How To Install Board and Batten (An Easy Dining Room Wall Update) | The Interior Frugalista: How To Install Board and Batten (An Easy Dining Room Wall Update)
How To Install Board and Batten (An Easy Dining Room Wall Update) | The Interior Frugalista

March 26, 2015

How To Install Board and Batten (An Easy Dining Room Wall Update)

I'm so happy to have Phase One of our dining room makeover completed.  I can't believe how much larger and brighter the room looks simply by adding white faux Board and Batten onto the wall.

Dining Room Wall Before and After Installing Board and Batten

The wall in the dining room is very long and it's always been a challenge decorating it. For decades I had a large mirror hanging behind the dining table with candle sconces flanked on either side. It never felt right, no matter how many times I painted out the mirror or changed the sconces.

Inspired by a couple of blogging friends, Nancy at Artsy Chicks Rule and Kris at Junk Chic Cottage, who added board and batten in their homes, I knew it was exactly what this wall needed.

An easy DIY Board and Batten Wall

Materials List:

  • Upright Battens: 2 1/2" x 1/2"
  • Horizontal Battens: 3 1/2" x 1/2" 
  • Panel Cap Moulding 1" depth
  • 1 1/2" - 2" brad nails and a nail gun
  • Compound mitre saw
  • White latex paintable caulking
  • White latex paint
  • Small foam roller
  • Regular pile paint roller
  • Minwax Polycrylic Satin Finish

How To Install Board And Batten Onto A Wall

If this has inspired you to add a Board & Batten wall in your home, I've outlined the steps for you below.  Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the process, but really it's not a difficult project.

STEP 1: Cleaning the walls

Dining room wall before
Prep the wall by giving it a good wash.  I add 1/2 c of Borax Powder to 1 gallon of hot water and use my micro fibre hardwood floor mop.  Easy way to reach the high parts and leaves a streak free clean!

STEP 2: Deciding the height of your Board & Batten

Measuring the wall for horizontal and vertical board and batten trim
  • Decide how high you want your wall to be.  As you can see in the picture above, ours is 63" high to the top of the trim.
  • Before you mark the height, subtract the size of your top trim piece from the measurement.  We subtracted 1/2" for our panel cap moulding.
  • Once you've established the height using a level draw a line across the entire wall.

STEP 3: Marking the width of each section

Installing the trim for a board and batten wall
  • Using a stud finder find the studs and mark a line up to the top using a level.
  • Establish the width of each section of your Board & Batten.  We made ours 32", skipping every second stud.

STEP 4:  Installing the top batten

Close up of the horizontal and vertical trim on the board and batten wall
  • Starting with the top horizontal batten, using a brad nail gun attach the 3 1/2" x 1/2" trim in place following the line you drew earlier.
  • Cut any joints at a 45° angle.

STEP 5:  Installing the bottom batten (see Diagram 1)

  • We kept our original baseboards and simply added 3 1/2" x 1/2" trim directly over top.
  • Again cut any joints at a 45° angle.

STEP 6:  Installing the vertical battens (see Diagram 1)

  • Using your 2 1/2" x 1/2" trim measure your vertical battens and install using a brad nailer (ours are 52" high).
  • Ensure each batten is straight by using a level.
  • Remember, we skipped every second stud. 

STEP 7:  Installing the top moulding

Panel cap moulding used for the top trim on the board and batten wall

Finish off by installing the panel cap moulding on the top using a brad nailer.

STEP 8:  Prepping the trim for paint

  • Caulk around all the battens using white latex paintable caulking.
  • Fill all the joints and nail holes with wood filler.
  • Once dry sand them down nice and smooth.

STEP 9:  Painting the wall

Painted DIY faux board and batten wall
  • Once the caulking is dry, apply the first coat of latex paint using a small foam roller on each of the trim pieces.
  • Using a regular size roller with a regular pile, paint the first coat of latex onto the wall.  If you have dark walls you may want to either prime them first or use a latex paint with primer.
  • Continue the above step until you have complete coverage.  Ours took three coats to get the finish we wanted.
  • For a more consistent finish we applied a coat of Minwax Satin Polycrylic over the battens and wall.  This step removed any paint strokes and inconsistencies between the wood and drywall.
DIY Faux Board and Batten Wall After

DIY Board and Batten Wall After

One of the next phases to this room makeover is to replace the table and chairs.  We picked up a Duncan Phyfe table for $40.00 that is waiting in the shop for a makeover.  As our family continues to grow a rectangular table will fit everyone far more comfortably than the oval.  I'm on a mission to find wood chairs with upholstered seats.  Not an easy task it seems!

Dining room table and chairs that need to be replaced as part of our dining room makeover

But before we do that, we are currently working on Phase Two which is the built-in china cabinet on the back wall.  Here's a sneak peak...

Sneak peak at the built in china cabinet makeover

But next I'm going to show you how I made this antique looking mirror...

DIY Antiqued Mirror

Until then have a great weekend!

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