Friday, February 13, 2009

How To: Board and Batten


I have received several questions about how exactly we achieved the Board and Batten look in our kitchen and family room, so I thought I would dedicate a post to it! Consider this a DIY: How To
...well, at least how we would do it!


The first thing I did was research any hard and fast rules about Board and Batten. I wanted to stay true to the look because the whole goal was to bring a sense of architecture to the room that would be mistaken for something that has always been here. I found a few sites that really helped.
Here is how Board and Batten would be installed if you were doing an authentic installation. This site was helpful also!

What we wanted was "the look", for less. Meaning all of the bang for not a lot of buck! We wanted to have the vertical strips capped off by a horizontal band at the top and have our existing walls act as the "boards". We also decided to put a "cap" around the family room with a groove running through the top to act as a plate ledge to hold an occasional starfish.





Ok, down to the nitty gritty. This entire project was done using MDF. No reason to break the bank using real wood when it was going to be covered up with three coats of paint anyway! I decided on the height based off of the existing architecture in the rooms. My biggest issue with our family room had always been a long, narrow window that sits up at eye level. I had, sort of, a love/hate relationship with this window! It has a well defined purpose (acting as a frame for Mt. Rainier - stunning!), but it was never easy to incorporate into the room before. It always felt like it was floating. And since the skies are only clear *some* of the time up here in the Pacific Northwest, the window didn't make any sense on days where there wasn't a mountain to frame! I decided the height of the Board and Batten would be 65" which hits right in the middle of the window. This way the window would look supported instead of floating. I am happy to say that it worked!

There were no "rules" followed on this! We adjusted the information that we found online to work for our real life rooms and what was aesthetically pleasing to us. Ok, I should say "to me". My Handyman just wanted to know what cuts to make and where to point the nail gun!

The horizontal strip on top is 3 & 1/2" tall. The vertical strips are 1 & 1/2" wide. The spacing between the strips is 12". We did adjust the spacing when necessary! I wasn't happy with some of the spots where the strips would stand if we followed the 12" spacing rule every time. And I can tell you that if you're not working on a long span of wall, then feel free to adjust! You can't tell where we switched up the spacing at all! But to the eye, it looks a whole lot better than if we had done 12" spacing everywhere! The other thing to consider before you start attaching the strips to the wall is where light switches and outlets fall. It's best to tackle each wall individually and begin where the most issues could possibly arise! To make it easier on ourselves we cut a 12" scrap piece of MDF to use as a spacer. That way we weren't having to measure out 12" each time.

The biggest issue was how we were going to tie this into our existing base boards and window trim. We decided to cut each vertical piece off at an angle at the bottom, and each horizontal piece off at an angle on the sides where it met a window so that the depth of the MDF would not be greater than the depth of the trim molding.

TRUE Board and Batten would have flat panels of wood 12" wide lining the walls and then the strips would serve as seam covers. We were not about to cover all of our walls entirely in wood (goal: inexpensive, remember?) so by putting up only the strips and painting it all out in white we trick your eye into thinking that it really is paneled walls. And I can tell you that until someone gets right up close to it or touches it, they do not realize that in between the strips is normal textured wall!

The whole thing had to be primed and then get painted out with two coats of semi-gloss paint. My husband was nervous about our walls being glossy, but if this was the real thing (all wood!) it would be painted in glossy paint just like the rest of the molding throughout our house. And I think that has a lot to do with people believing that we have actually paneled our walls in wood!



Here you can see where the height of the board and batten meets the long, narrow picture window.


And here you can see the two vertical strips falling evenly under the kitchen window. This was one of the spots where we adjusted some of the spacing. I like the result!


Now that all is said and done and we've been living with it for about a month, I can undoubtedly say that this project was worth it! It did disrupt our home life for a few days (the kitchen and family room were pretty much unaccesable), but the kids actually thought it was fun to eat in the dining room instead of the kitchen for a few days! The most time consuming part was all of the painting that had to be done. We finished the install (including all of the cuts) in about 5 hours. It took 2 full days to do the 3 coats of paint. I wanted each coat to get adequate drying time.

