Board and Batten The Ultimate Guide

Board and Batten The Ultimate Guide

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Board and Batten is a decor trend that has withstood the test of time, and it’s here to stay!

Table of Contents

What Does Board and Batten Mean?

Board and Batten is used to describe boards placed either vertically or horizontally for exterior siding or used for interior wall panels. The boards are commonly one foot in width, and the battens are typically half-width.

Initially, wooden Batten was used over seams for greater energy efficiency and a stronger siding. Over time builders began incorporating this look indoors as well.

It’s pretty popular in rustic, country, traditional and farmhouse décor style and for a good reason. In general, wood is a pretty inexpensive material that can yield an impactful punch. Plus, a quick coat of paint can transform a rustic country design into a modern farmhouse style.

I often get asked the following question, “What is your design style?”

And my answer has always been and will always be the same, Eclectic.

Really, why should I or you, for that matter, pigeon-hole your decor choices to one style? Listen, I’m all for the Farmhouse trend, but I’m not about force any design in a home where it doesn’t fit. Besides, I love décor, furniture, and fabric way too much for lengthy commitments. NEXT……

A home should represent the people who live in them; their DNA is unique, and with age and experience, they evolve. Therefore, so should your décor. However, when choosing molding, paneling, and trim work, it’s essential to aim for a timeless choice.

Today I will be celebrating the work of a very talented design firm {no this is not sponsored} so bare with me if this sounds like a commercial, but their designs are flawless and

DUN DUN DUNN DUNNN

They know Board and Batten like nobody else.

Eddie Miles is the owner of Old Hillsboro Building Co, whose firm is responsible for building this beautiful home which is located in Tennessee.

Exterior Board and Batten Siding

Raise your hand if you love shiplap?

Shiplap

Both my hands are raise 😊

Shiplap
Back view exterior Board and Batten Siding

Here’s a little more insight from the homeowner of this beautiful home.

“The board and batten was added because we live in a historic area and we wanted the home to feel as though it was built long ago & then added onto.

Our architect does a lot of historic-looking details in his work & he suggested this as a good way to divide it up & create that feel. It’s meant to look like the center is the original home & the rest was added later, just like many old homes in our area.”

What Kind Of Wood Is Used For Board and Batten?

If you plan on installing exterior board and batten siding, you must use wood that is both insect and moisture resistant. A popular choice is cedarwood, cypress, white oak, and redwood, to name a few.  

For interior projects, the standard wood choice is pine since it does not need to withstand outdoor elements. The wood used in the home above was poplar. You can opt for  MDF instead of wood to reduce your cost even further.

What Supplies Are Needed
Your choice of wood or MDF
For exterior Board and Batten siding backboard material is needed. For interior walls, the Batten would get installed directly to your dry walls. A Backer board would be necessary if you are trying to cover textured walls.
Screws, liquid nails or both
Wood filler to fill in the holes
Sandpaper
Paintable caulk

SIDE NOTE: To lessen the cost of the project, you could choose to install the battens further apart or reduce the height of the battens on the wall.

How To Make Your DIY Project Appear Like A Professional Job?

Do Not Rush This Project….I repeat…do not rush this project. Your woodcuts need to be accurate and STRAIGHT. Therefore, if it’s getting late in the day or you’re too tired to continue – stop the project for the time being.

Over the years, we have installed tons of molding, trim work, paneling, and Board and Batten – unfortunately, I wasn’t blogging at the time, so I did not document our process. But what we found to be very helpful was to batch the work.

For example, we always measured twice (sometimes three times) and cut once (sometimes twice to get it right). 

We TEMPORARILY installed a few pieces on the wall and took a few steps back to confirm our cuts we accurate, and of course, we used a level.

Then we would install the pieces and used them as our example for all future cuts.

Next, if we had to cut 20 pieces of a certain width and length, my husband would set up our saws and make all the cuts. I would stack them on top of each other and inspect each one.

We could continue the process until all “cuts” were completed. Most times, the process of our job would look like this.

Interior Board and Batten wainscoting

Day One:            Design

Day Two:            Pick up material and prep (cut the pieces and pick up any extra or replacements to complete the job)

Day Three:         Start installing

Advice For Painting Interior Siding and Paneling

If you are working with bare or unprimed wood, use primer. By the way, I would advise against using an all-in-one prime plus paint product. It only contains a small amount of primer, which would not provide you with the best base foundation. In other words, a pro can tell the difference when a separate primer is used.

Depending on how detailed your wainscoting paneling is, you may use a roller and brush for the edges. However, if your project is extensive or you are looking for a super smooth finish, a paint sprayer will be your best friend.

In our current property, I spent two weeks painting my textured ceilings only to have my mother request for a fresh coat of paint to her ceilings once I was done. My husband and brother-in-law used a paint sprayer and completed her ceilings in one day. What the what?! Tell me about it.

P-A-I-N-T  S-P-R-A-Y-E-R

I should include both homes were under demo at the time, so furniture did not need protection. If your house has furniture, you can purchase inexpensive drop cloths to protect your belongings.

In defense of my husband and brother-in-law, they did offer to spray all my ceilings, but I had to WAIT. And I’m a TYPE A personality who likes to keep a project moving at all costs. Their work schedule was booked, and this chick wanted to move into her home and unpack. 

Ideas For Wainscoting and Other DIY Accent Walls

As some of you already know, I’m a contributor over at HomeTalk, so I’ve included this tutorial from my fellow blogger to give you a quick walkthrough of how it’s done.

Tresha provides some great tips and inspiration. Her larger grid pattern and choice of color makes her design very modern.

Scott covers two issues you may come across during your install. First, how to handle low ceilings and second, what to do if your electrical receptacles are in the way of your batten board during installation.

Keep Your Home In Order With Our Maintenance Kit

In Conclusion

Molding can transform any exterior or interior room in your home. And as you can see, there are different ways to go about it. Board and batten siding, walls, or Wainscotting can be installed to create artistic designs so much so that you can skip artwork altogether – at least on some walls 😊

Lastly, for home styling tips and tricks drop by anytime. Hey, we’re always up for company. In the meantime head over to this post if you’re interested in the German Schmear brick techniques or  Easy Woodworking Projects For Beginners | DIY Home Projects.

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Rebecca

Die-hard DIYer and home enthusiast.

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