Board and Batten: Part 1

I decided to make this a "part 1" post because I have the feeling that this will not be my last time writing about my beloved board and batten...

When we bought this house I spent countless hours thinking about how I would add old school character into this very new school house - on a tight budget. I initially thought that shiplap was the answer to all of my problems because it seemed to always do the trick for Joanna Gaines and it is a relatively inexpensive project I could handle on my own. I am so glad that I was not impulsive with that decision and that I did not cover my house in shiplap. 


Don't get me wrong - I LOVE shiplap, I just don't think it's right for my home. Here's why...

  • My house isn't very large - just about 1500 square feet, and in my opinion, carrying shiplap over multiple walls in a space closes it in and makes it feel smaller. I wanted to achieve the opposite - I wanted to make my space look bigger and less closed in than it already felt. 
  • I knew that whatever I did I wanted to carry it through the whole house so that my space felt unified. I thought that shiplap could get too busy if I were to install it in my dining room and the neighboring hall and stairwell. Too many horizontal lines for my liking.
  •  I wanted to utilize the existing crown and baseboard moldings, and I didn't think that shiplap worked well with them. The original moldings are colonial styled - I think that shiplap goes better with traditional farmhouse/shaker style door and window trim, and redoing the existing trim was not in the budget!
  • Lastly, I know that everyone says that shiplap is a timeless classic, BUT if for any reason it stops being a timeless classic, shiplap will be a pain in the butt to remove. The amount of nails holes to repair would be a nightmare - you might even need to replace the drywall. For the amount of space I wanted to cover, I was worried about shiplap being too trendy.

Once shiplap was off the table I was back to square one. I actually remember Google-ing, "how to add character into a new home," and one of the first pages to come up was about board and batten. After falling down the board and batten research wormhole, I realized that B&B was the answer to all of my needs - old house character, budget friendly, worked with the existing trim, and it accentuates the verticality of a space - making it feel bigger.


The best how-to I found in my research was this one by Roger and Chris:

Click the picture to follow the link to the tutorial!

Click the picture to follow the link to the tutorial!

I was going to make my own how-to, but that would have been a waste of time because that one is so good! I also love Roger & Chris - they have such a fun, funky style AND they are the makers of my beloved couch!


Here are some of my tips...

  • Buy the pre-primed lattice wood sold at Home Depot. It comes in 1 1/2" and 3 1/2" widths.
  • I use the 1 1/2" pieces the skinny B&B and the 3 1/2" for the thicker one (in my dining room)
  • If you are having your vertical slats all cut at the hardware store make sure you measure the distance between the horizontal slats at multiple points in the space - the length may differ in different spots and you do not want to be stuck with short pieces!
  • Paint your wall surface before adding the wood pieces - it is way faster and easier to roll the paint on your smooth walls, attach the primed wood, and then just go back and paint the wood. Trust me on this one!
  • Don't skip filling the nail holes - I think you can get away with exposed nails on shiplap, but not with B&B. I think it looks really sloppy when they're not filled in. 
  • When you're filling the nail holes with painter's caulk keep baby wipes on hand to clean up the excess. The dampness and texture of a baby wipe is perfect!
  • Don't paint it with flat paint, opt for a satin or gloss so that it's easy to clean. The largest area of B&B in my home is in my stairwell and I actually painted it with eggshell finish paint. In hindsight, I wish that I had gone with a satin finish. Dirt lands in all of the little ledges of the B&B, and it's much easier to clean on a glossier finish.
  • If you're going to do a 3/4 or 1/2 wall with B&B and you plan on painting or wallpapering the top half, consider painting or wallpaper first so that the horizontal lattice piece can cleanly cover where the two meet.

So those are my tips and best practices! I definitely feel like an expert at B&B after doing it so many times. So, if you have any questions please feel free to add them in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!