My track record for finishing a project in a timely manner pretty much stinks. But this board and batten was done in record time. I only started it 6 days ago. It was really finished yesterday, but I hadn’t cleaned up yet or painted the wall above. It all started because I hated the base molding in the hallway, so I tore it out. In a search to find something to cover the gap that had been under the quarter round molding, I decided to use a thick base molding with a board and batten treatment. Here it is before and after with just the base molding, no board and batten yet.
I’m thrilled with how it turned out. (Just imagine pictures on the wall.)Everyone does board and batten different, there are a lot of choices to make. Some people leave the existing baseboard in place and cut the battens at an angle to rest on top of the base molding. Obviously that would have defeated the purpose in my makeover. The first thing I did was get rid of the molding. I also had the issue of the step-down. I wrote about how I solved that issue in this post.
First make a plan! Decide on the size wood/MDF you want, what over all height you want and how far apart to space your battens. Make sure to take into account any outlets/switches. I taped the wall with painters tape just to get an idea of how my board and batten might look. I am still debating whether I should add the second horizontal piece. Hmmm. I fixed the skirting (molding next to the stairs) to match with the new flat topped, 6″ high molding. Luckily it was already 3/4′ thick! Read post HERE
One of the cheaper options is to buy a 4×8 sheet of plywood or MDF and have it cut to size at Lowe’s. (The Home Depot near me refuses to cut wood in anything smaller than 8″ slices. Once, I was trying to get a sheet of plywood cut into 2 pieces, leaving 7″ of scrap and they wouldn’t do it. But each store is different.) Deciding on your plan might well be the longest part of this project! The choices are endless. I decided to go with a wider base and then my vertical pieces are the same size as the top piece. But, it looks nice when the battens are thinner than the top as well. My base molding and vertical battens were cut from the same 3/4″ MDF. I ended up using pine at the top so I could add hooks later and not have to worry about finding a stud.
Paint the wall before you attach anything. It’s sooooo much easier because you’re not working around anything. I also painted the base molding before I installed it. You know, it’s a pain to have to tape the floor, etc. I did not have to add any boards to my wall because they are smooth, but you my have to if you have a bumpy wall treatment (sorry). Next I attached the vertical battens. I decided where they were going to go ahead of time and marked the location with a 3.5″ piece of painters tape, then used a level to check each one. Alternatively, you can cut a scrap piece of wood to use as a spacer. Some people also attach the top piece first. See, there are many ways to do board and batten! On this wall I was able to screw into the studs, but in the hallway I had to nail and glue. Boo. I made sure the top was level and not just resting on the battens. If there was a gap I could caulk it, but I was good. You can see in this post how I routed out the pine board to make room for the switch plate cover.Then fill the holes. I used spackle for the holes and caulk where the boards met up with the door frames or wall. I spackled, let dry, sanded, spackled, let dry sanded, cleaned up the dust and then I caulked. Caulk it a life saver.Paint and your done! (This actually needs one more coat of paint, but you get the idea.)Here’s an example of how awesome caulk is. And it hasn’t even been painted yet.For the battens that could not be attached to the studs (because the placement didn’t’ work out) I used glue and nailed the boards with my pneumatic nail gun.This corner was a real pain. It need a little more work, but it’ s much better already.I’ll post some more pics when I have it decorated, but for now here’s a few more plain ones.