Am I a DIY blogger now y’all?! I can’t believe I am sharing my first ever home project on here! And the crazy part is that I want to do it all over again. The project list is growing and you know I will take y’all along for the ride!
Backstory to all of this is that I bought my first home in October of 2020. It was built in 2013 so it is pretty updated and was very move in ready but I knew there were a few small changes and upgrades that I wanted to make to make it feel more like me. Well it only took me 8 months, several contractor quotes, and dragging my feet to muster up the courage to attempt my first DIY project.
I had seen and saved several board and batten style walls on Instagram and Pinterest over the 8 months that I was dragging my feet. If you are new to board and batten, just a heads up that there are a million and one different ways to achieve the board and batten style. I personally didn’t care for the super symmetrical patterns and chose something that I felt like elongated my already tall ceilings. Here are the two styles that I was originally between and ultimately with with the left style.
Not much to show before but a plain ‘ol wall. It’s such a big wall that I could never figure out what decor to put on it. Everything seemed lost on the wall so when I discovered board and batten, I was SOLD because honestly little to no decor is needed with this!
*Before we dive into this tutorial I do want to note that I wish I would have taken more pictures. Sadly I video documented the entirety of the project but somehow didn’t think to take photos. So while I hope that my tutorial is helpful I would also suggest checking out the other articles I reference as well as do your own research prior to embarking on your DIY project.*
- Primed Pine Wood
- Caulking Gun
- Invisible Nails
- Brad Nail Gun
- Electric Sander
- Box Cuter
- Putty Knife
- Paint Brushes/Rollers
- Wood Filler Putty
STEP BY STEP
Step 1: Move all of the furniture out of the way and strip down your wall. It is honestly personal preference if you want to remove any sort of base board and crown molding. We chose to keep our baseboard but remove the trim underneath the upper crown molding so that the board and batten would be flush with the walls on either side. I followed this video to remove the trim. You’ll need a box cutter, putty knife and a hammer (use the claw end). They didn’t use the hammer claw in the video but we found it worked MUCH better to pull the trim away from the wall once the box cutter and putty knife were used to loosen the grip on the wall.
Step 2: Depending on how much you removed/scraped off of the wall, you might have some gaps in the wall where the paint and or part of the dry wall has been removed. We personally did not need to do this as we didn’t remove much and knew the boards would cover it but you do want to ensure that you have a smooth canvas before you start laying your wood! So if you have any uneven parts remove, sand, plaster and sand again.
Step 3: Get a pen and paper and measure out your wall. You will need the exact dimensions of the wall to figure out board spacing and no matter how savvy you or your memory is WRITE IT DOWN. Once you have your dimensions, decide how many vertical boards you want. I knew I wanted minimal boards and larger spacing. Again this is personal preference depending on what look you are going for and it really helped me to physically draw this out! My dimensions were 218 inches x 110 inches which was a bit annoying because all of my measurements didn’t end up being pretty whole numbers.
I decided on 6 vertical boards (including the two side boards) so 5 spaces total. To figure out your spacing between each board you will need to do a little math. Since I knew my board width was 3.75″ (Home Depot will say 4″ but we learned that actually means 3.75″ for some insane reason) and I had 6 boards I multiplied 3.75 x 6= 22.5 and subtracted that from my total width 218-22.5= 195.5. Then divide that number by the number of spaces you will have. Since I had 5 spaces I divided 195.5/ 5= 39.1. This will be your spacing between each vertical board which is what you will need to cut your horizontal boards to. Since I had 5 spaces, I needed 5 … boards.
- Two 12 ft boards (top board and baseboard)
- Two 8 ft boards cut down to 6.16 ft (top board and baseboard)
- Our room was just over 18ft and the biggest size pine wood that they make is 12 ft so we had to put two together)
- Six 12 ft boards cut down to 8.58 ft (vertical boards)
- Five 3.28 ft boards (horizontal boards – can use the scrap pieces from the above)
Step 4: It’s time for the fun part! It’s time to add the wood framing. Before we get into specifics though I suggest you do your research between MDF and pine. I originally wanted to use MDF as it is a much cheaper option but Home Depot would not cut it down for me and I was not about to attempt to do it myself so I ultimately went with pine. If you are confident enough to cut your own dimensions (MDF comes in a sheet), then I suggest going the MDF route, if you are a DIY newb like me, spend the extra money and buy the pine and have Home Depot or wherever you purchase from cut it down to your exact dimensions. If you choose to go the MDF route, I found this DIY article helpful.
