Home Office Glow Up: Part 1

The Before

Boring, isn’t it? This is the before picture of our home office. Previously, this room was used for virtual teaching in the early mornings. Back in November of 2021, I closed up my virtual classroom due to new regulations being passed in China that prevented foreign teachers from teaching Chinese students online. I took my educational backdrops and posters down and stored all of my props in the attic. My husband and I looked around the very bare room and decided it needed some attention.

We both wanted a space in which we could work. I found an inspiration picture on Pinterest that really spoke to my style. The first thing we chose to change was the light fixture. We were walking around Ikea when we spotted the perfect chandelier.

We also purchased two drawer units from Ikea to begin our vision for a T shaped desk.

Alex Drawer Units

I really like the color of these drawer units and the storage they provide. We also purchased some iron legs from Amazon to attach to the eventual desktop. My husband and I got a few quotes from various local contractors for the wooden desktop. We also knew we wanted to shiplap one wall in the office. The quotes we received were quite high for some carpentry work we figured we could do ourselves. So, we made the decision to shiplap the wall and purchase two butcher block countertops from Lowe’s. While waiting for the countertops to be delivered, we started on the wall.

We used 7 1/4″ primed pine shiplap from Home Depot. I marked the studs on the wall using our Stud Buddy. We were lucky to have a friend help with the shiplap process. Using our air compressor, we nailed the boards to the studs with 2″ brad nails. There was a lot of measuring involved, especially around the outlet and internet boxes. Once the boards were all in place, I filled the nail holes with putty, sanded them when dry, and taped the area for painting.

First Coat

I took a drawer piece up to Sherwin Williams for color matching. I was very impressed with the accuracy of the color. We painted the wall using a crevice brush for all the joints and a roller brush for the flat surfaces. The wall required three coats.

The next pieces were the rug and floating shelves. After much searching, I chose a rug found on Amazon that closely resembled the rug from the inspiration picture. With the black rug and a fawn pug in the house, I can see lots of vacuuming in my future!

For the floating shelves, we followed some plans from another Pinterest blog. The floating shelves required a cleat to be attached to wall studs using heavy duty screws. My husband then built boxes to fit around the cleats.

From this point on, we are waiting for the desktop butcher block pieces to arrive. They are schedule to be delivered in a couple days from this post. Stay tuned to see the ‘after’ picture once we get the desktop pieces in place and legs attached!

Front Porch Face Lift: Part 3

Finished Planter Boxes

The third installment of our front porch make over is the addition of the planter boxes. These boxes are tall and really eye catching. This was another plan found on Pinterest, and the style follows the same color scheme as the bench and number sign from the previous posts.

Cedar Fence Pickets

The plan instructions were very good. We doubled the supplies because we knew we wanted two planters, one for each side of the bench.

So Many Cuts!

We first had to cut all of the slats down to size and with the correct angle (8.5). This was a slow process but once we had five levels with 8 pieces for each level, we could then move on to nailing the boards together to make boxes.

Gluing and Nailing

As per the instructions, we glued and brad nailed the boards from one level together to create this square box.

One Finished Level Box

We did this step with each level until we had all of the levels constructed. We stacked them in order of size (smallest on the bottom) to make sure they all lined up correctly.

Stacked Boxes

Each side had one corner with seams and one corner without seams. This part is important to remember for the next part when adding the border pieces.

The border pieces had to be cut to width with a table saw. I then spray painted all of the border slats black to match with the style of the bench and number sign. When the slats were dry, we applied wood glue, and brad nailed each border. As the instructions say, the 2 inch slats were to cover the seam corners, and the 1.5 inch slats were to cover the non-seam corners. These instructions are all very detailed in the project plans linked at the top of this post. We followed her plans, and the planters really began to take shape!

No Fingers Were Injured Here!

This picture is misleading in a way. My husband’s fingers were not immediately behind the nail gun during the actual nailing. I asked him to pose while I snapped a picture, but he didn’t want the board to slip out of place. Never fear! No fingers were injured.

