Primary Bedroom Board and Batten Accent Wall

Projects

This was the start of a bedroom transformation that I never really had a plan for. Like many of you, we scroll through Pinterest and Instagram (admittedly, too frequently) absorbing crazy amounts of inspiration for our home. Sometimes it’s overwhelming – how is MY house ever going to look as stylish and edited as THAT house? It’s simple, really. You’ll see with this room that it’s just a matter of biting off one project at a time. It doesn’t have to happen all at once, and sometimes that time in between projects leads you down a design path you never could have planned for.

When I saw Angela Rose’s “board and batten” wall, I knew I wanted to find a place for something similar in our home. There is something about it that instantly makes a space feel cozy and inviting. I’m not particularly a fan of accent walls in general, as they tend to feel like a forced focal point (in my opinion, to each their own!) but the added texture of the battens swayed my thinking.

We have one wall in our primary bedroom that doesn’t have any windows or doors, so that immediately became our canvas.

A brief history lesson

In writing this post, I was curious about whether or not “board and batten” was actually the correct term for this application and where it all stems from.

In short, a batten is a skinny strip of wood that is nailed over top of the seams between wider boards in a repeating pattern. In the early days, this technique aided in weather proofing homes (can you imagine the drafts?!) This is also commonly referred to as “barn siding” as it is often used on the exterior of barns. Traditionally, the boards and battens were installed in a vertical orientation, but nowadays you’ll see this treatment installed horizontally and vertically.

From what I can tell, this wall treatment is an evolution of the board and batten application inspired by traditional wood panelling. Here is a great breakdown of wood paneling if you’re interested!

Board and batten is really quite simple to execute and has a ton of potential for customization – varying board widths and thicknesses, varying asymmetrical or symmetrical grid sizes, full wall or half wall – the possibilities are endless! We followed Angela Rose’s tutorial pretty closely, but because our walls were smooth we were able to skip over steps 1–4 where she walks through resurfacing her wall with eucaboard (eucalyptus hardboard).

Here are a couple of tips we learned along the way:

  • Be patient and take your time making sure each batten is level and aligned. If you don’t you may find your grid looks a bit wonky when you step back.
  • More often than not you’ll find your walls are not perfectly flat or square. You can slide shims behind your battens to make sure they are flush to the touch. Your caulk lines will hide any shims you’ve tucked in!
  • Make sure you wood fill and sand all nail holes and caulk all seams. This tedious work makes a world of difference in the quality of the finished product!
  • Everyone has different tips and tricks on how to achieve the best caulk line, but I found a combination of a properly cut tip and wetting your finger with a cup of water when wiping off excess gave me the cleanest caulk line with minimal mess! (Learn how to cut your caulk tip here and learn how to wipe off excess caulk here)
  • We used our Craftsman Air Compressor & 16 Gauge Finish Nailer to install this project. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s one of the most used tools in our toolbox BUT we do look forward to upgrading to DEWALT cordless nailers in the future (less to lug around)!

We did not use a paint sprayer for our wall, but if you want that perfectly smooth, professional finish an HVLP sprayer will definitely get you there! Since this room doesn’t get much sunlight the wall doesn’t reflect a ton of texture, so we decided to keep the paint job and clean up simple. In a brighter room, and with some more recent paint spraying experience under our belt, I would definitely consider that approach! I chose a color that was as close to Angela Rose’s wall as I could (when it works, it works, what can I say!) which was Valspar’s Deep River Green found at Lowes.

We will without doubt be applying the knowledge we learned from this feature wall to future projects. It was the perfect project to practice some basic skills, while learning a few new ones and getting the hang of some unfamiliar tools!

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