Board and Batten Tutorial

I’ve been seeing a lot of board and batten in blogland for about a year or so.  I love the classic, sophisticated, and seamless look it brings to every room.

I wanted to install board and batten into my house somewhere, but wasn’t sure where it’d fit.  Our living room, dining room, and kitchen are all part of an open floor plan, and I knew that if I installed it in one of those rooms, I’d have to put it everywhere.  And, as much as I liked board and batten, I didn’t want it to take over the house.

Our mudroom has been on my mind lately.  Last week, I wrote about how I framed and installed a window sill in one of its builder’s grade windows.  I’ve since been putzing here and there, building this, and re-painting that.  It’s definitely a work in progress.  A few months ago, I painted the mudroom with Olympic’s “Kaleidoscopic” blue.

I love the color.  It’s tranquil.  But as I was sitting on the floor the other day, I realized that the blue was a bit much, especially in such a long, narrow space.  It was almost overwhelming.
Don’t mind my cat!

That’s when I thought of board and batten, and how nice it would look along one wall of the mudroom.  Even though I had never built or installed board and batten before, I did have a general idea of how to do it, so decided to experiment!

First, I went to Lowe’s and bought five 8′ long, 2″ wide, thin strips of molding; two 8′ long, 2″ wide, and approximately 1/2″ thicker strips of molding; and two 8′ 1×4 pieces of lumber.

The thin strips of molding were 96″ long, so I halved them in two using the miter saw to make them each 48″.  I then enlisted Evan to help me with the math in determining how far apart each strip needed to be so that all of them were equidistant from each other along the wall.  Once that was figured out, I marked with a pencil where each of them should go, and began installing them!

For installation, I lined up each strip with my marked areas, placed it directly above the baseboard, and used a level (shown below) to ensure that they were straight against the wall.  I secured the strips to the wall using my brad nail gun, my air compressor, and a series of 1 1/4 inch brad nails. 

I then moved along one half of the mudroom to install 10 strips (with approximately 13″ between each) along the wall.  

Once all 10 strips were installed, I took the thicker strips of molding and cut them down to the appropriate length per wall.  Using the brad nail gun again, I installed these strips just above the the thinner ones to “cap” off the board and batten.

Meanwhile, I framed the other window using the same tutorial I posted two weeks ago on the first one!
Mac tested and approved.

Almost done! I left a big gap between the strip underneath the window and the one to the right of the window. Since I planned to push back a cabinet in its place, I figured that a strip there wasn’t necessary.

The board and batten was technically finished, but I decided to install a ledge on top of it to create more interest and more storage space for all of my tsotchkes.

The ledge’s installation was really simple.  I cut it down to size and then shot a series of brad nails through the top and bottom of the 1×4 diagonally into the wall.
The finished ledge!
Once everything was installed, I sanded all of the sharp edges with 220 grit sand paper and puttied the nail holes and seams with painter’s caulk.

I then covered the wood pieces and the blue walls with two coats of primer.

To finish the board and batten, I gave the wood pieces and the wall two coats of Olympic’s “Glazed Pears,” the same color that I used for the mudroom’s cabinets, trim, and framed windows.

And there you go!  Board and batten.  It took about two hours to install it and an additional three hours to paint it.  Well worth the effort.

The board and batten really added some character and sophistication to the mudroom.  It almost feels as though the mudroom belongs to a beach cottage.  I love how much a little molding can really dramatize a space!

The mudroom is almost done!  I have a few more projects in the works, and hope to reveal it in the next couple of weeks!  Stay tuned.

You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

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8 thoughts on “Board and Batten Tutorial”

  1. Isn't it sad that it took longer to paint than to install?? You read my mind. I'm going to attempt board & batten over Memorial Day weekend! Yours looks GREAT!!



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