How To: Board and Batten

board and batten tutorial

I installed board and batten in my first floor bathroom a few years ago and in my kitchen a week ago.  While both rooms have board and batten they are designed slightly different.  I decided to add this how to board and batten tutorial to help make it easier for others who want to do this too!

First I measured the walls where I wanted the wainscot to be both horizontal and vertical.


Bathroom wall measurements for one wall; 82″ wide I had a general idea of how high up I wanted the top of this to go 53.5″ high.  I knew I was using 1 x 4’s and 1 x 3’s for this project and I wanted to keep the old baseboard since I liked the style, had that old baseboard been your standard baseboard I would have just removed it all together and used a new wider baseboard.  I took off the old baseboard and installed the new baseboard (1×4) to sit behind the old base, then I installed the top board (1×4) at 53.5″ up from the floor.  I decided where I wanted the second horizontal slat of wood to go, 6.5″ below the top rail I used a 1×3 for this horizontal piece.  Once all these pieces were installed then I started cutting the 1×3’s for the vertical slats of wood. For the lower half of the board and batten these 1×3’s were placed leaving 13.5″ between each slat of wood, for the upper half half of the board and batten I placed these slats leaving 5.5″ between each slat.  You can see this in the diagram below.

board and batten diagram

Once I had all the slats of wood up on the wall all that was left was to paint!

board and batten 

The kitchen board and batten was even easier since I did not add the second set of slats at the top like I did in the bathroom.  For the kitchen I wanted the board and batten to be much taller then what I used in the bathroom because I wanted to be able to hang baskets to get the clutter off the counters and to hide the phone jack that’s on that wall.  Since I was only putting the board and batten on one wall I did not want to take the original baseboard off since the new baseboard wouldn’t match the old where the current baseboard meets the baseboard on another wall so I left a gap between the old baseboard and installed a 1×2 above this old baseboard.  The phone jack was the determining factor on where the vertical slats would be positioned.

board and batten diagram

Here you can see the phone jack on the wall

board and batten

Here is the final result of both rooms

board and batten

**You may notice I cheated on the board and batten, I only used the battens, my walls are smooth so I didn’t see the need for the board behind the battens.

DIY Board & Batten Wall

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35 comments for “How To: Board and Batten

  1. October 17, 2013 at 9:24 am

    super informative…Dria. I mean – any post with a diagram usually does me. ha! well done.

    • Dria
      October 17, 2013 at 9:47 am

      🙂 Thank you JB!! I’m a diagram kinda gal, makes life so much easier lol!!

  2. Sarah
    June 22, 2013 at 9:25 am

    Looks amazing! My contractor brother in law was recommending the gap between the baseboard and batten, could you post or send a picture of how that turned out for you? Thanks so much!

    • Dria
      June 24, 2013 at 11:03 am

      Hi Sarah, thanks for stopping by! You can see the gap in photos on this post here

  3. May 26, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Looks great!! I love the little boxes you added in your bathroom and I love the height you chose. We did B&B in our entry and ensuite too… I just love the look! So fresh and charming and classic:)

    • Dria
      May 27, 2013 at 9:01 am

      Thank you Krista! Wow I just took a peek at your entry way it’s beautiful I LOVE the colors you chose it’s so welcoming, great job!

  4. May 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    cute! i like the smaller battens too; cute way to mix it up. what was your cost breakdown?

    • Dria
      May 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Thank you Carissa! The cost for the kitchen was $45.00 (I still have the receipt for that project) I can’t remember how much the bathroom was, I would say somewhere around $100.00, I had some of this wood already in my basement (I have an area of different sizes of wood in my wood pile from old projects).

  5. May 18, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    Both rooms look so great, Dria! I especially love the bathroom’s design. The extra slats up at the top make it look super custom and chic.

    • Dria
      May 19, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Thank you Jazmine! I am addicted to molding 😉

  6. May 9, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Beautiful! I love the design you did with the little squares on top. What a difference!!

    • Dria
      May 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      Thank you so much Kelly! That design was based on the board and batten in my grandparents house that was built over 100 yrs ago!

  7. May 9, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I love this and the design looks great! 🙂

    • Dria
      May 9, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      Thank you so much Melissa!

  8. Pam
    May 8, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    I am doing the same thing on a wall but I am having problems finding new base board to match the rest of the room. My current base board is not wide enough on the top or is as wide as the vertical boards I am using. Do you have a picture of the bottom of your kitchen wall where you left a gap above the base board??

    • Dria
      May 8, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Pam,

      I just emailed you a photo of the bottom of my board and batten!

      Take care,


      • Jennifer Farshidmehr
        July 10, 2013 at 7:39 am

        I could use this pic too;-) my baseboard is stuck in grout so it must stay! Thank you for the step by step, it’s so easy to understand!

        • Dria
          July 10, 2013 at 8:16 am

          Hi Jennifer thanks for stopping by, you can see the bottom of the board and batten with the gap above the baseboard in this post

  9. May 6, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Hi Dria,

    That looks lovely! I like how the rough texture of the hanging baskets compliments the smooth board & batten!

    Well done!

    • Dria
      May 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      🙂 Thank you Becky! I am happy with the way that wall came out (still have to build a new bench for this wall!!)

  10. May 6, 2013 at 12:02 am

    This looks great! I just did something similar (more like your kitchen board and batten) but really love how you’ve taken the general look and amped it up with additional detailing and more vertical slats on the upper portion in the bathroom. Job well done, for sure!

    • Dria
      May 6, 2013 at 5:37 am

      Thanks Brit! It’s amazing how wainscot makes such a big difference isn’t it? Ohh I’m dying to see yours now!

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