Ok, so it definitely wasn’t the first thought that came to my mind when I found out we were having a baby, but it might have been in the top 5. Yes, I’m talking about designing the nursery. For years, I’ve thought about this space and for the past couple months, I’ve been day dreaming about a particular feature that I’ve always envied in other houses… board & batten. It just makes a room feel so clean and soothing while also adding some nice architectural interest to boring drywall. So after collecting some inspiration and convincing my wingman that Dylan just won’t be the same without it, we successfully tackled our very first board & batten project and are absolutely 100% in love with the outcome:
No clue why, but I honestly thought this project would only take 2 days max to finish… haha boy was I wrong. Although we didn’t spend full weekends working on it, it took about 4 days to complete BUT I am soooooooo very pleased with how it looks. It’s clean, it’s soothing and it’s going to make the most perfect nursery for our sweet baby boy.
Here’s what we used and how we did it:
- - 1 gallon semi-gloss ultra bright white paint, for bottom of wall (we used every last drop!)
- - 1 gallon satin paint for top of wall (we used “Silver Dusk” by Valspar)
- - Paint supplies: The works… (tape, rollers, brushes, etc.)
- - 12, 12′ x 1/2” boards for battens (aka the vertical strips)
- - 4, 12′ pieces of molding (we chose a style that would make a nice ledge)
- - Miter saw
- - Caulk gun
- - 2 tubes of construction adhesive
- - 1 tube of window/door caulk
- - Air compressor & brad nailer (You could totally use a plain ol’ hammer & nail too, but it’ll take longer!)
- - Level
- - Tape measure & pencil
Step 1: Measure & Outline Height
Start by determining how high you want the board & batten. In my Crushing on Board & Batten post, you can see how the height can really make a difference. We decided to take ours just below the light switch to meet in the middle.
Using a tape measure, mark your preferred height and then just connect the dots, drawing an even line around the room.
Step 2: Paint OR Install Panel
Although I think it’s totally optional, you could install a smooth white panel along the bottom half of the wall. Personally, I think you can get a very very similar effect by using a semi gloss bright white paint, so that’s the route we took. Below you can see that we painted to just above the desired height of the top molding.
Step 3: Paint Top Half of the Wall & Ceiling (if you haven’t already)
Don’t worry about the paint lines where the top & bottom meet, as the top molding covers this perfectly.
Step 4: Cut & Install Top Molding
Ok… before I explain this step, yes… I’m totally busted as our 1/2 finished bonus room in the background is still under crazy construction but hey, we’ve gotta baby to prepare for, so it’s on a temporary hold.
Using a miter saw, cut the molding the length of your wall, angling the ends as needed.
Generously apply the construction adhesive to the back of the molding…
And then using a level, assemble it to the wall evenly.
Using a brad nailer, nail the molding to the wall every 12 inches or so. It will leave a pretty significant hole, but it’s nothing a little caulk can’t easily fill.
Step 5: Cut & Install Battens
This is by far the most time consuming part of the project because every batten must be individually measured, cut and assembled. We ended up using all 12 boards and cut each 42” inches tall using the miter saw. Although it’s totally a personal preference most battens are placed between 12-16” apart. We placed our 16 inches apart, following the same process as above (1. Measure, 2. Cut, 3. Apply adhesive, 4. Assemble using level & brad nailer)
- - Paint the battens beforehand! You will definitely have to touch up the edges and nail holes once they are assembled but it’s so much easier to get a majority of the painting done first.
- - So that you can reuse your current baseboards, select a board for the batten that’s the same or very close to the width of your baseboards.
Step 6: Apply Caulk to Gaps
No matter how even your walls are, there will likely be gaps between the wall & the top molding, the bottom of the battens and definitely in the corners where the top molding meets.
Since the caulk is white, it also makes a great filler for those ugly nails holes!
Step 7: Paint Touch Ups
We tried to be super clean with our caulk lines but that’s umm… impossible, so just have fun, make a mess and then touch up the paint with another coat. After the caulk in the nail holes was dry, I painted the molding and each batten again. Once that was dry, I also taped off the molding and touched up the blue paint too, to ensure super crisp, clean lines.
TADA! We’re so happy with how it looks and can’t wait to bring our little guy home to this super soothing nursery. The furniture won’t be here for another couple weeks, but check back then to see the finished product, including what I’m doing with those super cute letters I recently got from Home Goods.
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Welcome to My Sweetnest! I'm just one new mama organizing her way to a sweeter and happier home one naptime at a time.