If you have any more questions, I would be happy to answer them!


We have a few friends that have expressed interest in doing Board and Batten on their walls. As well as a nursery for a sweet baby boy that will be arriving in May! I am excited to see how it all turns out! There is no shortage of inspiration out there! Take it and use it to your advantage!

36 comments:

marty39 said...

Great tutorial. You room just looks lovely, what a great job you did. Hugs, Marty

kathi said...

Thanks for showing the tutorial! I love your space! Everything about it! Great job!

Dallin said...

I already told D that we will be doing this in the next baby room we get to decorate...hopefully that will be sooner or later! My only concern is there is a window seat in the room and I am not entirely sure how to work around that...when we finally get the chance to do this, I will email you a picture and you can help me decide what would look best...'K?

::Jan:: said...

I have wanted to do this so badly to some areas of our home. Thank you so much. It look amazing. Good job.

Jen r. said...

It looks great!

Kimba said...

Hi Karla,

I wanted to let you know that I changed the link in my family room post from AT to this post. I love the directions you included. They'll be really helpful to anyone who wants to give this a try.

Kimba

Thrifty Miss Priss said...

It looks wonderful! I found you at A soft place to land.....I actually prepped my living room this past weekend to do this...I was inspired by another blog.....
http://fromhousetocozyhome.blogspot.com/
While at the hardware store doing the pricing, I saw the skinny MDF and it made me think...hmmm...I think I like skinny better! So we are deciding this week to go with skinny or wide...but I'm happy to hear you are still thrilled with it! I can't wait to finish!

AnNicole @ OurSuburbanCottage said...

Great tutorial! I did this in my kitchen, but used the existing chair rail and baseboard. It looks ok, but I've been thinking about redoing with a better chair rail. This really helps. Thanks!

Karla said...

Thanks so much for the compliments! It means a lot to me! :)

Kimba, Great choice in changing the link! :) Apartment Therapy would only let us upload a few pictures, so, unfortunately, I had to leave out a lot of them that help in explaining the process. Glad you liked this post better! I do too!

Thrifty Miss Priss and AnNicole - can't wait to see how your projects turn out! I'll be watching for them! :)

~Karla

Farmgirl said...

Love your Mission style Moldings in your home. I'm a lover of this style as well. we just did our master bedroom in mission style. we went dark as the room was bright and big. http://www.flickr.com/photos/primgal/sets/72157611246283128/

Anonymous said...

I did this in my bedroom but when I nailed it the boards fell off the wall. I ended up using liquid nails, I think this will only hold up temporarily.

What kind of nails did you use and what kind of nail gun. Did you nail into the drywall or just studs? Did you get and gaps between the vertical boards and the top board and how did you deal with that?

I haven't painted yet because I got gaps and want to nail the boards still.

Miss(es) Canadian Pie said...

I am incredibly inspired to do this. I've been wanting some sort of paneling/molding/treatment on our blah, boring walls. I can't believe that you didn't even use real wood. I'm going to have to show my hubby this. Thanks!

delightfuldwelling said...

Beautiful job, your room is just lovely and I adore the color. It's so peaceful.

april francom said...

Love your room!!! What was the angle you used for the vertical strips near the baseboard??? Thanks

Memory Moments said...

Lo-ooove this tutorial. I too would like to know the angle you used at the bottoms and sides to make them mesh with your current baseboards. Also, How did you do the rounded edges? Thanks!

Meredith said...

I was reading another blog who linked yours - I was concerned about spray textured walls like I have and you have them too - it looks amazing. How did you deal with your rounded corners? That is my other concern. I see you had your top piece with mitered cuts around the corner - I was wondering about the boards on the corner and looks like you avoided that all together. Hmmmm...feel free to email me mmsimpson(at)cox(dot)net. By the way - your window framing Mt. Rainier makes me homesick for growing up in the shadow of Mt. Hood. Phoenix doesn't do it for me.