Almost Finished

The final step was to add the braces on the inside to hold the flower pots and to affix the square top piece.

Finished Product

The plans called for a square flower pot of 14 inches wide. During these times of Covid, those sized pots were nowhere to be found. Instead, we found 14 inch round pots. For the inside brackets, we lowered them and created a platform to hold the pots from the bottom instead of from the rim at the top. I actually prefer the round pots because I will be able to take them out if needed for replanting purposes.

Our Front Porch

Our three-part front porch face lift is now complete. The next improvements will be beam repainting and front door replacement in the near future. Stay tuned!

Front Porch Face Lift: Part 2

House Number Sign

Walking through Lowe’s one day, I saw these really cute and modern looking house numbers. I jumped on Pinterest to find plans for a sign to make so that I could have an excuse to buy them. The plan we found required very few supplies, and it was relatively cheap to make. Using shims, wood glue, our brad nailer, and some wood for the trim, we got to work. We put the shims together with wood glue, and then stained them in the same Minwax Golden Oak as the color of the bench. My husband cut the border pieces to the correct angle and length, and then I spray painted those black. Once everything was dry, we put the pieces together. We did change the plans a bit by mounting the entire sign on a piece of thin wood backing. We were worried that our brad nails would come straight through the thin wood trim, so the backing helped avoid that. The numbers were the final pieces to add, along with the picture wire.

Matching the Bench

Once we made our bench, I knew I wanted to have some other things on the front porch to coordinate with it. This house number sign was the second of three ideas I had for the space.

The Front Porch Space

Off to the far right, you can see the house number sign. We still have a ways to go with this space. The front door is very faded, along with the beams. We are considering a completely new front door and painting the beams instead of staining them. I also may want to build a little something for the empty space under the house number sign, but there are no plans for that yet. The next post will highlight the plans we used for the planters!

Front Porch Face Lift: Part 1

Front Porch Bench

At our old house, we had no livable front porch space. When we moved into our new house, we had enough room for a seating area. I was excited about it, but not excited for the prices of patio furniture during the summer months. We decided to look on Pinterest to see what styles we could find that didn’t look too difficult to make. We came across this bench plan and gave it a try.

The Very Beginning

We started with getting all of the supplies and building the back of the bench first. We used pine for this project. My husband used his Kreg pocket hole jig a ton on this bench. It really is a must-have to make this. We also ran through the wood glue as well.

Designing the Back

We followed the plans, and the design of the back really started to come together. There was a lot of measuring and cutting in order for this to look good.

Completed Back Design

The vertical pieces were easy to measure and cut. The diagonal pieces took a little bit more patience. We would cut a piece of wood to the 45 degree angle and lay it in the desired spot. Once we were sure of the spacing of the wood, we would mark where to cut to size. We did this board by board until all pieces were in place. Next, we had to create all of the pocket holes and screw the pieces together.

The Base of the Seat

We then began to work on the base of the seat. This part came together rather quickly, and before we knew it, we were ready to attach it to the back piece.

Coming Together!

So we now have the back, the arms, and the seat base that all need to be screwed together. This was kind of an awkward step due to the weight of each piece. Luckily, we had our workout bench to assist me in holding the pieces in place while my husband screwed them all together.

Seat Slats Installed

The final step to building it was to add the seat slats. This part was easy as we laid them in place, made sure the spacing was perfect, and then screwed them down.

A Quick Rest

What I really like about this bench is the size. It is huge! Our family of four can sit on it comfortably together (without the kids fighting for elbow room). I can even take a quick nap on it before the staining and painting began.

Staining Gone Wrong

My grand plan was to stain the bench with two different colors. Why I chose to do this after it was all put together is beyond me. After I finished staining, I hated it. It did not turn out the way I wanted it to, and I knew I had just made a big mistake. I resolved myself to the fact that I would have to paint the whole bench black and forget the two-toned idea. I purchased some Rustoleum enamel paint in black to fix my mistake. I decided to paint just the dark part black and leave the lighter wood stain (Minwax Golden Oak) to see if I liked that any more.

