Duo Ventures

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Nursery: Board & Batten Wall Install

The first project we tackled from our nursery design plan was the board & batten wall.  It was actually a fairy simple & inexpensive project that really transformed the space & gave it some character.

There are a lot of tutorials out there on how to install a board & batten wall, so I'll just detail our experience in regards to how we planned & executed this project.

Here's a before shot of what used to be the guest room (please excuse the mess):

First off, we had to decide on a grid pattern.  I had always really liked the wall that Sarah installed in her guest bedroom, so that was our main inspiration.

With that grid pattern in mind, we measured the height & width of our wall to figure out how many boards we would need.  Our sketch looked something like this:

The spaces between the boards are not perfectly square, but it will look OK to the naked eye.

After we had our measurements, we headed to Lowe's & bought eight 12 foot long primed 1" x 4" boards (as you can see in our sketch, the actual board width is 3.5", not 4").  We decided to go with primed boards instead of raw wood boards because the raw pine had many surface imperfections & it would have required more finishing work in the end.  The boards were originally $9.46 each, but we had a coupon & got them for $8.51 each.

We started by removing the baseboard for board & batten wall only (we kept our original baseboards around the rest of the room).  To do this, we ran a knife along the top of the baseboard, before prying it off with a crow bar:

To attach the boards, we used a combo of liquid nails & a nail gun (with 1-1/4" nails):

We started by installing the horizontal bottom base board & top board.  Afterwards, we attached the vertical left & right boards.  It's important to measure each board individually because walls are rarely, if ever, perfectly square & level.  In our case, each board was a slightly different length:

Here's a close up of the corner - it looked rough at this point, but caulk & joint compound can fix just about anything:

Next, we centered the vertical middle board on the wall:

From there, we centered the right, then left board (again, measuring the height individually before cutting them):

At this point, my dad cut a "spacer" board which would ensure consistent spacing.  He also used a scrap piece of wood to lightly hammer the horizontal boards into place when it was a tight fit:

Once we got going, the whole project moved pretty quickly.

Here it is all finished (but before caulk & joint compound):

Next, we began covering up all the seams, gaps, & imperfections using paintable caulk & joint compound:

We used the paintable caulk to cover all the seams where the boards met the wall, using a finger to smooth out the caulk.  It's also a good idea to have a piece of cardboard or a rag handy so you can wipe off all that excess caulk:

You can see the difference that caulk makes in covering up all the gaps:

Next, we used joint compound to fill in the nail holes & any gaps where board met board:

Once everything was dry, I sanded the drywall mud until everything was smooth.  That was it!

Next up, paint!



  1. This has been SO helpful! I hope I can duplicate it! Thanks for taking the time to post all the details!! :)

    1. That's great to hear! You can definitely do it! Let us know if you have any questions! :)