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Easy Board and Batten

Once used to make seams stronger on siding, board and batten is now used as architectural detail on ceilings, interiors, fences and even shutters.

board and batten with dark gray wall and closet

I love the look of board and batten. I find it interesting, cozy and just adds so much to a room.

There are many ways to create the board and batten look. For example you can keep it low, do the whole space floor to ceiling or create a 2/3 look which is my favorite.

I first used board and batten on our side entry. Then I used it to wrap around the corner as a place for the kids items.

board and batten measurements

And lastly I used it for our downstairs hallway. Which connects to all of the other board and batten but for some reason on social media my hallway board and batten is the one that is most comment on.

There are many ways to create the board and batten look but I am specifically asked what I use all the time, so here is how I did it and what I used.

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Board and Batten Supplies

  • Painted MDF 1x4s (I found the painted MDF boards were actually cheaper than the primed ones.)
  • Painted MDF 1x3s
  • Nailer
  • Brad Nails
  • Caulk
  • Paint

One of the most asked questions is, did I remove the trim on the floor first. Yes, I did. With the type of trim I had, the battens would have stuck out from it. I have seen where people cut a bevel on the bottom of the battens but I am just not a fan of that look so I remove the trim and replace it with the 1x4s.

Once I have a blank slate I figure out how high I want the board and batten to go. Like I said I like the 2/3 way of the wall look so I placed it where I thought looked good.

white board and batten in a hallway with dark gray painted wall on top

I attach the top horizontal board (1×4) into the studs using my nailer. The first time I created a board and batten wall, I did I also used liquid nails to adhere the wood to the wall but I have not used it since. If I ever decided to take it down it would just create a mess for me to repair.

Instead, I use my brad nailer into the studs when I can. When I can’t I use my nailer so the nail goes one way then tilt it so it goes the other way essentially grabbing the wall. Once it’s painted and caulked it’s not going anywhere.

white board and batten with dark gray painted wall and outlet

To space out the battens (1×3 vertical boards) I aim to be 12-14″ apart. I will dry fit them before putting them up and if I hit an outlet then I will adjust the boards instead of cutting out a notch in the wood.

Then I cut the cross boards individually. The height of these boards are also preference but mine are 4′ high.

After everything is hung I caulk everywhere the board meets the wall so there is a seamless look.

board and batten hallway leading to laundry area

Here I painted everything simply white by Benjamin Moore. I also painted the top a dark gray called Amherst Gray by Benjamin Moore.

Many people on social media tend to tell me that it makes the hall look narrow and like a jail cell. I simply think it looks like a cozy home and a ties the home all together.

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