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.
So weeks 2 & 3 and likely 4 (remember we’re weekend warriors!) is all about insulation. Aside from spackle, it’s the worst part of the job but it has to be done, because this room is burrrrrrr cold. It’s also pretty painful to be around – even when wearing the right protective gear. I mean doesn’t this picture alone, just make you itch?
We started with the ceiling insulation and used 10 rolls of R-30. I’m using “we” loosely, as JD did most of the heavy lifting for this part. I was the helper or “apprentice” as I like to say, because I’m not crawling around on ceiling joists. aint-gonna-happen.
Then we moved on to the walls, which we’re still working on. We think it’s going to take about 13 rolls of R-13 to finish this sucker.
So I was actually really surprised how easy putting up the wall insulation was. We simply rolled it out, cut it to the height of the wall, and then stapled it in place…. Botta-bing, Botta-boom.
So I thought it would be helpful to start tracking our budget for this reno on here. I’m not a good receipt saver – but have luckily saved all 2 Lowes receipts for his project so far. Here’s where we’re at:
- 12, 2X4X96” Boards = $34.68
- 16 sheets of 1/2 inch drywall = $111.68
- 1 big box drywall screws = $21.97
- 13 bags of R-13 Faced Insulation = $116.35
- 10 bags of R-30 Insulation = $91.00
- Quality time spent in a dusty, cold room with my hottie of a hubby = Priceless! (haha, sorry… had to do it guys)
Total Spent to Date = $375.68
I promise there are much more exciting posts to come on the Bonus Room Reno! I know, I know… what’s more exciting than insulation?
We’ve been putting it off for two years. We’ve talked about it, sketched it out and planned its purpose. But until last week, have never actually started any work on it. I’d like to introduce you to our “Bonus Room”. It’s main purpose in life is two-fold – 1. House all the crap we’re too lazy to walk up to the attic AND 2. Help our exercise equipment collect as much dust as possible. Seems like a pretty crappy use of a big room, right? Ummm… yeah.
Although neither of us have admitted it, I think this unfinished room had something to do with why JD and I fell in love with this house. See our first house in Christiansburg came with a completely unfinished basement that we (and several of our handy friends) finished on our own. It already had a bathroom and a small laundry closet, but we added – A tiled entry way and closet, a bedroom, a family/bonus/workout room and a huge walk-in storage closet. Needless to say, we walked away from that house with a little jingle in our pockets and boy did that feel good. I definitely don’t think we’ll make as much off this reno, but we will add an entire bedroom and be able to sell this bad boy as a 4 bedroom-er… holla!
So although this room has been our red-headed step child for many many months, we’re ready to make this sucker shine. And since JD seems to know how to do every repair job in the book, we’re doing the entire project ourselves! Ok… we’re debating contracting the mud work, but who wouldn’t right…? It flat out sucks.
Here’s our first guess at what we need for this reno:
- 12 2X4 boards to frame in the walk-in closet
- 12 pieces of 1/2″ dry wall for the ceiling
- ~16 pieces of 1/2″ dry wall for the walls
- TBD on amount of insulation (for the walls and ceiling)
- TBD on amount of trim
- 1 box of drywall screws
- 5 gallon bucket of joint compound (aka spackle) and drywall tape
- 1 closet door
Here’s our plan of attack:
Since the electrical work is already done, we’re jumping right in.
1. We started by framing the closet. Without a closet, the room will not officially be considered a bedroom, so this is a must for re-sell!
2. Next, we’ll drywall the ceiling, add insulation, and say a million cuss words. We loath hanging ceiling drywall.
3. We’ll then hang the drywall on the walls.
4. Spackle & Sanding. uhhhhhhhhhh.
5. I <3 painting. Thinking a greyish blue or green. shocking, right?
6. Trim work is fairly easy, but caulking is not. The only other time I used this stuff, a ton ended up in my hair…?
7. Build window seat and custom desk/bookshelves. This is my hot search topic on Pinterest right now. Look for a new board soon!
8. Lay padding/carpet, which we’ll likely hire some help for.
9. Decorate. Decorate. Decorate
So as you can see from #7 above, right now I’m thinking this room is going to be an Office/Craftroom/Playroom (yes for our unborn children… sista’s gotta plan, right?). I’m most excited about the window seat and can totally see myself sitting there reading a book or looking for squirrel’s with Bo… we’re easily entertained.
So this weekend we’ve finished #1 and 90% of #2…
Walk-in closet framed -
This my friend is a very helpful little tip and essential for hanging ceiling drywall. Build a lift out of 2X4′s and have one person hold the drywall up to the ceiling while the other puts the lift in place. Insert drywall screws and TADA! In the picture below, we’re just testing the lift out before we cut the drywall to align with the ceiling joists.
Next weekend we’re hoping to tackle insulation and start the walls. Week 1 down… many to go
Welcome to My Sweetnest! I'm just one new mama organizing her way to a sweeter and happier home one naptime at a time.