DIY Faux Board and Batten

I’m so excited to share this project! With just 3 days, we’ve transformed the basement from Doublemint gum to Serene blue, with some fun detailing ‘woodwork’.

Before and after
Halfway before, partially painted. The old color on the bottom

This was a quick and affordable project that gave the basement a whole new look. I’ve been wanting to add board and batten since I first saw it floating around on Pinterest.

To start, you’ll want to measure the height of the wall and determine how high you’d like your board and batten to go. From the research I did there didn’t seem to be a set standard, aside from ‘not the center’. I opted for 2/3 the height, marked the 1/3 distance along the wall and then loosely marked with tape. I did not measure for level at this point because the top board would cover the seam and if the line happened to slope by more than 3″ (the width of the board), I would just touch up the paint afterward.

Luckily for me, my mom offered to come help with the painting so we knocked two coats of blue out in just a couple hours and the next day, I applied two coats of basic white semi-gloss paint.

White paint completed
Bye-bye green! Two coats of white completed

The following weekend, I purchased all of the supplies for the ‘batten’. After looking at the pine options, I determined it was going to cost more than $150 to complete…not an option. After spending three lunch breaks comparing the options at Lowe’s and Home Depot, I opted for a 3″x 8′ MDF for the top at just $4 each (I bought 4 to account for errors but only ended up using 3).

I was going to use lattice for the battens (a thin pine) that was around $.90 a foot. I decided to purchase 100 feet, not knowing how many spaces I was going to create, but $90 was more than I wanted to spend. I found some manufactured detail pieces, like foam and pvc, that cost just $.45 a foot. It was paintable, sandable, and could be installed with nails. Was it even a question? Hmm, nope!

The next step, for me, was the hardest part-determining the number of spaces you want and the distance between the battens. I had a hard time figuring this out, so I did what any DIY chick does and texted my brother, haha! Math is not exactly my forte, so I will pass along the advice he gave me: Find the center, determine your spaces from there-and mark the distance for the center of each batten. If your wall is 20′, divide by 2 to find the center-10′. If you decide you want 5 spaces, then 10/5=2. Your spacing would be 2′ apart.*

After taping the location of the studs to the wall, Jon and I began installing the top piece. Always use a level, measuring from the ceiling or from the floor could yield crooked results as it’s likely that neither a floor or ceiling is perfectly level.

Taping the studs made the nailing go quick

Now comes the fun part-attaching the battens! First, mark the locations of the battens based on your measurements. Knowing the locations at the time of install makes the application go quickly because you won’t have to be continually be measuring between cuts.

Mark the wall
To verify your measurements, mark the batten locations and adjust accordingly

Measure the distance from the floor trim to the horizontal piece and cut. Lattice (mine, though not pine, was also called lattice) is pretty light and you could easily install with just liquid nails, but I opted to use a nail gun which creates more work in the long run but I think it’s a faster install.

battens installed
All the battens up!

Now it’s time to clean up! That nail gun leaves quite the mark, so I went through and filled each hole with wood putty. In addition to the nail holes, I also caulked all of the seams between the top piece, each batten and the wall. The caulk fills the gaps from a wall not being level and creates a seamless look.

Fill caulk sand
Fill – Caulk – Sand

I spent Saturday installing the battens and Sunday completing the paint prep work. Jon and I spent Sunday evening painting the seams and rolling the wall and battens to ensure a nice even coat edge-to-edge.

Today, we have this beauty

Finished basement
Oooh so preetttty

I am so completely happy with how this project turned out, I can’t say it enough, this was an easy project, really anyone can do it!

Not including paint, the board and batten cost less than $70! Realize that if you want to recreate the look, you have a lot of options to choose (pine, MDF, PVC) and with my project you can’t even tell it’s not wood.

*That’s how I understood it, that’s how I installed it. But I already prefaced the ‘not-a-math-whiz’ claim, so draft your layout first to ensure accuracy.


    I'm very proud of the way this looks! Amazing job sweety. I helped a little bit but you did most of the work , excellent work.

    Jon Margi | 4 years ago Reply

    Beautiful! You really do nice work!

    A. Dianne | 4 years ago Reply

    Very impressive job, it looks really great!!

    Paulette | 4 years ago Reply

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