Tuesday, September 17, 2013

DIY Board and Batten

This past year our dining room has undergone a big transformation.  From the new hutch, to the new decor, to the freshly painted table its been a year of updating our (just turned) four year old house. We recently finished adding some board and batten to two walls in this room and it has really made the room come together.  I am continually amazed at what a difference a little wood trim and some paint can do. This is what the room looked like a year ago (excuse the dark phone photo and the dirty carpet).

To start off, we decided on a height we wanted for our board and batten.  Normal wainscoting is usually 1/3 the height of the wall. Adhering to this rule posed a problem for us as we have vaulted ceilings. We also wanted our wainscoting to be functional so we made it the height of our chairs.  We'd had problems with our kids banging the chairs into the wall and it had left marks all over (I was getting sick of repainting the area). Our board and batten turned out to be 42 inches tall.

We marked off the height with a chalk line and then my husband figured out the math to evenly space our battens and have them not cover outlets. Our battens are 3 inches wide and we spaced them 18 1/2   inches apart. The bottom base board measured 6 inches tall and the top board measured 5 inches tall.  The husband used pencil to sketch the battens and top board on the wall just to make sure it all fit.

 Next we used a cat's paw and hammer to take off the old baseboard.

Hubby did not want to paint the wall in between the battens, but wanted to have it all smooth, so we opted to apply paintable masonite to our walls. After removing the old baseboard, we brought the masonite into the house and measured to cut holes for outlets.  Then we covered the back in liquid nails and applied it to the wall.  After this we used our finish nailer to nail it to the wall to make sure it was held on tightly.  The purpose of the liquid nails was to make sure the masonite didn't bubble out in any areas and was held tightly to the wall.

After the masonite was secured to the wall, it was time to add the baseboard.  After the new baseboard was added, the battens were nailed on where we had previously laid them out.  Then the top board was added and a 1 1/2 small rail to finish it off. Next it was on to the time consuming part: puttying the nail  holes and sanding. Instead of using standard wood putty, my husband wanted to use Bondo to get a super smooth look.  I'll warn you,  you will need to ventilate A LOT if you use Bondo. Then you putty and sand and putty and sand and putty and sand. 

We painted the board and batten with Glidden White on White in semi-gloss.  I really wanted to hire out the painting so it could be sprayed, but our budget was already maxed out so we chose to use a high quality angled paint brush and a foam roller...with LOTS of Floetrol dumped into the paint. 

Somewhere in the middle of our project I decided that our old air intake vent just wasn't going to work with the new board and batten.  I'd pinned some custom air intakes on Pinterest and knew that's what I wanted to do.  We headed to Lowe's to find the punched sheet metal (a head's up, Home Depot does not carry this).  We sprayed it with the same paint we used on our table (Rustoleum High Performance Enamel in white) and then my husband built a frame to go around it. It is such a great addition to the board and batten and I can't wait to replace the rest of our air intakes with more of these.

 We also added the board and batten to the back wall of our dining room and cased out the back door. I love it.  As you can tell, our board and batten doesn't line up with our counter.  This was intentional.  We are planning on taking out our builder grade formica and replacing it with a solid surface counter top.  We will also be adding a tile backsplash, so eventually it won't matter that the board and batten is higher than the current counter top. (Also, these cupboards will eventually be a bright and cheery white...someday...)

The board and batten definitely makes the room feel complete.


  1. Fantastic job, Sara! It looks beautiful..... we have a lot of those someday projects at our house, too.

  2. So beautiful!!!

    I have a white kitchen. I thought I'd LOVE the white cabinets, and truthfully, I HATE them. Sure, they look nice...when I scrub them every day. :( It's crazy to keep them free of kiddlet fingers and whatnot....but it does look nice when it's clean! LOL!

  3. i love your kitchen! You guys do good work. I can't wait for the day we can update our kitchen.