Paint to the rescue

I ended up loving the black paint paired with the golden stain. This was the look I was going for! I did two coats of the black paint and once dry, we carried the bench to its new place on the front porch.

Enjoying Our Bench

We love the way it turned out. We did have to augment the plans a bit to stabilize the legs more. We added an extra piece of wood to each leg so that the bench did not feel wobbly. It worked perfectly. Our bench is a great addition to the look of our front porch. In my next two posts, I will highlight the planter boxes and our new house number sign. Thanks for reading!

The Double Barn Door Saga

Our barn door project was a bit of a doozy. That’s an understatement. It went something like this… Step 1: find a cool project on Pinterest. Step 2: Get supplies and build doors from scratch. Steps 3-700: have issue after issue. So let’s get started.

Extending Door Length

I found this design on Pinterest, but the plans called for a single, normal height barn door. The doors in our new house are extra tall. With a regular barn door, you do need a longer door to accommodate the space from the top of the door frame to the barn door railing. So our doors had to be even longer. Plus, we were looking at a double door design, so we had to modify the plans ourselves. We chose to use MDF as our door base. The MDF sheet was 3/4″ thick. We had Home Depot cut the board for us. Per our measurements, we wanted the two doors to be 22.5″ wide. The sheet itself was 97 inches long. For our door height, we needed 101 inches. With the excess wood that was cut off at Home Depot, we added the extension piece at the bottom using our kreg jig after cutting it down to the correct width at home with our miter saw. We used wood glue in addition to the kreg screws to keep all the added pieces of wood firmly in place.

Beginning of the design

Once the doors were the correct size, we began to measure and cut the design slats. For this part, we used our miter saw to cut at 45 degree angles. The wood slats used were primed MDF from Lowe’s. We slowly measured each piece, drew a line, and then cut the wood. I labeled each slat and its place so that we could easily remember where they belonged. We did not attach any wood until we had all of the slats cut and in place. I had drawn the design out on paper before we began so that we had some sort of guide for where each piece would sit.

I didn’t want to sit and measure out each space in between the slats. For this part, I found a sanding block in our garage that I used to fit in-between each slat. It worked perfectly and allowed for accurate spacing each time. Not all of the slats followed that same spacing guideline, but most of them do.

With all of the slats cut, we began to glue and nail the slats into place. We used Titebond wood glue with just a thin squiggle of glue for each slat. If you use too much, the glue will seep out from under the boards which will cause more clean up work. We then used our pancake compressor and brad nailer to nail each slat to the doors. We used 1 inch brad nails every few inches along the slats. The holes will all have to be filled with spackling and then sanded before painting.

Once the spackling and sanding is finished, we cleaned the doors of all dust and dirt. The final step before painting is to caulk all of the joints and seams. We used a paintable caulk for this step. The caulk will not be sanded. Using this brand of caulk, you can paint within 30 minutes.

Priming the doors was the next step. We used a small roller and a paint brush because I still don’t own a paint sprayer. Once dried, we started on the green “Lemon Leaves” Magnolia paint, which is the same color as our geometric accent wall in our bedroom.

The doors have two coats of the green paint. I then needed to prepare the header board with stain. For the header, we used a 1x4x8 pine board. I stained it with Minwax Wood Finish in Dark Walnut so that it would coordinate with our wood flooring and furniture. At this point, our entire project stalled because the barn door hardware we ordered from Amazon got lost in shipping. While the post office tried to find the shipment for about a week, we started and completed another project (post coming soon). Finally, after the original hardware was deemed lost forever, we bought another set and waited impatiently for it to show up. Meanwhile, the giant doors were laying in our dining room on blankets and taking up a lot of walking space.

