How to Board and Batten! In Other Words: A Wainscoting Tutorial

I used to just call them “the cute squares in the wall,” but then I learned they had a name.  Well, actually, they have two names.  And the names are inter-changable. “Board and Batten” or “Waisncoting” will do.

How To Do Board And Batten Wainscoting

This project was so easy.  It took $60, a miter saw, and one evening.  We tackled this on Valentine’s day.  True love is using power tools together 🙂

Here are the steps:

1- Measure your walls, and decide how close and how tall you want your boards.  Ours were 20″ apart and 3’10” from the ground.  Calculate how many feet of board you will need based on this equation:
This might seem dumb, but for me, it was easier to do everything in inches first, then when I knew how many inches of board to buy, change it back to feet.

How To Do Board And Batten Wainscoting(height of your board in inches) x (length of wall in inches/ distance between boards) + (total inches of wall you are covering…for the topper part)= how many inches to buy.

Example: Our two walls added up to be 21.8 feet ( 262 inches).  Height of the boards 3’10” (46 inches)
46 X (262/20) + 262 = 864.6 inches.  864.6/12= approx 73 Ft.  If you have an easier way, great.  This was my way, and it worked.  I know that our boards were 4 inches wide, so you can subtract that, but I just wanted to have some extra just in case we messed up on anything.

2- Go to the store and make your purchase.  We bought 1/2″ thick boards and planed them down to 3/8″ thick.  It was cheaper than buying them already thin.  Your call.  You can buy them already thin, but it’s usually a little more expensive

How To Do Board And Batten Wainscoting3- Make the cuts.  This was easy.  Just straight down.  For the top piece, you will need to cut a 45 degree angle in the corner.  That’s the only angled cut.  I had to cut one on the scroll saw to fit the corner baseboard guard.  Not even hard at all.

4- Install.  Get your air compressor and nail gun, you’re in for some good fun!  Make sure to level and measure as you go. It’s not rocket surgery 🙂
We put a chair rail on top of ours.  You don’t have to.  I wanted to.  My house, my rules.

5- Calk the gaps & nails.  Sand.  Paint. ENJOY!
I like the cute little dimension and architectural interest it gives to this room.  We replaced the baseboards at the same time.  I think it really spruced it up.  We didn’t do the third wall, because it’s a little half wall, shorter than the chair rail.  I might try and incorporate it in the future.  We’ll see.  I’m just happy it’s no longer a dead zone!

How To Do Board And Batten Wainscoting

Up Next: A Post that ISNT About the Dining Room 🙂




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