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How to DIY Board and Batten

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

If you have been following our DIY journey, you know how much I LOVE board and batten! It is a beginner-friendly way to add custom character to your home. This room pictured is a part of the One Room Challenge! Read our week one blog post here.


Let's get started!

Board and batten was the first DIY project that I did completely on my own, so if I can do it, so can you! My favorite part is that is completely customizable which is why I have so many different styles in my own home.


These tips will be helpful no matter what style board and batten you choose! If you choose to do this project, be sure to tag us on Instagram!


Tip #1 - Plan your Project


Probably the most difficult part of the project can be planning! The good news is that I have a cheat code for you! By using the construction calculators on inchcalculator.com, you can input your wall and material measurements and it will provide you with the perfect spacing!




I always find it helpful to tape off my plan on the wall to ensure that I will love the end result!


Tip #2 - Material and Tool List


Tool List:

Materials:


I highly recommend painting the wall with a first coat before installing any trim work to get the best coverage. Additionally, it is helpful to paint the trim before install.

Tip #3 - Install Horizontal Pieces First


If you are replacing baseboards, you will want to do that first. To remove the baseboards, first score the previous caulk (along the top of the baseboard) then use a trim puller to carefully remove the baseboard without damaging the drywall. Additionally, if you are removing only the baseboards of the accent wall, you will need to use a multi-tool to cut out space for the new baseboards on the perpendicular walls. If your existing baseboards have a square edge, you can skip this step!


Once your baseboards are level, get out that laser level to create your horizontal lines. In this room, I used the laser level to tape off the top of board and batten (approximately 50" from the ground). I then painted the wall first to that line before installing the top horizontal piece. It is important to install the horizontal pieces before the verticals because no matter your home age, walls are JANKY! You can see me struggle to install this eight-foot board because I was too stubborn to wait for help... you should wait for help!



Finally, when your walls are longer than your board length, you will need to miter two pieces together. This provides a nearly seamless transition from one piece to another. If you used a "butt-joint", it would be very obvious where one board ended and the other started.


To create a miter joint, use your miter saw to cut a 45 degree angle on the right end of the first board. Then on the second board, you will cut a 45 degree angle on the left side of the board. You can then do a regular chop cut at the right end of the second board to fit the wall measurement. You will need to wood fill the joint but it should like seamless if it is done correctly.



Tip #4 - Add Vertical Trim



Remember how math is hard but we have our handy-dandy website to do the thinking for us? It is time to create our spacer to make installing the vertical trim a breeze! Using a scrap piece of wood, cut it down to the measurement provided that will in between the battens (vertical pieces).


So keeping in mind that our walls are janky, you will need to measure the vertical distance from the baseboard to the top horizontal piece for each one. If you assume they are the same, you will be disappointed to find out that, you guessed it, your walls are JANKY! The laser level made sure our horizontal piece is level but that doesn't mean that it the same distance from the baseboard across your wall.


Now that you have your vertical pieces cut to the perfect length, you can get out that spacer and your regular level and get to work! I used 1 3/4" nails in my brad nailer. DO NOT USE LIQUID NAILS (unless you really like drywall repair)! Since there won't be a stud at every vertical piece location, alternate the angle that you shoot the nail in to create a super-strong hold without using the dreaded liquid nails.



Tip #5 - Finishing Work


You have done great work so far and you are so close to the board and batten of your dreams! But this final step might be the most important yet most annoying. The finishing work is critical to a professional-looking finish.


1. Use wood filler to fill in ALL of the nail holes AND the seams where a board meets another board. Use my favorite DIY hack of wiping the excess wood filler with a baby wipe before it completely dries to eliminating the need to sand!



2. Caulk that baby! Use a thin bead of caulk in the gaps where the board meets the wall. Then smooth it out with my super expensive and exclusive tool, a baby wipe! Ensure that you purchase paintable caulk.


3. Wait at least 30 minutes for the caulk to dry and give everything one final coat of paint.



You freaking did it!



See, I told you! Board and Batten is beginner-friendly and it packs a BIG punch! We are quie done with this room so don't forget to follow us on Instagram and comment below if you found this tutorial helpful!


Board and Batten Examples by Fackler Reno


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Excellent steps! Cant wait to do one in my house!!!

Curtir
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