Hi friends! Today I’m sharing how we created our board and batten wall for our nursery! I knew I wanted an accent wall to make a statement in our baby boy’s room and I’m so glad I chose to do this one. At first I wanted to do a pallet/wood wall to go with the nursery woodland theme I’m doing but realized it was going to be a lot of work. I’ve actually been told by my doctor to rest mostly and stay in bed a lot so I needed something my husband and I could do together that wouldn’t take too long, cost too much or be too much work. For us this was a simple project!
First things first we needed to measure our wall and get our supplies! Now this was the tricky part. I knew our wall and ceilings were going to be crooked/not level because I’ve dealt with this before from other projects I’ve done around the house (shiplap wall, shiplap fireplace, bathroom board and batten, trim, etc.).
All I did was stand back and look at the wall. I also had a pencil and a piece of paper to sketch out my design. When you begin adding your trim pieces you’ll add the side pieces first and then the top and bottom pieces. Next, you add the horizontal pieces. Figuring out how many horizontal pieces will decipher how many squares you will get and how large they will be. My husband and I decided we wanted as many smaller squares we could get. We liked the look of several small squares rather than the few larger squares. You may like the larger ones! It’s totally up to you.
On my paper and in my head I imagined adding just two horizontal pieces of trim. I thought If I did that and added my vertical pieces would the squares be too large? Yes. Not what we wanted. Here’s an example of using just 2 center horizontal pieces (not my photo).
So what if I did 3 horizontal trim pieces? If I added my vertical pieces would I get more squares and would they all be even? Would they look like squares? This is the look I was going for (not my photo).
The key to this DIY is making sure all of your squares turn out like squares and not rectangles. To get an idea of how big your squares will be you must do your math! We ended up getting very close to perfect squares. Just an inch or so off (they still look perfect to us) so we knew once we were finished everything would look square and we would get the look we wanted. Your wall will most likely be a different size than ours so your measurements will be different. Just make sure you sketch everything up and take good measurements! It’s pretty much a guessing game!
I absolutely recommend reading through my steps and then drawing up your own sketch. Take what you learn and figure out how big your squares will be before you start. I wouldn’t want you to follow all my steps and your squares end up looking funky!
Estimating Your Square Measurements
Width of squares:
- To figure out the width of your squares you will want to only focus on the top row of squares going from left to right. Measure the entire width of the wall. Write that measurement down.
- Add the width of every single vertical LDF piece. Each piece should be 2.5 inches wide. We used a total of 7 vertical LDF pieces. So that equals 17.5 inches of the trim pieces.
- Take the width of your wall and subtract those seven pieces (17.5″). Once you have that total number (the number is the measurement of all the inside space between the LDF pieces).
- Divide that number (space) by the number of squares (6). This gives you the width of each square!
Height of squares:
- For the height of the squares you will do the exact same steps but only looking at the left row up and down squares!
- Get your wall height.
- Subtract the trim pieces.
- Divide that number by how many squares you’ll be doing. In our plans we did 4 squares up and down.
- Now you have your height and you can look at the width as well. If the width and height of your squares are very close then you will know if your squares will look like squares! If they are not you will have to figure out a different square arrangement and try to recalculate your squares again.
- LDF (You can also use MDF. LDF is just a lower grade and it’s cheaper!)
- 120 and 220 grit sandpaper
- Wood filler
- Paint of your choice (We used Stonington Gray by Benjamin Moore and had it changed to Valspar Signature paint in satin. The paint samples are a lot cheaper and so is the actual paint. Plus we love Valspar!)
- Caulk (doesn’t’ matter what color. We used white)
- Liquid Nails (with caulk and liquid nails we buy them by the big tubes and use a caulking gun. It’s a lot cheaper and you get more for your money!)
- Nails (You can use 1 1/2″ or 1 1/4″)
- Nail gun air compressor
- Miter saw
- Small level
- Caulking gun for caulk and liquid nails tubes
Let’s Get Started
The very first step is adding your top LDF (or MDF) trim piece. Measure the entire width of the wall at the very top. We had to use (2) 8′ pieces of LDF cut to the right size. Make sure you use your level along the entire wall as you add your nails. Before attaching the pieces to the wall we added liquid nails to the backsides. We did this because most likely none of your nails will be going into studs. We wanted to make sure the trim pieces would be completely secured to the wall. Do the same step for the bottom trim piece as well. I started filling holes with wood filler while my husband measured and cut our pieces! Makes the finishing work go faster in the end.
