Do you ever just wake up with an idea that you have to run with right away? Unfortunately for my hubby, it happens around here all the time.
Last weekend, I knew I wanted to jump into a new DIY project, but I wanted to keep it simple. I was thinking about wallpapering or pencil shiplap.
But when I woke up last Saturday, I had another idea. Board and batten. I wanted to start in our main bathroom, but I had also been itching to try out board and batten down our bath hallway.
And it just wouldn’t have made sense to do one without the other, right?
Now that we’re all in agreement…
So when my husband woke up and I hit him with the idea, I was expecting a little push back.
Instead, I got an, “Okay.”
And I ran with it!
START WITH RESEARCH
I did some quick research on other board and batten DIYs to get a sense of what I was getting myself into. There were so many takes on it.
Remove the baseboards, don’t remove them. Add more detail, add less detail. Space the batten this many inches apart.
The list goes on and on.
What I realized was that I needed to pick and choose what I wanted and run with it!
THE SIMPLE BOARD AND BATTEN DIY THAT ANYONE CAN DO (TRUST ME!)
I began by measuring for materials. I read a lot of things when it came to the height of the railing, how far to space the batten, etc.
But what I ended up doing was simply eyeballing what I thought would look best. Simple.
This helped me get a sense of the materials I wanted to use.
CHOOSE YOUR MATERIALS
We chose 2.5in x .5in poplar wood for the railing and 1.5in wide lattice strips for the batten.
We also decided that we’d keep our baseboards as is, and we measured 43 total inches up from the top of the baseboards for our height.
That way, the railing would be 43 inches high, and the lattice strips would reach a little over 40 inches.
We drew out and marked where each piece of wood would go and wrote out all our wall measurements so we could buy the exact amount of wood we needed.
OVERBUY THE WOOD
But hear me when I say this. Our very first lesson learned was OVERBUY THE WOOD! Overbuy and return the extra once you’ve finished the project. We somehow ended up short and had to make a mid-project run back out to Home Depot that could have been avoided!
Anyways… once we had the materials, it was time to get started!
But before you get started, I’d highly recommend making sure you have the right tools on hand.
GET THE RIGHT TOOLS
Another learn from us moment – we did not!
We knew we needed a power saw and a nail gun, but we didn’t have them. So we thought we could get this project done with a hand saw and hammer and nails.
Nope. Not unless we wanted it to take 7 years and way too much effort.
After one board, we decided we were sorely mistaken.
If you don’t have these tools, you can borrow them from a friend or rent them from Home Depot! We ended up doing a little bit of both, and it worked for us this time around.
The people at Home Depot even showed us exactly what kind of nail gun we needed for the project, and now I know way more about nail guns for the next big wood project around here!
Anyways you need a power saw and a nail gun.
You also need:
- Sanding wedges
- Wood putty (to fill nail holes)
- Paint and brushes/rollers
- Painter’s tape
Okay, now it’s time to keep rolling!
START CUTTING & NAILING
Next, we double-checked our measurements and began cutting our wood! Don’t let this part scare you — if you don’t have a power saw or are afraid to use one, you can have your friendly Home Depot workers cut it for you!
Once the wood was cut, it was time to nail it all up!
Do not forget to use your level, no matter how many markings you placed on your wall. Use your level for each piece of wood you nail up! The last thing you want is a slanted railing at the end of the hallway.
Luckily we didn’t make that mistake, but not all walls are created equal (ours are notoriously warped). So levels are our friends around here.
If you have the right tools on this step, it goes pretty quickly! Especially if you measured ahead of time!
CAULK AND WOOD PUTTY ARE YOUR FRIENDS
Once your wood is all nailed to the wall, you’ll notice some cracks, gaps, and nail holes. Lots of them.
This is where caulk and wood putty are your very best friends. We used this little 4 in 1 applicator for the wood putty, and it was oddly satisfying to watch the nail holes disappear!
You just fill the hole, wipe off the extra, and sand it down once it’s dry. And then you’ll be asking yourself…. what nail?
Also let me tell you about caulk. The tool that is much more my speed. If you have OCD of any kind, you will like caulk!
I can’t believe this was the first time I used it, but it was. And I ended up caulking every edge of the wood and lattice to ensure there was a seamless finish. Plus it was kind of fun!
But let me let you in on a little secret. I almost skipped this step. Take it from me. Don’t skip it!! It made it look way more finished!
Once the wood putty and caulk are dry, sand it all down just to makes sure there are no rough edges left. Then it’s time to paint!
TIME TO PAINT
This is the easy part! Grab your paint, rollers, and brushes and get to work!
One of my friends told us to paint at the beginning of the project instead of waiting until the end. We did this in the bathroom but not in the hallways just because of the time we had to get the wood up, but it did make putting the finishing coat of paint on the bathroom walls much easier! Maybe consider this tip depending on what you need in terms of timing!
We matched our paint to our baseboards so it would match the rest of our home and look like it was always meant to be there, Then we put on two thick coats of paint and called it a day!
A QUICK REVIEW
There was definitely a learning curve for us on this project. It was our first DIY with wood. But I truly believe that with all the right tools and without our wood mishap, we would have finished it a lot quicker!
That said, even with all the errors, it only took us 1 week, both working full time in the meantime!
So bottom line — you can do this! If you’ve been considering jumping into a DIY with power tools and wood, this was a pretty good one to start with!
And now my mind is already swimming with ideas for the next big project!
What do you think? Will you give this board and batten project a try in your home?