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Easy DIY Board and Batten Wall

grey DIY board and batten wall

This past weekend we installed a classic, DIY board and batten wall in our soon to be nursery! It was a really easy and affordable project that didn’t take much time at all!

We decided to do a board and batten accent wall and make it a very classic board and batten wainscoting style since we plan on adding wallpaper above it and making the wall a statement feature!

A few years ago, we did a bit fancier style of DIY board and batten in our bathroom on all the walls, which I love, but this tutorial is even simpler since it involves a few less pieces of molding and boards! The step by step tutorial and a video is below!

This project cost us only $84 total to complete a 10ft. wall. That price includes the boards, caulk, and 1 gallon of paint. We already had the other materials on hand (roller, Liquid Nails, and spackle).

Note, this post contains some affiliate links. For more info see my disclosures here.

DIY Board and Batten Wall:

 

Materials Needed:

Tools Needed:

***Note, the amount of boards you will need depends on the measurement of your wall(s). Also, wood boards may be used instead of MDF, especially for rooms with a high water exposure. I used wood boards for my board and batten bathroom. MDF can be a less expensive alternative to wood though.

*See a full step by step video of this board and batten tutorial here and at the bottom of this post, along with a printable material list!*

1. Remove existing baseboards from wall

To remove the existing baseboard, score the top and corner caulk lines with a utility knife. Then, use a prybar and hammer to remove the baseboard from the wall.

Use a prybar and hammer to remove baseboards from wall after scoring caulk line with utility knife

Baseboard removed from wall

A Note About Baseboards for Board and Batten:

For our board and batten wall, we removed and replaced the existing baseboard (which was less than 1/4″ thick at the top) so that the battens (vertical boards) would line up perfectly and not have any weird overhang.

If you have baseboards like us that are thinner than the molding being used, you can technically cut the battens with a mitered angle at the bottom if you don’t want to remove the original baseboard.

But, it doesn’t look as nice or professional in my opinion as baseboards that are the same thickness as the vertical batten boards. That’s why we replaced our baseboard with the same style boards as the rest of the board and batten pieces.

Also, we used a 1×4 board (which measures 3.5″ tall) to match the existing height of the baseboard still in place on the other walls, for a seamless look! It’s totally up to you on what you prefer to do though for the baseboard!

And a Quick Note About Wall Texture:

Our walls have a slight texture to them, but it’s really not noticeable unless you get up close.

If you have a really textured wall though (that’s super noticeable) and want to make the wall totally smooth for your board and batten spacing, then I would attach a 1/8″ panel board (such as hardboard or plywood) cut to size on the wall. They come in 4×8 foot sheets and the home improvement store can cut them for you too.

2. Install new baseboard

Measure the length of your wall and cut the 1×4 to size using a miter saw.

Our wall was about 10ft long, so we bought the 12ft long pre-primed board and had Lowe’s cut the board to just a bit longer than 10ft so it would fit in our car. Then, we made the final exact cut with our miter saw at home.

If your wall is longer than 10 ft. you can just use multiple boards and fill the seams between boards with wood filler, spackle, or caulk.

Install the baseboard along the bottom of the wall with a brad nailer and 1 1/4″ brad nails going into the wall studs (use a studfinder to find the wall studs). Use a level too for installation to ensure the baseboard is level when installed.

install new baseboard with level, brad nails, and brad nailer

new baseboard installed on wall

Also, if you are just doing one accent wall like us, cut the adjacent wall molding corners (if needed) with a Dremel, jig saw, or wood chisel and hammer in order to fit the new board.

You can also use these tools to cut around any wall objects, like wall outlets, if needed. Check out my board and batten bathroom DIY tutorial for photos and details on how to cut around outlets, pipes, light switches, etc!

3. Attach middle board to wall

Determine how high up you want your DIY board and batten wall to be.

We wanted to do a little higher than halfway up the wall at 55″ high once the board and batten accent wall was complete. So, that meant our middle 1×4 board should be installed with the bottom of it 48″ above the top of the baseboard.

Use a level and mark 48″ up from the top of the baseboard on each side of the wall. Then, cut a 1×4 board to size for the length of the wall and install it at those marks with 1 1/4″ brad nails into the wall studs.

using a level to mark where middle board will go on wall

attaching middle board to wall with brad nailer for board and batten wainscoating

4. Determine batten (vertical board) spacing

Determine what you want the spacing to be for your DIY board and batten. Common spacing includes anywhere between 12″ – 20″.

For this tutorial, I did 16.5″ between each board. And for our DIY board and batten bathroom (which was a much smaller room) I did 12″ spacing which was a good spacing for the small scale of the room.

If you’re doing a board and batten accent wall and want to have a batten board starting and ending on both corners of the wall, here is how I figured out my exact batten spacing:

I knew I wanted around 16-18 inches of spacing between each board so it would like right visually. So, to figure out the math and see about how many battens that would be, I took our total wall length of 123.5″ and divided by 17″, which equaled roughly 7 boards.