Installing the wheels

Finally, the second set of hardware arrived. It was now show time for these doors. And this is the exact point in time where the issues began. My husband is great with measuring. Me, not so much. I tend to just eye it and hope for the best (which usually works for me). However, with this project, you can’t just eye it. It has to be perfect. With the wheel hardware, you must first figure out where to drill your holes and pray your measurements are accurate on both sides of the door, and then again on the second door. We got all four wheels attached. The next step was to attach the header.

Attaching the header board

Here is where the next headache began. My husband had two stud finders at the beginning of this project. By the end of this project, he had four. The first two simply would not find the same studs. Major problem. This resulted in a late evening run to Target (because Home Depot and Lowe’s were both already closed) which was closing soon due to the new Covid schedules. He came home with a very simple stud finder that really didn’t work either. We were really wanting to hang the doors that night, but it wasn’t in the cards. The next morning, he ran to Home Depot and got a better model that actually found the studs we were looking for. We attached the header with large lag screws directly into the header. Remember, your header and railing need to be at the correct height for your doors to hang just over the floor. We left about an inch of space between the bottoms of the doors and the floor. This was not the final problem of the project.

After the header was in place, we attached the railing, which ended up being not as terrible as we both expected. Important to note for those that have not installed these doors before: if your railing is not exactly level, the doors will roll on their own, creating another large headache. Our railing is perfectly level. Thank goodness. Now, it was go time for the doors. We slowly and awkwardly brought each mammoth door into the room. I stood on the ladder and my husband hoisted the door up while I guided the door onto the track. First door (right side) was perfect. Awesome. We were thrilled. Time for door number two (left side). This is the misfit door, if you can’t tell from my foreshadowing tone. We hoisted up door number two and right away we could tell the measurements of the wheels were slightly off. Crap. The door rolled on its own to the open position. Plus, door two sat about a quarter of an inch higher than door number one sat on the rail. Ugh.

Before we re-drilled

We both decided we needed to try to right our wrongs here. We took door number two down and plugged up the existing holes with some very questionable techniques and repainted the areas. Then, we measured again. We drilled the new holes, got the hardware into place, and tried it again. We got the door hung and realized three things: the sliding was still there, the height discrepancy was fixed, and now the doors don’t meet flush. So we fixed one problem, created another, and didn’t solve the third issue. We took the door down again and noticed that one of the wheel brackets was a bit crooked. We tightened the screws and straightened it up. We hung the door yet again and thankfully the doors were now flush. So, to summarize, we now have one perfect door and one that still slides open. At that point, I got on YouTube to see if I could find a quick fix. Guess what? I found a video that provided us with a $2 fix. This dude discovered that if he put tiny felt pads on top of the railing, he would be able to stop the sliding and keep the door in the desired location. Fantastic. I bought a set of felt pads from Ace hardware, and it worked like a dream.

Finished product

So now the door construction and hanging is complete, and we are so relieved. We do still need to add the floor guide pieces and possible handles. That hardware is coming in the mail soon (hopefully not getting lost somewhere). One other note of importance is to read and follow all of the safety instructions that come with your directions. There are pieces at the top of each door called “jump stops.” Make sure you install these correctly. There are also door stops on each end of the railing. Both of these features allow for the doors to operate safely. The jump stops will prevent the doors from jumping/falling off the track in the event too much force is used to open them. The floor guides will prevent the doors from swinging forwards and backwards.

Overall, this is a finished job that we are more than pleased to see completed. On to the next one!

Geometric Accent Wall

Completed Accent Wall

When we moved into our new home, I knew I wanted this house to be really put together with a finished look. Our master bedroom in our previous home was very simple and basic. It had no real style. I found this design on Pinterest and knew it was the right look for our new room. The way our home is laid out, you can see directly into the master bedroom from the living room. I wanted it to be eye-catching and beautiful. This entire room inspiration came directly from Angela Rose. I copied many of the style choices she had her in bedroom as well, but let’s start from the beginning.


