Board and Batten Joins the Dark Side

My sons’ room finally got a facelift and I want to quickly go over the details on the board and batten.  I always figure out what materials to buy, map out the placement and measurements and then hire a handyman to install it.  Divide and conquer is the name of my DIY game! Here is a list of the materials I used:



I eyeball everything (I don’t even trust levels because our walls are crooked!).  Usually, I would use 2″ blue painter’s tape to map out the distance between the bars and help determine how much I need to buy.  This time, I had the materials on hand so I just laid them out across the wall to get a rough estimate (the final measurement will be determined based on the length of you wall).  Ultimately, the distance was 13.5″ between each bar.


Should You Replace Your Baseboards?

I never do!  The vertical boards are 1x2s, so I just ran a 1×2 right on top of the existing baseboards so that it sat nice and flush.  Once it is all painted the same color, I really think it looks seamless!

This is how the 1×2 sits on top of the baseboard.  It almost looks like it is supposed to be there!


Liquid nails was applied to each 1×2 and 1×3 and then secured to the walls with a nail gun.  I used spackle to fill in the nail holes and then lightly sanded it when it dried.  Caulk was used to run along each side of the wood boards.  It helped fill in gaps between the boards and the walls and the ceiling.  And there were a lot of gaps because of our crooked walls!  I think we went through like 8 tubes of caulk.

One wall done.


Ideally, it would have been a good idea to paint the walls FIRST and then install the board and batten.  But the handyman was ready to go that day, so I painted afterwards.  (NOTE: I keep saying board and batten but really its just the batten part because our walls are smooth and we didn’t need to cover it up with boards!.  If you have textured walls, you should put up thin boards to create that smooth look.)

I have now used three different black paints in my home so far (all are Benjamin Moore): Black Panther in my breakfast nook, Black Beauty for my pocket doors and now Onyx (in an eggshell finish) for my sons’ room.  Onyx has been the darkest black I have used so far and honestly, I love them all.  Each has a rich undertone so the black doesn’t feel stark or flat.  However, I always get my Benjamin Moore colors matched at Lowe’s because I love their Infinity by Sherwin Williams paint (nice coverage and easy to use!).

If painting after installing the board and batten, I like to use this corner brush to paint the insides of each “box” and then finish it with a roller in 1/4″ nap for a smooth finish on both the walls and the battens.  Two new items I bought and loved for this project: this quick release roller frame so I didn’t have to wrestle getting the paint soaked roller off!  And I used this handy paint pail that had a magnetic resting spot for my paint brush.

Painting the inside “boxes” first and then using a roller. Also, taping is tedious but it is very necessary! I used this one for crisp lines.

I did two coats of BM Onyx over the existing light green paint (no primer) and that was all it needed.  The ceiling gave me a little run for my money since the 1×3 header had a line of caulk between it and the ceiling.  I ended up using a very fine small brush to run along the ceiling and that worked to create an even line.

Processed with VSCO with n1 preset
You can shop this room by clicking here.  Front pillows are from Xasmin Interiors.

Even though this room is shared between my 8 year old and 5 year old sons, when styling this room I wasn’t concerned with making it look like a “boy’s” room or doing a theme.  I just wanted to create a pretty space that was also functional.  I love the drama of the dark paint yet the balance of a more traditional board and batten (the other two walls are BM Super White, so the room doesn’t actually feel closed off or too dark).  Hopefully this gives you some kid room inspo, or even master bedroom inspo!

Let me know if you have any questions below!



11 comments on “Board and Batten Joins the Dark Side

  • Maresa , Direct link to comment

    Just out of curiosity, how big is this room? I love the dark wall and the natural sunlight…does it make the room look any smaller?

    • Erin Broege , Direct link to comment

      Its about a 10×13 ft space. I don’t think dark color makes it looks smaller, one side of the room has mirrored closets which help.

  • kawther , Direct link to comment

    HI! I love this. I want to create a feature wall with boards as well. My concern is my boards wont line up with studs. How do I go about installing the boards without attaching them to studs.

    • Erin Broege , Direct link to comment

      We used liquid nails and then a nail gun to adhere it to the wall without making sure they were in line with the studs.

      • Heather , Direct link to comment

        Hi, the room turned out amazing! Did you do the entire room and what color is all of the white trim? Thank you!

      • Erin Broege , Direct link to comment

        Thanks! I just did these two walls and the other walls are white (well one wall is mirrored closets) but the layout made it work to do two sides dark and two sides white. Trim color was nothing fancy, just a semi-gloss pure white that is stocked at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

  • Ellen Muckstadt , Direct link to comment

    The room I want to use already has shiplap. What are your thoughts on painting that with the Onyx?

  • Pavan , Direct link to comment

    This looks awesome and I’m inspired to do this for a living room wall. Should I still add a 1×2 on top of our 5.5 inch baseboard?

    • Erin Broege , Direct link to comment

      Hi! It’s a Loloi rug and if you follow me in the app the exact one is sourced there.

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