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Are you looking for ideas to add architectural interest in your home? Undoubtedly I’ve been wanting to add an accent wall in my master bedroom for a long time. Not only is this board and batten accent wall easy to install, but it’s also easy on the budget.

Today I’m excited to share tips on how to install a board and batten accent wall that costs less than $50! It’s easy enough that my hubby and I had this beauty installed in just one day!

And for a more traditional look check out our cozy home office library with picture frame moulding.

In addition for more ideas to add value to your home, take a look at 10 Sensational Home Improvement Ideas on a Budget.

Board and Batten Accent Wall in Action

If you’d like to see this wall transformation take place from beginning to end, check out the video above!  

You will see this transformation in a sped up process as I guide you through each of the steps.  

More Elements in our Master Bedroom Makeover

Supplies Needed

A few supplies are needed to easily install this board and batten accent wall.

  1. Visual blueprint of design to aid during installation
  2. Precut and lightly sanded boards
  3. Large and small level (A small one is fine, but a larger one is helpful for the vertical boards.)
  4. Pneumatic brad nailer
  5. Box of 2″ brads
  6. Pencil.We also used a white pencil to mark on the dark navy wall.
  7. Speed square
  8. Measuring tape
  9. Tube of liquid nails construction adhesive
  10. Caulk
  11. Caulk gun (you can buy these for a couple dollars but it’s definitely worth spending a little more and getting one that works better. In my experience, you can get a decent one for $10-$15. It will make caulking SO much easier!)

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Accent Wall Prep Work

picking the perfect shade of navy blue
paint wall prior to board and batten installation

We opted to paint the wall before the board and batten accent wall was installed. It was much easier to paint the entire wall rather than to individually paint inside each of the frames created by the design.

Ultimately I chose to use Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore. However I opted to have it mixed as a custom color at The Home Depot. What can I say? Behr paint has great coverage at a fraction of the cost.

In addition, the remaining walls in the room were painted white to allow this accent wall to really be the feature in our room.

For more painting tips, see painting a room fast and with less mess.

If you love a dark wall, then check out this dark and moody man cave and this moody home office plan.

Tips for painting existing base boards

Tip for painting existing base board
tip to painting existing base boards

Finally the base board on the accent wall was also painted navy.

Since we have carpet in this space we were careful with this step. To start, we masked off the carpet with frog tape. For further protection we placed a dirty work blanket right up to that edge to cover the remaining carpet.  

This next little trick saved me so much grief of potentially getting paint on our carpet!

Pro Tip:

  1. First, take a long drywall taping knife and carefully slide it under the baseboard.
  2. Then carefully paint along the edge of the knife and baseboard. Avoid loading the brush with too much paint to prevent any bleeding.
  3. Last, slowly drag the brush over the edge again to remove any excess paint. Then finish painting the remaining baseboard.

Again this tip does take a little bit of time but it does keep the flooring clean!

Plan the Board and Batten Accent Wall Design

graph out wall layout

Now for the fun part! As a visual person it’s helpful for me to map things like this out. This is easy to do with a simple piece of graph paper and dimensions of the wall. 

Each board in the design are 4″ wide. So I cut several strips of paper that would be equivalent to this measurement on my chart. Subsequently I was able to move them around and play with the design of the accent wall before committing to anything.  

Such a helpful step!

Shopping for supplies

mdf cut into 4" strips at The Home Deopt

Off to The Home Depot to buy supplies! I love getting down and dirty and being hands on in all of our DIY projects.

With the help of a kind Home Depot employee I had a 4′ x 8′ x 1/2″ piece of MDF board cut into 4″ strips. Easy peasy!

Getting the board and batten supplies home

If only getting these supplies home were as easy! Along with the cut MDF strips, I purchased a 16′ primed baseboard for the top border of the design.   

Clearly it’s apparent I use our SUV like a truck and haul everything…but fitting a 16′ board inside was a bit tricky! Luckily the baseboard was pliable so I was able to bend it down into the back of the SUV while letting the other end stick out the front passenger window a little.  

(Another kind Home Depot employee supplied me with a little rope to tie the end of the wood onto the side mirror. In small talk I mentioned he’d probably seen people try to do crazier things before…and he agreed! As for me, I think he had a good laugh at my expense.)  

In spite of this I’m glad the wood was pliable and didn’t break as I crammed it in there! Oh the things I do…the things I do! 

Board and Batten Accent Wall prep work

4" strips of mdf
sand rough edges prior to installation

Eventually after all of the wood was home, I used a palm sander to lightly remove any rough areas along the cut edges. (This will also make it easier to keep clean. Rough edges are dust magnets!)

Installing Board and Batten Accent Wall

supplies needed

Gather all the supplies needed, it’s time to get this accent wall installed!

use a chop saw to cut strips of mdf

Step 1

Measure the length of the wall. Cut the baseboard to size and install. We applied liquid nails to the backside of each board before nailing them into place. The baseboard was nailed into position at the top of the wall flush to the ceiling. 

Install Vertical Boards

be sure vertical boards are plum while installing

Step 2

After the top border of the design is installed, proceed to install all the vertical boards. 

