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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s