I knew a diy board and batten wall would be a huge statement piece, but I never thought I could complete it in only one day and spend about $50!
Why make a diy board and batten wall?
When we moved into our home, I wasn’t sure what to do with this little room. We have a piano on one side and this tiny wall on the other side where I had a dresser to hold crafting supplies. It worked fine until we painted our main floor grey and we realized when the grey was against the white, it read blue and looked like a baby boy room!
I immediately took the dresser out, sold it online, and replaced it with some chairs I inherited from my uncle and created a seating area. But because the room was so small and tall, I could NOT figure out how to decorate that wall. Nothing seemed to look right.
I had a pretty unique leaded glass door that I thought of hanging on the wall with a wreath on it. It was definitely not the right look. I decided that what I needed was visual interest on the wall to create the decor, instead of trying to hang actual things on the wall to take up the space. Enter a diy board and batten wall!
How to make a diy board and batten wall
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Step one: Paint the Wall
Paint the wall. This seems like a no brainer, but if you don’t think about it and you wait to paint until afterward, you’ll be trying to use a roller in those little squares and it will be such a pain! This step ensures that the process goes really quickly. *as a side note, please excuse my photos! Most of them were taken on an iPhone at night in a room with no lights. Not the best photos for sure!*
Step two, place the 1×3 trim boards:
After the wall is dry, you can begin placing your wood. There’s lots of ways to do this. I decided to use 1×3 pieces, but I wanted it to be a super fast project. So instead of using the cheaper option of unfinished wood 1×3 trim boards, we chose the pre primed trim boards. We saved 2 steps since they were already sanded and primed, which was totally worth the extra money we spent!
The primed trim was around $8 each instead of $4. While it was double the price, we only needed 6 boards, so the extra $24 we spent allowed us to get this done in 24 hours, which was way more important on this particular project. You can absolutely do it a bit cheaper by choosing the 1×3 boards that are not pre finished.
Even with the more expensive wood, because we had a small wall and already had the paint, spackle, and brad nails, we came in at right about $50 to do this project. $50 and one day’s work! So amazing!
I drew a simple sketch on one of the pictures in my phone so I could see what it would look like on the wall. I loved this layout, so we set to work placing the pieces. We did the ones on the sides and top first. After that, we eyeballed the placement of the center vertical pieces.
We decided that we wanted a larger center space instead of dividing it into equal thirds like I had in my drawing. Once we got them about right, we measured to make sure they were both the same distance from the edges and nailed them in place with our compressor and brad nailer. You could absolutely do this with a regular hammer and brad nails too!
Next we chose the placement for the horizontal piece. This was the most tedious part because we had to cut three separate pieces to go between the vertical boards. It’s not hard, just annoying!
Step 3, filling the gaps:
At this point, you might be getting scared because it looks like junk! As careful as we were to get the cuts the right length, there’s always going to be gaps. Additionally, we live in a 1932 house, so the ceiling and walls are never totally level. See the big gap at the top and sides? It’s going to be just fine, I promise!
We used a putty knife and this spackle to fill in the nail holes and the gaps between the boards. You could use any kind of putty, but this kind we used has the primer built into it. So we saved the step of priming all those little spots! Totally worth it!! Once you’ve puttied, let it dry while you apply the caulk.
We used paintable caulk to fill those gaps on the top and sides and it was super simple and made it look complete and polished. After applying the caulk, use a damp towel to run over your caulk line while it’s still wet to make it nice and pretty. Trust me. Don’t skip this step! Look at the gap on the top right. See how it’s filled in but the gap on the left still looks awful? That’s the difference of doing this quick step. Paintable caulk rocks!
Step four, sanding your diy board and batten wall:
The spackle dries really fast and you can go over it super quickly with a sanding block to get it all smoothed out before the final step. You’ve already smoothed out the caulk with the damp towel, so that should be perfect and ready to go.
Step five, priming and painting your board and batten wall:
The last step is to paint! You can skip priming and head right to the painting portion if you bought pre primed trim and spackle with primer built in! Otherwise, you’ll need to prime the boards and spackle before painting. Kilz is my very favorite primer. Once I didn’t prime the walls where we had fixed some holes. It was AWFUL! The paint soaks into those spots and looks absolutely terrible. I guess failure is a great teacher 🙂
It’s a pretty quick step to brush the paint onto the board and batten pieces. That’s all there is to it. Can you even believe how easy that was?! We began late evening and finished it by the next afternoon. I never believed it would be so simple to make such a big impact!
The crazy thing is that people are constantly commenting on how beautiful this room is, but they have never mentioned the board and batten wall. It’s one of those things that makes an unbelievable difference, but no one can really put their finger on why that room is so spectacular!
Have you ever made a diy board and batten wall? What are your best tips? I’d love to hear them!