Board & Batten

Over the summer, my fabulous parents agreed to take the kids for the week so we could get some major things accomplished around the house. (Yes, they are saints.) Operation Big Girl Room was top on our list. I had mixed emotions when we took down the Bear's crib. She's my last baby. But she's 3. Sniff.

I had seen a lot of great posts on board & batten on countless other blogs, and I knew that's what I wanted for her room. Some of my inspiration came from Thrifty Decor Chick's office, The House of Smiths tutorial, and this post from Recaptured Charm. I looked at tons of pictures and did tons of sketches.

Here is the room before. Builder's beige. Blah. We had already started trimming in what we hoped would be a bearable pink.

We put all of her furniture in our loft/playroom, which doubled as our workshop.

The Bear wanted pink, so we honored her wish, attempting to select a pink that would not make us want to gag when we walked in the room. (It turned out to be more pink than we'd hoped, but we're living with it!) We painted down to where the top of the boards would be.

(This is where we should have painted the bottom white - hindsight, you know.) Then the horizontal boards went up, nailing into studs. We didn't have a nail gun or anything fancy (though that would have been great!) Just a hammer and a laser level. This was a two-person job since the boards were long - the whole length of the wall. We sprung for 3 1/2 inch by 16 foot primed MDF for our boards, and cut them as needed. Not sure the primed boards were worth the extra $. And I think we could have saved $ buying sheets of MDF and having the guys at HD cut them into 3 1/2 inch strips. Hindsight again.

Other B&B projects had mentioned various ways to handle the baseboard issue. Out with the old, in with the new, angle the vertical boards, or just leave it alone and have a slight lip hanging over the edge of the baseboards. What to do, what to do. We got creative and used a quarter round piece of shoe moulding, flipped upside down to provide just the ledge we'd need to make the vertical boards flush with the "new-and-improved" baseboards.

Figuring out the spacing for the vertical boards was the hardest part. Because we didn't know the best way to do it. We were going for about 12 inches between boards. After a lot of calculations and eyeballing it, my designer husband finally pulled up some designy program that magically told us how many vertical boards we'd need, and how to space them to be as equal as possible based on the length of the wall. There's probably an easy formula out there, but this worked for us. The spaces were NOT the same, but were very close - no more than 1/4 inch difference. Not enough to notice.

We measured each vertical board separately, because our wall is not straight or level, go figure. It made for a slower progression, but we didn't waste any boards due to wrong measurements. At first, we were nailing in the boards, but not all of them were in a stud, so they weren't holding. My father-in-law ingeniously steered us to the magic of Polyseamseal, which we used instead of nails for the rest of the boards. Fewer nail holes to fill in later = happiness.

Since the big horizontal boards were on, I could manage the smaller boards while my Guy went back to work. Our days without the kids home were coming to an end and we had a lot to do! After a quick lesson on the miter saw (which we borrowed from our neighbor since we don't have one...yet), I was in business. One by one, the boards went up, checking if they were level along the way.

We were very lucky to only run into one board that ran right through the electrical outlet. I've seen people cut the board to allow for that gap, but we decided to use an outlet extender and maintain the full length of the board. (That was another father-in-law contribution.)

The Bear has one window with trim around it - another thing to work around. We opted to cut the tops of the vertical boards at a 45 degree angle so they didn't stick out right next to the base of the window trim.

In the corners of the room we mitered the horizontal boards to meet. But for the vertical boards, we placed them about 1/2 inch from the actual corner and met the edge with the board on the other wall. It's hard to explain, but I think you can see what I mean here. Again, our walls are not straight or square, so there were gaps everywhere, which we filled with caulk.

To finish off the top, we added trim that provides about a 2 inch ledge. It's not really to put things on, but it does make it look finished.

We painted everything in a standard glossy white trim paint. It actually took three coats to cover the builder's blah, I mean, beige. And wouldn't you know, the doors, trim, and baseboard were actually a different "white". So after we finished painting the boards and walls, we repainted all the doors and trim. But we left the baseboard. Because no one but us would ever notice that.

Notice it was dark. Kids were coming home the next day and we HAD to finish!

Now for the big reveal...but first one more before picture.

And now...

I can't stop looking at it. It's the only bedroom in our one-year-old house that we've painted. (Yes, that is a lot of builder's beige - you can understand why I feel so blah about it!)

Most importantly, the Bear LOVED it. She actually didn't care about the board and batten. She was more excited about the big girl bed. That's ok. I love it. Now I want to do board and batten in Girly's room, the bathroom, the entryway....

If you've done board and batten, link to it in your comment! I'd love to see it!

Linking up:

all crafts Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours {11/8}

Comments (4)
Home Improvement

(4) Responses

  1. jess says:

    Hey fellow blogger-gal!! I love your blog - when did you start? I just re-started my blog about a month ago after taking a 2 year break. I can't wait to see more posts from you Susan - The board and batten room came out so lovely!! Glad to "see" you and the fam!
    love, Jess

  2. Janean says:

    The finished project looks amazing!! Found you from Tip Junkie!
    XOXO Janean

  3. ssteinruck says:

    Thanks! We learned a lot from this project - can't wait to do more board & batten!

  4. ssteinruck says:

    Hey Jess! Just started the blog at the end of October. I'm having a blast with it so far!

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About Susan

Susan I am a stay-at-home mom with three great kids, a fabulous husband, a cat, and a dog. I enjoy making things (but not cooking), painting, rearranging furniture (that one is genetic), organizing, purging, and most things DIY. Thanks for stopping by! More »