My elevated hallway board and batten makeover looks SO professional. It is a show stopper in my home. I have been working to improve my woodworking skills and I impressed myself! I’ve done a geometric accent wall and traditional moulding in my home. This board and batten is my new fav! Read below for 10 steps on how to create this look for around $150-$200.
- Primed MDF boards
- 3.5” flat boards
- Decorative trim
- 1 ½” 18 gauge brad nails
- ¾” 23 gauge pin nails
- Drywall spackle
- P220 grit sandpaper
- Caulking gun
- Bowl of water
- Mitre saw. This is a great beginner mitre saw
- 18 gauge Brad nailer. I love this because there is no air compressor required so you can work really fast
- 23 gauge Pin nailer
Step 1 – Plan your elevated hallway board and batten makeover
You know that saying, if you fail to plan, plan to fail? Well, I live by that! It’s easier than you think with some simple math.
1 – Measure the length of your hallway
2 – Measure the height of your wall
3 – Measure the width of your boards. Most the time boards are ½” skinnier than the size (so 4” boards usually measure 3 ½”)
4 – Take a look at some inspiration pictures and determine what style you like. I personally like a tall board and batten with wide-ish board. However, you will have the adjust the scale to fit in your size. My ceiling is less than 8ft (95″) and the hallway is narrow at 40″ wide
5 – Once you have your measurements use this tool to calculate the width between the battens. There is no “right” answer in how many battens and sections you should have. A wider hallway with higher ceilings can have bigger sections. As a reference, my battens are 18” apart.
6 – I taped my hallway. It only takes a little bit of time but if you’re visual like me, you’ll be thankful you did it. After I taped mine, I realized the spaces were too wide! I’m glad I learned that before nailing all my boards in!
How to determine the height of the top trim for your hallway board and batten
- For this style, a good rule of thumb is that the battens should be in the range of ⅔ of the height of the wall. Tape it and adjust. If you want to add artwork or lighting, that may mean a bit lower.
- My walls are 95” and the pattern goes up to 63”
Step 2 – Cut all your boards
1 – It is SO easy, fast and precise to cut your boards with a stop block. Don’t skip this step. I promise you will thank me later. A stop block is something you clamp down to your workbench that your wood butts up against. You don’t move it or your saw so every piece is the same length. It’s really useful for repetitive cuts. You don’t have the measure the pieces after you set up your stop block.
How to set up a stop block:
- Clamp an object to the end of your workbench (like wood or in my case, a case of sparkling water)
- Place your saw on the table and lock the blade down (ensure it’s not powered on)
- Adjust the position of the saw so the distance from the saw blade to the stop block is what you’re looking to cut.
- Make the first cut, measure to ensure it’s accurate. Then cut all the rest of your wood in a flash!
Step 3 – Give your boards a professional finish
If your trim is thicker than your baseboards, you can nail it. However, you can take the time to take it to the next level with a beveled cut. I use a 40* bevelled cut, but I also keep the trim flat at the edge (vs angled the whole way through). Use the laser on your saw to ensure you will have a blunt cut at the end.
Use a stop block to ensure each batten will be cut to the same bevel. You should only have to nudge your existing one forward ¼”
Step 4 – Nail in your boards
1 – Nail your first board at one corner of your wall, on top of the baseboard trim. Your wall may not be level. Nail your batten so it’s level. You can fix any awkward gaps later when we work on the finishing touches.
2 – Cut a spacer the width indicated by your plan. The spacer should be as big as the gaps between each batten
3 – Line up the spacer so it butts up adjacent to the board already nailed, right above the baseboards
4 – Push the next batten up against the spacer. Nail it on
5 – Slide the spacer to the top and nail the batten
6 – remove the spacer and use extra nails to secure the batten
7 – continue along the entire wall
Step 5 – Attach the top board and decorative trim
1 – Cut your top boards and attach them. Ensure they are level before nailing
2 – Attach your decorate trim using a pin nailer. I lined up the top of the decorate trim with the top of the board. A pin nail is not essential, but I’ve found in the past, the brad nailer can split the trim because the decorative trim is so thin
Step 6 – All the perfect cuts for a professional finish
Even though these bevelled cuts look hard, it’s doable. It was my first time doing bevelled cuts on decorative trim, but I managed (with a few re-cuts needed!).
For each inside and outside corner, you need to set you saw’s bevel cut to 45 degrees. On my saw, you release the lock at the back and then swing your blade to either side (having a saw with dual bevel made this easy! You can still make the cuts if your saw only bevels to the left). The two images below are both with 45 degrees (one on left and one on right).
1 – set your blade to the left bevel, make your cut
2- set your blade to the right bevel, make your cut
Once you have both cuts and they fit, then I cut the straight edge (as that’s a lot easier!)
Step 7 – Dealing with obstacles on your wall
I had to deal with 5 obstacles on my walls: spacing for a small irregular wall, a batten on a vent, a batten on an outlet, crooked walls, and crooked floors. Stay tuned for a full blog on the details.
Step 8 – Filling holes
Spackle will go on any spot where wood meets wood.
Caulk will run along the edges where wood and wall meet
Filling holes and seams
1 – You can use either drywall spackle or wood filler. I prefer spackle as it’s white and I don’t have to re-prime my boards.
2 – Use your finger to press a small amount of spackle into each nail hole. I prefer to use my finger as I get more control, and there is less spackle on the wall. Use the least amount of spackle. The more spackle and messy, the more difficult sanding will be later
3 – Once the spackle is dry, you can sand using p220 grit sandpaper. Don’t be alarmed if you need to re-fill some holes and sand smooth. Getting the right finish is tedious, but so worth it
Step 9 – Caulk
1 – Cut the smallest possible hole in your caulking gun. I don’t even cut a hole. I hammer a finishing nail into the tip to puncture my caulk. Load your caulking gun
2 – Run the caulk along the seam of where the trim meets the wall
3 – use the samosa (or pastry method): dip your finger in the water and then run your finger along the seam. Wipe the excess caulk on a rag
4 – Repeat for every seam, plus the seam where the decorate trim meets the 3 ½” top flat board
Step 10 – Paint
Now that you’ve done the hard work, you’re at the last mile! Time to paint
1 – Before painting, wipe all your boards with a cloth and vacuum any dust on the baseboards and floor. It’s a personal preference if you paint the baseboards, door trim and doors. If you browse on pintrest or instagram, you’ll see any combination!
2 – I used SW Pewter Green in the Emerald line, Satin finish. I know my kids will always run their hands along the wall and this makes it easier to wipe them down.
Stay tuned for part 2 to see the upscale touches. Follow me on instagram to see more great DIY projects