Kid spaces. Girl's room ideas. Wainscoting tutorial. Board and batten. Purple bedroom. Vinyl lettering. Pottery barn bedding. Trim windows.

Board & Batten – Girl’s Room

I am in love with moldings. Hi, my name is Brea, and I am addicted to wainscoting and crown molding! In 5 years from now I wouldn’t be surprised if I put crown molding in my pantry (and truth be told, I did put crown molding in my water closet (aka small toilet room)). Yes I recognize I have a serious problem.

Well, since we purchased our new builder-basic home we have slowly been adding a little charm to each room. In my girl’s room we added window trim, crown molding and a faux board & batten wall treatment. Because budget is always an issue I needed to try and get this look for as little money as possible. We have done this treatment in our last house so this is actually the 3rd faux board & batten wall treatment we have done. We keep getting better at it each time! Before our recent move we did this look in our son’s nursery (see picture below). We moved before he even got a chance to sleep in it [picture me with a sad face]. Quite lovely but small, and very hard to take a picture of!

Andre's room

The main issue I have found with B&B walls is the existing baseboard in builder-basic homes doesn’t have a thick enough top lip. So this leads to a few options:

  1. You could tear it out and replace it with a more substantial piece that would allow for a beefier board & batten, and if you can afford it – that would be my first choice.
  2. You can have the board and batten stick out further than the baseboard (definitely not my favorite look)
  3. Add a bulkier piece of molding on top of your baseboard and try to make it look like one larger piece of molding (something I want to try in a future DIY project, but not this project)

Those are all options we considered, But to stay budget friendly my husband and I found a product called MDF bender board. This was the miracle I had been waiting for! It is already cut to the correct width!, it is cheap!, easy to cut!, and it is THIN!

Bender board is around $2.00 for an eight foot piece and to sweeten the deal it is – about the thickness of the top of standard baseboard! There is no need to rip out baseboards, add an extra molding on top of the baseboard or cut the ends of the boards at weird angles to make them fit. [Broke out into a happy dance in the isle of Home Depot and not ashamed!]

Ok, so how did this project go down!? Let the tutorial begin…

Project Materials

  • Bender Board
  • Base Cap Molding
  • Caulking
  • Wood filler
  • Sanding block
  • Miter saw (this is what we used)
  • Nail gun and compresses
  • Level
  • Paint color of choice (I color matched my existing baseboards)

There are many ways to measure for the placement of the vertical slats. For this wall I liked the idea of approximately 20″ apart. With this measurement there were no issues with outlets or weird things happening like boards lining up with window edges. I got lucky! If you need to know how to do this for a more complicated room, the best description I have found on calculating the spaces between your vertical slats was this read here from Remodelaholic.

Once you have your spacing  planned out I drew marks directly on the wall and numbered them (I’m visual like that). I then added the bottom-most horizontal bender board directly above the base board with a nail gun. I had not done this step on my last two B&B attempts and realized what a difference it made to the overall design! It looked so much better and more fished then in my son’s room.   [psssst…if you want this look to be permanent it is a good idea to add some thin lines liquid nails to the back of the bender board.]


Next was the top-most horizontal bender board followed by the base cap molding to add some detail and a finished look. Again attached with the nail gun and finishing nails.

All vertical slats were cut to size and attached to the wall. At this stage the wall looked like this. Don’t forget the two vertical slats at the end of the design. It will look unfinished if you don’t!

[Side note: Where I live wall texture is put on all walls. Our builder said that we couldn’t even pay to have smooth walls, it wasn’t even an option. I have not covered up the wall texture or added any type of board behind the B&B. The look of the wall texture did not bother me, but it might bug you! If you want to smooth out the texture on your walls you can try this. I have never tried it, but it looks like it may work.]


Next was the middle horizontal slats. A level and two people are helpful for this part. My husband cut each slat to fit and we nailed them to the wall. This is the part where by hubby gets really happy because his participation in this project is just about complete! He will clean up the tools outside while I start filling in nail holes and caulking the seams.2defe6d5-b392-426a-8a47-95a4c9641c34

Here is what I used to fill in all the gaps and nail holes. There were plenty, let me tell you! Every place bender board or molding met the wall I used caulking, my finger and lots of paper towels to make a nice sealed edge.


Once the wood filler had time to dry I sanded to a smooth finish. Yep, just me – a caulking gun – and some Alanis Morissette playing in the background- and we got this thing done! After all that hard work it looked like this:


Yes that last pic was disappointing. But now it is time for the fun part! Making it look pretty! 4 – yes 4 coats of paint were needed to give a good overall coverage of the bender board and the wall color. For my next project I will try Kills Primer 1st and then see how many coats of paint are needed. My builder uses Sherwin Williams paint and I went to my Sherwin Williams store and had them make me a gallon of trim paint to match my baseboards and doors. This was the majority of the cost for my project. If you already have extra paint this project could easily cost under $40.00! Already looking good!


Here is a close up of the bender board to the baseboard. You can see that it does not overlap the baseboard at all! [I didn’t vacuum up the mess from sanding the wood filler yet!]


Again, the wall texture did not bother me


I am overjoyed with my daughter’s room. It is probably my favorite room in the house 🙂

20160501_144402 (1)Wall color: Veiled Violet SW 6268          Trim Color: Downy SW 7002


If you try this [and you love it] please send me some brag photos!!!!




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