It’s been almost over 6 months I completed the DIY board and batten wainscoting in my kids’ bedroom. It’s holding up well and I’m loving it every time I enter their room.
I’ll show you my wainscoting installation process for this project. There are some decisions I made that I would have done differently but that for another blog post.
Here Is The Before….
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- 4′ x 8′ 5mm plywood sheets
- 0.5″ x 3.5″ primed boards* – cut from a 0.5’x 4′ x 8′ MDF sheet
- 1×6 primed boards
- 1×2 primed boards
- primed cove pine moulding
- wood glue
- paintable caulk
- wood filler
- liquid nails
- outlet extender
- oil-based primer to seal and prime MDF boards
- Paint of your choice
- 1 1/4″ brad nails
- 2″ brad nails
- Miter saw
- Circular saw
- Ryobi Brad nail gun (I have a cordless one)
- screw driver
- pry bar
- measurement tape
Now that you have all the materials and tools needed, here are the steps to a beautiful board and batten wainscoting
Plan out your design
I did not thoroughly plan out the spacing between the boards, but I was able to determine how high I wanted the board and batten wainscoting. Our kids’ bedroom ceiling are 10 ft tall and I wanted the wainscoting to be about a third of the height of the room or more. The total height of the wainscoting includes the baseboards. Refer to the design layout below for details.
I used a 4ft x 8ft plywood sheet as my panel board to cover our textured wall. This will enhance the final look of board and batten wainscoting.
Board and Batten Design Layout
Tips: Finalize the design plan with estimated measurements to determine the materials cut you need.
I decided to cut my plywood sheets 16 inches wide because I planned to install the vertical battens on each studs. Later, I decided to install the vertical battens, 28-32 inches apart. Although my plywood sheets were already cut 16 inches wide, I had to determine how to hide as many seams as possible. I shared more on how I accomplished it below.
Locate studs and mark it with a chalk line
Remove existing baseboard
If your existing baseboards are not as thick/deep as the vertical trim pieces , you need to remove your existing baseboards using a pry bar.
Others have suggested that you can install your vertical batten trim pieces on top of your existing baseboards if they are smaller in depth, but I’ll advise against it.
Replacing your baseboards allows for clean lines and a professional finish.
Install new baseboards
Install baseboard (1×6 primed boards) using a brad nail gun and 2” nails, on each wall at the studs. Use a levels to level the baseboards as they are installed. For the corners of the walls, miter the baseboards at a 45 degrees for a tight fit between two baseboards.
Tips: Caulk the seams at the miter joint to reduce the amount of caulking at the end of the project.
Install horizontally 1×4 primed board at the desire height
Use a leveler to keep boards straight and leveled on all walls. Miter cut trim pieces for corners at 45 degrees.
Install 1×2 primed boards on top of the 1×4 primed boards
I installed a decorative primed cove moulding beneath the 1×2 boards because it add a traditional element to the board and batten walls.
Measure and cut plywood sheets to cover up any textured walls between the top trim and baseboards
I had my plywood sheets were roughly cut at Lowe’s for easy transport.
At home, I cut down to my desired dimension using a circular saw. Note, a jig saw can be used to cut plywood sheets because the cuts do not have to be perfectly straight. The seams will be covered by the vertical battens.
For outlets on the wall, cut the outlet opening on the plywood sheet, using a jig saw.
Use an outlet extender for a flush look on your board and batten wainscoting, especially if the outlet opening is located on either of the horizontal boards and/or vertical battens.
For light switches that fall on the top boards, cut the opening on the trim board, using a jig saw. Also use an outlet extender for a flush look.
If your light switches are not fully enclosed at the top board area, you will need to cut an additional wood piece to frame out the switch.
Arrange the plywood sheets to visualize how they will look once installed. If satisfied, proceed with Step 9
I arranged my sheets because I changed my design plan, which required me to reduce the seams visible between the vertical slats
Apply liquid nails on the plywood sheets and nail onto the wall at a 30 degree angle to fully secure it.
Cut vertical batten (1×4 boards) and prime if needed
For instance, I primed the MDF boards with an oil-based primer and sanded it with 220 grits sanding paper for a smooth finish.
Arrange vertical batten using paint tape
I used paint tape to hold the vertical slats to confirm spacing before nailing them onto the wall. Not every boards will be placed in equal distance between each other. However, make sure your vertical slats are balanced equally on the walls.
Tips: The vertical slats can also be glued and/or nailed at 30 degrees onto the studs, for a secured attachment.
Prep for paint
Fill in all nail holes with sparkle or wood filler. For instance, use sparkle to fill any exposed seams between the plywood sheet, like I did, in the seams. Then sand down until you can no longer see those seams and all the sparkle to dry at its recommended time.
Caulk and Caulk…
Begin caulking gaps to hide imperfections. This step takes a while but it will be worth it when completed.
Apply paint tape to avoid paint on the walls and floors. Then prime areas that need to be primed.
Paint Paint Paint
Paint the board and batten wainscoting with your choice of paint using either paint brush/roller or a paint sprayer (if possible)
I painted wall treatment with Benjamin Moore Chantilly lace. This is a white paint that has little cool undertones.
Admire your work
..and i’s it! Allow the board and batten wainscoting to dry and admire your great work! YOU DID IT!
Let me know what you think about board and batten wainscoting and if love to install it in your home in the comment below.