Faux Board and Batten Tutorial

Tell all ya friends and neighbors!

The easiest and cheapest DIY board and batten that you can do yourself, including measurements even if you aren’t comfortable with power tools!

G’day! Got us a lil’ home improvement post for you this Monday morning!

I know this sounds weird, but I love that our house has a hallway. In my dreams, before this house was a reality, I wanted a ranch style home. I love the idea of kids running up and down a hallway giggling and playing. It just screams home to me.

hallway before

This was our hallway the day we toured this house, but it didn’t quite scream cozy to me. It more so just … screamed.

Nothing major was wrong with it at all. We just wanted to warm it up a bit and add some DIY installed board and batten!

Here’s how we did it:

Easy DIY Board and Batten

Since I’m new over here and still getting used to the whole “I have a blog and people need to know how to do stuff” thing, I didn’t get any pictures of the process, so reallllly sorry about that.

For reference:

  • Our ceilings are 8 feet
  • We have 6″ baseboards
  • The 1×3 is cut at 46″

Your cuts may differ depending on how tall your ceilings are but here are specs about this DIY board and batten for us:

The easy and cheap way for board and batten #DIY #boardandbatten

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Cheap way to get your own board and batten #DIY #boardandbatten

We have existing baseboards that are 6″, so all of our measurements went off of that.

I can’t stress enough that the most important step is to measure your wall first. If you measure your wall first, you’ll know how many vertical pieces you can do to space them apart equally.

Cut your 1×3 vertical batten pieces to 46″.

The bottom of our horizontal board that makes the top rail is at 52″. It’s a little more than halfway up our wall.

The vertical pieces are placed every other stud so 32″ inches apart.

Cheap way to get your own board and batten #DIY #boardandbatten

The hardest (most annoying) part of this after you’ve added your board and batten to your walls is filling the 78 jillion nail holes. After you’ve filled and sanded your nail holes, you will caulk all the seams.

Caulk is magic. It will really fix a lot of mistakes you think you made during the process.

The wall color we chose on top was Sherwin Williams Storm Cloud and I LOVE it. So glad we did this color! Our lower half with the board and batten is all Sherwin Williams Extra White, which is the same color all the other trim is in our house.

DIY board and batten in a hallway with natural wood floors

We finally got our new hardwoods installed in the hallway and I’m obsessed. We have to finish installing the quarter round and add a runner. In case you guys are wondering, here are a few FAQs about creating a board and batten wall in your own home:

What kind of wood is used for a board and batten wall?

The reason we chose to use MDF for our board and batten is because we got it at an overstock place for insanely cheap.

upstairs guest bedroom with black iron bed

See all that white stuff stacked up there on the left? We bought enough for our entire house and are slowly chipping away at that pile.

The good part of using MDF for a board and batten wall is that you don’t have to worry about it being straight. We’ve bought a ton of wood for projects and finding straight boards can take hours.

RH table DIY

For example, we used pine for our Restoration Hardware inspired farmhouse table and left it outside for an afternoon and several of the boards warped. Woof.

Is board and batten still in style?

board and batten with bedroom door painted Sherwin Williams Iron Ore

Yes! There are different styles of board and batten, but it is definitely still a great home decor trend. I’ve seen board and batten in every room from bedrooms to dining rooms to entryways.

If you’re using real wood instead of MDF like us, you have the option of either painting or staining the wood which could create some really cool and modern looks depending on your style.

Up close of board and batten

Can you do board and batten on textured walls?

You absolutely can, but you’ll definitely need to make sure that you add a layer of backerboard on the wall prior to doing any of the top and bottom pieces of the board and batten.

DIY board and batten in a hallway with natural wood floors painted Sherwin Williams Storm Cloud

DIY Board and Batten


  • 1×3 boards (we used pre-primed MDF, but regular wood is half the cost)
  • 1×4 boards (we used pre-primed MDF, which in this case is actually cheaper than pine. Not real sure why.)
  • Wood filler
  • Optional: Liquid nails


  • Nail gun
  • Level
  • Finishing Nails


  1. Measure your wall. This is the most important step because all your other measurements will go off of this. (For reference, we have 8' ceilings, so we cut our vertical pieces to 46" and they are spaced 32" apart which is every other stud)
  2. Calculate the height to which you want your top piece. It's best to go ⅓ of the way up your wall. For us since we have 6" baseboards, the our vertical piece of board and batten was at 52".
  3. Using a level, add your horizontal pieces all across the area of your room. Attach with a nail gun.
  4. Count the number of vertical pieces you need and cut them to 46".
  5. Start at the end or the corner of your wall and place your first piece of batten.
  6. Using a stud finder, find the next stud in the wall (or like us, we did every other stud) and place your vertical piece. Make sure this is level because if not, it will throw off your entire project.
  7. Continue adding vertical pieces around until your wall is complete.
  8. Ta da!

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Do you think you’ll use board and batten anywhere in your house?
How to DIY board and batten the easy way! via Living Letter Home

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  1. This looks awesome Carmen! We want to come see your house and your new precious little one!

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