Hey! Let me start out by saying I am in love with HGTV’s Fixer Upper and Chip and Jo! But seriously, who isn’t?! We all want to be their best friend, and we want them to leave Waco just that one time to come and fix up our house! Since Chip and Jo can’t leave Waco, I took it upon myself to create my own farmhouse style house. I love their style, with one exception: I don’t like to make stuff look old on purpose. Give me farmhouse all day long, just don’t distress it! This is my first major project on the road to my own farmhouse!
I truly feel like bringing Pinterest into the mix with HGTV is when you can get into real trouble. All of a sudden I’m like “heck yea, we can put up our own coffered ceiling!” Or when we’re looking at houses online I’m all “we can just knock that wall down, even if it’s load bearing we’ll just install a steel beam.” So with the help of Chip and Jo and Pinterest, I decided that Stephen and I were going to take on DIY Board and Batten in our entry way!
I read probably ever DIY Board and Batten pins I could find on Pinterest. I really can’t link back to a specific one that I used, basically, if there was something about DIY Board and Batten, I read it. Then I took a piece of paper and sketched out how I wanted our entry way to look. Next I painted the wall white where I estimated the board and batten would go and above that I painted the color I was using for the walls.
Next I measured the walls and estimated how much wood we would need. The first time I calculated I forgot to convert inches into feet, and I told my sister I was going to Lowe’s to buy something like 1300 feet of wood. She definitely got a kick out of that! She was all “I can just see you going in there and telling them you want 1300 feet of wood!” I definitely got that calculation fixed fast!
When we went to Lowe’s to buy the wood for our project. We ended up buying the cheapest wood they had, I believe it was called furring strips. We used 2 inch boards for the horizontal pieces and 1 inch boards for the vertical. I read to buy this type on one of the many DIY Pinterest posts I read because it was cheaper. What we learned when it comes to lumber is you get what you pay for.
I would definitely NOT recommend going this route unless you just truly want the cheapest thing you can get. If you must go with the furring strips, I’d get them all out on the floor at the store and make sure you get straight ones! We did this about halfway and thought we had straight ones, but we ended up having to go back and buy more because they were so bent! I also had to sand every piece we bought because they were so rough! Our project ended up looking good, but for future projects, I will definitely spend more money for better wood!
After I sanded all of the boards, I primed them. I’m unsure if I would do this for future projects because I ended up priming everything again prior to painting. It did help to give a feel for what it would look like while we were attaching everything though!
Then we got to the exciting stuff! I lost my paper where I had everything drawn out and all of the measurements, so we got to do everything by how it felt! Haha! Luckily I knew that I wanted the top board to run right above our light switch, so we based everything off of that.
We started with the horizontal boards. This was our first home project, so we didn’t have any tools. My dad lent us a hand saw, and poor Stephen cut the first few boards with that. He was so worn out! Kingsley provided the moral support for this!
We got the first horizontal board up and called it a day, because it seriously took us all day to cut the boards and get it nailed up there!
Stephen got a cold, and didn’t feel up to the strenuous activity of hand sawing all of the boards and then nailing them into the wall during the week. So on Saturday, my dad came over to help, and he brought the big guns: the power saw and the power drill! I was so surprised (but probably shouldn’t have been) by how much faster it went!
We ended up putting the top of the second horizontal board 10 inches below the bottom of the first. We also added a 1 inch board on top of the top horizontal piece for a cleaner finish. We were sure to nail into the studs!
We then measured how long our vertical 1 inch pieces needed to be. At first we thought we’d space them 10 inches apart so that in between the top and bottom horizontal pieces it made a perfect square. We cut the number of short vertical pieces to complete that and set them where they would go and it was WAY too many vertical pieces! Deciding on the spacing was just kind of trial and error but we decided to go with 12 inch spaces.
We started to nail in the shorter vertical pieces but because they weren’t being nailed into the studs, they could just fall out. We decided we’d need to glue them to the wall. We cut all of the longer vertical pieces for both sides and the short pieces for the other side.
The space where each vertical piece went wasn’t the same side all the way down the horizontal piece. This is probably due to using the cheaper boards that aren’t perfectly straight. To help with this, we outlined where each short vertical piece would go and numbered them. Then we cut the short piece to exactly the size it needed to be and numbered those to match the wall. Then we did the same with the long vertical pieces. This way, when we went to glue them to the wall, we knew exactly which piece went where. I was terrible about taking pictures because I was concentrated on working, so I have no picture to show this, sorry!
The boards were a little wider than the baseboards in the house. This was kind of an afterthought, and I didn’t really want to try to take off the baseboards. We ended up cutting an angle at the bottom of the long vertical pieces so that it would finish at the baseboard. Like this:
Then we took a lunch break and headed to Lowe’s. While we were there I picked up a copy of The Magnolia Journal, because one should never be without it!
We came back and got to gluing those boards on the wall! We needed glue that didn’t require clamping for 20-30 minutes (which is apparently a thing with wood glue? Who knew?!) The guy and Lowe’s recommended this, and my dad said it would be perfect! And it was!
My dad put some glue down the back of the boards and then I put them in their spot. One of us would grab the level and make sure that we had it straight, and then we’d hold it for a couple minutes. We did this with all of the vertical pieces, and it went surprisingly fast!
There were only 4 boards that we had trouble with! Luckily, 2 of them were the corner pieces, so we were able to nail them into the studs. The other 2 we had to use these thingys that look like zip ties but they screw in behind the sheetrock when you don’t have a stud.
Finally, we had ALL of the boards on the wall!
Then we had to fill all of the nail holes and the corner connections with this putty stuff. We squeezed it out of the tube into the hole and then smoothed it out. It required like 2-3 layers of the stuff before it was finally full enough. Then I went ahead and primed everything again because it got super dirty in the install process. Finally, I painted it with 2 coats of white paint!
Here it is completely finished:
I’m SO in love! It turned out so well! It was a lot more work than Chip & Jo and the Pinterest people make it seem, but I’m so glad we did it! We definitely could not have gotten it done without my daddy either!
Have you ever taken on a home improvement project like this? What is your favorite project?