Board and Batten Makeover (Part 1)

The Inspiration

Since I’m still in the house hunt and really itching to get working on a home, I talked with my mom about  putting up some board and batten siding in her house.  Ever since they built the house 12 years ago, my mom has always wanted some wainscoting down the hall, but it was never in the budget.  She was back online one day wishing she could finish the hall and mentioned she wouldn’t mind doing it herself if she thought she could.  That was really all I needed to get going and we quickly decided we thought it could be a fun mother-daughter project.  I have been doing my research on several blogs on ideas and gave her several webpages to read.  We looked at several photos and nitpicked everything until we decided on exactly the look we wanted. Fortunately, my mom and I have very similar taste so its easy to work together.  My parents built the house to look like an old farmhouse, so we decided the formal look of the wainscoting did not fit at much, especially if she wanted it 6 feet high. With beadboard already in the kitchen, board and batten had the simple, elegant look she wanted.

My mom, Danny, and I will do most of the work.  Dad has no faith in us and although he has the skills, he will not be helping.  Too add to the party are my parents three dogs Hairy, Ed, and Jackson.  Hairy and Ed are old and don’t do much, but we already found that Hairy enjoys laying right under our feet or the ladder most of the time.  Jackson is the puppy and loves everything way too much.  He thinks the nail gun is fascinating and enjoyed running down the hall occasionally to make sure we were on our toes.  Needless to say we are taking this on with a full house of pets and siblings and the three of us really have no idea what we are doing.

Jackson staring at us wishing we would play

Jackson staring at us wishing we would play

First Things First: Do some Research

Our top blog we are following is Decor and the Dog.  They give a step by step instructions on their project and several pictures.  Ike their fox terrier is a cute addition in all the photos too. My mom liked their idea and decided she wanted her battens just a little farther apart than what they chose.

Our other source is  We searched several photos of different type of Wainscoting. It is amazing how many different varieties there are.  Once we decided on board and batten, we then had to pick the spacing, height, trim, and width of the battens.  This was all easier after looking at many photos.  One photo on Houzz showed the battens being installed using a paint stick as a spacing guide.  We liked this and decided to space ours just slightly farther apart.

The look we want

The look we want

Houzz Photo 1: The Look

Houzz Photo 2: The Process


Second: Measure and Get a Plan

We decided to start on a smaller wall that wasn’t covered by any paintings, that way if we were taking on too much it wouldn’t too hard to switch it back.  My mom measured the height of everything and we went to Lowe’s to get some boards.  Lowe’s is great and will cut the boards for you for free.  Since we don’t know anything about construction, we decided the fewer DIY steps we take the better.  We came home with everything we would need for the one wall which was just two battons and the top piece, all cut and ready to go.  Originally we purchased thicker battons because we thought the thinner ones would look skimpy, but after getting home we were worried that they would make the hall seem to narrow since it already wasn’t very wide.  Over all, we like the look..  Since Danny and I teach, my mom decided to paint the walls during the week so we can come back and begin construction on the weekend.

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