The master bedroom was actually repainted in April of this year before the previous owners put the house on the market. The room is painted in Sherwin Williams’ “Agreeable Gray.” We love the color and it pairs well with the green shade I chose. I looked at several colors, but opted to go with “Lemon Leaves” from Magnolia paint. Before beginning on the wood strips, we needed to do something about the texture on the walls.

Skim Coating

This brought us to our very first experience with skim coating. I had actually never heard of this before. It is really just smearing a joint compound over the entire wall as smoothly as possible to cover the existing texture. I followed the instructions from another blogger, her directions here. We ended up using a lot more joint compound than we originally thought we would for just one wall. Honestly, it probably still could have used more, but we were trying to finish the wall with the two tubs we bought and avoid going back to Home Depot for more.

A brief description of the skim coating:

  • Slowly add water to the joint compound and stir using a mixing attachment for your drill. The consistency should be like pancake batter.
  • Using a paint roller with a 3/4″ nap, paint the compound onto the wall (it should be thick) working in a small area (3 ft X3 ft)
  • With light pressure, use a trowel (squeegee) to smooth the compound, then let the wall dry overnight
  • Lightly sand with a damp tile sponge to smooth the surface, then prime the wall.
Primed and Ready

After the skim coating dried over night, we needed to lightly “sand” the wall to a smooth, consistent surface. We continued to follow the directions from the Making Pretty Spaces blogger. She suggested using a lightly damp tile sponge to rub the rough and uneven spots smooth. This method worked very well. After “sanding,” we were ready to prime. One gallon was more than enough primer to coat the wall.

After shopping around, we chose primed MDF slats for the lines on the wall. We slowly measured and cut our boards to fit the design I drew out, which was inspired by the Angela Rose wall. We made all of our cuts at either 30 or 60 degree angles. Using our compressor and brad nailer, we carefully attached each board, making sure to check the right angles with a speed square as we went. The first few boards were tricky, especially because our brad nailer was having jam issues, but once we got into a nice routine, it came together very quickly. We also now know how to dismantle and reassemble our brad nailer.

Brad Nailing

Notice our speed square in action in the above picture!

We really got much faster with our application of the slats to the wall. The cutting and measuring seemed really easy by the end of the project. We did decide to augment the design just a bit to add one more slat to an area that seemed bare. Once finished, we had to cover every single nail hole with spackling. Once dry, we sanded the spackling to a smooth finish. We also had to caulk every joint and seam. This was time consuming, but very worth it. After the caulk dried, we began to paint. As you can see in the picture, we went section by section with the paint. My husband had a roller to get into the larger areas. I painted around each board with a paint brush.

This was a really fun project to work on. It looks amazing in person. The one drawback to this design will be having to dust the ledges of each board periodically. I will gladly take on that chore to have such a sophisticated design in my bedroom!


  • joint compound
  • trowel/squeegee for tile
  • drill with mixing attachment
  • tile sponge
  • paint roller with 3/4″ which nap (for skim coating only)
  • primer
  • paint – We used Magnolia’s “Lemon Leaves”
  • primed MDF boards (roughly 14 8ft boards)
  • brad nailer with 2 inch brad nails
  • spackling
  • paintable silicone caulk
  • painter’s tape and drop cloths

All that was left to do was decorate the room. We hung some greenery and purchased new bedding. Thanks to Angela Rose for the perfect room design ideas!

Laundry Room Table

Finished Table Top

I have always preferred to fold laundry on a large, flat surface. At our old house, my husband made a cascading table for me that attached to one wall. Our laundry room was much bigger at the other house, so we had space for a bigger table. It was cumbersome and had issues where the two boards met. Needless to say, it did not survive the move. When we moved in to this house, it was apparent the laundry space was much smaller, but could accommodate a much more efficient table top between the walls.

This was definitely on my priority list of projects because the chore of laundry just never ends! It was a quick and easy update. After measuring the table top space about five times to be sure, we headed off to Lowe’s to pick out the wood. We chose to go with a 3/4″ MDF sheet that we had cut down to size at Lowe’s.

