Friday, October 8, 2010

Board and Batten

Three and a half years ago I traded in my signature earth-tones for a blue bedroom. Looking back, I have no idea why I thought this was a good idea. I thought the blue would be soothing, but it turned out to be anything but soothing.

I am an earth-tone girl.

About a year ago, Verne started offering to buy me a new comforter. Turns out, the blue was grating on his nerves too. I started looking, but never found anything that I liked. Not too long ago, I borrowed a steam cleaner from a friend to clean our bedroom carpet. We moved all of the furniture out of the room, and it was then that I noticed how poor the walls looked.

Have you ever read the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? Mmm, hmm. Sometimes when you start one project it leads to another. And another.

I thought about putting bead-board on the bottom portion of the walls, and painting the top a different color. Bead-board, it turns out, is very expensive. I was looking through different images, and fell in love with board and batten. Verne came home, I showed him a photo, and he was sold. Off we went to the lumber yard.

Rather than real board and batten, which would require covering the walls with wood, we went for a faux finish. We purchased unpainted lattice strips and cut them so that when sitting on top of the baseboard they would be 5 feet high. We used a quilting ruler and spaced them 12 1/2 inches apart. Thankfully, we missed every outlet.

When approaching our first corner, I knew we had a problem. It was going to look odd to finish and then start again on the next wall 12 1/2 inches later. The gap looked huge. Verne came up with the idea of making the entire distance from board to board 12 1/2 inches, so that even rounding the corners, the gaps between boards would be consistent. It looks great!

No matter how flat your wall is, you're going to have small gaps between the lattice and the drywall. To me, this made the project look like cheap paneling.

Enter DryDex. I spackled every single piece of lattice to take care of those gaps. Yes, that was time- consuming!

DryDex goes on pink and dries white. Perfect! I also wiped the wall carefully so as not to have any uneven spots.

Before installing the lattice, we used Sherwin Williams Meadowlark on the top three feet of the wall. We used a flat finish which is rich and beautiful. I figured the walls aren't going to see a lot of wear and tear above the five foot level. The color is like a rich chocolate milk. Verne gave the bottom one coat of Sherwin Williams Roman Column in a semi-gloss finish. He also primed the lattice pieces and gave them one coat of paint.

In hindsight, it would have been better to give the walls and the lattice pieces at least two coats before attaching them. It's much easier to paint them before they are on the walls.

After the walls were painted properly, Verne installed a beautiful chair rail above the lattice. (We were smart and gave this several coats before installation!) We set the nails, gave everything a quick final coat of paint and voila!

The room feels so much larger and more grown up- despite the unmade bed. I started my search for bedding all over again, and came up empty handed. Last week I bought fabric to make a quilt, and I'm scheduled for a class on October 22nd. I can't wait to get started!

I love the new look so much, I'm thinking about incorporating it into several more rooms in our home. Lots of work- but so worth it!

ETA: I should have said originally that after using the DryDex, and having it be so much work, we went with a different option when placed the chair rail on top. There were gaps to fill there as well, but instead of the DryDex we used paintable white caulk. So much easier. If you try this faux board and batten, I'd use caulk everywhere you need to fill a gap- just make sure it's paintable.


Sharon said...

OH TRACY!!!! I LOVE IT!!!! It does look so much more soothing and relaxing. Perfect for relaxing after a long hard-working summer! Be sure to post about how your quilting class is going!

Nadine said...

It looks wonderful!
We were looking to install beadboard in our living room & kitchen, but after pricing it we decided against it! I will have my hubby check out your photos, this might be a good option for us!


Terri said...

Tracy, that is gorgeous!!!! I can't believe how different it makes the whole room look. Great job!

Tracy said...

Thanks ladies!

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

That is gorgeous!

Mom and I are looking at and talking about paint colors for their addition and she had been talking about brown... this would be a beautiful way to do it!

Can we have a peek on Monday?

sherry said...

.l.o.v.e. the new look!
hard work indeed, but the
finished product is lovely.
rich tones - warm - inviting.
much better than the former
look, even with the unmade
bed. ;o)


~~Deby said... is gorgeous...I love it...I can't wait to see your quilt..keep us up on your you have any fabrics picked out yet ???....funny I have been thinking BLUE lately..for the same reasons you mentioned..maybe I need to re-think !

Becky K. said...

You so totally NAILED it!!
I Love this look!!

I am sure you are enjoying this wonderful space.

Becky K.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how much bigger it made the room look! Great job, it looks WONDERFUL!

Abounding Treasures said...

The room looks amazing!! What a difference it has made :o)

Southern Comfort said...

This is completely gorgeous!

Marilene said...

Hmmmmmm.... blue is actually one of my favorite colors, but I just can't stand it in home decor.
Love the new walls!

randi said...

I. LOVE. IT. Great work!

Jodi said...


Margo said...

wow! beautiful!
I love the second look better even though blue is my favorite color (and my bedroom color).

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