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:
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?!)
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.
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.
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.
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!