This blog post has been a long time in the making! Last summer I started making some big updates to our family room and dining area. Our house isn’t huge, so the two spaces actually feel like one. I wish I could say I’ve gotten more done than I have, but I did complete one major part of it. And that means it’s reveal time (of this project at least).
I’m happy to finally say I’ve completed the board & batten wainscoting in our dining area. I’m not done with the room yet, I still have a big piece of artwork I’m doing for the far wall along with some smaller details. But I couldn’t wait any longer and I wanted to give you an update. (And no, my Xmas decor is not up still, these were taken before the holidays were over!)
I just realized that when I kicked off the family room update, I never showed you a before picture of this space, so here is a quick before and after picture. Although, this isn’t an accurate ‘before & after’. The ‘before’ below is already a huge transformation from when I first started updating the house. But that was pre-blogging years and I never took a picture of it. Just imagine blue/gray carpet, light wood trim, stained white walls, and an outdated white chandelier (the house was built in ’97 if that gives you an idea). I’m on a mission to find the photos of our house when it was listed so I can show all of you how much work we have already done.
The project was actually not that difficult. But since I couldn’t be hammering nails into the walls during nap time or night time, I was limited to only working during the weekends when my husband could watch Baby E. SOOO it took much longer than anticipated.
I started out using this great tutorial from Amy over at The Idea Room. Her tutorial really helped me figure out what I need for the project and how to get started. Once I dove, in I discovered my own technique. So here is my ‘how-to’ on installing board and batten wainscoting.
What you need:
– 1/4″ Birch plywood board cut into 3″ strips (UPDATE: I originally thought it was MDF board because that’s what I asked for, but it turns out I bought Birch plywood. I’m learning as I go :P)
– Finishing nails (and hammer, unless you have really strong fingers)
– Wood filler
– Skill saw
I started by getting pieces of 1/4′ Birch plywood at my local hardwood store. The 1/4″ boards only came in 2′ X 4′ pieces so I asked the gentlemen in the lumber department if they would cut it for me and because of the adorable baby sitting in my cart they agreed to cut ALL my lumber for FREE. Pretty sure I did a little happy dance down the aisle when told me it would cost be nada.
I started by nailing the boards on top of the current molding. Love that I didn’t have to use a leveler for this part, it was nice to just rest the plywood on the molding and hammer away!
Next, I measured 37″ from the top of the molding and marked the height the wainscoting. Using a measuring tape and leveler I nailed the MDF board at the 37″ mark.
Naturally, there will always be pieces that don’t fit perfectly and some sawing is involved. This was the only part of the project that asked my husband to help with ( I was determined to do it on my own, I can be a little stubborn sometimes). To make it easy, I marked numbers on the wall and then the corresponding number on the piece of wood that fit the space. This way, I could measure multiple pieces at once and then take everything out to the garage at the same time. Huge time saver.
Once the border was complete I measured the vertical pieces and placed then on all of the corners.
It was at this point that I realized I wanted to do a grid pattern and not basic vertical design. So I changed my game plan. I decided to do another line of horizontal boards and then cut vertical pieces and place them every 14″ to create 14″ squares.
Now let me just take a moment and remind you that I am NOT perfect nor a professional. Therefore, I had some extra spaces in-between the boards. And that’s where my handy dandy wood filler comes in. I used Elmer’s Wood Filler to fill in the gaps between the boards and fill in the nail holes (I should mention that I used a finishing tool before filling the holes).
Here is what my pattern looked like before I filled the nail holes. After all of the wood filler is dry, sand each spot until smooth.
Next step. Caulking. I caulked around every edge: the top of the wainscoting, between every square and between the MDF and the molding at the bottom.
And at this point all of the tedious work is over. Now it’s jus time to prime and paint!
After all of that, here is another look at my finished look.
and once again…
The project is also extremely inexpensive. All of the lumber cost me $70 (I used a coupon too) and I only used about a quarter of the lumber for this space. The rest will be used for the family room, but I won’t reveal that until later.
So what do you think? Moving in the right direction?