Wednesday, January 26, 2011

board + batten

we really wanted to define our dining area and set it apart from the living + kitchen areas, even though it's the space that joins the two together. thus...board and batten! this seemed to fit with the existing craftsman detailing + was an easy, inexpensive project to really help formalize the dining area.

we pretty much used the great tutorial from Karla and tweaked as needed. all of the blogs i found used mdf, but we used hardwood since that's consistent with the rest of our trim.

we used 1x8s for the top horizontal piece and struggled to find the right trim for the ledge. we settled on 1/2" x 4" boards so they wouldn't stick out too far or be in the way of dining guests.

[the sketch: pardon my drawing skills]

first, we drew out the top ledge onto the wall, attached the 1x8 and ledge trim. we used caulk to fill in any gaps. we had some serious gaps since our walls are quite bowed in some places. with the magic of caulk, you'll never know!! one of the horizontal boards was cut too short. back to the store for a replacement.

[cricket drawing a level line for the top board]

[the boards + battens in almost place]

[cricket caulking in the gaps: our wall wasn't terribly square]

cricket wanted to figure out a way to integrate the battens into the baseboards. this was probably the most tedious part. he chipped out sections of the baseboard trim so the battens could rest directly on top of the baseboard. it worked out really well + appears seamless!

[battens integrated into baseboards]

[battens and baseboards]

we primed the wall and boards after they were all in place. i know some people did the painting before the boards went up, but for us, this worked. we had a nightmare with the paint. not for the painting process itself, but with the actual paint. attempt #1: instead of using the trim paint, we realized we'd actually used the exterior trim paint. no wonder it looked yellow. attempt #2: found the actual interior trim paint and tried it. but it was too white. maybe it was too old or had been sitting in the crawl space too long. attempt #3: i took a piece of our existing trim to be color-matched at lowe's. when i called, they said they needed a piece larger than a quarter. so, i took a small door to make sure they had plenty of a flat surface. turns out they can't use anything BIGGER than a quarter. i was befuddled and the worker couldn't figure out why i was annoyed. i almost cried at the paint stand--it was just one of those days by that point. attempt #4: tracked down the original trim paint manufacturer. they were closed for the day. the next day, they were able to color match according to the original can's label AND the piece of existing trim. let the painting begin (errr....resume):
[paint drying]

we are so happy with the way it turned out! several nights in a row, i just sat on the couch (with wine glass in hand) giggling at how good it looks. it really looks like it's been there all along. so much so that cricket's folks didn't even notice it when they came over a few days later, despite them oohing + ahhing over photos. yes, sir. it. looks. that. good.

we have a drum pendant we'll soon be installing (now that the mount finally arrived) and it'll be good as new. if you're interested in this chandelier, let me know. it'll soon be listed on craigslist.

this project cost us around $80 i think. between the wood runs, the random supplies we were out of, and the paint mix-up it took us sat-mon to finish it.

***update*** houston, we have installed the pendant. and it looks fabulous. f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s. fabulous. check it out.



[short drum pendant with natural linen shade from west elm]

the drum pendant put us over the $100 mark, and i'm now learning we could've probably diy'd our own for a bit cheaper [not to mention fewer trips/calls to west elm to get the conversion kit]. oh well, we'll put those skills towards new pendants in the kitchen!


  1. Your B&B looks great, I love how you integrated the baseboards with the battens, great idea!

  2. What sort of tools and process did you use to notch the existing baseboard? I strongly prefer your treatment of the existing baseboard than other things I've seen online. I just don't know what to use to do it.

    1. Thank you both! Heather, my hubs used a hammer & chisel to notch out the existing baseboards to fit the width of the new boards, then used silicon to fill any gaps and smooth the edges.

    2. Oh, he scored the baseboards with a utility knife before going at it with the hammer & chisel.