Hi friends! I’m so glad you’re here! Today I’m sharing my most recent home improvement project! Adding board and batten to my bathroom! I waited awhile to do this project because I thought it was going to be expensive. It was actually the most inexpensive project I’ve worked on! The more reason you should definitely consider doing this in your home! If you are new at these kind of projects you may need an extra hand and some extra tools. If you are an expert then this should be a breeze! This wall was only $30 in materials plus about $12 for the hardware. I had everything on hand except for the LDF (low density fiberboard) and the hooks.
Here’s what you will need:
- Finish nail gun
- Finish nails: 16 gauge 1 1/4″ and 1 1/2″
- Liquid Nails (I buy it by the tube and use a caulking gun. It’s cheaper!)
- White paint
- White caulk
- Hooks (Optional)
- 1 x 3 LDF boards (You can also use MDF. MDF is higher in price and better quality. LDF is lower grade and lower in price. I can’t tell the difference. Home Depot and Lowes both carry MDF. I purchased LDF from our local Jerry’s Home Improvement store.)
- Level (Small and large is helpful)
- Measuring tape
- Stud finder
- Wood filler
- Putty knife
- Paint brush
- Small paint roller
- Painters tape
- Spackle (Only if you’re filling large gaps on the sides of your wall)
- Sand paper (150 and 220)
First things first! Figuring out your baseboards. In our home we have a certain type of baseboard that can easily be popped off. You’ll want to decide your baseboard trim before you start because your LDF (or MDF) boards will run down to your baseboards. You’ll want the LDF to be flush with your baseboards. If you cannot take off your baseboards you should checkout this tutorial by Alicia from Thrifty and Chic! If you are able to take of your baseboards you can replace them with a piece of your LDF like I did.
This wall was screaming for something pretty! Just a random blank space. It was the perfect spot to add board and batten. Adding hooks also makes the space functional for hanging towels/robes!
You can use a screwdriver or hammer to remove your baseboards. Just be careful not to leave an indentation in the wall.
Any side pieces of your baseboards can also be removed and cut down to size later.
Time to add your first piece! Measure your wall from side to side to find your desired length. Make sure you measure at the bottom of your wall where your piece will be added. If your wall is anything like mine it will be crooked and different measurements in every spot!
When you add your new baseboard you’ll want to level it to make sure it’s straight. Just like the walls and ceiling your floors may be crooked too.
Adding Liquid Nails to the back of your pieces will make them more sturdy and support pretty much anything!
When nailing your pieces to the wall you can nail them into the studs or straight into the wall. Most people would recommend nailing into your studs so they will be more secure but in my case to get the board and batten looking the way I wanted it I couldn’t nail them into the studs. If you’re working with a bigger wall then I would recommend nailing into studs. Here’s an example of my stud placement.
The style of board and batten I was planning on doing has the squares on the top. You want your boards evenly spaced to create the board and batten look and to create perfect squares. Here are some examples of the look I was going for:
Now you know my vision! Next step is adding your next board. You’ll want to mark your studs so you can at least attach your horizontal boards to them. One of these boards will have your hooks on them and you’ll want it to be strong enough to hold towels and maybe even children if they decide to pull on them!
Where should you put your first horizontal board? I honestly had no idea what height I wanted it to be at so I just guessed a good height. 53 1/2″ measuring from the top of my baseboard.
I marked that measurement across the wall and added my next board above it. When nailing into the studs I used my 1 1/2″ nails and when nailing straight into the wall I used 1 1/4″ nails. My husband didn’t think it mattered but I was scared to hit any pipes/wires behind the wall. Since I was using Liquid Nails I didn’t think using shorter nails would be a problem.
Next step is adding your pieces on each side. Make sure you are measuring for all your cuts! None of my cut measurements were the same. I did a lot of walking back and forth to our garage!
To add your middle board you’ll need to measure from the inside of each board on the sides.
I marked a small dot on the top horizontal piece and the baseboard. You’ll also need to use your level just to make sure your piece is center and level.
I then added a board to the middle space on the right and left side. You just measure the center on each side to get your exact placement. Keep using your level to make sure everything is lined up perfectly. Sometimes the Liquid Nails can move your boards when you are attaching them to the wall.
Your next piece is the second horizontal board that goes on the very top. To get that measurement you’ll need to measure the space in between your vertical boards. This will create your perfect squares at the top!
Everyone will have different measurements because not every single wall is the same width! Once you have your measurement measure above your first horizontal board and mark your lines across the wall. Place your next board above it. Remember to change your nails to the 1 1/2″ size to nail into the studs. Then change them back to the 1 1/4″ size to attach your last few boards.
Time to add your small pieces to make the squares! This is where my smaller level came in handy!
Measure the width down below and match the same width up above. I mostly eyeballed the small boards matching up to the ones below.
After all your pieces are up you fill all your holes! So much fun… actually it’s probably the worst part of this project! So time-consuming. Fill all the nail holes and cracks (where the boards come together) with wood putty. You can also fill the cracks on the very far sides with spackle. I had huge gaps in between my pieces and the wall since our walls are crooked. Caulk around all your boards! Let it dry and then start sanding your life away! I used 150 grit sandpaper first and then went back over everything withe 220 grit.
Make sure you wipe all the dust off with a rag before you start painting! To get your paint even it’s best to use a brush and paint all the cracks first and then go back with a small roller.
I did about 4 coats of paint. The LDF was good after 2 coats but my wall needed more coats than I expected.
Next step was adding my hooks! This was not easy people! There were two ways to place these babies on the wall. I could not decide what I wanted. After looking at ideas on Pinterest I finally decided on my hook placement. Here are the options:
Center of the criss cross or middle of the squares… My husband voted middle of the squares (so did my mom and mother-in-law… booooo) and of course I liked the criss cross. I was still undecided because there were photos of both on Google and Pinterest. More of the centered ones than the criss cross ones… BUT my vision from the start was hooks in the center of the criss cross. So I went with my gut feeling!
This was probably one of my most favorite projects! I know I say that every time… But it turned out so good and I just want to sit in my bathroom and stare at it all day! This blank wall was meant to be board and batten!
BEFORE & AFTER
Once I was finished with this wall it turned into an even bigger project… I stepped back and noticed the trim on our door looked terrible. Now my husband and I are planning on replacing all the old trim in our house at some point. So choosing to do this was kind of sporadic. It had to be done! The crappy trim was taking away from the beauty of my new pretty wall. I then realized if I was going to change the trim on the door I might as well do the bathroom window just so it will match.
VERY OLD BEFORE
THE FINISHED LOOK
When I walk into this bathroom now it feels like a brand new house! Even though one project led me to another and I ended up spending more time and money I am so happy I chose to get everything done. It feels nice knowing I won’t have to come back to this room to finish anything! You might notice the trim around the mirror… That was added during this entire project too. You can checkout that tutorial by clicking on the link below!
Thank you so much for stopping by! I would love to answer any questions you guys have! If you want to save this project for later you can pin any of these photos to your Pinterest boards! Also, if you decide to take on this project please share a photo and tag me on Instagram (@mydivinehome). I would love to see!