Suzann @ The Olive Cottage said...

GREAT tutorial and I love the look. Kimba provided the link - I'm so glad she did!!!


Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.

debi said...

I love, love, love this look...thanks for the tutorial...
BTW what color is the paint above the board and batten? It's very pretty! I'm in the process of redoing my living room and am looking for a color like this.

Tamera said...

I love this! Love the way it turned out and that you are able to achieve the look you want for a smaller price tag!
I really want to do this in my bedroom...gotta get the "handyman" on the job!

Tamera@doubledelight

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!

{The Classy Woman} said...

I love the board and batten and the wall color. The compass directions are a cool finishing touch. Nice to meet another Karla with a 'K'. ;)

Katie said...

I came over from Funky Junk and I LOVE your room! I am wracking my brain trying to find a place to do that in my house!

Katie said...

Oh, and I'm a new follower!

Erin I said...

I love this! This just moved into my number 1 "to do" spot! I was wondering how did you create the ledge? Thanks!

Kat from California said...

I followed Kimba's link to your tutorial. Excellent job in explaining your work. My sister had the same issue with stripes when doing my daughter's room. I'll post on that soon (my camera broke)and I'm waiting for her pictures.

What's intersting is that your walls look aqua but on the paint chips I see it's a bluish grey. Either colors are amazing. It all is so beautiful.

I painted my bedroom, where I have my office too, similar to your daughter's room color. I love how you put the paint chips on the side bar.


Katharine @ Kat's Almost Purrfect World

http://katspurrfectboutique.blogspot.com

Tamara said...

I have a question...I actually googled Maddux and vertical lines...anyway my question is this: do you think it would look OK to go from floor to slanted ceiling in a bathroom with this look?

debbie bailey said...

I lOVE the directions you have stenciled on your ceiling. Very cool! How clever of you to do a room in board and batten. The outside of our cottage is based on a 1835 carpenter gothic style which uses board and batten. I've always loved the look. Great blog!

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

Hope you're not tired of answering questions about this yet! What did you use for the horizontal cap on top of the horizontal board? The one with the groove? Was that a pre-made piece you found, or did you manufacture it yourself?
Your room looks beautiful! I want to do this in my basement family room.

Kristin said...

Thank you so much for all the helpful pieces of information - I would love to see this in one of my son's rooms but thought that I would be biting off more than I could chew :o) I'll be back to see more of your inspiring ideas!

Faith, Trust, and a Little Pixie Dust said...

How beautiful. My goal is to try this in my bedroom this year!

Warmly, Michelle

Josiah's Mom said...

I LOVE this room. We are planning to do this same sort of board and batten look in our bedroom...will definitely come back for your tips/tutorial when we get started :) Thanks!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Just what I was thinking of doing in our house. Thank you! I'm following along. Can't wait to see more!

Christy said...

I have been collecting ideas for months on how to make my house a home and love your blog.

I recently featured you in a post on my blog that was a collection of all of my favorite ideas that I had collected. http://highheelsandlattes.blogspot.com/2011/03/becoming-obsessed-with-molding.html


Thanks for the inspiration. Your house truly is a home.

mom said...

Love it and am going to do it in my living room. What is the cap piece on the top of the horizontal board?

Travis said...

My wife went out of town over the last weekend and I put this up in our bedroom while she was gone. I left the painting colors up to her but the framework is done. She is quite happy with it! I used your instructions and it worked out great. After looking at other blogs and pictures, I think Im regretting the height of the rail though. She has lots of stuff she wants to hang on the walls, so I took the rail down to about 40 inches, just a little bit higher than the door handles. Im wondering if Ill regret that later. Our room is not a springy color feel, so we will probably paint the bottom a darker color with something lighter on top. This might be a super design no no, but we are willing to take a risk. Guess we will see what happens!

marie grabo said...

Thanks so much for inspiring me with this beautiful room! I just did my living/dining room following your tutorial and I love it. I also did my master bath. You can view it here htt://www.interior-decorating-diva.com/installing_wainscoting.html