I’ve admired board and batten on Pinterest and on other blogs for the past couple of years and knew it would be a great addition to our master bathroom. The main floor of our house has a great trim package with crown moulding and a more traditional picture box wainscoting in the dining room. Hubs and I read over tutorials here and here and felt it was something we could tackle on our own. This is a HUGE step forward from where we were 3 or 4 years ago when it came to DIY. I’m so glad my man has gained confidence and that we can tackle these projects just the two of us. A warning about the following photos: they are horrible. All were snapped with my phone, at night, in our less than ideally lit bathroom. Forgive me.
After studying the tutorials and looking over our walls, we decided two things:
1. We didn’t need to put up panels to cover the walls because the walls are smooth and only have a thin coat of flat paint – very easy to paint to look like a panel. Priming didn’t even need to be exact, just high enough to land behind the shortest piece of trim that would go up.
2. We could work with our existing baseboards because not only are they flat across the top, they are deep enough for the battens to rest on them. This was a huge time and budget saver.
After some measuring and calculating, we picked up the materials and got started. I primed all the boards prior to installation so that everything would have 1 coat of primer once it was all up. We were able to jump right in with the battens because the boards we chose were the height we wanted, so they didn’t require any cuts. Score!
Putting up the battens was fairly easy. Once we decided the spacing and placement, we confirmed it was level and marked the wall so we had a guide. We added liquid nails to the back of each board, lined it up with the mark we made and then stuck it on. Once it was in place, we finished it with trim nails. Not many of them landed in studs and we wanted those bad boys to stay.
We had a few hiccups as we went along (hiccup is DIY’s middle name). You can see from the above photo that with a bit more planning, the three boards could have been shifted to the left allowing that far right batten to end just before the outlet, eliminating the need to trim the board to fit around it. We had actually planned to do it that way, but got a little trigger happy getting started and while we knew the spacing between the battens, we forgot to confirm the space from either end. Oh well, it could have been worse.
The second hiccup was when we went to put the first horizontal board up and discovered that the center batten was a little more than an 1/8 of an inch taller than the other two. This created a teeter-totter effect and larger gaps than we wanted to fill with mud or caulk. So, we did what any DIYer does and got inventive.
Yes, we cut away the excess with a blade. I might have gotten a strange look when my husband found me shaving the board away with his utility knife, but it worked pretty darn well and we ended with high-fives all around when the length was right and we could move on.
We attached the horizontal board with liquid nails and with drywall screws into the studs. We will be attaching hooks for our towels into this board, so we wanted the extra reinforcement.
Next up was adding the trim piece that lays flat to create a small ledge, as well as the inside cove piece we chose to give a more finished look.
We assembled these three pieces individually on this section of the wall. Since they require straight cuts, it was easy to get them all to line up. However, as we moved into the smaller, toilet room of our bathroom, we did things a bit differently.
This room has two corners that needed to be cut at 45 degree angles. We knew it would be a nightmare to try to fit together 6 pieces correctly, so my man was smart and glued and clamped the horizontal piece, the flat ledge piece and the cove to make one large trim section. Then, all he had to do was make 2 cuts for each corner (1 for each side) instead of cutting 6. I now call him “Bob Vela”. The large trim piece was attached with liquid glue and finished with trim nails.
After everything was up, we had to fill the nail holes and mud up a few places that didn’t fit perfectly. Our motto around here is “Caulk and paint make it what it ain’t”! It’s waiting for it’s final coats of paint.
This was a fun first step in Project Master Bathroom. Can’t wait to show you when it’s finished!
Have you added any board and batten to your home? Tackled a bathroom project recently?