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DIY Board and Batten Wall Step by Step

We wanted to add a classic accent wall; therefore, we chose to create a board and batten wall.

DIY Board and Batten Wall

Our guest bedroom needed a fresh update, but we needed to keep it neutral since we plan to sell our house soon. Hence, board and batten will go with any decor or color combination. 

However, I really love the shiplap accent wall in our bedroom, but it tends to look vintage or farmhouse. You can see the shiplap accent wall in our bedroom in this earlier post

 

board and batten wall painted white

Board and Batten

This post contains affiliate links. In other words, if you purchase from one of these links, I will make a small commission, but rest assured, you will not pay more for any products.  

The below photo shows the area where we wanted to add the accent wall. 

 

bedroom before adding the accent wall

Before

Since the floating shelf over the bed was a good height, we used it as the top board for our planning purposes.

Note: We used printer paper and taped it to the wall to determine the batten placements on the wall. 

Bedroom with printer paper taped to wall to determine board placements

Board placement template

Before we built the board and batten wall, we replaced the flooring so it would match the rest of the house. You see how we installed the floor in our bedroom.

 

Tools Needed

Table saw

Miter saw

Circular saw

Measuring tape

Brad Nailer (nail gun)

Cordless drill with counter sink bit and driver tip

Level

Stud finder

Screwdriver

Prybar 

Hammer

Oscillating saw

Paint brush and roller with tray

Caulk gun 

Materials Needed

1X6X12 baseboard

1X2X8 6 battens 

Hardboard Tempered Panel

1x2x12 1 top rail

Construction adhesive (Liquid Nails)

Nails 1.5 and 2 inch

Trim screws 2.5 inch

Putty knife 

Wood filler

Paintable caulk

Primer

Paint 

Sandpaper 120 grit

 

Note: Before you begin I recommend you watch this video on how to place the battens.

1. Remove Existing Baseboard

Before removing the baseboards, I like to score the top edge with a utility knife to cut through the paint and caulk.

Note: This step is vital to prevent damaging the sheetrock. 

Next, use a pry bar and hammer to loosen and remove the baseboard.

Then remove electrical outlet covers and any other obstructions from the wall.

Textured Wall

Since we have textured walls, we covered the board and batten area with Hardboard Tempered Panels.

However, if your walls are smooth, omit this step.

2. Determine Batten Spacing

Measure your wall to determine the layout for seams in the panels and batten placement.

Note: Things to consider while planning your layout are where the seams for the Hardboard Tempered Panel will be and the electrical outlets. It is optimal to not have electrical outlets in the battens and the battens to be placed to cover all seams. 

For example, we chose nine battens that equal eight spaces. 

The math to determine batten spacing:

Wall length 127.75 -13.5 (the width of 9 battens)=114.25.

Then 114.25/8 (number of spaces)=14.28(the spacing between each batten).

 

 

3. Cut and install smooth brown panels

Next, use a level to mark the panel installation line.

 

using a pencil and a level to mark the top line for installing the panels

Mark panel install line

Then, use a stud finder to locate the studs, then mark the top and bottom where you will install the smooth panels onto the stud.

Cut the brown panel with a circular saw to width as determined by batten placement and length (69 inches).

Cutting the brown smooth panel with a circular saw outside

Cut smooth brown panel.

Our first panel was 48 by 69, the second 37.5 by 69, and the third 31 by 69.

Mark the locations of electrical outlets on the panel and cut them out with an oscillating saw.

Using a oscillating saw to cut a hole in the smooth brown board for the electrical outlet

Cut holes for electrical outlets

Use a stud finder to locate the studs and mark the wall at the top and bottom with reference marks to aid installation.

Nail panel to wall spacing nails 8 to 12 inches apart into the stud, top and bottom. Some nails might be required along the top that will be nailed into just the drywall.

 

4. Install baseboard

Cut baseboard to length using a miter saw. If you did not remove the adjacent wall baseboards, you might need to trim them with an oscillating saw to Install the new baseboard.

Position the baseboard and use 2-inch nails or trim screws to fasten it to the wall.

 

Pre drilling a screw hole in the baseboards

Pre-drill baseboards

5. Cutting Battens

Using a table saw, we cut down our 1x2x8 boards to 5/16″ thickness.

For our accent wall, six 1x2x8s produced enough battens and the top horizontal boards (nine cuts total).  

 

6. Attach the middle board

Next, you will need to measure the wall to determine the middle board length.

Cut the middle board to length, then attach it with construction adhesive and 1.5-inch nails even with the top edge of the smooth wall panels.

Using a brad nailer to attach the middle board to the wall

Attach Middle board

 

7. Attach battens (vertical) to the wall

Next, measure the vertical battens and cut them to length. Measure each location before cutting.

They may vary slightly. I cut a spacer board to 14.28 inches to keep my spacing even.

Attach battens with construction adhesive and 1.5-inch nails. Start in one corner and attach the first batten. Use a level to check that it is plumb.

Now use the spacer to make the location of the next batten and attach it. Continue this for each batten. If needed, make cutouts in the battens to go around outlets or other obstacles with an oscillating saw.  

 

Using a piece of scrap wood as a template to make the space between the battens

Mark batten placement

 

8. Attach the top board

Cut 1×2 top board to the length of the wall. Position the top board on the top of the horizontal band and attach it to the wall with 2.5-inch trim screws into the studs.

Pre-drilling these holes prevents splitting and easier installations. 

 

Positioning the top board (trim) on the accent wall

Positioning top board

 

Pre drilling the hole for the screws in the top board

Pre-drill screw holes

 

9. Filling holes, caulking, priming, and painting

Next, I applied wood filler with a putty knife to the nail holes. Then I caulked the seams and corners using paintable caulk.

I used a wet finger to smooth the caulk lines to create an even finish. Let the caulk and wood filler dry. Sand out any rough spots with 120 grit sandpaper.

Prime the wood filler and caulk. Then apply a final coat of paint over the board and batten wall. 

applying wood filler over nail holes

apply wood filler

 

Applying caulk in the seams of the battens

Applying caulk

 

Using a finish paint brush to apply paint to the board and batten wall

Apply paint

 

guest bedroom with a dresser, mirror and bed against the accent wall

DIY Board and batten

 

The board and batten wall was an easy and budget-friendly update and I absolutely love how it turned out. 

Our guest room is ready for company.

See you soon,

Kippi

 

 

 

 

 

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