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I have wanted to add board and batten somewhere in my home for a long time. I finally decided to tackle the guest bedroom and I had a whole vintage vision for this room! This was my vision board for the room, you can find the links for this vision board here.
The whole process of planning the board and batten took a while, it was hard to figure out the height and spacing. I used painters tape to visualize how it would look, I knew I wanted it a little higher than the bed but I also wanted to maximize the pieces of 4×8 MDF sheets I was planning on cutting it down from. First I put tape at a lower height to see what it would look like.
Then I tried it a little higher.
I definitely liked the lower one better. I went about 1ft above the headboard in the end. Then it was time to decide on what kind of board and batten to do. I took a pole on Instagram to see if I should go with a more simple look or a fancier look or somewhere in between.
I started by removing the door and window trim.
Then I used more tape to decide on spacing and thickness of the board and batten. This can be hard since non of the walls are the same width and I wanted the boards to end at the corners of the walls and not be equally spaced throughout the room, they just have to be close so you don’t notice it when it’s finished. They have calculators for this online that you can add your wall dimensions in and it will tell you how to space them out.
I calculated my materials and made a trip to Home Depot. I did have them cut the MDF sheets for me to smaller, more manageable pieces. Did you know they can cut your wood for you in store? The guys at my Home Depot are always happy to help, if it is a lot of cuts I will tip them too. But my Lowes seems to always say their saw is broken…which I’m not sure if I believe or if they just don’t want to do it.
I’m using MDF because it’s cheaper than real wood and it won’t warp like real wood can. The only problem with MDF is when you cut it the edges aren’t great to work with, they don’t take paint well. This wasn’t a problem for me though because I planned to cover the edges with decorative trim.
Because my walls are textured I decided to use brown board to attach to the wall in between the MDF boards to make it smooth. You don’t have to do this but I think it gives a more professional look for there to be no texture between your boards. If you don’t have any texture on your walls you can skip this step. I took the 4×8 sheets of brown board outside and cut it with my jigsaw since the lines didn’t have to me perfect because the edges would be hidden behind the MDF boards. I just marked a straight line with a sharpie and tried to cut as close to it as I could.
I did have to cut around some outlets. I brought the brown board inside to mark where the outlets were with the method I described in this post. Then I took them back outside, drilled holes in the corners of the outlet mark with a drill bit large enough for my zigsaw blade to fit through, then used the jigsaw to cut out the outlet rectangle.
I also had to put scrap pieces on the corners of the walls to give the MDF something to attach to and sit flat with the rest of the boards. I attached all this brown board to the walls with my brad nailer, no glueh, that’s all that was needed.
I ripped the MDF down to 5in boards with my table saw.
I started with the MDF as a baseboard making sure it was level as I nailed it into place.
Then I added the top piece and made sure that was level.
I cut down the vertical pieces and added those using a scrap piece as a spacer and a level to make sure they were all the same distance apart. I did have to cut around some outlets here as well. This board and batten was A LOT more work than I had anticipated!
I bought 1×3 primed MDF for the ledge I was adding above the board and batten. I wanted it to be a little ledge I could set photos and things on. I nailed that into the MDF from above.
But when I got to the doors and window I didn’t like how squared off it was.
So I took it back down and rounded the corners that butted up against the doors and window with my orbital sander. I took 80 grit sand paper and went over the corners till it looked nice and round and then put them back up and they were much better! They look rough now, but once primed and painted it will look great!
Then I decided this wasn’t fancy enough for what I was going for so I added some more horizontal pieces, but when I put the 5in thick boards up they looked too thick, so I ripped them down to 3 inches.
I bought basecap moulding to add to the insides of the boxes because I was going fancy with this. I cut the corners to 45 and secured them with brad nails.
I also added the same door and window trim I’ve added to the rest of the house, but I added some tiny moulding on those unlike the rest of the house, so it would go with the rest of the room. I really like it! I may end up adding this to the rest of the house eventually.
Then it was time to caulk. It took 5 whole tubes of caulk for this and took me several days to finish, if you tackle this project, make SURE you use paintable caulk! This is the difference between caulked and not caulked. It gives that finished professional look.
I was so excited when we put the bed back in there till I could get it painted! I could see it all coming together in my head!
What do you think? Is board and batten something you’d try? Or is it just way too much work?
Guest room links here.
Next up, paint and wallpaper!