Do you have a certain area of your home that you’d really like to highlight? I certainly did. For quite some time, I’ve really struggled with how or what to use in order to dress up our entry way in the living room. I could tell that it needed more than just an updated baseboard or trim. After doing some research I decided that I wanted to add that craftsman-style touch, but on a budget. Creating that board & batten look myself was just what it needed!
Now, before we get started on the tutorial, I will admit that it did take me more than just a weekend to complete this project. I was able to get all of the different cuts of wood done within a day or so, but the most time consuming part of this project came after the installation: painting. Much of the time devoted to this project was spent reapplying 3 or 4 coats of paint, touching up the trim work with caulk, and puttying over imperfections within the wood itself. Everyone has their own preferences, styles, preferred looks, etc., so the time allotted for this project really depends on the look you’re trying to achieve.
Because I only installed board & batten in my entryway, my project didn’t require a lot of lumber. However, regardless of the size of your project, you’ll want to make sure that you get pieces of wood that are smooth, straight, and have nice edges. Obviously some imperfections can be sanded down later, but by spending a little extra time inspecting the lumber beforehand, your project will move along a lot quicker and you may be happier with the end result later.
The materials that I used include:
1 x 8 (for the horizontal base)
1 x 4 (for the horizontal middle runner; also, the vertical end pieces that transition out of the entryway)
1 x 6 (for the horizontal top runner)
1 x 2 (also known as the “picture shelf,” it is the small piece that rests on top of the 1 x 6)
1 x 3 (for the vertical pieces in the middle)
This was our starting point. We have just this small entryway that needed the pop of a board & batten design. We had to start by removing a few decorations off the walls, as well as removing the small trim around the base of the walls.
Our baseboards were installed by the builders of this cookie-cutter home. Let me tell you, they were not going ANYWHERE! So much so that they decided to take some drywall with them as we pried them off of the walls with all of our might. Don’t panic if this happens to you. The 1 x 8 did a great job of covering up all of that ugly mess. You’ll also notice that we had to accommodate the mitered edge of the trim coming off of the intersecting wall. I’ll discuss more of that later within this tutorial.
We used our level and a pencil to draw a line, indicating how high we wanted our wall to be (hopefully you can get an idea, even though it’s a bit fuzzy looking in this picture!) Most other designs I saw online showed their board & batten hitting somewhere in between the upper 2 hinges of a doorframe. We came pretty close to the middle point between ours.
Next, we attached the 1 x 8 to the base of the wall and the 1 x 6 at the top, using the nail gun and brad nails. After we did this, we then decided what sort of design we wanted as well as the dimensions. Because we are working around a couple of corners and doors, we chose to space our 1 x 3 boards approximately 1 ft. apart, and splitting a 1×3 in half to fit in the corners by our front door.
By starting in the corner and with our 1 ft. spacing, we were able to get enough detail on this wall without having to compromise around any tricky area or leaving an unnecessary wide gap somewhere. The space between the top 1 x 6 and the middle 1 x 4 is approximately 10 ½”, while the space between the 1 x 4 and the bottom 1 x 8 is approximately 26 ¼”. This picture displays a better idea of what we had to do to accommodate the corners. We split the 1 x 3 in half, made sure everything looked straight and even, and then used our caulk gun later on to fill the middle seams. It took a little patience to get the pieces just right!
Because I was moving rather quickly with this project, I wanted to focus in on the edge (this is the finished picture) so that you can get an idea of how we pieced this together. The vertical piece is a 1 x 4, and then just like we did with the rest of the wall, we squeezed in a 1 x 6, another 1 x 4, and a 1 x 8 at the bottom, topping it off with the 1 x 2 picture shelf.
This is the other side of our entryway. We still did the same measurements, but had to accommodate the large light switch. There are many ways to go about this, such as bumping out the light switch box itself so that it is supported by a 1 x 3 beam. Personally, I didn’t like the look of that, which is why I chose to omit the top 1 x 3 and only install the bottom piece. Once all of the lumber was installed, we entered into the most time-consuming part of this process. Here, you can also kind of see that I used my putty to work on closing any seams or gaps. Remember when I mentioned having to work with that intersecting mitered trim piece? We saved the end of our old trim and used it to finish that bottom edge. Again, there are many ways that you could transition an area like that, but I chose the simplest for now. I can always go back and think of something different when I’m not covered in paint.
And, to be fair, I’ll also tell you this. I tried 2 different methods to achieve the best look. On the right side, I chose to use my caulk gun first to knock out the trim before painting. On the left side, I painted first and then did the trim work later with the caulk. Which one worked better for me? Painting first, trim later. I was a little too careless at times on the other side which was later revealing through my paint. I had to go through the many motions of correcting a few trouble spots which only took more time. Save yourself that time if you can! I have also seen a few other posts that mention painting your walls first before installing the lumber. Looking back now, I probably should’ve done that as well.
Finally, after many coats of paint, sanding, putty and trim work, we are finished!
Questions or comments? Feel free to ask in the comment section! Have you created a similar design? Any tips or suggestions? We’d love to hear about it!
See Also DIY Plank Wall