Create a gorgeous accent wall of board and batten in just one day – paint and all!
I’ve been working on a board and batten accent wall in my master bedroom this week, and the entire build – from purchasing the wood to the second coat of paint was all done in ONE DAY.
Seriously – we started Monday morning at 10am and I had finished up the second coat by 8pm (keep in mind a lot of that was drying time for the putty, caulking and paint).
The hardest part of the entire process was figuring out how I wanted my board and batten to look;
- did I want perfect squares across the entire wall?
- did I want a single horizontal row, or two (or more)?
- what size mdf would look best?
- how on earth to calculate it all?
I futzed around in SketchUp and came up with a couple of possible options which I posted to Facebook for your votes/suggestions. This rough drawing of my board and batten was the winner:
If you are thinking of doing board and batten in your home, I’m going to help with the math (because that’s where I struggled most.
- I knew I wanted 5 or 6 squares across, so I divided the width of my room (192″) by 5 and then by 6 to see which came up with the (closest to) even number. For my room that meant 6 squares across.
- To have 6 squares across, you need wood enough for 7 vertical boards. I used pre-primed mdf that measured ¾” thick by 3 ½” wide.
- Take the 7 verticals x 3 ½” = 24 ½”
- (overall width) 192″ inches – 24 1½” = 167 ½”
- 167 ½ ÷ 6 squares = 27.92″ (we rounded to approximately 28″)
Repeat the calculation for your board and batten horizontal boards. In my case, we just held a board up higher than the headboard and eyeballed what looked to be a good spacing.
Once you have the calculating part down, the rest is easy-peasy.
We hit our local home improvement store at 10am and purchased 8′ lengths of ¾” x 4″ pre-primed mdf. (nominal measurements ¾” by 3 ½”). We, my Step-Dad and I, thought we were over-buying by one board in picking up 12, but we forgot to include the small verticals and ended up using all 12 boards.
I’m going to suggest buying one extra board. lol
Because my master bedroom is 16′ wide, we opted to install the horizontal board and batten first because it meant less cutting. We started at the ceiling and used a brad nailer to hold in place.
I’ve seen other bloggers use an adhesive behind their board and batten; I bought adhesive, but my Step-Dad was worried that I might change my mind over time (which never happens right?) and pulling glued boards off of my wall would destroy the drywall underneath. As it was, the 1 ¼” brad nails were more than enough to hold everything snug.
Once the top board and batten was in place, we cut the 7 small horizontal pieces and placed them every 27 7/8″.
This made lining up the second horizontal board super-easy.
From this point you’ll want to cut each of your boards individually (if you haven’t already been doing so). While my walls appeared to be straight and square I was surprised to see the fluctuations in fit between the longer vertical boards.
We hung the “easy boards” first and left the ones that needed cut outs for light switches and plugs to the end. If I haven’t mentioned it already – please use a square and level to be safe.
Some tutorials I found online said to add a bottom horizontal board and batten, or to cut a 45° angle at the bottom of your vertical boards for a smoother fit with your baseboard. Most of this wall is covered by my bed and nightstands, so I didn’t bother with any fancy treatment and the verticals rest nicely on my baseboard.
We cut notches for switches and plugs with a jig saw, and we had one small error that we tidied up with a bit of leftover mdf.
Remember my claims that this is one day board and batten? At this point it was 2pm and all of the boards were hung!
I went back through and puttied all the seams and the ridiculous amount of holes I’d put in the wall from hanging pictures.
Clearly I can’t be left alone with a hammer – a tad indecisive are we? (facepalm)
While the putty dried, I caulked the edges of the board and batten – where it meets the wall – for a nice, smooth and professional looking finish.
Caulking wasn’t as bad as I though it would be. I watched a couple of YouTube videos and went at it. It was messy until I learned the volume I needed to apply and then it was “squeeze in, wipe off”. For my 16′ wall I used about 2/3 of a tube of caulking. (If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen my totally inappropriate jokes regarding caulk and tight fits)
My paintable caulking took 2 hours to dry before it was eligible for paint. After 2 hours I sanded down all the putty and board and batten to get a smooth surface to work with.
Let me tell you what I learned while sanding…
Don’t use an orbital sander while the ceiling fan is running. (another facepalm)
My bedroom looked like I’d been in a flour fight with white powder in the air like a fog – needless to say I couldn’t take photos of this step.
But the walls were smooth. lol
I dusted and vacuumed and wiped the walls with a damp rag and applied two coats of Benjamin Moore’s Chelsea Gray.
First coat 5pm, second coat 7pm and DONE!!
One day board and batten!
You can see how any more boards on my board and batten wall would have been lost behind the furniture.
Behind my lamp here you can see the small cut-out my Step-Dad made for my light switch:
Now I have an “architectural” focal point behind my bed and won’t be constantly aggravated by trying to find properly-proportioned art.
One day board and batten – seriously! You probably won’t even take that long if you avoid the orbital sander bit. lol
That’s not to say I finished the entire room Monday….
Once one wall looks gorgeous, the other three stand out like sore thumbs so I then had to putty, sand and paint the rest of the walls, repaint the baseboard (which became noticeably filthy next to clean walls), wash the curtains, change out the bedding (because everything was covered in dust), clean the windows and mirror, dust and vacuum.
Oh, and photograph for you.
Basically two days if you’re like me and one thing inevitably leads to another and another.
Make that three days – today I have to clean up all the ladders and painting gear I left in my upstairs hallway. lol
You can TOTALLY do this!
If you are still on the fence, these are the blogs that pushed my decision over the tipping point:
- Narrower boards, rectangles down to the baseboard – AngelaRoseHome.com
- Narrow upper rail with an elongated centre vertical – ThriftyDecorChick.com
- Perfect grid board and batten – SimplyBeautifulByAngela.com
One day board and batten – SO worth it!
Have a great one!
lovely! can’t wait to try out. Would you mind sharing your paint color?
Chelsea grey by Benjamin Moore.
Are you walls smooth or textured? We have textured and I’m not sure the board and batten would look right- even though I want to try it so badly!
Gorgeous!! Did you cut the boards in the corners at a 45’ angle like a picture frame?
My bedroom has crown molding and baseboard. Do I take it down? What do you recommend?
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