3/4″ MDF Board

I chose not to prime this board. We will see how the paint holds up over time.

I placed the table top onto our saw horses and began to paint from the exact same can I used for the original table we had in the old house. I couldn’t believe it, but I had enough paint to do three coats. The paint I used was “Rushing Stream.” It is a Valspar Signature color in interior eggshell. I let it dry overnight. Then it was time to create the brackets for the wall.

Installing the brackets

This room was way easier for a table installation because of the wall cut out for the washer and dryer. My husband used 2x2s for the wall brackets that he cut down to size using our miter saw. He drilled those brackets directly into studs using three inch wood screws. The MDF board is quite heavy, so being installed into studs is absolutely necessary.

*Old Table From Previous House*

Here is a shot of our old table. It was a cascading table with only one side attached to the wall. It was a pain to make and maintain because of the joint where the boards met. Any time we needed to access the back of the machines, we would need to remove the table which would cause stress on that joint. We loved the table, but it was time for that design to be retired.

The table top was a bit tricky getting into place because of the door frames. We created a bit of damage on the garage door frame trying to get the table onto the brackets, but it was minor and fixable. We are super happy with the end result. Now I can fold all the laundry in one place, and the room has a bright, happy appearance.

Supply List

  • 3/4″ MDF sheet cut to size
  • 3″ wood screws
  • pine 2x2x8 for brackets
  • Paint and roller brush

The Princess Suite

Home Project #2

Purple With a Side of Triangles

Our three-year-old daughter’s new room also had the bad beige paint that was over a decade old. It needed help and fast. Once we finished with our son’s room, hers was next to be remodeled. I sat looking on Pinterest for days getting new ideas for our home. The design I chose was from another blogger, lovemaegan.com. I just loved the variety of colors in this geometric, accent wall. The very first step for this room was to paint the ceiling with the same white paint I used in my son’s room. We took extra care with covering the new carpet. I think we went through at least five plastic drop cloths for each room.

Getting ready to paint the ceiling

Upon completion of the ceiling, we filled any holes in the walls with spackling and sanded them smooth. I taped a line of brown paper up against the baseboards to protect the carpet immediately under the accent wall. I also taped off the baseboards and removed the outlet covers. I started on the accent wall with two coats of “Bistro White.”

Base coat in Bistro White

Once dried, I taped the triangle lines. This wasn’t too difficult. I eyed the straight lines instead of using a laser level. This is normally my method, which can at times be problematic. I did have to pull up a few lines here and there if I saw they were not exactly straight. I used blue painter’s tape. I personally have never used frog tape. I have heard that it works well, but the original designer of this wall commented on the fact that they used frog tape and still had lots of touch ups to do afterwards. I opted to stick with the tape I know well. Does it bleed? Yes, but I feel that most will. **Side note: my brother-in-law told me about a method where you paint the base coat (white), then tape, then paint the base coat again to allow that same color to bleed and then seal the tape in place. Supposedly, when you paint with the other colors, they won’t bleed under the tape. I have not personally tried this method, but I might try it next time I take on a wall like this.** This tape also did not stay on the wall very well. I found that I had to keep smoothing it down forcefully right before I painted.

Accent wall base coat

I picked out various shades of purple and gray from Lowe’s: Bistro White (Valspar), Ash Violet (Sherwin Williams), Latitude (SW), Serenade (SW), Purple Regalia (SW), and Sassy Lilac (Valspar). I ended up only get sample sizes of the Latitude, Serenade, Purple Regalia, and Sassy Lilac. I had just enough of these colors to finish two coats of the triangles. The Ash Violet color is the main color of the room. **Any time I paint, I wrap the paint brushes in foil when I’m finished. These brushes go into the refrigerator until I am sure I am completely done painting. This keeps the paint from drying out before you are ready to clean your brushes.**

Notice the sleepy pug in the foreground of the picture. This is Herschel. He’s a ten-year-old pug who enjoys hanging out with me while I paint.