Step 5: Now it’s time to start adding your wood to the wall. Do your baseboard first, top next and sides last. If you have any sort of trim or baseboard on the surrounding walls be sure to trim the existing baseboard/trims so that your pine fits right in place. Use the invisible nails as glue to mount your boards and then come in with the nail gun to hold the board in place. You want to be generous with the nail glue but don’t go overboard and also keep it in the middle of the board so that it doesn’t ooze out whenever you mount it.
After the boards were up, we probably used about 6 nails per board. You don’t need a ton! Obviously it’s best to nail into a stud but if that’s not possible it’s ok to nail into the wall. Between the invisible glue and nails you will be fine. That being said, if you know you aren’t nailing into a stud, angle the nail in so that it grips into the wall better.
Step 6: Adding in your inner pine pieces. Assuming you measured correctly, your Home Depot technician cut those exact measurements, and your wall isn’t too warped this part should be a breeze. I’m laughing as I type this because let’s just say the starts did NOT align for us as the boards were not cut to the exact dimension AND our wall was pretty warped. It took cutting the boards down a bit and then hammering the boards into place. What I mean by hammering is that we almost had to put the board in at a diagonal angle and then hammer it sideways until it was perfectly vertical. If the boards aren’t flush against the wall with the invisible glue, that’s ok. That is where the caulking will come in.
Step 7: Time to prep for paint! That means filling in all of the nail holes with spackle, caulking where the boards aren’t flush with the wall, and sanding down the board seems so that once the paint goes on you won’t even see where the boards meet.
For caulking, you will need to go around every seem. We literally caulked around every single board. The point of caulking is to fill in any gaps so that all of the boards are flush with the wall. It’s easiest to do one board or section at a time. Apply the caulking swiftly so that you aren’t getting too much in one area. After you do your caulking line, immediately run your finger all the way down the board to make a smooth line. Make sure to also go over any seems where the boards meet. Basically use the caulking everywhere that there is a gap or seem! Use a wet towel to remove any extra caulking from the wall or boards as you don’t want any added texture once you start painting.
Filling in the nail holes with wood filler putty is pretty self explanatory. If you use this tool it makes things much easier. If not, just use your finger and feel free to be generous as you will go back in with a hand sander after and sand down where you just filled in the holes.
An electric sanding machine is going to be your best friend here. We own this one from Amazon and it works like a charm! You can also rent them from Home Depot but the Amazon one is so cheap it makes more sense to just buy it. Now wherever the boards meet sand them down so that they are totally flush. Feel free to also use the sander anywhere that there is added texture. You want your boards to be as smooth as a baby’s bottom with no seems or texture before you start painting.
Step 8: Tape off the outside perimeter with painter’s tape so that you don’t go outside of the lines!
Step 9: Paint time! We went with Sherwin William’s “Passive” which is a light grey. It pulled blueish tones at first which made me worried but it turned out beautiful! We had off white, almost yellow walls before so I opted for a cooler grey to neutralize.
Sherwin Williams had me buy two different types of paint for some reason (one for wood and one for the wall) but don’t do that. We used the wall paint on everything and it worked just fine! We used roller brushes everywhere and then went back in with a paint brush where the roller brush couldn’t fit. It took two coats and we used almost an entire gallon.
Drumroll please….. DUN DUN DUN.
I am beyond happy with how it turned out! All in all it took 3 days. One full day of work to get everything ready to the paint stage and then another 2 days just for the two coats of paint so that was probably only a couple hours each day. Now that I have the hang of it and hopefully wouldn’t have to make 10 Home Depot runs again, I would 100% do it again. If I can do it on my first try, I have faith that you can too!
If I missed anything or you have questions feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Instagram. And if you attempt your own board and batten wall- good luck!