Monday, April 1, 2013

$70 front entry makeover - DIY Board and batten!

 This weekend I did one of my favorite room makeovers ever. Surprisingly, it was also the least expensive, and the only one I've ever done without Joel's help. 

Our front hallway was seriously lacking in the beauty department. For whatever reason, the previous owners decided that painting it avocado green and slapping a weird, sideways rail around the room was acceptable. Even more confusing, Joel and I lived with the room like this for almost five months before I did anything about it.

Joel was tied up all weekend working on our hardwood herringbone kitchen floors (which are looking killer, by the way) so I wanted to find something I could do on my own to help beautify our house.

I've seen tutorials all over the internet for DIY board and batten, and finally decided that I would give it a try. It ended up being even easier than I could have imagined. I feel silly for living with this hideous vegetable colored mess of an entryway for so long.

I began working on my entryway on Friday (which I had off from work.) The first thing I did was  prime the entire room white. I even painted the wood baseboards and molding, which was so boring but needed to be done so badly.

Once that was finished, I began to figure out my room. I knew that I was going to place my batten strips 16 inches apart, because that's how far apart the studs in the room are (this actually ended up not mattering anyway, which you'll see later.) I decided to place my top rail 3 feet up from my baseboards, which was really an arbitrary height that just seemed to work in the space.

I made a sketch of my space, and figured out how many battens I would need (13, at about $1.50 each) and how many feet of wood I would need for the top rail (about 20 feet of 1x3 wood, so I needed 3 pieces of 1x3x8 pine at $1.27 a piece.) The wood itself cost me about $30. I also bought some paint (a mistint at $10) a new rug for the door, and some hooks.

When I got home, I began to space my battens apart on the wall. I would tape them up using painters tape, then use a level to make sure they were straight (since the painters tape wasn't too tight, I could slide them around to make them level.)

To make the job easier on myself, I had a scrap of 1x3 cut to 16 inches, which I used to space my batten evenly. 

 Once I had a walls worth of battens placed, I used a nail gun to secure them in place.

Once the batten was nailed in, I was able to slide the rail in place. Since the batten was all cut to the same length, the rail was level to begin with. I used my nail gun to secure the rail.

To secure the rail, I used a drill to add screws every time there was a stud. Since I had initially spaced my batten 16" apart, this should have been easy, but it turns out I still needed to use a stud finder to find some of the studs. I guess things like electrical switches, compounded by the fact that this house is weird and old, made the studs not totally evenly spaced.

Once the screws were in, it was time to sit back and adore my wall. 

It took about an hour to put the board and batten up around the whole room. It went so quickly. Once I was done with the wood, I used wood filler to cover up the holes from my screws, and used caulking to fill in any cracks between the walls and my rail.

 The next day, I began painting. I did the top part of my walls first, because I figured if I dripped anything, it would be easy to cover with the white.

Next, I painted the board and batten white, and that really changed the entire room. I added some hooks, an old chair I made over a while ago, and some homemade art work.

I'm in love!

Our floors are really coming along. I'll hopefully be posting about them this week!


  1. Oh my gosh! This may be my favorite of your makeovers so far! I'm impressed that you accomplished this yourself, so quickly. I love the fresh clean color, and everything about it. Beautiful!!!


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