To get the exact spacing, I then did the following math:

7 batten boards x 3.5″ (actual width of 1×4 boards) = 24.5″

123.5″ (length of wall) – 24.5″ = 99″

99″ / 6 (the # of spaces between 7 boards) = 16.5″

5. Attach battens (vertical boards) to the wall

Mark on the wall exactly where your battens need to go based on the spacing you determined in step #4.

Then, measure the exact height needed for each batten based on where they will be attached to the wall. Because most walls aren’t perfectly straight, the measurements may be slightly different for each. Cut each 1×4 batten to size using a miter saw.

measuring height for battens for board and batten

Use construction adhesive (we used Liquid Nails) and 1 1/4″ brad nails to attach the battens to the wall.

using Liquid nails construction adhesive to attach batten boards to wall for DIY board and batten wall

using a brad nailer to attach batten boards to wall for DIY board and batten

6. Add the top board to board and batten wall

Cut your 1×2 board to size (this will be the top board) and install it on top of the middle 1×4 board with 1 1/4″ brad nails and some construction adhesive to create a top ledge.

using a brad nailer to attach top 1x2 ledge board for diy board and batten accent wall

Also, we added our original shoe molding (quarter round) back to the baseboard to match our other side wall molding and cover flooring gaps.

DIY board and batten wall before painting

7. Fill holes, caulk, and paint DIY board and batten

Fill all nail holes with a lightweight spackle, allow it to dry, then lightly hand sand any excess if needed.

Next, caulk all seams and corners with a paintable caulk.

Finally, paint your DIY board and batten wall! If you didn’t use pre-primed boards, make sure to prime first. We used Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray in eggshell for our paint color.

caulking board and batten wall

And here is the final reveal with the board and batten accent wall all painted!

Grey and white painted DIY board and batten accent wall

Overall, I just love how our DIY board and batten wall turned out! Especially, with the gray paint color instead of white paint to mix things up! It’s really a simple, affordable project that can totally transform a room and add character! Next up we will be adding wallpaper above it which I’m super excited about doing!

See the final nursery reveal here!

Follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for my latest projects, fun updates, and sneak peeks, including all of our upcoming nursery projects!

DIY board and batten wall

Easy DIY Board and Batten Wall

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Learn how to easily install a DIY board and batten wall in any room! This budget friendly and simple DIY board and batten accent wall will add instant character to your home!

Tools

Instructions

    1. Remove existing baseboards from the wall using a utility knife, prybar and hammer.
    2. Install the new baseboard with a 1x4 cut to size and 1 1/4" brad nails into the wall studs.
    3. Attach the middle 1x4 board to the wall into the wall studs. Attach it 48″ up from the top of the baseboard.
    4. Determine the batten (vertical board) spacing.
    5. Cut each 1×4 batten to size using a miter saw. Attach to the wall with constuction adhesive and 1 1/4"brad nails.
    6. Add the top 1x2 board on top of the middle board to create a ledge. Install with 1 1/4″ brad nails and some construction adhesive.
    7. Fill nail holes with spackle and caulk all the seams.
    8. Prime the board and batten if boards aren't pre-primed.
    9. Paint the board and batten with two coats of paint.
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diy board and batten

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Dana Liu

Wednesday 12th of August 2020

Do you think that applying the 1/8″ panel board would make this a rental-friendly project?

Angela Marie Made

Wednesday 12th of August 2020

I think it would, adding the 1/8" panel with nails only instead of an adhesive would probably be the way to go. This way it would be relatively easy to remove, and of course as long as the landlord is ok with it!

Jessica Edmonds

Sunday 2nd of August 2020

This turned out so nice ! Quick question. So for this you needed (2) 1x4 and (1) 1x2 ?

Randi

Tuesday 26th of May 2020

What did you do to get perfect lines where the grey and white meet up?? I’m doing thunderous for my board and batten and the rest I painted white. I’m not a great painter so wondering if you have any tricks to keeping straight paint lines where the walls connect. Thanks!

Angela Marie Made

Friday 29th of May 2020

My husband just cut the paint line in by hand, he's pretty good at it! You can use painter's tape though to help! One trick to get a perfect line with painter's tape is to first paint over with the same color as the wall, then do the gray color next. So, if there is any bleed through of the first paint layer it will be the same color as the wall! I use this trick for my DIY wood sign stencils!

Esperanza Quinonez-Olufsen

Wednesday 13th of May 2020

Can you tell me what pain colors and brand you used?

Angela Marie Made

Thursday 14th of May 2020

We used Mindful Gray by Sherwin Williams in eggshell and White Dove by Benjamin Moore on the top wall part.

Jaci

Tuesday 3rd of March 2020

Wow, I wish I could post a photo. I just did this in literally an afternoon with my bestie since our husbands are deployed. I followed this to a T as my wall was less than a foot bigger than yours. I used Jasper Stone by Sherwin Williams for the board and batten and Shell White as the wall color above and throughout the rest of the room. My safari nursery can begin! Thank you so so much! You made this seamless (literally).

Angela Marie Made

Wednesday 4th of March 2020

Thank you Jacie, that is so sweet and totally made my week! I'm so glad this was helpful! I love the idea of a safari nursery too, so fun!!

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