Next step is adding your left and right LDF pieces. Each side could have a different measurement so make sure you measure the left and right side up and down. Cut your pieces, use your level again and attach them to the wall.
Once you have your border of trim around your entire wall next step is adding your horizontal LDF pieces along the wall. We chose to do 3. This would force us to have more squares when the wall was finished. If you choose to do 2 your squares will be bigger (just like the examples I shared previously).
To figure out where to space our horizontal boards we had to measure in between the top LDF piece and the bottom piece. Our entire measurement was 86 inches (yours will probably be different). Once you have that measurement you’ll divide it by 2 and that will give you your center trim piece measurement. Make a small mark on the left and right side of the wall. Then align the center of your trim piece with those marks.
We had to use (2) 8′ pieces cut to the right length again with these horizontal pieces.
Just a little reminder you should be adding liquid nails to all of these LDF pieces and using your level to make sure everything is straight and level. This is very important!
The trick to running the (2) LDF pieces along the wall and getting them to look seamless is using your level. I held the level and the LDF up while my husband added the nails.
So now you have your first middle piece up! Next you need to add your last 2 horizontal pieces. You’ll need to measure the blank space above your middle piece and the blank space below the middle piece. Each measurement could be a little different (always measure everything! Don’t just guess it will be the same). Once you get your measurements divide each one by 2 and you’ll get your center LDF piece measurement. Make your marks and add your pieces!
All the horizontal pieces are up! Last step in adding your LDF pieces is adding the small vertical pieces to make your squares. Here’s where you have to use your brain again. To get our square measurements we measured the length of each blank space between the horizontal boards. Yes you will need to measure all 4 spaces (again all measurements could be different by just a hair).
Once you have all the measurements for each space you’ll divide that measurement by 2 to get your exact center piece placement. Make your marks and cut your pieces! The small pieces may be different sizes so make sure you’re measuring as you go and making your cuts. Don’t just cut every single one the same because they will most likely be different sizes.
Now that your center LDF line is added you can figure out how many more pieces you need. We measured the inside spaces on each side of the center piece and divided it by 3. This gave us our last measurements to add our trim pieces! We made all of our marks and started measuring our LDF piece by piece. Making our cuts one by one. With these small pieces we used a tiny level to make sure they were perfectly straight. When adding them to the wall we matched up the center of the LDF piece with our mark. You should be doing that with every single piece you add.
Here is the completed wall with all of our holes filled. I was not looking forward to sanding all the wood filler off. That’s probably the worst part of this project. Plus doing the caulking in all of the squares. I first used 120 grit sand paper and then went back with 220 to smooth out any rough patches. Before painting make sure you vacuum and wipe everything down with a damp cloth. You don’t want any dust getting in your paint!
We ended up having a small gap on the right side of the wall. Nothing spackle couldn’t fix! There was also a tiny gap between the top LDF piece and the ceiling. I just left it alone and it looks just fine! You might have noticed the thermostat. Of course it ended up being right in the way! We had to notch the piece of LDF that ran through it. I feel like the small thermostat throws off the entire wall (that’s just the OCD in me). So my plan is to cover it with a big sign. We never use our ceiling heat so that’s my solution!
A couple of hours later and the sanding and caulking is finished.
After we finished the wall I was so excited to choose a paint color and get to painting! I ultimately went with Benjamin Moore’s Stonington Gray. Instead of getting it in the Benjamin Moore paint we had our local home improvement store make it in Valspar’s Signature satin paint. We’ve done this with all of the paint in our house. Most home improvement stores will do this if you if you just ask! Valspar Signature paint is cheaper and really great quality! So great that we only needed one coat on all of the walls. It has primer in it too so it goes on super thick. I only had to touch up a few spots.
The Finished Look
I’m so happy we chose to do this wall. It turned out better than I had imagined. It makes the room feel completely different. The room feels bigger and the ceilings feel so tall. If you have any questions at all please don’t be afraid to ask! I’d love to help you with your project in any way I can. If you’d like to save this DIY for later you can pin any of these photos and save them in your Pinterest boards! You can also follow me on Instagram for more fun DIY projects! @mydivinehome
My nursery reveal will be here soon! This room is almost complete and I can’t wait to share it with you!