed and now it’s time to install the rest of the vertical pieces. One of the biggest challenges is figuring out the math so the spacing is correct. The formula we used and works for us is take the total length of the wall minus the total width of all the board you are using and divide it by the number of spaces you want.
It doesn’t usually work out exact but fudging things 1/8″ of an inch isn’t going to be noticeable.
Here’s our exact wall formula. Wall length 176″ – 21″ (6 x 3.5″ boards) = 155
155″ divided by 5 (the number of spaces we wanted) = 31″ between each horizontal board.
I’m sure there is a formula involving x’s and y’s but I don’t know it. This will get you what you need.
Your wall is framed and your have the spacing figured out now what? We cut the 4 remaining boards to length so we could put them in place and make sure our math was correct and slid anything if necessary.
Monte always cuts things so it is tight. Because of that we are able to put the boards in place and they will hold without nailing them. Once everything is up we check the measurements and then mark with a pencil one side of the board on the wall so we can know where it needs to be nailed. We don’t usually have a lot of studs to nail to so we do use liquid nails plus air nailing into place.
Now for the Horizontal boards
This is the easiest part. If you are making squares you will need to use the formula to get the spacing just right but I only wanted a chair railing height. The only rule would be don’t divide the wall in half. Think in thirds. There is a little room to fudge it a bit if you want or need it a little higher or lower. I was happy with the way 1/3 looked in this space so that is what we did.
When I decided on the height of the horizontal boards we leveled them and drew a line for easier installation. We were taking them down to add the liquid nails so it was secure.
You will be able to find a few studs to nail to but we used liquid nails as well just for additional strength. Liquid nails is cheap and adheres really quickly. For example your studs may be in the middle which leave your end pieces a little loose. Using the liquid nails secures the entire board.
Elevating the design
I really wanted to elevate the board and batten design in this space so we did something we’ve never done before and added a trim piece on the inside of the boards.
This was something I wanted but we did have to go to Lowe’s to find the primed mdf cove moulding. Home Depot didn’t have mdf cove moulding at the store we were at and Monte didn’t want to use the pine because its more prone to split. The mdf is a little cheaper and easier to work with.
Adding the trim makes the project more expensive but it looks so pretty. The small cove moulding is more expensive then the trim board.
To install the cove moulding Monte cut the corners at a 45 and framed the inside. It is super easy to do just takes some time because you are framing the inside of each space.
Everything you need to know to finish your board and batten wall
The key to this project. Taking it from handyman diy to custom installation is caulking. You want to caulk all the seams and nail holes. The way to make it look amazing is using sand paper. Sanding the seams before you caulk and them after the caulking is dried makes those seams invisible. Caulking all the edges gives it a finished look. If you don’t caulk it will look like you’ve just put boards on your wall.
We always have a few tubes of caulking on hand. Houses have a tendency to settle and shift which creates cracks in trim and baseboards. Touching things up with caulk keeps your home looking professionally finished.
The caulking only takes about 20 minutes to dry before you can start painting. Because the caulking takes way longer then the painting I let Monte completely finish before I take over with the paint brush and roller.
Painting the board and batten
I painted the entire wall the same color as the board and batten so I didn’t need to paint it before installation. I try to use a roller as much a possible for the best finish.
I use a good quality bush so I minimize brush strokes. After the edges are painted I use a roller to finish it off.
It didn’t take much time and the end result was so pretty.
There is everything you need to know about installing board and batten. It is one of my favorite projects. Not only does it go up fast the result is so pretty.
A final look at the board and batten
I would love it if you tagged me on IG so I can see your board and batten walls. You can find me @makecreatecharm.
If you need any help with seasonal decor be sure to check out my site Decor to the Door also linked in the header.