Board and Batten Bandwagon

Those of you out there who are regular consumers of home blogs will certainly not be surprised to hear that I’ve been planning to add some board and batten trim to a few spots in the house.  Honestly, I feel like I’m soooo late to the party, even though I’ve been wanting to do this for years!  But I’m finally embarking on my first try at some board and batten.  There are many places in our house that I think could use it–both bathrooms, the laundry room, and the mudroom.  I thought at first it made sense to start in the room that would have the least complicated installation.  But when I thought about it more, I figured if I was going to invest the time, money, and energy to figure it out and get it installed, it probably made sense to do it where we most needed it.  And that, my friends is how we landed on starting in the mudroom.

The mudroom hasn’t gotten a ton of play (yet!) on the blog, probably because we have barely touched it since we had it carved out during our massive kitchen remodel.  When the dust settled, we had this lovely little nook with 4 hooks:

mudroom hooks and bench
And honestly, in Summer, this spot worked great.  Four hooks was plenty.  In Summer.  Come Winter, or any season requiring coats (which in Chicago is pretty much Fall through Spring) this area got completely overrun.  It was actually last Winter that I figured out that a wall of board and batten could be super functional in our small mudroom.  But with everything else we had in the works, there was no way I could even think about doing it.  But since then, I’ve been eyeing this long wall, blank wall in the mudroom:

mudroom wall before board and batten

And since during all that time we’ve been buried in other projects (or taking a break from house projects due to morning sickness…) I’ve instead been reading up on tutorials for installing board and batten.  I’ve probably not read more than 20 different tutorials and finally felt ready to start planning our first board and batten wall a few weeks ago.  One of the biggest differences between the tutorials I read was the materials used.  A lot of tutorials showed how to do a pretty easy board and batten treatment that was mostly decorative using pretty thin strips of wood.  Although I was leaning that way for a while since I thought it might be easier, I finally figured out that since we needed our wall to hold a ton of hooks (not to mention stuff) that we needed to go the more heavy-duty route and use thicker boards.

The other thing we had to figure out was the exact design and spacing of all the boards and battens.  On a basic rectangular wall this is pretty simple math.  However, since we are installing this around an existing bench it made things much more complicated.  I relied most heavily on this tutorial in the planning but did end up tweaking the plan a bit to better fit our space.  For example, she used all 1×3 and 1×6 primed pine boards, but the plans we drew up used 1×3, 1×4, 1×6, and 1×8 boards since it just ended up fitting the space better.

In order to figure out how much wood to buy and how to space everything, I first sketched out everything on graph paper and then used painters tape to sketch out the board and batten pattern on the wall.  This was really helpful since I’m such a visual person–especially for working around the light switch and bench, and figuring out what heights would work so that the kiddo could reach some of the hooks.  DH was helpful here since he could help gauge if things looked or felt too high or low.  He also double checked my measurements which I really appreciated!  Here’s what we ended up sketched with tape on the wall:

board and batten planning

I also removed the baseboard trim at the bottom of the wall to help get more precise measurements since I knew we’d be replacing it with a 1×8 board.  I’ll be sure to post some updates again soon as this project progresses.  I’m SO excited!



9 thoughts on “Board and Batten Bandwagon

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      • Thanks so much! I’m actually in the process of doing this project in my dining room, and i couldn’t decide how high to make it… and trying to find the studs in my 1959 ranch style… it is…. challenging. I think there may be the slats behind the drywall… I have tried the magnet test to find the screw heads as well… their spacing make less than any sense. ugh!

      • We’ve had similar issues before with finding studs. In older homes I think magnetic stud finders are less effective (in my experience at least). Sometimes you end up drilling a whole lot of little pilot holes! There are other more robust (and expensive) kinds of stud finders out there though that might help you out! I definitely feel you pain though 🙂

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