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DIY Board and Batten Wall (Lake House)

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A board and batten wall is the perfect solution for a room that lacks character and charm. Board and batten paneling can vary in style but typically, the batten pieces run vertical drawing the eye upward while adding texture to the wall.

The bedrooms at our lake house are small but have beautiful vaulted ceilings with beams which accentuate the white walls. To make the room seem larger, we added DIY board and batten strips running 3/4 high to the wall. Do it yourself board and batten is the cheapest way to add a 3 dimensional look to a room and personally, I love it!

small coastal farmhouse bedroom with white board and batten walls with a vaulted ceiling and beam.

What is Board and Batten?

The board is your “wall” and batten is a thin strip of wood (the batten pieces) that run vertical creating a siding look. Board and batten is a great choice for uneven walls, rough textured walls or even new construction. Back in the day, like early 1990s and 2000’s, wainscoting paneling (the big sheets) was very popular but over time, has become dated and the method of board and batten became more popular. The last 15 years or so, DIY’s have taken shiplap and board and batten wall treatments to a whole new level!

FAQs about Board and Batten

Board and batten walls are not outdated. In fact, the traditional vertical style has evolved into a variety of designs some being square, diamond or a random pattern of your choice. Modern board and batten featuring batten pieces stacked side by side or a more classic style with the batten pieces spaced 12″ or more apart allows for diversity in design while creating texture and character in a space.

Board and batten is classic, timeless and an easy home improvement project. Whether you are using it outdoors or inside your home, styles can be mixed creating a long lasting look.

DIY Board and Batten Wall

When we bought the house, the walls were covered with dated paneling that had been painted, wainscoting on the lower portion and some areas had wallpaper that was painted.

We removed the wainscoting (see image below), added wall insulation (there was no insulation in the house) then added sheetrock (our board) as the final layer.

small bedroom with blue painted paneling

We decided to sheetrock over all the walls in the bedrooms in order to start fresh and painted the ceilings in Chantilly Lace white to create a cohesive look.

small bedroom remodel with sheetrock on the wall

This application is for applying batten pieces to a smooth wall. If you have textured walls, you may opt to add “board” over your existing walls like we did using sheetrock.

Board and Batten Spacing

For this room, we decided to install a trim piece where the angle of the ceiling met the wall and cut the batten strips each 7′ to meet the trim piece. Spacing in between batten pieces is a personal preference but 12-16″ is good guide.

Notice how the batten pieces around the window are shorter.

adding board and batten to sheetrock in a small bedroom
Board and batten around a window

If you look closely in the picture below our baseboard is 5″ craftsman style. The batten pieces from top to bottom are flush against the top of the baseboard and upper trim piece. Depending on what type of baseboard you have, you may need to cut the batten wood on an angle with a miter saw so the wood fits flush.

DIY board and batten

White Board and Batten

We picked Benjamin Moore Seafoam Green for the top part of the wall and the white is called Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace.

I love how the walls look with the walls look painted white with the green accent color on top. The warm toned beams also have a beautiful contrast!

First Bedroom With Coastal Farmhouse Bedding

Here is a different set of coastal farmhouse bedding below (see all of our sheets here and what is a duvet cover for all the bedding details). The brown waffle duvet ties in nicely with the brown wood beam.

Shop Bedroom Source Details (see all items here)

Be sure to take your time when filling the nail holes and sanding so you achieve a smooth finish during the painting process. I personally like the spackle that turns white when it’s dry.

Curious what board and batten might look like in your dining room? See how I spent $100 with 3 hours of time and added batten pieces in our dining room at our previous house. It was featured in Woman’s Day Magazine!

Here is another bedroom below at our lake house where we did a board and batten accent wall.

Board and Batten Bedroom

Second Bedroom With Plaid Bedding

I LOVE how the accent wall looks with the blue and green duvet cover with the Wrought Iron headboard.

Shop Bedroom Source Details (see all items here)

Third Bedroom With Nautical Bedding

Our third bedroom at the lake house also has white board and batten featuring the cutest bunk bed and plaid bedding. You will notice that this bedroom is the same style as the first bedroom with vaulted ceiling and beam.

Here is the bedroom before we installed the board and batten. It’s honestly hard to believe it’s the same room!

Not only did we add board and batten to all the bedroom walls in the house, we replaced all the windows and painted.

Isn’t this the cutest room ever! I love this space and our Airbnb (yes you can now rent our lake house!) guests always rave that their kids love this bunk room.

Shop Bedroom Source Details (see all items here)

Our lake house has come along way and if you would like to see the house before we starting knocking downs walls and remodeled the kitchen, be sure to click through to our lake house remodeling page.

If you are looking for more board and batten tutorials, visit these posts below:

DIY Board and Batten

How to add board and batten to a bedroom wall using MDF.
Print Instructions
coastal farmhouse lush bedding at Airbnb NH lake house

Supply List

  • MDF (batten strips)
  • Adhesive (liquid nails)
  • Caulking (paintable)
  • Brad nails
  • Wood filler

Instructions : Step by Step

  • Install baseboard first. The batten pieces should fit flush on top of baseboard
  • Determine the layout of batten strips (how many inches/feet apart)
  • Determine the height of the batten strips (we ran our batten strips 7' high so they ended at the bottom of the upper windows)
  • Using a skill saw, cut batten strips. We cut 1×2 strips 7' long
  • Use a chop saw to cut the ends
  • Apply liquid nails (adhesive glue) to the backside of each strip and add to wall
  • Use a level to ensure the strips are straight on the wall
  • Nail batten strips to wall
  • Fill nail holes with wood filler
  • Sand filler for smooth finish
  • Caulk seams of batten and wall
  • Once caulking is dry, paint the board (sheetrock) and batten (strips)
Author: Jessica Bruno
Cost: Under $100

Board and batten is very inexpensive to install and is an easy DIY friendly project. It’s a popular application in bedrooms, bathrooms, and entryway or a dining room but will look create visual interest in any space.

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.

diy fire pit

Come Enjoy a Stay at our Lake House

Our newly renovated waterfront lake house retreat with 1500 SF (7 beds), 3BR, 2BA, open concept living room + kitchen + lower level w/ arcade game is the perfect destination for your next getaway.

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