Monday, September 28, 2015

It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Board and Batten

You've heard about it. You've heard about it again. You've heard about it again and again. You probably believed that it was never going to happen. But. We. Are. Done. The weekend project that dragged on for 4 weeks is in the books and guys, I may be prejudiced, but I think it looks good.

Board and Batten Dining Room- Check.

I love how it looks bright and light. The contrast of the blue from the yellow in the kitchen makes it feel like its own space even with the large door opening that connects the two of them.

And I swoon (maybe that is dramatic, but it just sounds nice) about how friendly and cozy it is. I think it looks more polished than before. And my favorite part of the project is that it is done!

The dining room has been one of the biggest changes since we moved in. Remember how we bought the house sight unseen? Well, this was probably one of my least favorite spaces. The floor to ceiling mirrors, the dated light fixture, the checkerboard floor just seemed dingy and small. But now I love it.

The first big step was getting the mirrors off the wall. Read more about trashing our own house here, laugh, and then consider why on earth we thought we could move forward with this project. 

Next we needed to get the tar from the mirrors. To get technical, we had no real idea what to do. The adhesive literally looked like roof tar and it was stuck to the drywall that we needed to be smooth for our board and batten. Side note- this was pretty much terrifying. Oh great! We don't have mirrors on the wall anymore, WE HAVE TAR. So we did what any sane person would do, we got a flat head screwdriver and a hammer to pry the tar off the wall.

And this is what happened. Even being careful, this process definitely took the top layer of the drywall (which is textured) off with the tar. See above, if you don't believe me...

We went ahead and drywall patched all of these holes- like 40 holes. Do you know what is boring, patching 40ish holes. It took a while (yeah, a long while), but we really wanted the wall to be consistent. Some people actually purchase and adhere a full board to the wall and then add battens to give the section  it's texture, but that just seemed like overkill for us. We thought if we could get the whole room the (relatively) same texture, that we could skip this step. Okay, we were being cheap. A lot of this project was spent convincing each other that we were making the right decision with our fingers crossed behind our back. 

Next we went and sanded the each of the holes and surrounding areas down. Let me tell you- THIS WAS A MESS. We literally vacuumed as we were sanding and white dust went everywhere. Dust in the dishes. Dust in the sink. Dust in the bathroom (and the door was closed). Dust on the floor. Dust on the ceiling. It was pretty much a snow globe on the first floor for a week. I even recently opened up a linen closet and found the dust in there. Are you impressed by my home making skills? Then you are blind.

After we sanded, we needed to get down to the nitty gritty. By that I mean the texture. If you look closely at drywall, you can see the tiny ridges that run on the surface of the material. Replicating this was hard. It isn't 100% the same, but we are pretty satisfied with our results. We took drywall repair compound, a heavily textured roller, and a sponge to match the patched holes to the drywall texture. It wasn't a science and it definitely wasn't an art, but we really needed a consistent wall texture to not make the board and batten look lumpy. This is the one part of the project that I don't oooh and aww over it, but I think we got better than passable- although not perfection. One of the things that Andrew always says to me (over and over) is, "don't let perfection get in the way of good." It is really annoying. And it is really true. Especially in this instance.

At this point of the project, we were thrilled with our progress until we looked around the room and realized... um we haven't actually started the board and batten project yet. Face palm. We raced over to Home Depot to pick out the top rail and the lattices. We chose 1x3 for the rail to mimic the trim that runs throughout the room. It was the cheap and easy option because we didn't have to purchase double the supplies and install both the trim and rail. By matching the trim, we saved ourselves 1 step (for the first time in the history of home ownership).

We taped the lattices to the wall first (you can find these in the lumber aisle super cheap) that we pre-cut to 36 inches tall. We thought that about 1/3rd up the wall looked good in the space and wanted each lattice to be 16 inches from the next. Not all of them are exact (outlets and corners got in the way), but they are (decently) evenly spaced throughout the room. All of this is a total personal preference. The lattices could be taller, shorter, or further apart based on the space and your aesthetic preference. Before we taped the lattices to the wall, we spent A LOT of time making sure that they were perfectly level. This was crucial to do, so that when we laid the top rail we weren't having to fight an uphill battle with the level. After we got the lattices placed, we pulled out the big gun.

This was the hero of the project. We borrowed this air compressor nail gun from a friend and it made all the nailing in happen so quickly. I will say here for the whole internet that this tool is a dream maker. I never used one of these bad boys before, but oh my goodness it was delightful. Honestly, I think we were able to get everything nailed down (16 lattices and the rail) in 20 to 30 minutes. It was awesome.

Now that we had the room looking like the project we started (weeks before), we spent the time that no one wants to do, but that everyone has to do- time on the details. We sanded down where the rails connecting to the existing door molding to make it a smooth transition, we filled the nail holes with putty, and wiped down every single thing in the room from the dust. 

Next we... okay, well next we took about a week off from this project because it was becoming too much. Up to this point, we had been treating home ownership like it was a sprint, but it felt like we were in mile 25 of a marathon. So we sat on the couch, read, took Cal to the dog park, allowed the house to look like a catastrophe, and just enjoyed doing nothing.

It seems like a weird place to take a hiatus, however, because when we got back into fixer upper mode, we really only had the painting left! We painted the top part Misty Blue and the board and batten section Alabaster, the white that we used on every single piece of trim in our house that I love. You may think I'm being dramatic when I say EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF TRIM, but no. It became an obsession.

It didn't quite look right, however, until we caulked all the little gaps. This was the step that really pulled everything together. It sharpened the lines and created a smooth consistent look between all the transitions. Once the caulk was done did it looked like a (dare I say) professional non-amateur did it. 

So that is it. After weeks. No tears (surprisingly). And about 79.5 trips to Home Depot, the Dining Room Board and Batten project is done!

Are you in the middle of home reno hell... projects? Or what is something home wise that you are proud of?



  1. You guys are rocking those DIYs - I am loving your light fixture above the dining room table! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  2. DIYs are my jam! why pay someone when you can do this stuff yourself and you get so much joy out of it!

  3. This room looks so much better! It turned out so well. Can't wait to see you tackle your next room!

  4. After seeing your work first hand last evening, I think that it's worthy of "professional". The texturing of the wall was so good, I never noticed it, it all blended together.

  5. The room came out so great!! You guys did such a great job.

  6. I'm so impressed!!! Truly. I lack all crafting genes. It looks awesome and I LOVE me some yellow and gray!!

  7. WOW! You did such a great job, lady! I'm a fan of DIY but sometimes get squirreled on projects. I'm glad everything came together, your finished product is fabulous.

  8. Wow! You DIY is wonderful ♥♥

  9. I LOVE IT. It makes it so much better when you can look it and say yeah I did that. BOOM. Your decorating skills are on point too. Love reading your blog

  10. That came out great. Love the top color in contrast with the white. So clean and polished looking.

  11. That looks amazing! Love the gray color against the white!

  12. Your hard work definitely paid off! Love the color pallet!!!

  13. Gorgeous! You guys did an incredible job. I so want to do this in our dining room <3

    Green Fashionista

  14. This looks amazing, Shay! It seriously looks amazing. You guys are becoming the new Young House Love around blogland!

  15. Love it! Love the color with the yellow rug! That light fixture is also amazing :)