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DIY board and batten wall in dining room

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A board and batten wall is a type of interior wall treatment that involves installing thin boards vertically on a wall and then covering the seams with wider boards called battens. The boards and battens are typically made of wood, but they can also be made from other materials like PVC or MDF. Today I am showing you how I installed board and batten in our dining room that needed a lot of design help!

This style of wall treatment dates back to colonial times and is often associated with rustic or farmhouse-style decor, although it can be adapted to fit any design style.

I love this wall treatment so much, I have installed it in several other rooms as well!

Dining Room Makeover {coastal} board and batten wall
white board and batten wall

Board and Batten Wall

Here is our dining room (featured in Woman’s Day Magazine) below with the board and batten wall right after I completed the project. Overall, the project took me about 3 hours to install.

The wall color below features Benjamin Moore Cobblestone Cape May (gray color) and Pure White by Sherwin Williams

A year later, I painted over the gray paint color with sea salt by Sherwin Williams to create a more coastal themed dining room.

Dining Room Makeover {coastal}
coastal board and batten wall

What started this project, it was suppose to be a small refresh in our dining room which turned into a full fledge decorating project. My inspiration came from the image below featuring vertical battens painted white with a deep green contrasting paint color.

Better Homes and Gardens

Board and Batten Step by Step

How high should board and batten be?

Overall, I decided to go 3/4 high with the batten and add a 2 inch shelf on top.

Board and Batten Materials:

  • 1  4×8 sheet of 1/4″  MDF (you can purchase at Home Depot or Lowes). You can also use masonite.
  • 1  10′ 3 1/2″ wide piece of pine. I chose 1/2″ thickness
  • Gorilla glue
  • Your nail gun with 1 1/4″ brad nails
  • White primer

You will need to cut your strips (the battens) from the large sheet that you purchase. If you do not have a table saw, I would suggest having them cut for you at Home Depot or wherever you purchase.

You can also purchase 2-3″ strips if you have a money tree but no money tree here, so I cut them myself 🙂

The entire sheet of MDF is about $20.

Board and Batten Installation

Step 1: cut batten wood pieces

I cut 2 1/2 inch strips and spaced them out about 12 inches.

Step 2: nail batten pieces to the wall

I actually would have preferred spacing them 16″ apart but the light and electrical switches were in the way and I wanted quick and easy so I opted to place them closer together.

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

green and plaid duvet cover with white board and batten walls
board and batten bedroom wall treatment at our lake house

Board and Batten Dining Room Wall

How to install board and batten in a dining room in under 3 hours
Print Instructions


  • Measuring tape
  • Saw (circular saw or miter saw)
  • Nail gun or hammer and nails
  • stud finder
  • Wood filler
  • Caulking
  • Paint and supplies

Supply List

  • MDF or wood of choice

Instructions : Step by Step

  • Measure the Wall: Measure the height and width of the wall where you want to install the board and batten.
  • Choose Your Boards: Choose the type of board you want to use. You can use wood boards or MDF.
  • Cut the Boards: Cut the boards to the desired length using a saw.
  • Install the Boards: Install the boards vertically onto the wall, leaving space between each board.
  • Install the Battens: Install horizontal battens over the seams where the boards meet. Nail the battens to the wall, making sure they are level.
  • Fill Holes: Fill nail holes with wood filler and sand smooth.
  • Paint or Stain: Paint or stain the wall to your desired finish.


  • Use a stud finder to locate and mark the studs on the wall before installation.
  • Use a level to ensure your boards are installed straight.
Author: Jessica Bruno
Cost: $20 a sheet

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.


    1. Thank you Jessie for stopping by. The room is so different looking now! If the sun cooperates, I’ll post the room this week. Hope you are enjoying your weekend πŸ™‚

  1. Four times?! Oh my! I love how B & B can change the whole look of a room, Looking forward to the final reveal πŸ˜‰

  2. I REALLY like what you did and can’t wait for the final pictures.

  3. Love how the panelling looks. I can totally relate to your boy growing up. My kids are getting so big too! Where does the time go?!?

    1. Thanks Danielle. I know, it is really crazy how the older I get, the faster is goes!

  4. It looks great Jessica!!! I was surprised at how easy it is to install too, with the exception of doing it on stairs (ohhhh those angles.) I am definitely trying the sheet of MDF-method when I install it my sons’ rooms….so much more economical! It adds so much character to your space and love the color you chose for the top of the wall!!

    1. Thanks Lisa. Yes, it really was very easy and soooooo much more economical than using pine or another wood. Just be sure to use caulking to fill any gaps on the sides and where it meets the other mdf. It doesn’t “hug” the wall as much as wood does, if that makes any sense at all!

  5. Looks fantastic so far! I may have to do this in my own dining room! Thanks for sharing! Heather πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you Heather! Let me know if you try it in your dining room πŸ™‚

  6. I love this whole look! Can I ask what color the gray brown paint you chose was?

  7. Kelly Rose says:

    I am so in love with each and every one of your projects!!!!! You are amazing! I wanted to ask you what yellow you used in the back of your hutch? I love that yellow and hope to match it at BM. Thanks so very much. Kelly

  8. Hi Jessie ,

    We Bought our first house 4 month ago 2013 .. we on budget I would like to do Board and Batten on my dining room & living room… In my house already has baseboards… Did I need remove my baseboard before I start in my project on board and batten ..?or I can keep ?

    thank you

    1. Hi, we left our baseboards and butted up to them. It depends on the width of your baseboard & your board you are using on the wall. Good luck with your project πŸ™‚

  9. Love your designs, I stumbled across your page today through pinterest. I was wondering what color gray you used in your dining room?

  10. Linda McT says:

    5 stars
    You are so creative and talented. I am in awe. I stand in my living room and scratch my head trying to make it brighter and better…to no avail. You inspire me.

  11. Hi,
    We also have baseboard radiators, on some of our walls how did you incorporate them into the board and batten?

    1. we just cut the batten pieces straight along the bottom to rest on top of the baseboard heat registers

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