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When deciding I wanted an accent wall in my baby’s room I searched for quite some time on exactly what kind of accent wall I wanted. I’ve always been a huge fan of board and batten, but I always associated it with a more sophisticated room theme. The more and more I looked at different board and battens my perception started to switch from sophisticated, to perfect for a baby room! The wood squares started to give me a feel of a wooden building block set. Which, what could be more perfect for a baby boy room than the feel of wooden building blocks?! It was perfect. Learn how we made our board and batten accent wall in this step-by-step tutorial.
Step 1: Deconstructing
Remove trim and baseboard trying not to break or damage the wall and surrounding baseboards. Use a box cutter to initially slice through any caulk that is connecting the baseboard to the wall. Then using a crow bar and hammer carefully and slowly start to remove the baseboard from the wall.
Step 2. Prepare the Wall
Using a flat razor, scrap off any remaining caulk on the wall so you will be left with a flat surface.
Step 3: Tidy Up
Use a broom, dustpan, and/or vacuum to clean up the dust and debris. I also suggest giving the wall a quick wipe down with a damp micro fiber cloth. This ensures the wall is clean and doesn’t have any lingering dust particles that can make your paint icky.
Step 4: Paint
We used Behr Premium plus from Home Depot. It’s a Paint & Primer in one – Eggshell enamel – Ultra Pure White. We put on two coats. You will want to do this before adding any wood trim, it will make it easier to paint more coats after all the wood is up. It’s crazy how much the paint already brightened the room!
Step 5: Measurements & Layout
Prior to installing all the wood you’ll need to figure out the spacing and measurements. You want to make sure all your measurements are even so your finished product has even squares or rectangles on your wall. We used a “batten spacing calculator” from https://www.blocklayer.com/batten-spacingeng.aspx to determine how much space to put between each piece of trim. We knew we wanted a more of a square shape rather than a rectangle, so keeping that in mind we were able to figure out the amount of space needed between the wood in each panel. Please note: It may take a little bit of playing around with the measurements on the website in order for it to be perfect on your wall. We used 1×3 white trim wood from Home Depot.
Step 6: Installing Trim
In order to adhere our trim to the wall we used a pneumatic air compressor with two inch finishing nails. We also used construction adhesive on the back of the trim prior to putting it up for extra hold and support. You’ll want to start by putting up the top and bottom horizontal pieces of the trim first. Once those are in place, you’ll then want to install the far left and far right trim pieces, which will result in outlining the whole wall in trim. From there you will continue to install all the vertical pieces of the trim, verifying the accuracy of your layout measurement all along the way. (REMEMBER: You can never re-check too many times) While installing the vertical pieces be sure to use a level to insure the trim is being installed completely straight. Once all of those pieces are in you can begin installing the horizontal pieces. Start with one column at a time. Measure and cut each individual piece as you work within each column. Again checking and confirming your spacing as you go along! Be sure to use a level once again making sure your trim in installed straight!
Step 7: Wood Filling & Sanding
This is the most time consuming step throughout this project. This step ensures the wood pieces look like one whole continuous piece, and not individual choppy pieces hung on a wall. We used Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Filler. We like using this brand because it is paintable, sandable, and when it dries, it becomes as hard as actual wood. Using a three inch putty knife you’re going to put on the first coat in all joints, seams, and nail holes in the wood. Be sure to put a generous amount of wood fill in each area, and push the wood fill deep into the joints. Don’t be afraid to use your fingers to get into areas that you can’t reach with the putty knife. Allow the first layer of wood fill to dry until it hardens completely. Use a fine grit sanding block to smooth out the hardened wood filler, making sure you have an even and smooth wall visually and texturally. Once the sanding is done on the first layer, you will want to wipe the wall with a microfiber cloth, cleaning off debris. You are now ready to repeat this entire process and add another coat of wood fill. At minimum it will take these two coats to ensure your wall has seamless transitions between wood pieces, so be patient. Like I said, this is the most time consuming step and also the most important. Don’t feel discouraged if you need a third coat of wood fill.
Step 8: Caulking
You’ll need to use paintable trim caulk to put on the inside seams where the wood meets the wall. Cut the caulk tip at a 45degree angle to make it easier to apply each bead of caulk. Be sure to use a thin bead of caulk as you apply, because you can always add more. As you apply each bead of caulk, spread it smooth with your index finger. This allows the caulk to push into the crack, and will give you a seamless look.
Step 9: Paint, Paint, & more Paint
Yay! You’ve made it to the last and easiest part – painting the wall! The easiest way to paint board and batten is to use a 3-inch roller and a 2-inch brush. If you use a regular size roller you may have a hard time. This will depend on how small or large your squares or rectangles are.