After two coats of each shade, I immediately removed the tape. With past experiences, I have noticed that the longer you leave the tape on the wall, the more it can pull the paint off with it during removal. This process is always very satisfying, but also frustrating to see all of the bleeding that has occurred. This wall needed a ton of touch ups.

Tape Removal

My daughter loves the design. She squealed the first time she saw the triangles without the tape. We then painted the remaining walls with Ash Violet. It was a bit darker than I expected, but we are very happy with the final product.

Painting the other walls

Her bedding we brought from the old house was a bit too busy in pattern. I found a new solid color quilt set from Target that worked perfectly in her new space. We also got the white Pillowfort curtains with purple tassel trim. So cute!

Thank you to lovemaegan.com for the adorable design idea!

Supply List

  • Painter’s tape
  • Bistro White (Valspar)-ceiling and accent wall base coat
  • Variety of different shades (5) to paint the triangles
  • Level
  • Several paintbrushes
  • Drop cloths

The Board and Batten Undertaking

Our first home project of the new house!


After moving into our new house, we quickly realized which areas needed the most help and put those first on our list. The former owners had already repainted most of the interior with Sherwin Williams’ “Agreeable Gray,” which we love. There were four rooms that were not painted at that time: three upstairs bedrooms and the media room. The media room has a dark purple color that will stay for now. The bedrooms all had the twelve-year-old original, builder grade beige paint that was in desperate need of attention. My five-year-old son’s new room was the first to get a remodel.

His very first bedroom at our old house was painted as a baby nursery. It had gray walls with an avocado green ceiling that included some pattern. The room also had a transportation theme. I knew I wanted to do something completely different for his “big boy” room. He kept asking for green and blue stripes on the walls. I couldn’t really find a design on Pinterest that I loved that included his stripe wish. However, I did find this style. I had never tried to create the board and batten look before. I ran it past him. He seemed as ok with it as any five-year-old would. And so we began.

After cutting the boards to 3 inches wide, we went home to start on the room. Of course, before painting or attaching the slats, we made sure the walls were as clean as possible and filled any holes with spackle. I decided how high I wanted the top board to sit on the wall. My son’s bed has a high headboard, so I wanted to be sure we could see the boards just above it. My husband bought a pancake air compressor with a brad nailer attachment for this project. It is awesome. We used 1 inch brad nails for this project. Making sure the keep the boards level, we attached the vertical slats first. I used a 16 inch ruler as a spacer in between each vertical slat. I did have to adjust my spacing for outlets, so not all of the slats are perfectly 16 inches apart. The difference is negligible. After the vertical pieces were up, we started with the horizontal slats, making sure they were level each time.

To keep the cost down, we chose to go with a 1/4″ thick sheet of poplar plywood. We tried to have Home Depot cut the strips for us, but they won’t cut anything smaller than 8 inches. We also do not own a table saw. So, our next step took us to my husband’s grandfather’s home. He has a wood shop in his backyard with an awesome old table saw. This is how we were able to cut the sheet down to three inch strips of wood.

Once all of the slats were affixed to the wall, the next step was to fill all of the brad nail holes with spackling. Be sure you also fill in any areas where the slats did not meet up perfectly! This is a slow process, but extremely necessary. I use my finger to fill the holes with spackling. I also use a different finger to wipe away any excess spackling while it’s still wet. Once dry, you must go back over every single spackled area to lightly sand it down to a smooth surface. Once you have sanded, be sure to wipe away any excess dust with a damp cloth. Then it’s time to caulk!

