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Our recent bathroom renovation included a full wall DIY board and batten treatment that I will admit, was tedious and somewhat painful to install. This is not your typical 1/2 or 3/4 wall flat paneled board and batten installation. When I started this project, I had no idea the amount of measuring and cutting that would be involved but once I got started, I couldn’t stop!
I purchased two sheets of 4×8 1/2″ MDF wood at Home Depot. I cut each board (strip) using the table saw at our workplace to 2 3/4″ wide. Thank you “Mouse” for helping me cut these (Mouse works with my dad). How wide your boards (strips) are is completely up to you. I started by framing the wall with the 2 3/4″ pieces of MDF. You essentially will box in the wall. Once your wall is framed (top, sides and bottom), you will then need to determine the size of the squares you want. My squares are roughly 28″x28″.
This room doesn’t have a lot of natural light so the quality of these pictures are not that great. Once I determined how big I wanted my squares, I measured the length of the wall and ran the pieces of MDF (7′ for this particular wall) across. Try to envision me holding the piece of MDF that is 7′ long, using a level to make sure it’s straight and then using the nail gun to adhere to the wall. Of course, everyone was at work when I was doing this project, hence the painful comment above. Definitely have another set of hands to help you hold and measure. If someone was able to take a picture of me using my head to keep the board in place, you would have thought I had lost my mind.
NOTE: you will need to cut around any light sockets or switches.
Next, I cut the “in between” MDF pieces and used my smaller level to ensure they were straight.
You can see I worked my way around the room framing the walls with the MDF and adding smaller pieces to create my square wainscoting look. Note below, some of the MDF is already painted as I decided to prime some pieces first.
Note how I framed the corners in this next picture. I used white paintable Caulking to fill in all the gaps throughout the room as well as spackle to fill the nail holes.
I used an air compressor and nail gun with 1 1/4″ nails to adhere to the wall. I would not suggest going below 1/2″ MDF as the power from the nail gun will force your nail to go right through the MDF and you will be left with a hole and the MDF will not be secured to the wall. Be sure to use 1/2″ or higher. My little man took this picture for me.
Make sure you where your safety glasses.
Once you have gone around the room and added all your MDF boards (took me about 8 hours) it’s time to fill all your nail holes, caulk every seam and gap.
Once that is dry, you need to sand . This was the painful, “I can’t believe I got myself into this project” moment. This took me about 5 hours.
Once you are finished sanding and cleaning your walls (I vacuumed mine), they will be incredibly dusty and dirty, it’s time to add your paint. I used Sherwin Williams rhinestone color on the walls.
Finally, after all the measuring, cutting, nailing, caulking and sanding, the board and batten wainscoting was finished. Would I do it again? Absolutely, but I would enlist some help!
Here is a picture of our spring bathroom makeover with Better Homes and Gardens.
I tend to lean more towards the “go big” or “go home” motto and I think that by adding a full wall board and batten wainscoting treatment to the entire bathroom, turned a good makeover into a fabulous makeover. You can see more board and batten wainscoting pictures of this space by checking out our bathroom renovation post from last month. If you are not interested in doing such an elaborate board and batten project such as this, check out our dining room makeover where I show you how to install basic flat board and batten panels 3/4 high on a wall as well as our recent mudroom makeover where I installed the same type of board and batten wainscoting. Are you motivated now to install your own board and batten wainscoting?