Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Board and Batten

I love moldings.  You know,  Craftsman style/old home goodness type moldings.  Our house has a bead board island and a few rooms with crown molding and that’s about as far as we get in the molding department.

When we were designing our house neither of us wanted a stand builder grade construction home.  What did we have the budget for?  A slight step above a standard builder grade construction home.  Moldings cost money.  Pharmacy school loans trump moldings.  Sad but true.  As my pharmacy school loans decrease, moldings in our house increase.  Is this enough math for you?  I thought so.  How about some a pretty pictures?

As I was wasting precious time on the ol’ Pinterest, I ran across this beauty…

How to Install Board and Batten DIY Tutorial

And that’s when I became obsessed with the idea of tall board and batten.  And then I did what any good wife would do, I put Nate to work to help me create this….

How to Install Board and Batten DIY Tutorial

(We really need to retake these photos.  They are quite distorted. I fired my photographer.  I will re-hire him if he makes me breakfast in bed….And doesn’t Ike look all sophisticated after his bath? He at least smells better.  Focus.)

How We Installed Board and Batten (with a lack of pictures because I fired my photographer)
Step 1: Purchase Supplies
  • Liquid Nails
  • 1 x 4’s (for base and top molding)
    • We used primed MDF because we are lazy and don’t like to prime and the boards are straighter and more consistent.
  • 1 x 2’s (to go in between top and base molding)
Step 2:  Remove everything from the room…luckily for us this only included a couple of dog dishes and some base molding (because it didn’t match the new board and batten)…

How to Install Board and Batten DIY Tutorial

Step 3:  Install new base molding (1x4’s)
Cut the boards to length. Dry fit. Add Liquid Nails (keeping away from edges to prevent oozing) and adhere to the wall.  This part is scary.  Nate kept telling me OVER and OVER, “You had better like this because this stuff isn’t coming down.”  He acts like I change my mind a lot…

Step 4:  Install 1x2’s
Cut 1x2s to desired length.  We decided to space them every 6 inches.  We marked the wall on the bottom and the top with a pencil every 6 inches (taking into account the width of the 1x2’s).  This helped us line the boards up vertically when installing them.  Nate applied the Liquid Nails (while wearing his 90’s soccer sandals and rocking a Justin Bieber hair cut) and adhered the board to the wall. 

How to Install Board and Batten DIY Tutorial

We then used painter’s tape to hold the boards into place.  Repeat across room.  I don’t know if you need to do this but it made us feel better.

How to Install Board and Batten DIY Tutorial

How to Install Board and Batten DIY Tutorial

Ike is also rocking a furry ‘do. 

Step 5: Install top molding

This is where you cross your fingers that all of your 1x2 cuts are correctly.   Cut the top molding to width, add Liquid Nails, and adhere to wall.

How to Install Board and Batten DIY Tutorial

How to Install Board and Batten DIY Tutorial

Step 6: Use caulk to fill in any gaps in the boards
Do this between the boards and also between the wall and the wood.

Step 7: Paint away. 
Painting is the worst part of the project.  Although caulking was a close second.

Step 8: Enjoy!

How to Install Board and Batten DIY Tutorial

And now some frequently asked questions:  (by important people, like our moms…)

How long did this project take?
  • Installing board and batten:  1 to 1 1/2 hours
  • Caulking: 1/2 hour
  • Painting: 3  hours. Bleh. (Thanks Olympic, kindly send me one gallon your Olympic One to make up for your sad paint.  I’d like to become a fan.)
How did you decide how high to make the board and batten?
We’re not much on following rules.  We took my pretty Pinterest photo and guestimated the height in our mudroom.  I had originally planned on much lower molding but we are happy with the final result.

Why did you space the boards every six inches?
We just eye balled it.  Six inches looked good to both of us.  No magic math formula here.

Anyone else tackled any molding projects?  Or are you a lucky one that owns a pre-molded home?  Why is Pinterest such a magical place?


  1. I'm just jealous that you have smooth walls so you don't have to put the board behind it. That was the worst part when we (Ryan) did it in our dining room. Poor guy.

    Your mudroom looks awesome. Love the height and the bench. (Did you make the bench? I couldn't remember.)

  2. Looooove it. And I totally love how tall you made it. We have a pre-molded home, but we keep adding more. Mostly because some dufus took out a bunch of the original woodwork sometime in the 50's. And then created a drop ceiling in the dining room and covered up the original crown molding. But left it up there. Whaaaaaa? Weird. So we're putting it all back. Plus some, because, well, you know. : )

  3. It looks great! I love the height of the look and that shade of blue looks so pretty against the sharp white. And the dog is adorable. :)

  4. Board and batten in my current obsession. Want to come help with a bathroom install at my place?

  5. Love it! Sorry the Olympic paint was mean to you. We recently tried painting a ceiling with it and I all I have to say is NEVER AGAIN.

    We have original 1897 molding in a few of our downstairs rooms, but for some reason the previous owners removed it from the other rooms and put up cheap stuff instead. We're still trying to figure that one out, and how expensive it would be to replace the cheap stuff with replicas of the fancy stuff.

    And your ex-photographer is totally right about that stuff not coming down...we tore out some poorly installed wainscoting in one of the upstairs rooms and the liquid nails that was used to put it up totally tore up the plaster walls. :(

  6. Looks great!

    I haven't tackled molding yet...but we have a dining room with painted wallpaper that was done poorly and I don't feel like taking it down, so I'm thinking covering it up might be a better option. We won't be able to do this though since we can't paint on the wall...I'm still working up the ambition to get started. :-)

  7. Love it!

    Robert said the same thing when used Liquid Nails for our Spanish tile on our stairs! Haha

  8. LOVE it! Great job. I wish I had a mud room to work with!

  9. 1. Pinterest is my online Disneyland.
    2. Thankyouthankyouthankyou for the tutorial. This actually sounds do-able for me. My living room doesn't stand a chance.


  10. Love your mud room, I only wish we had somewhere in our house where we could do this, actually, my ONLY wish would be to have my dear husband help with anything...you are so lucky. I have also fired my photographer...he has very shaky hands. Ike look like a little "angel" after his bath....ha..ha...too cute.

  11. I so want this in a couple of rooms in my house, but I fear I'm lacking in the skills department!

  12. Looks amazing! Our 'mudroom' is also our laundry room and litterbox room... and is sadly much smaller than yours :(

  13. love, love, LOVE this. your mudroom is officially further along than ours ;)

  14. I need to do this in my bathroom. It looks great and I love your photographer!

  15. Looks fabulous! You guys did a great job! I don't think we'll be tackling any molding projects in our current home. But never say never I guess!

  16. Haha - love the molding math =) And fluffy Ike is so cuddly looking - wish I could snuggle him!

  17. I love any molding, but have a home with very little. As you probably know, we are taking on a similar project in our laundry room soon, so this is a fabulous way of learning about how to do it. My hubby wants to just hire someone though. I am convinced it's not that hard. :) Yours looks awesome!

  18. This is wonderful. What a great job! I really want do board and batten somewhere in my home soon!

  19. Found you on Pinterest! Love what you did. I'm a bit batty for board and batten ...


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