Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nursery Progress: Board & Batten

With just 10 weeks to go until my due date, we are in full preparation mode for Little Lo.  We are making progress in decorating the nursery!  We picked up our crib tonight, the bedding arrived earlier this week, I ordered extra fabric with the bedding to sew curtains this weekend, I bought a mobile off of Craigslist yesterday, and I have collected a pile of supplies to create some art for the room.  I am so excited to see it all come together!

After moving my craft room to the basement & emptying out the future nursery, our first step was to install board and batten.  Here are a few before photos of the room:
And after with the board & batten all finished!
We are so happy with how it turned out!  Adding the board & batten gave the room a lot more character, makes it feel lighter & brighter, and the finished trim work turned out exactly as I had envisioned it in my head.  (Don't you love it when that happens?!)   
You will notice that I am absent from all of the "action" photos of the board & batten progress.  That is because I didn't do any of the work!  I helped to decide on the logistics of the project and brainstorm some ideas and "assisted" briefly a couple of times when Tru needed an extra set of hands to hold the longer horizontal pieces while he nailed them in, but otherwise, he completed this project entirely on his own over a couple of weekends and several evenings.  He did an awesome job!  He got a new tool (a nail gun) as a part of the job.
For those of you who might be interested in installing board & batten as well, I am not going to write a complete step-by-step tutorial because there are already some detailed & very helpful ones out there.  So, I will share the tutorials with you that we found the most helpful, and then just share some of the specific details of how we decided to execute the project in our space.  We found this tutorial from It's The Little Things incredibly helpful.  Kimba also shares some valuable hints in her tutorial on A Soft Place To Land.
We used 1/2 inch MDF, which we purchased in sheets from Home Depot.  We had them cut the sheets into strips for us.  We lucked out because we were there on Father's Day evening and it wasn't busy so they were willing to take the time to make the cuts for us....all 30ish of them.  If they are busy, they will be hesitant to make that many cuts and tie up the saw, so if you are hoping they will cut the strips for you, I would recommend going at an "off time" when they won't be as busy to increase your chances!

There are several different ways that I've seen people deal with their existing woodwork at the bottom, from leaving the overhang of the wider MDF where it meets their baseboards to cutting the bottom of each vertical strip up at an angle to make it thinner where it meets the baseboard, to ripping out the baseboard and replacing it with MDF strips to match.  As we looked at our situation and our particular baseboard, we opted to do something I haven't seen done on any other tutorials.  Our baseboards are significantly narrowed at the top, so we opted to cut the bottom of each board at a 45 degree angle, with the point facing down, so that the point of each strip would overlap the top of our baseboard just a little bit.  (I forgot to take a close up photo of this, but will try to add one soon.)

We made our thicker horizontal strip around the top 3.5 inches wide and the vertical strips 2 inches wide.  We spaced 12-13 inches between each strip.  Unless you have long one really long wall, you will visually not be able to tell if they aren't all exactly the same width apart.  Deviating a little bit will help you to avoid obstacles in the room like light switches, outlets, and vents so you don't have start and stop your trip pieces above and below them.  We started with a tricky spot, under the window where the vent was, and then worked out from there (as recommended by the tutorial on It's The Little Things.)  We then measured out from those first 2 vertical strips, and used painters tape to hold the tops of the strips in place while we moved around the room and adjusted the spacing until we had all of the strips where we wanted them. 
We would highly recommend installing in this order:
1.  Mark off your walls with a pencil all the way around the room where you want the board and batten to stop, and then paint your walls white up to that mark.  (We marked approximately the middle of where the horizontal strips would hang so we could be sure that those boards would cover our paint line.)
2.  Prime the top and sides of each strip of plain MDF with Kilz, then paint each one with two coats of white paint.  We used Behr Plus Primer from Home Depot and had them custom color match the paint to the color that was on our woodwork when we moved in.  It will be SO much easier to paint the strips with their initial coats of paint before they are on the wall, then you can apply just one coat after they are hung and you have filled your nail holes!
3.  Hang the horizontal strips first, being sure to use a level to make sure they are straight.
4.  Plan the spacing & placement of each vertical strip, and use a pencil to mark both sides of the strip onto the wall in the spot where you are going to hang each.  You won't see your pencil marks after you caulk and paint the final coat.
5.  Hang the vertical strips.  You will want to use a level to make sure these are also straight.
6.  Use paintable caulk to caulk along both sides of each vertical strip, which will fill in the seams and give it a much more finished look!  Make sure to use paintable caulk!  Thrifty Decor Chick gives a helpful tutorial on caulking & spackling if it is new to you.
7.  Fill the nail holes with spackle and sand down when dry.
8.  Apply 1 additional coat of paint to all the strips to cover the caulk & nail holes.  Truman rolled the flat tops of the strips, then used a brush to paint the sides of the strips as he went along.  After you've given one additional coat to all of the strips, you can touch up as needed if spackle is still showing through in some spots.
Those are our hints & tips after installing board & batten and doing lots of research to decide how we were going to go about it.  It isn't necessarily a difficult project, but it is tedious.  But, it was definitely worth the effort (and Tru agrees too!)

I am excited to share the other projects & details of the nursery as it comes together over the next month or so!   I am even more excited to have a finished room all ready for our little guy's arrival!

1 comment:

Faith, Trust, and a Little Pixie Dust said...

Thank you for your sweet comment about my napkin tutorial - you made my day! Be sure to take pictures & share them at my next linky party! (Not this Friday, but July 23rd.) I'd love to spotlight your project. BTW, this board & batten project turned out so great!

Warmly, Michelle