For this step, I used paintable caulk. I ended up using two full tubes for the room. This step started out very slowly. I have never really caulked before in my life, so I had to learn by trial and error for a few slats. Using the caulk gun, I applied the lines of caulk on every seam and joint. Before it dries, use a caulk finisher to press the caulk into the seams/joints and clean up your lines. I had a wet paper towel and a trash sack with me while I did this step. You will accumulate a lot of caulk on your finisher as you slide it down the seams. Just wipe and keep going. The process started out slow, but really picked up as I got my routine set. Keep in mind, caulk cannot be sanded, so do your sanding before you caulk, or after the caulk is completely finished drying. *Once you are finished sanding, you will want to vacuum really well with the crevice tool to get the small bits and dust that has fallen down by the baseboards.* **It is also much more enjoyable if you are listening to the IHeartThe90s playlist on IHeartRadio.**

Painted with Bistro White

Now, it’s time to paint. This part took A LOT of care because we just replaced the carpet before we moved in, like two weeks ago. For this room design, we had to paint the top half of the room and the ceiling in white. The color we chose was “Bistro White” from Valspar in a satin finish. I paint the old fashioned way with a roller brush and a bad attitude until it’s over, but it was so worth it! After two coats, I began with the green.

Bottom half painted with Privet Hedge

This color is “Privet Hedge” from Valspar in eggshell finish. I love this color. My favorite color is green, so painting this part made me happy. Now, with traditional board and batten, I’m pretty sure you are supposed to cover the textured finish on the walls. I chose not to. This is my son’s upstairs bedroom that won’t really be seen all that often. Plus, he’s 5 and doesn’t care. I didn’t care either. I’m very happy with the way it turned out. I did follow protocol for another room update in regards to removing texture, but that’s a story for another post.

When I got to this point, I new I needed to do a few last finishing touches to complete the room. First, I needed something on the white. This entire room design idea came from the instagram account @my_graceful_mess. She put wallpaper above the board and batten. My intention was to paint something in a pattern above the slats. However, when I got to this point, I was painted out. I wanted a quick and simple something to finish the room, but I didn’t know what that something should be. I randomly did a search on Amazon for wall decals and found these awesome triangles that seemed to be the perfect fit for what I was wanting.

Enough triangles?

Working over each vertical slat, I used a ruler to measure and space out my triangles. It worked pretty perfectly. The decals were very affordable and easy to apply. I also had to reapply one or two because they were a tad crooked. These were quite easy to peel up and move. They have been on the walls for about four weeks now and are still going strong. The last step in finishing his room was to change the bedding and hang curtains. I already had this awesome, black shag rug from Crate and Barrel. I got the comforter from Target, and hung some generic black curtains.

For our first board and batten venture, I think we did pretty well! Thank you to my_graceful_mess on instagram for the design idea!

Supply List:

  • Poplar Plywood (1/4″) cut into 3 inch slats
  • 1 inch brad nails
  • air compressor with brad nailer
  • level
  • spackling and sand paper (180 grit-very fine)
  • paintable caulk (all purpose, latex)
  • paint (Bistro White & Privet Hedge-Valspar)
  • decals (from Amazon)
The finished product

Our Story

Hi! My name is Ashley, and I’m from Texas. I am a former public school teacher, currently staying at home raising my two young children. For the past three years, I have also taught English virtually to students in China. Yes, that means I wake up super early and am always tired. I also teach part-time at my daughter’s preschool during the Fall and Spring semesters. My husband Ryan and I recently sold our little house (pictured above) and bought a 12 year old home in the town where we grew up and met. We are very much “do it yourself” kind of people. Why pay someone a lot of money when I can do it myself and learn some new skills along the way?

I have always loved updating my home spaces. I took an interior design class in high school. I experimented with some painting of rooms in my parents’ home when I was in college. It didn’t turn out that great, but hey, I was learning. Since then, my husband of ten years and I have owned three different homes and done countless updates. We have tiled, woodworked, painted, stained, and spackled our way through some challenging projects. As a teacher, I love the learning aspect of DIY. I find a design I love, consult with my husband on whether or not he thinks we can handle it, and then jump in feet first despite what his answer may be. The skills we learn along the way are forever ours to use, and the memories we make together during the projects are priceless to us.

This blog will be a place to show off our new skills, ideas, and DIY successes and possible failures. Thanks for reading!