9 simple tips and tricks to help you in installing the perfect board and batten wall with ease in any room to create the perfect accent wall.
Board and batten walls are a super simple and easy upgrade to a room.
They make the perfect weekend project and instantly add style to a plain wall.
There are SO many configurations possible! Plus they look good in all colors and styles.
I installed a full-wall board and batten wall in my bedroom and painted it in a dark moody color.
I also shared a lot of DIY board and batten wall ideas a few months ago.
Today I am sharing all the tips and tricks to installing the perfect board and batten wall.
DIY board and batten best practices
Follow these simple practices and your project will turn out absolutely amazing!
1. Start with a smooth surface
I know! A lot of us have textured walls and while, you may decide to just install the board and batten over it as is, I strongly recommend having a smooth surface between the boards.
This does not mean you have to skim coat your walls!
Just use a simple hardboard and attach it to the walls using construction adhesive and nails into the studs. Any seams should be placed so it will be covered by boards.
2. Remember – walls are not square
Whether the house is a new construction or a 100 year old home – the walls are not going to be square.
This can cause a a lot of headache if you do all the calculations on paper and make your cuts before beginning to put it together.
Calculations are good for a rough idea of the spacing and number of boards you will need but DO NOT make the cuts beforehand.
3. Buy good quality wood – save time
This is an important thing to consider when buying material.
You could definitely go for the cheapest boards in the store. You would just need to spend a lot of time picking out boards to make sure they are flat and straight.
If you did go with the cheapest boards, they would have knots. You would have to seal the knots before a few coats of primer.
See my guide to painting unfinished pine so it lasts forever without knots leaking through.
If you are able to stretch your budget by a little bit, I highly recommend using the pre-primed boards. All you have to do is pick your favorite color and paint them! It will save so much time! And time is money!
4. Buy 20-25% more material
This goes with the above.
Don’t get the the exact number of boards you calculated. Get more!
You really don’t want to have to make a trip to the store in the middle of the project.
If you have unused boards, you can always take them back once the project has wrapped up.
Need help with planning for your project? Check out my project planner! Using it to plan has saved e a LOT of trips!
5. Cut long then trim
Always cut a board longer by a couple of inches than needed. Then, hold it up where it needs to go, mark the length and make the cut.
This accounts for any variation in wall heights/widths.
This is not only going to circumvent the problem of off-square walls, it will help you get the best possible fit.
6. Joints at 45-degrees
There may be situations where the boards are not long enough.
When this happens, the best way to make the joint is to use a 45-degree bevel cut rather than joining the boards with straight edges.
This helps make the seam as tight as possible and least visible.
7. Hit the studs… or not
As you calculate the location of boards, try your best to hit the studs for the best secure joint.
Don’t sweat it if you can’t! Just use construction adhesive to attach the board.
It does mean that if you ever want to remove the boards and change the walls, you might have to be prepared for some drywall repair. But that is a small price to pay for the gorgeous wall you would create!
8. Caulk and shims are your best friend
No matter what, you will always have gaps and seams. You need to use caulking.
That’s right! Caulk makes everything perfect! Once painted it will all look like a single piece.
If your walls are uneven and you get a lot of gaps between the walls and boards, just add a shim in the gap for added support. The remaining gaps can be filled up by caulk.
9. Paint it before or use a paint sprayer
If you have a paint sprayer, I highly recommend using it to paint your board and batten. It will make the entire thing a breeze!
I used a paint sprayer to paint my board and batten wall and including prep and clean up, it took about an hour to paint 2 coats! And the result was a smooth wall.
If you don’t have a paint sprayer, you should paint the wall, set up and paint the boards outside, and then attach. In the end, you will be left with touch-ups and covering up the caulking.
Just a little bit of attention to detail, the right tools and material, can make this weekend project a success!