One of the items on our lengthy to-do list is installing a board & batten treatment on one of the living room walls. We wanted something simple, so after checking out Ana White’s tutorial we decided that one was perfect for us. The only change we made was that we wanted it shorter than hers, and finally settled on installing it a bit taller than chair height.
Before buying our materials, I measured the depth of the toe kick so that we could simply install the vertical boards on top of it instead of removing it or changing it. Then it was just a matter of deciding on a width that seemed “right” for us – we just eyeballed it, honestly. We settled on 1.75 inch wide boards for the vertical ones, and 2 and a half inch horizontal board. We also picked up a narrow ledge to finish things off.
The boards sat unused for about a month or two (no, I’m not exaggerating, this seems to happen a lot around here – we buy the materials and then forget about them, apparently) until yesterday. We didn’t have any plans and the weather was nice, so we sanded and cut each board to size outside before bringing them in. Then we followed these steps to install them:
- Taped a few vertical boards (doesn’t matter where, or if they’re evenly spaced, they’re just meant to support the horizontal board in place).
- Glued and nailed the horizontal board, making sure it was level. We had to do this in two pieces since the boards they sold weren’t long enough.
- Glued and nailed the two corner vertical boards – left and right – flush with the perpendicular walls.
- Since we had an odd number of vertical boards (nine, to be exact) we measured where the center of the wall was and installed (glued, nailed, made sure it was level) the middle board in place. This one was a bit tricky, because we had an outlet in the middle, so we had to measure and cut a chunk out.
- Repeated the operation with the remaining vertical boards: found the center between the left corner and middle board, and installed the next vertical board. We did this until all 9 vertical boards were in their place. (This picture shows the order in which we installed the boards better; we basically measured the center every time until they were all in place. Now, I know this won’t work for everyone, since it depends on the number of boards you have, but I highly recommend doing it this way if you can, since you avoid starting from one side and realizing at the other side that you’ve misplaced every board by a few millimeters and thus have the last two boards a lot closer than you expected. So. Finding the center every time worked for us.)
- Lastly, we glued the ledge on top of the horizontal board.
- And filled all nail holes, etc. with putty.
Done! Just kidding. Obviously we still have to wait for the putty to dry, sand it, and paint everything white. That’s on our to do list now, so hopefully I’ll have a proper before and after for you soon enough. But in the meantime, I’m happy to report that installing this was easier than I thought, and the hardest part was working around the outlet and the radiator. Which, by the way, is NOT level. This didn’t bother me at all before, but now it’s a lot more noticeable (you can see it in the picture above). Hopefully we’ll be able to fix that. But now I’m wondering why the builders didn’t install it properly.
Anyway, the verdict on the board & batten: easy to install, and totally worth it! Even in it’s current unpainted and unfinished stage, it adds a lot of interest to the room. What do you guys think? Is there anyone else who has been itching to do a board & batten treatment, too?