Happy New Year! I’m excited for my first official 2021 reveal! Check out our new board and batten bedroom wall!
I’m sharing all the details you need to add a DIY board and batten wall to your home including: board and batten materials, tools needed and even how we incorporated our existing baseboard.
DIY Board and Batten Bedroom Wall Vision
My vision for this space was to create a hotel style guest suite. To do that, I knew I needed an amazing board and batten accent wall.
I have seen so many gorgeous DIY board and batten bedroom walls and this rectangular shaped wall was perfect for board and batten full wall.
Board and batten walls are also sometimes referred to as grid walls, wainscoting, and wall paneling among other terms.
If you have been here awhile, then you have seen all the other woodworking projects my handy husband has done.
A board and batten DIY is of medium difficulty and can be done even if you are not extremely handy as long as you have the right tools!
As far as the time estimate to complete a DIY board and batten wall like this, we mostly do our projects as weekend projects.
One weekend, we bought the materials. The next weekend, my husband & his parents installed the board & batten. The following weekend, my husband caulked & paint sprayed.
This was a multi-weekend project but the DIY board and batten wall itself was about 15 hours broken up into multiple increments.
Board and Batten Wall Design
There is so much creativity that goes into a board and batten accent wall. Traditional board and batten is made of rectangular boxes.
You can also do vertical board and batten, square board and batten or a partial board and batten wall.
Here is the layout we used:
Board and batten bedroom wall before
I love a good before shot – don’t you? You can see this was just a plain wall with white builder grade paint.
I wanted this bedroom to have cozy vibes & also wanted the wall to have a wow factor!
How to DIY A Board and Batten Wall
Board and Batten Materials:
- 1”x4”x16’ Finger Joint Pine Primed Trim Boards
- Sherwin Williams Shermax White Caulk
- Sherwin Williams SuperPaint – Chantilly Lace
- Crawfords 31604 qt Natural Blend Painters Putty
Board and Batten Tools:
- Dewalt Flexvolt 120V MAX Miter Saw Kit, 12-Inch, Double Bevel, Compound, Sliding (DHS790AT2)
- DeWalt Flexvolt 60 volt 13 amps Cordless 8-1/4 in. Table Saw
- DeWalt DWE6423 3 Amp Corded 5 in. Variable Speed Random Orbital Sander
- Graco FinishPro II 395 3300 PSI @ 0.47 GPM Air-Assisted Airless Sprayer
- Kreg Jig R3 Pocket Hole System with Classic 2″ Face Clamp and Screws
- Porter and Cable Air Compressor
- Porter and Cable Finish Nailer
- Hitachi Pneumatic Pin Nailer
- 6’ Level
- Tape Measure
Board and Batten Trim Consideration
We were going to remove the trim but since this is a board and batten accent wall and the other walls in the room still had trim molding. We thought it would make the most sense to do the board and batten with existing baseboard incorporated.
Board and Batten calulations
How do you calculate spacing for board and batten wall?
Imagine the perfect layout of board and batten.
Draw a conceptual drawing in order to layout the look you are going for.
It helps to know in advance how you are going to build the Board and Batten accents. It can be as simple as a single 1 by (x) board or you can build accents to teach batten to make it more ornate or cap the board and batten wall at chair rail height.
This calculation also works for height as well as width.
How to Measure board and batten wall?
Add 1 to your number of spaces to get the number of battens on the wall.
Then multiply your batten width by the number of battens.
Subtract that number from your total wall length.
Divide that number by the number of spaces you calculated earlier, and THAT number will be your exact spacing between each batten.
Once you have a general layout, you’ll need to decide how to finish the remainder of the wall.
The interior of each square section can be fabricated using furniture grade 1/8” thick plywood or you can use the natural texture of the drywall if it is in good condition.
Whichever way you decide to go with, you will not notice the difference once the final coat of paint is applied.
In our guest room, we used the natural texture of the drywall.
