How to Install Board and Batten

How to Install Board and Batten


Learn how to install a Board and Batten wall. We’re here to help you do it yourself with professional-looking results!

Come see how to build the bright yellow Swedish Mora Clock and the Dutch Barn Door / Baby Gate, too!

Board And Batten Wainscot Tutorial From Remodelaholic

DIY Board and Batten Wall Tutorial

Materials for Installing a Board and Batten Wall:

  • Boards for Base Molding: We chose 1×8 MDF
  • Boards for Crown Molding: We opted for a simple rather than ornate look and chose 1×4 MDF.  We ran one on the wall and one on the ceiling to create a wrapped-corner look.
  • Battens (vertical boards): In the past we have used 1×4 or 1×2’s that are the same thickness as the upper and lower molding, but this time I wanted the battens to be small and insignificant to create a light texture. At our local Home Depot they had some 3 3/4″ x 1/4″ thick unpainted MDF strips called MDF Bender boards. They were in the lumber isle near the plywood and NOT with the moldings.  They were a great price and just wide enough to be ripped (cut length-wise) in half to create the subtle look I was going for.
  • Table Saw
  • Nail gun and nails
  • Caulk and Hole Patching Compound
  • Paint
Be sure to check out this tutorial for perfect board and batten spacing!

Board and Batten Step 1: Install Base Molding

Measure, cut, and install the base molding.

Base molding for board and batten wall on Remodelaholic

The stair used to be wrapped with carpet, but we wanted to avoid that and clean up the look.  We built out the stair a bit and then wrapped it with the MDF.  We got lucky and the MDF was the exact same height as the stair!

Board and batten wall tutorial, simple texture remodelaholic (27)

Board and Batten Step 2: Install Crown Molding

Measure and cut your crown molding pieces. Using the ceiling piece as a spacer, push the wall piece up to the ceiling piece (you will need a helper to do this, which is why we didn’t get any pictures) and nail in place.

Crown molding for Board and batten wall, simple texture remodelaholic (16)

Next install your ceiling piece.

Crown moulding for Board and batten wall tutorial, simple texture remodelaholic (22)

*TIP*  We didn’t have joists to nail the crown  molding to on this portion of the ceiling. You can use anchor bolts for a LOT of extra work or you can do what we did: to keep the board in place, put in 2 nails at a 45 degree angle to the right and then immediately turn your nailer the other direction and add two more in a 45 degree angle to the left. The “v” created by the nails acts like an anchor. I wouldn’t do this with heavy beams, but for a lightweight molding, it works well.

Crown molding for a Board and batten wall tutorial, simple texture remodelaholic (25)

Board and Batten Step 3: Rip the Battens (if needed)

Our battens needed ripped in half, remember.

What do I use for the battens Board and batten wall tutorial, simple texture remodelaholic (33)

 

Board and batten wall tutorial, simple texture remodelaholic (32)Board and batten wall tutorial, simple texture remodelaholic (35)

And because we cut ours, we took the time to sand down the top two edges of the board to ensure that the edges were clean and that all imperfections were sanded down.

*TIP* Cut edges of MDF always need sanding.  Because MDF is so smooth, the imperfections will be very apparent once you paint. Don’t skip sanding!

Board and Batten Step 4: Install the Battens

Be sure to make your spacing perfect.  Follow this board and batten spacing tutorial and you will end up with the professional-looking results you want!

1. Mark out the spacing.

How to ensure even spacing when doing Board and batten from remodelaholic (36)

2. Measure the height you will need for that batten in that place. Cut your batten. (Do this for each batten, as ceilings and floors are not as level as you think!)

3. Place the bottom of the batten at your spacing mark and nail once near the bottom of the board to hold it in place according to your spacing mark.

4. Place a level on the side of the batten board and adjust the board until it is perfectly vertical.

How to diy a professional looking board and batten wall from Remodelaholic

5. Nail once near the top then secure it to the wall with a few more nails in the middle.

Follow this tutorial for installing board and batten floor to ceiling. From Remodelaholic.

6. Repeat the process with each batten.

Board and Batten Step 5: Patch the nail holes and caulk all the seams

Patch the nail holes and caulk between the boards and the wall to fill the gaps.

Board and batten wall tutorial, simple texture remodelaholic (48)

Board and Batten Step 6: Paint

We chose Sherwin Williams High Reflective White, and, oh, the difference the paint makes! Make sure to inspect your paint job from the left and right to ensure every inch of the battens is covered in paint. It’s easy to miss the thin side next to the wall!

Board and batten wall tutorial, simple texture remodelaholic (56)

For painting the molding next to the floor, I used heavyweight scrapbook paper as a “drop cloth” of sorts. It moved along easily and slid under the gap of the base molding perfectly with no taping required!
How to paint baseboards the easy way. Board and batten wall tutorial, simple texture remodelaholic (60)

And we’re done! See how the battens just sort of melt into the wall? They offer a slight texture and pattern but they are not the focal point — exactly the subtlety we wanted!

Board and batten wall tutorial, simple texture remodelaholic (65)

If you’d like to see more of our projects at the Canyon House, browse through them here and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration and tutorials.

More DIY wall treatment tutorials:

Simple Board And Batten Wall Tutorial @remodelaholic

 

This post originally published 05.04.2013 // Updated 03.06.2020

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