Last week I shared with you that I tore out the base molding in my hallway. I plan to do the whole downstairs eventually, but I must have had a brief moment of clarity and decided to stop with the hall. I’ve hated the molding since the day we moved in, but never had a plan to fix it. The moron who installed the hardwood didn’t remove the base molding first, just installed the floor and slapped on some quarter round. Yuck! It looked so stupid. Well the good news is I found the perfect solution to cover the gap. The bad news is… it involved a complete hallway makeover! I decided to install board and batten paneling, something I’ve had in the back of my head for a long time, but decided now was a good time. Haha. If you’ve been reading my blog or following along on Facebook or Instagram, you’d know that I am smack in the middle of a redoing my office, family room, daughter’s bedroom and upstairs hall. But what the hey, right!I used 3/4″ MDF that I had cut into strips at Lowe’s. The base molding is 6″. It’s painted in BEHR Swiss Coffee (semi-gloss) from Home Depot, the same color as all the trim in my house. And dude, I love it! So much better than that damn quarter round molding! I rounded the corners near the door casing with sandpaper because the MDF is a little wider than the casing.I will give you the full DIY board and batten paneling tutorial on Tuesday, when it’s finished, but for now I want to address a few special installation issues I ran into. Hopefully you don’t have these issues, but you may, so here goes.
There is a step-down in my hallway
This meant the board and batten had to step-down as well, both at the top and along the bottom. My stairs already had molding next to the stairs that couldn’t be removed, at least not easily. So I had to work with what I had. You can see here how tall the new molding is and I had to make that work with the stair molding. Did you know that the round portion is actually a separate piece of wood? Smart Jr was pretty amazed. To remove it, score the top and bottom with a knife. As in, cut where the wall meets the molding and where the round molding meets the rectangular molding.
Then pry it off. Line up the new molding and mark where it needs to be cut.I didn’t measure a single angle in this project. I marked where I needed to cut, then lined the MDF/wood up on my saw without changing the blade angle. I had to clamp the MDF/wood to the saw for each cut, but I thought that was still a lot faster than fooling around with angles. That can drive a person crazy. This is what it looked like after everything was cut.I had to do the same process for the other side. This is what it looked like with all the floor molding cut.I had to do the same thing for the top portion of the board and batten as well, but that a little bit different. The top molding is 3.5″ and I installed all the horizontal pieces first. If I tried to line the angled piece up against the horizontal ones, the angled piece would be wider. If you don’t get it, just take my word for it. To correct for this I laid out my angled piece to match with the bottom corner of the top piece and the top corner of the bottom piece. Then I drew a vertical line where the two pieces met (just like with the floor molding). Then I cut it the same way I did before. You can do this! It’s a lot easier than it sounds!Come closer — let me show you what I mean. Haha. This was me telling Smart Jr to get a closeup.To clarify – this picture was taken AFTER I marked and trimmed the board to length, but it explains what I was talking about above with matching up the angles.So now what to do with those piece that stick out? Cut them off of course!
Random Security System Control
I’m pretty sure this one won’t apply to you, but you could (maybe) run into something similar. Our house came with a non-working security system, remnants of which are seen with two of these lovely control boxes. This one in the hall way hidden by a picture frame. (Duh!) And there’s another one in the master bedroom. My solution? Remove the cover and then hide the hole with a batten. Smart Jr did the honors of removing the cover. Notice the family portrait she drew when her sister was born. That’s Lulu in the stroller circa 2007. Super husband cut the wires because I was too chicken. He assured me they weren’t still connected to anything. Whatever. Still scary. Notice I planned my whole batten placement around this one location. No really.
Moving on to something you’re more likely to encounter — light switches. One of my walls had a triple switch and a single switch. Yea, the smart thing to do would have been to plan around them, but for me it came down to $$$. I decided to make my vertical battens 48″ because I could get a crap load of them from a 4′ x 8′ sheet of MDF. (crap load = 27) I decided to deal with the consequences and while my horizontal board cleared the switches just fine, it did NOT clear the switch covers. Instead of cutting off the top of the switch covers, I decided to rout out the board to make room for the switch cover. FYI – I’ve only ever used my router one other time. (Read post HERE) So don’t judge. First I marked what needed to be cut.And here are my amateur cuts.But whatever, it worked just fine.
As you can see from the pictures above, I ended up using real wood on this wall because I plan to add hooks, which wouldn’t be anchored well in the MDF. I strongly suggest you do the same if you want to install hooks.
Most of my horizontal pieces butt up against door casing, but there is one outside corner. I guess there’s also an inside corner, but that wasn’t an issue. (See 1st two pictures in this post) The outside corner was a bit of a pain, plus it met on one side with the existing stair molding (which I think there is a specific word for, but I haven’t got a clue). I had to add that little sliver to bring the stair molding out to match the new 3/4″ molding next to the closet.It will look fine once I sand, caulk and paint it.
Um… I’m an ass. Well part of it was smart, I decided to fudge my 16″ spacing going up the stairs because one of the battens would have landed half on the flat portion and half on the angled portion and that
seemed like a big pain wouldn’t have looked right. So I moved it over about 2″ so it was all flat. But… that meant that it was now only 14″ from the batten to its left (the one closest to the front door). The 14″ might not have been so bad if it were next to 16″ spacing, but now it was next to 18″ spacing and it was driving me nuts! It was only like that for a few hours, but I was nuts I tell you. The only logical thing to do was move that batten over a few inches too. Did I mention I nailed and GLUED them in place? Yea, what a mess. The joint compound is drying as I write!I think that sums up all my crazy issues. I look forward to sharing the big reveal on Tuesday. This is where I’m at right now.