Board and Batten wall Calculation
(Number of (Horizontal or Vertical) sections + 1) = The number of battens
Number of Battens x Width of each Batten = Total width of lumber to be used for the horizontal or vertical battens
Total Width of Lumber to be used in the battens – the total wall width or height / the number of battens = this will give you the width or height of the spacings between battens
When you have the horizontal and vertical spacing measurement, you can start to cut your lumber and build the board and batten wall.
Board and Batten wall Preparation
There is very little prep to this install.
First, make sure the drywall you are working with is in good condition and take your time in making any filling or cracks or patching of the drywall.
This will be primed and painted during the final step of installation.
Also, take measurements at multiple locations (Top middle, and bottom or left, right, and center) of the wall in order to check the wall for square.
If your wall is not square, which most are not square, you will need to figure out the best location to accommodate these discrepancies.
Building a board and batten wall
There are two ways to build a board and batten wall or really any wainscotting wall treatment.
Simply precut the lumber to size and then glue (using a construction adhesive) and nail to the wall using a brad nail pneumatic nailer. This method is quicker but it also might take longer as some pieces will not be fastened to a stud and will require the appropriate time to cure before moving to the next steps. This method also requires accuracy with a spirit level in order to make sure all pieces are plumb and level across the wall.
Simply precut the lumber to size and use a technique called pocket hole system. This system uses a pocket hole jig (or template) to pre-drill holes for screws in the back of the material. You then glue and screw those pieces together before fastening to the wall with construction adhesive and brad nails. This method does take more time and requires your measuring to be accurate.
To precut the sections, you can use the simple drawing you made to do the layout design and use the measurement calculations you figured out before.
We used the second option as it allowed us to pre-fabricate the sections or the entire board and batten wall before fastening it to the wall. It also allows for a much stronger connection in the butt joints where the pieces meet and gives a lot of strength to the entire structure. It also allows you to simply fasten the board and battens to the wall at each wall stud instead of relying on the construction adhesive alone in some areas since it is very possible that each batten section might not be located on a stud behind the drywall.
A couple of handy tips:
Simply cut a wooden spacer block to space out the vertical and horizonal battens so you do not have to measure each location.
You can mark stud locations on the wall beforehand as these will be covered after primer and paint are applied.
Caulk and putty
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Once the lumber is attached to the wall, now comes the tedious part of the job.
First start by sanding (with an orbital sander) all joints where two different boards are joined and make these as smooth as possible. You then need to caulk all the areas where the existing wall meets the new board and batten accent moldings. We prefer to use the following caulk gun; it is by far the best to eliminate the inherent issue of dripping after application of caulk.
You will also need to fill all brad nail or finish nail holes with Painter’s Putty.
Board and Batten Paint Color
Next up, primer & paint.
We went with the Chantilly Lace color. Only when I got to Sherwin Williams to order it, they old me it was a Benjamin Moore color – opps!
Luckily, Sherwin Williams had a book there with paint color parts for the Chantilly Lace color match.
If you really want this color I would call in advance or just go to Benjamin Moore.
You could either paint by hand or use a paint sprayer like we did.
As with any paint job, it generally takes more time to prep than it does to actually paint!
The wall didn’t even use half a gallon.
Board and Batten Bedroom Wall After
Isn’t she lovely? I just love the crisp lines & the texture it adds to the room!
Below is a highlight video that I made of the whole project!
Board and Batten Wall Frequently asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between wainscoting and board and batten?
There are lots of definitions out there but in general, the two terms are used interchangeably.
Wainscoting is defined as lining the walls of a room, hallway, etc. with or as if with woodwork.
Board and batten is defined as a siding consisting of wide boards or of sheets of plywood set vertically with butt joints covered by battens.
What wood for board and batten wall?
Typically finger joint pint is used. You can also use MDF (medium density fiberboard) board which is less expensive by lower quality.
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