Friday, February 14, 2014

Guest Room Reveal with DIY Board & Batten

After taking a week off work to do some serious DIY, the guest room is finally the cozy and welcoming retreat that I have been hoping for! The biggest change of all in this room was getting rid of the dark brown paint and adding a simple Board & Batten treatment with a picture ledge.  

After surfing Pinterest for inspiration, and finding several awesome examples and "how-to's" on Board & Batten, I decided to give it a try. Let's just say, I had no idea what I was really getting into! This was definitely one of the most challenging projects I have taken on, but it was completely do-able and well worth the effort!  

Any board and batten treatment will require some pretty serious planning. But don't let that overwhelm - just grab your pen and paper, measuring tape and calculator, and get started. I drew out all four walls in the room with the doors and window openings, and took the measurements for each. After you have that, it's just a matter of doing the math.

I used pre-primed MDF boards that are 3.5 inches wide, and decided to space them 13 inches apart. Most other examples I found had spacing between 12-14 inches, so you just have to play around with the spacing until it fits your specific room. 

By sketching out every board on my drawing, I was able to make sure the boards would sit on the wall in an appropriate place - and avoid making too many cuts around windows, doors, switches, or outlets.  

If you run into a tricky spot, go ahead and adjust the spacing slightly to accommodate. In the end, as long as you keep things symmetrical, the spacing differences won't be noticeable.  Just be sure to have a plan!

Once I had all my boards figured out, I wrote out a shopping list and headed to Lowe's where I had them cut all the boards for me. I had A LOT of cuts to make, so it helped to be organized and REALLY nice!!  

While we were there, we also picked up the basic supplies that we would need - wood glue, a basic miter saw, and a nail gun. The nail gun was a splurge, but totally necessary and worth the investment. I've already got a few other projects in mind for it!  The miter saw was so that we could cut the small decorative molding on our own, and it also came in handy for a few spots where the measurements weren't quite right.

Oh, and I should mention that we painted the walls before we started, using Benjamin Moore Pale Oak - one of my favorite colors. I've used this color in the main living area of my house too...  LOVE IT.

Ok, now for the fun part, putting the boards up....

Step 1: Put up the top board first, getting it as straight as possible with a level and some helping hands. This was probably the hardest part because everything will be based off this first board. With an old house like mine, the floors and ceilings are always a little crooked, so I couldn't totally rely on a level.... had to "eyeball" it as well.  

Step 2: Add the vertical boards. Now that you have the top board installed, you can use that as your level for these, so you only need to worry about getting the right spacing. This part goes by pretty fast!

Step 3: Add the bottom board. Not everyone will need this bottom board, it just depends on the type of floor moldings you have. For my house, I have these huge beautiful floor moldings that are original to the house, so I didn't want to mess with them at all. Instead, I simply added a board to the bottom of my vertical boards, keeping it a couple inches above the floor molding. Once everything is painted white, it all makes sense.

Step 4: The Picture Ledge. For this, you simply place a 2-inch board at the top, perpendicularly (is that really a word?!). Then choose a small decorative molding to go underneath the 2-inch board, acting as a support. I just laid it out on the floor at Lowe's and tried different decorative moldings until I found my favorite. To complete the picture ledge, add one final piece of decorative molding on the very top, which adds another pretty detail and functions as a way to keep pictures or other decor from sliding off.

Once all the wood pieces are up, then it's time to go around and fill in all the seams and gaps with caulk. Caulk will be your best friend at this point, hiding all the imperfections, like your favorite concealer. Then give it a good 2 coats of trim paint (semi-gloss) and YOU ARE DONE!

So, what do you think, are you up for the challenge???