We’ve been talking about adding a DIY board and batten wall to the nursery for as long as I can remember, and it’s finally done! This project was so incredibly easy and it makes a giant difference in how the room looks. This post will give you all the details on how it looks and how I did it!
Are you ready for some more nursery progress? I know I may have been lagging with getting started on the nursery (I’ve got less than 2 months to go!), but now that I’ve gotten started I can’t stop and the room will be done before you know it!
Those of you who follow me on Instagram have probably already seen sneak peeks of this wall (and the process of creating it) over in my Stories, but I wanted to write up an actual tutorial for this simple DIY board and batten wall because I was honestly surprised at how quickly and easily it came together.
What did not surprise me was how much I love it. I knew it would be perfect for this room, and I can’t stop swooning over it.
Maybe that’s just the pregnancy hormones talking, though.
If you haven’t seen all of our nursery progress so far, allow me to help you catch up.
- First, I shared the before of the room (please look at this if you haven’t already because holy cow we’ve come a long way!) along with our mood board for the space.
- Then, we talked about the simple gallery wall I put up above the changing table (because sometimes I get wild and start decorating the room before anything else is finished).
- And finally, I shared my secret for painting the room in less than an hour with my favorite painting tool of all time.
I’ve still got quite a few other nursery-related posts up my sleeves (including one about how I’ve been planning and organizing this renovation, one all about the DIY window trim we’re adding, and one about giving the dresser a major makeover), but today let’s focus on the focal point of the room (ha!) – the board and batten wall.
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DIY Board and Batten Wall
Now, before I dive into the tutorial, let me clarify – this is really a faux board and batten wall if you want to get technical. Board and batten walls typically have some sort of smooth board laid over the drywall (hence the “board” of “board and batten”), and then the strips of wood are installed on top (the “batten” part). However, our walls aren’t very textured and we wanted to save some money, so we skipped the board part and just did the batten. This is a pretty common approach to board and batten walls in the DIY world, but if you want to go all out and do the real thing, by all means – go for it!
(Note: this is for a wall that is 10-feet long by 8-feet tall. You’ll obviously need to adjust the material amounts for larger or smaller walls.)
I started by painting the entire wall white – it’s much easier to get the wall underneath your board and batten painted before you add any wood to it. Once the wall was painted, I was ready to get started. I’m going to be detailing how I did the particular pattern that we used for our board and batten wall, but don’t forget that there are about a zillion different ways you can do it – you could do two horizontal lines instead of just one, you could create squares, you could just do the vertical boards…get creative with it!
Step 1: Install Corner & Top Boards
The first step is to install the batten pieces that will go on either side of the wall and along the top of the wall. This helps frame out your board and batten wall a little more and gives you a good starting point. Many people struggle with what to do where the vertical boards meet the baseboards – there are a few different options that I’ll run through for you:
- You could remove the baseboards, install a piece of batten (using the same wood you’re using for the other pieces) underneath the baseboards on that wall, and then re-install them. This is the most labor-intensive option as it will probably require you to re-do the baseboards throughout the room. However, this is also the option that will help your board and batten integrate with the baseboards the most seamlessly – your vertical batten pieces will simply sit on the wood that’s behind the baseboard and be completely flush.
- You can install a piece of trim or molding upside down on top of your baseboards. Typically, most baseboard or door trim has one side that’s thicker than the other – if you install it upside down, the thicker side will be on the top and your batten will not overhang the baseboards. The downside here is that unless you install it throughout the entire room, you’ll have one section of baseboard that’s taller than the rest of the room.
- You could simply install the vertical pieces on top of the baseboard and allow them to hang over a bit. It isn’t very noticeable when the room is finished, but it will create an overhang that might be kind of sharp if you manage to bump into it.
- And finally, the options we chose – you can cut the ends of the vertical batten pieces at a 45-degree angle where they meet the baseboards. This reduces the appearance of the overhang and eliminates any sharp edges.
Whoops. Clearly, I missed a sliver of paint on that mitered end. I blame my giant pregnant stomach – I can’t see my toes, much less this weird little edge of wood.
Thank goodness you can only see it from this angle.
Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone.
Annnnyways, there really isn’t any “right” way to do it, it’s just a matter of personal preference!
To install the boards, I just added a line of construction adhesive to the back of my board, then used my nail gun to attach it to the wall. The reason for using construction adhesive in addition to the nails is that you likely won’t be placing all of your boards directly onto studs (since having them spaced properly is more important), so you’ll need some extra adhesive power to be sure the boards don’t pull away from the wall at all (or, you know, fall on your precious baby while they’re sleeping). Be sure to use your level to ensure that the boards are straight and level as you work!
Step 2: Install a Board in the Middle of the Wall
Now, keep in mind – this wall is 10-feet long and Corey and I decided ahead of time we’d be doing 5 vertical boards on the wall. The math gets more complicated if you have a longer wall or want to space things differently.
To place this board, I simply measured the space between my two boards in the corners and then placed the board so that the middle of the board was in the middle of the wall. Again, use the construction adhesive and nail gun combo.
Step 3: Install the Final Two Vertical Boards
Now, you’ll just repeat the process again – measure the space between the middle board and the left corner board, and place one in the middle of that. Do the same thing for the right side. Again, with 5 boards the math is really simple, but you may have to do a bit more calculating if you’re working with a different number.
Step 4: Install the Horizontal Pieces
Next up, it’s time to install the horizontal line. I wanted mine to be approximately 3/4 of the way up the wall, so I simply found the appropriate measurement and installed horizontal pieces in-between each vertical piece using the same construction adhesive and nail gun method. Be sure to use your level to ensure that the pieces are straight (and measure carefully to be sure they don’t slope down the wall as you go!).
Step 5: Caulk and Paint
Finally, it’s time to caulk and paint – this last little step is the one that makes aaaaaaaall the difference, so get excited. I caulked all of the nail holes, where boards meet each other, and where the boards meet the wall (meaning, it’s a lot of caulking!). Once it dries, give all of the boards a couple of coats of white paint to match your wall, and you’re done!
I’m so excited about how this wall turned out, and I really feel like it makes this tiny little room feel a little more special. The whole project only took me a few hours from start to finish – I’m pregnant and slow so I spread it over two days (I installed the board and batten one day then caulked and painted the next), but I easily could have completed it in just one day if I wanted to. Having the crib assembled and put into place really brings the room together and makes it feel like a nursery – finally!
I still haven’t made a decision about a mobile and/or hanging anything on the wall above the crib. This wall feels like it needs a little something extra to really be complete, but I don’t know if I really want to hang any art or anything on the board and batten wall. Currently, I’m thinking we might get a really special mobile to hang from the ceiling (I’ve had my eye on this for a long time now) and let that be the star of the show, but I’d love to hear any suggestions or ideas you have!
Curious about any of the sources for what’s in our nursery so far?
- Crib sheet
- Rug (Vintage)
- Wall Color: Gravelstone by Behr
- Board & Batten Wall Color: Polar White by Behr
Next nursery project? We’re gonna chat about how I’ve been planning and organizing this whole thing, then we’re going to trim out the window in here!