Cheap and Chic Board and Batten Tutorial

Hey hey! Are you all ready to get your painting clothes on and nail guns fired up?? I've gotten soooo many questions on how to do this board and batten...well, more about how I did it so cheap :) I guess this is where I should put the disclaimer.... I had my paint on that made it a lot cheaper than it would have been. But even with paint, it would only come out to be about $30-$40. But instead, this cost me only $11.
DIY Board and Batten -This bathroom was done for only $11!

I've been wanting to do board and batten in my house for years now. But every time I go to get the supplies, its then that I remember why I haven't done it yet. Its expensive stuff! Maybe not if you want to do a little bathroom like mine, but when you are talking about larger spaces, those little mdf pieces add up. For a 6 foot primed piece of mdf, it was $3.22. I needed at least 7 for the slats, then about 2 more for the top edge, and a little thicker one to top it off. I don't remember how much the thicker one was, but it was probably pushing $5, lets say. So total to do this bathroom for just the wood would have been about $33. Or you can do the primed pine board. You can get an 8 footer for about $4. But unless you are cutting your boards in half to get two slats out of each 8 foot piece, then that doesn't matter. That just means its that more expensive.

Or you can go my route and get 1x2s for 75 cents each that come in 8 footers also. If you don't like the 1x2s, you can get 1x3s for about $1.50 or so. Still half price of the mdf or primed pine.

Okay...before I get into all the gory details. Here's a reminder of the way my bathroom looked before:
And here it is after:
DIY Board and Batten -This bathroom was done for only $11!
Okay. So to get from point A to point B. Here are the supplies you'll need:
  • 9 - 1x2 (8 foot)
  • 2 - 1x4 (8 foot)
  • Saw
  • Sander
  • Nail gun
  • Screws/screwdriver
  • Level
  • Paint
  • White Caulk
When picking out the wood, make sure they are super super straight. I spent probably at least 15 minutes finding good 1x2s. To make sure they are straight, line up your eye with the top and look all the way down it, you can usually tell if its straight or not. If it bows at all, throw it back into the pile :) Do this for both edges, the 2 inch and 1 inch edge to make sure its good. As for the 1x4, even though they appear straight, they may still bow in the middle, so lay them on the ground and see if its flat or wobbly. If its wobbly, put it back.

Once you get them home, sand all the babies down. Get rid of any of the craziness on them, because that rough grain will show through 100 times worse when painted.
    Okay. So to start off, I needed to know how many 1x2 slats I needed. I figured I wanted them separated about 15 inches from each other. So for this long wall, I needed four and for the shorter wall, 2. I cut them at 57 inches each.
    DIY Board and Batten -This bathroom was done for only $11!
    Next get your 1x4 and measure it the length of the wall. At first, I measured 57 inches up from the molding and secured the 1x4, but then realized it was a really tight fit when I tried to get the 1x2s under it. Luckily, I just had two nails in it so it was easy to pull off.

    So next I put one of the 1x2s on the wall and then secured the 1x4 on top of it. This gave me the perfect height. I of course made sure the 1x4 was leveled, and then secured it to the studs with some screws.
    Next was to put the slats in. I put marks on the 1x4 where I wanted the slats to be that way I could line up the mark in the middle of the slat rather than having the slat cover it and not know for sure where it was if I had marked it on the wall. The first slat was about 9 inches from the end instead of 15, this just looked better rather than starting right at 15. If I had started at 15 inches, it would have been too far of a gap. Then from the 9 inch mark, I measured 15 inches, then again, all the way until the end of the wall.
     DIY Board and Batten -This bathroom was done for only $11!
    To put the slat on, slide it under the 1x4 and line the middle up with the mark you just created. Make sure you use your level to ensure it is straight. Then secure with nails from your nail gun.
    DIY Board and Batten -This bathroom was done for only $11!
    Do this for all the slats
    DIY Board and Batten -This bathroom was done for only $11!
    Now for the top "shelf". I used another 1x2 and secured it to the top of the 1x4 wide side down with the nail gun.
    DIY Board and Batten -This bathroom was done for only $11!
    And now prepping for the paint! I couldn't find my little allen wrench so I kept the towel bar on and just put some painters tape around it.

    You can also see from this angle that I just place the 1x2s directly on the molding. I have some really nice molding in here, so I didn't want to replace it. The 1x2s hang off a little bit, but not enough for me to really care :)

    DIY Board and Batten -This bathroom was done for only $11!
    On this shorter wall, I wanted to see if it was easier to paint first and then add the slats. So I put the 1x4 and 1x2 shelf up, and then painted away. To paint around a toilet, just throw a garbage bag over it.

    After all was said and done, it was sixes. Next time, I would probably do the painting first method though. Especially if its a larger space. Its a lot easy maneuvering a paint roller around when you don't have to navigate between slats.
    DIY Board and Batten -This bathroom was done for only $11!
    I also did the paint first idea on my shorter wall by the counter. Since I was going to add the mirror, you can see above that I left about an inch gap between the shelf and mirror.

    And to prepare to paint, I took off all the light switch and plug covers. I didn't take a picture of the slats before they were painted. But I decided not to go with the 15 inch gap on this side because it would only allot me one slat and it looked really funny. So I made the gap smaller, I think at about 10 or 12 inches so I could fit two slats instead. Of course these were measured a little smaller since they ended at the counter instead of the molding.
    DIY Board and Batten -This bathroom was done for only $11!
    Okay. Now that all the painting is done. I started to realize that my 1x2s weren't as straight as I thought :) You can see where they bow a little bit against the wall.  But no worries! That's a super easy fix :)
    DIY Board and Batten -This bathroom was done for only $11!
    I used some caulk to fill in the seams :) This is white silicone caulk. I just ran a bead of it along each seam, and then ran my finger down it to smooth it out and push it in the gap. I then took a damp towel and ran it back down the seam to clean it up. Easy Peasy!
    DIY Board and Batten -This bathroom was done for only $11!
     You can't see the gaps at all now. I used this caulk where the 1x2s met the 1x4 and where the 1x4 met the top 1x2.
    DIY Board and Batten -This bathroom was done for only $11!
    So, I wanted to put a shelf above the toilet, but when it came around to doing it, it looked really off. The board and batten was just too high. It now was measuring about 67 inches from the floor. I didn't have very many more inches to work with :) But I did want more of a ledge that 2 inches(or in reality, 1.5 inches. Why do they call it a 1x2 when its really a 0.75x1.75??? same with any other 1x4 or 3 or 2x6 or, get my point). So to solve this problem, I just nailed on a 1x4 back on top of the 1x2. This gave me more room to put larger accessories and possible rolled up hand towels in the future :) But I think I currently have more towels than I need, so thats why you don't see any there for

    DIY Board and Batten -This bathroom was done for only $11!
    Here you can see where I placed the slats on the wall by the counter. They are closer than the others, but who will really notice or care? :) I'll show you how I did this mirror frame in an upcoming post. Total cost for the frame? $4. Yup :)
    DIY Board and Batten -This bathroom was done for only $11!
    And there you have it! Total cost of this board and batten - $10.75.

    It took about 6 hours to complete. Most of that was watching paint dry...and listening to American Idol :) I hope I covered most of your questions, let me know if you have any more!

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    happy DIYing! Alicia