Board & Batten Accent Walls
Hey guys! If you are anything like me, quarantine has your head spinning and thinking of all the things you want to get done around the house... Truth be told, my hubby and I are not the handiest people (about average I would say) and sometimes he gets a little annoyed with my millions of ideas, but he almost always ends up jumping on board and loving what we are doing in the end. These projects were no different.
I was pretty impulsive when tackling the wall behind our bed, as I often am. I mentioned what I was picturing a few times, and then after skimming a few blog posts one morning, I came home with all of the lumber and products needed.
If you are looking at this post and thinking that it looks cool but there's no way you could do it yourself, I promise you can. After learning a few tips throughout the process I believe I could even tackle this on my own now if I HAD to. If you can use a paint brush, pull a trigger, and know how to use a tape measurer you can figure this out.
YOU WILL NEED:
(all sources listed at end of the post)
A few things: We went for MDF because it is much more cost effective, and we knew we would be painting the wall white anyway so that fact that they are already primed is fantastic. However you can use real wood instead if you choose!
For our bedroom wall we used 1" x 3" x 8' boards, and for the living room wall we used 1" x 4" x 8'.
What I did not know...
1"x3" is just the common name but in actuality the board is .75" x 2.5" and the 1"x4" is actually .75" x 3.5" so keep that in mind when doing your measuring!
BUT before you fill your shopping cart you need to do a few things... Draw up a plan. Skim the internet, brainstorm, whatever- but you need to determine what design you want and then draw it up/do the math (the hard part for me, lol). For our bedroom, I knew I wanted just vertical planks but because of my impulsivity, my actual plan changed more times than I can count.
You will want to measure the entire length of the wall, and then decide how far apart you want your boards to be to decide how many you will need to purchase, etc. I went ahead and bought a few extra boards just incase and I am glad I did, because when we were all said and done we ended up placing the vertical boards much closer together than I had originally envisioned. With our master bedroom project I purchased 19 boards at less than $2 a piece and we did not use them all.
Once you have decided what look you are going for and have purchased all of the necessary products, the first step is framing out the wall. What this means is securing the 2 horizontal trim boards first, and then the 2 vertical boards- essentially building a "frame" around the wall. This is where my impulsivity got me into a dilemma. When initially measuring my bedroom wall, I completely ignored the fact that our 1930's plaster walls and ceilings are NOT square and are curved at the top. I also did not realize that if we were to frame out the wall all the way to the top like the photo above, we would then have to mount our curtain rods into the MDF board and I was not loving that idea.
Now, for a seasoned carpenter the curving of the wall would be no problem, but we are amateurs, remember? Anyhow, I had a solution. I decided we would lay the top horizontal board in line with our window trim, instead of the crown molding. This in turn was much easier and I actually like the fact that there is a gap up top now that it is all said and done!
Once all 4 framing boards are up, you are ready to start measuring and cutting the vertical boards. Be sure to measure each and every spot that you will be placing a vertical board because no wall is exactly level or square so there will be slight variances. (If there are minor gaps it is okay because you will be caulking later.)
I had my husband cut me a few boards to start with and then before actually securing them onto the wall, I played around with their spacing to see what looked best (remember the whole 'not good at math thing'... ha! With that being said, each and every board is not the exact same distance from the other, but they are all within an inch or less of difference and it is not noticeable to the naked eye. (They ended up being around 9" apart.)
Once you are happy with your spacing, you are ready to fire up that brad nailer (I had way too much fun with this tool!). Be sure to check, and then double check that each board is level before you actually start nailing.
In our experience, using 2 inch brad nails and caulking the edges was enough to be sure that the boards are secure and not going anywhere. However, if you can make it work, it is always better to secure the boards to studs using a stud finder and/or use some sort of adhesive to attach the boards to your wall before nailing. I personally did not want to use adhesive out of fear that we would mess up and need to remove the boards which would create a much bigger problem. I DID plan to add a few spots of caulk to the back of each board however, and forgot. (I. AM. TOO. IMPULSIVE.) With that being said, caulking each and every board's seam will also help keep them secure. Do what you think is best!
The short pieces under the window sill probably should have been angled at the top instead of a straight cut, but after they were painted and caulked they looked better. We also have drapes covering them most of the time. Live and learn! (we corrected this mistake in our living room project, however.)
Once all of the cutting is done, and the boards are all secured, it is time to start filling your nail holes. Take a small amount of wood filler on your finger tip and cover each little brad hole. This dries quickly. You can then run a piece of sandpaper over each spot to smooth it out.
Once that is complete, it is time to caulk. I found this part fun and therapeutic but also very time consuming. Put on some good music and zone out. You will want to run a small bead of caulk along each and every edge of each board and then with a finger, smooth out the caulk. Tip: keep a wet rag or two nearby for easy clean up.
Once your caulk is dry, all that is left to do it paint. We used "Pure White" by Sherwin Williams.
The living room project was more of the same. The only difference was that we had square walls this time, larger boards, and added horizontal pieces in between to make squares. The only dilemma we ran into, is that we had to configure a small puzzle piece look on one edge because of the way our molding stuck out. This was no big deal since it is not obvious once caulked and painted.
Once again, we played around with the boards and spacing and they are not perfect. In fact, instead of an exact square, the top two rows are 23" x 24" and the bottom row of squares are 23" x 25". I bet you couldn't tell though, right?
In this space we ended up using only 15 of the 1"x4" boards which are under $5 a piece.
So, what do you guys think? Would you believe me if I told you that the bedroom wall was around $40 in lumber and the living room around $75? YUP. A pretty big impact for a pretty small price tag if you ask me!
Thanks for stopping by, and if you enjoyed this blog post let me know in the comments below! You can find all products used below and all of my home decor items listed here. Happy shopping!
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