DIY Framed In Board and Batten: Add WOW factor to any room

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I mentioned before that my husband and I just recently moved into our first home and have been so super busy making some DIY improvements to our home. Our first DIY home project was to tackle our horribly outdated dining room. This room had the 70’s works: Gold and goddy chandelier, huge wall mirror, beige trim and on and on and on. I scoured the internet looking for ideas to update and really add that wow factor to our dining room. I found a few blogs discussing DIY board and batten. I liked what I saw but I wanted something a bit more “wow factor” ish. I got together with my father-in-law, who happens to be a builder, and here is what we came up with:

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This is a double layered board and batten that has been framed in with molding. The height is 6′ on a 9′ wall. We chose white for all the framing and a charcoal brown for the 3′ of uncovered wall. This is really much easier than it looks. All it is is MDF board nailed onto a bare wall, molding added into the board to frame it in, and then a whole lot of caulking and painting. Not too bad for the HUGE wow factor it adds.

What You Need:

MDF Boards (we saved a few bucks and did not go with the pre-primed MDF but you could get that and save yourself a bit of time). Here are the approximate cuts we used:
Base – 1/2″ x 8″ x whatever length you need for your room
Batten – 1/2″ x 3″ x whatever length you need for your room (I used 23″ long pieces along the bottom level and 32″ pieces along the top level and placed the middle of each piece every 2′, varying it slightly to fit into smaller/larger spots)
Chair rail – 1/2″ x 6″ x whatever length you need for your room.

Molding of your choice for the framing. Look for something that is thicker on one side and thinner on the other. I’ll include a close up of the molding we used a little later in this post.

Shoe molding for the base

Nail Gun

Miter Saw

Caulk

Level

Paint of your choice

What To Do:

First, remove all base boards, shoe molding and chair molding off the wall. Be careful not to put any holes in your wall. But, if you are like me, just pick up some patch tape and cover them right up.

Second, measure the lengths you will need for all your cuts.

Third, measure again! You cannot be too safe when it comes to measurements. I would suggest you do these 3 steps before buying your supplies. This way, you can buy your MDF board in a 4×8 sheet and have lowes cut it up for you in store for $.25 a cut. This saved me an entire day of cutting and will make your project a MUCH easier experience. Use the miter saw to make the small adjustments you need to get that perfect fit.

Fourth, you are now ready to buy your supplies. Go get them!

Fifth, start nailing the MDF board onto your wall. First, add the base board around the entire room. Then add the batten pieces along the base board, using a level to make sure each batten is straight, straight, straight. Then add the chair railing which will also be the base for your second layer. Repeat the above instructions to finish the second layer. Here is what it looks like once you have the two layers up (you can also see where that horrible mirror used to be on the wall):

NOTE: once the MDF is up you CAN use wood filler to cover the nails but to be honest, caulking covered it just as well and was much less messy. You can see where we used wood filler above so I wanted to note that we tried that and it was more time-consuming than helpful.

Sixth, start framing in your board and batten. You want to use your miter saw to cut 45 degree angles at the end of each framing piece so you get a nice sharp edge like so:

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Seventh, nail in the shoe molding against the base boards

Eighth, caulk all the gaps, bumps, edges, nails, etc.

Ninth, paint it. We used Kilz and then added our paint but to be honest, two coats of our white top coat would have been sufficient.

Voila! You are done. We added a chandelier we got on sale for $36 to top it off. I LOVE how it turned out!

I LOVE a good “wow factor” idea! Let me know what fun ideas you come up with.

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