In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Easy DIY Board and Batten for the Nursery

Using leftover supplies from our wainscoting and board and batten projects downstairs, we were able to make a lovely accent wall in the nursery.  My husband is really the talent for this project.  When we do wall treatments, my job is usually to paint and fill the nail holes.  He does all of the measuring, cutting and nailing.  In this case, he even did most of the painting, because I was in my 19th week of a twin pregnancy and getting pretty big.  He did a great job on this project.  He really dislikes doing home improvement projects, so I was mainly there to encourage him and tell him how much nicer he was making the nursery look for me and the babies.

The supplies and tools that we used for this project were: colored paint, white paint, 2 disposable paint pans, 2 paint rollers, a paint brush, painters tape or masking tape, three inch strips of MDF board, two inch strips of MDF board, a stud finder, a nail gun, nail filler, and a miter saw.

All the paint was from Sherwin Williams. We waited until they had their 30% off sale to get our paint for the nursery.  The white paint is a semi-gloss interior acrylic latex paint for trim.  It is a bit expensive, retailing around $50 a gallon. We bought a gallon when we were working on several different wall treatments in our home, so it has lasted us awhile. The navy blue paint is called seaworthy and the light blue paint is called balmy.  We have found that buying the sample paints is a better bargain for us when we are painting small rooms, instead of buying a $30 gallon of paint and having a bunch of paint leftover.

We purchased our MDF board locally here in Indy.  I don’t have a table saw, so I needed the boards to be cut into strips for us.  After several phone calls and hours of searching the internet, the only place I found that would allow me to purchase cut pieces of MDF board was Chisholm Lumber and Supply.   We had just enough strips left over from our downstairs project to use in the nursery, so this nursery project didn't really cost us anything. 
To create this wall treatment in the nursery, we first needed to paint.  After painting three of the walls a light blue, we taped off the accent wall and painted the top part navy blue. We have nine foot ceilings, so we taped off a little less than 5ft.  We thought that 57in. from the floor to the top of the board and batten looked best for this project.

Next, we nailed strips of three inch wide MDF boards as the perimeter of our wall treatment.  Using a nail gun, we nailed horizontal strips of three inch wide MDF board against/above the baseboard and against/below the navy paint.  We also nailed vertical strips of three inch wide MDF board along the edge of the wall at both ends of the wall.  For the nursery wall, I think we were able to fit two full strips horizontally, and then we needed to cut a third strip to fit using the miter saw.  All of our vertical pieces needed cut with the miter saw. And of course, one should always be sure to use a stud finder and nail in the studs of a wall. 
Once we had the perimeter of our wall treatment in place, we were ready to fill inside the perimeter with two inch vertical pieces of MDF board. To figure out the spacing of the two inch boards, we had to use a little bit of math.  In this case, I only had ten two inch MDF strips left to work with from our previous project, so we measured the length of the wall, subtracted from that the inches of the 3in. MDF strips (6in.) and the inches of the 2in MDF board (20in), then we divided that number by the number of spaces we would have when using the ten 2in. MDF strips that I had left from a previous project.  So in our case, that left us with eleven spaces, making each space 17.25 in.  Before we started nailing the 2 in. strips, we marked where the boards would go with pencil, just to be safe.

When nailing the vertical boards, you won’t always have a stud to work with.  We have found that it nails just fine without a stud, as long as no one tries to pull the nails out of the wall.  You could glue the boards and then nail them.  We did not glue, because if I ever want to get rid of this wall treatment and do something else, it will be difficult to get the glue off of the walls. 
Once everything is nailed, we went in with nail filler and filled all of the nail holes and any small spaces where the boards were lined up against one another.  Once the nail filler is dry, we sanded it down until smooth.

Lastly, we painted the wall treatment white.  I find it is easiest to begin painting with a brush, and brush all of the MDF Board first, being sure to get all the edges nicely covered.  Then I go in with a roller and paint the actual wall.  After one coat, I apply a second coat for full coverage.

Once the paint is dry, step back and admire your work!  I am very pleased with this project.  I think my husband did a wonderful job!


  1. Nice work! I would love to have something like this in my home for my two boys! Thank you for sharing this great idea! -Patrick Tan

  2. Such a great boys space!!!
    Love the wall color!

  3. Beautiful board & batten! We did that process in our downstairs bathroom and I love it! I'm featuring your wall in my Friday Features! Thanks for linking up to Inspire Me Monday.