First place the board into position for a dry fit. Next take the board from the wall and apply the Liquid Nails adhesive.  

Place the board onto the wall in the designated place. Use the level to ensure the board is aligned and plumb. At that point, secure into place with brads.

We began on the far right wall adjacent to the bay window and worked our way toward the opposite wall.

Step 3

Once the first board has been secured to the wall, use the measuring tape and mark where the next board will be installed. Be sure to mark the wall near the base board at the bottom and the top of the wall.

install vertical boards first

Repeat step 3 to install each vertical board. Carefully measure where the next board will be installed. Mark the wall. Dry fit into place. Apply adhesive. Place back into position. Use the level to ensure the board is plumb and secure with brads.

Install Horizontal Boards

measure and mark where the horizontal boards will be located
label horizontal boards

Step 4

Now install the first horizontal row. Measure up from the floor and place a mark on the wall to the desired height. Next, measure the horizontal distance between the vertical boards and cut a piece to fit.  

Repeat this step for all horizontal boards on the first row. To speed up the process, we measured and cut all the horizontal boards at the same time.

Once again after the board has been fit to size, apply the adhesive, position on the wall and secure into place.

board and batten after installation

Follow this step for the upper row. To do this we measured down from the ceiling to the desired height and marked the wall.

PRO TIP: Take the time to dry fit each piece before applying the adhesive and placing on the wall. Some boards may need to be trimmed slightly even though they were measured and cut carefully.  

Board and Batten Accent Wall Finish Work

Step 5

Fill in all of the nail holes and seams. Naturally, the less putty you apply the easier the next step will be.

putty nail holes
lightly sand putty after it's dried

To apply, take a small amount of putty and push it into the hole. Scrape off any excess putty with the edge of the knife. 

Allow the putty to completely dry, then lightly sand each spot to make sure it’s smooth.

caulk each section created by the board and batten

Step 6

Time to caulk! Our board and batten accent wall is almost finished!

Make sure to caulk around the inside of each of the shapes you’ve created with your design.  

(A little known fact about me: I like to caulk. Weird I know! Personally, I think it’s the perfectionist in me. Caulking adds a neat professional look to any project.) 

Check out my pro-tips for caulking here.

Step 7

Last but not least, paint the boards!

The easiest method I’ve found is to take a paint brush and first paint over the caulk in a section then brush the boards.

PRO TIP: To get an extra crisp paint line at the top of the wall where it meets the ceiling, I used a little trick I talked about in another tutorial.  

This trick is especially helpful when painting a line at the edge of the wall and a textured ceiling!

To recap how to install a board and batten accent wall, here are the steps to follow. As for me, I think we could minimize the number of steps to 5.

1. Cut boards to size

2. Install boards

3. Putty holes

4. Caulk

5. Paint

That’s it! The easy peasy way to install a DIY Board and Batten accent wall.

Finished Board and Batten Accent Wall

finished board and batten accent wall

Take a step back and enjoy your new accent wall!

This project actually comes together pretty quickly! If you start with a good visual blueprint of your design and measure and mark as you work, it goes pretty smoothly! 

My Hubby and I had this installed start to finish in an afternoon. More time was spent with all the finish work: filling in all the nail holes, sanding, caulking and painting to create the finished look.

finished board and batten accent wall

Additionally we upgraded the electrical outlets to a dark color with USB ports.

Clearly this helps camouflage them.

Looking for more inspiration for an accent wall in your home?!

Take a look at these ideas:

calm coastal master bedroom retreat
calm coastal master bedroom retreat

Thanks for stopping by! What do you think? Do you feel confident in tackling this project in your own home?

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And as always here at Sunny Side Design


You may also be interested to see how we gave this bed a Restoration Hardware finish for only $35!

Where did all the inspiration for this bedroom come from you may ask…take a little looksie at this post for A Vintage Chic Coastal Master Bedroom Mood Board.

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This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Fran

    Great instructions but did you use semi gloss paint?

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Thank you Fran. We used an eggshell finish paint.

  2. Darpan

    Which paint colour did you use?

    1. Michelle Dickson

      The paint color for the board and batten wall is Benjamin Moore Hale Navy, however we had it mixed at Home Depot in Behr Ultra premium plus.

    2. Michelle Dickson

      The color for the board and batten wall is Benjamin Moore, Hale Navy. However we had it mixed at Home Depot in the BehrUltra Premium Plus.

  3. Jeremy

    We LOVE the bedframe in this post; any ideas of where to find something similar with those great wood details?

    1. Michelle Dickson

      Steph purchased her bed about 20 years ago from a local furniture store. I found this one on Wayfair.

      But you might also try,, Good luck!

  4. Sally

    The MDF didn’t say how thick it was?

    1. Stephanie Hofer

      Sorry that detail wasn’t in the post. It was 1/2″ thick.

  5. Fatima

    Just beautiful, you are so talented!!

    1. Stephanie Hofer

      Thanks Fati! Wish we lived closer to you guys, we could have some fun Girl Days!

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