I just finished one of my favorite projects ever! I completed this board and batten wall in two days all by myself — with no power tools and little to no skills. It was under $100 — wood, paint, hooks and all.
It has a big impact with little money. I’m looking forward to decorating it with the seasons! I’ll show you each step of how I did it, mistakes and all. If I can do it, please believe me, you can too!
This entryway wall is 12 feet tall and almost 9 feet wide. Everything I put on it looked dinky and miniature (case in point here). So I decided to do a mudroom feel, but without cubbies. And random shoes. And kid stuff everywhere. Basically it’s just moulding and 5 hooks that I have forbidden anyone to hang anything ugly on.
Continuing on to the tutorial, I need you to know that I am not a professional, in fact I’m not even handy and don’t own any power tools! Also the this wall is not perfect. I want to be completely straightforward with you. This is a tutorial, but it’s kind of more like a “if she can do it, I can do it” kind of thing! I’ll show you what this newbie did wrong too.
- paint tape
- finishing nails
- Liquid Nails
- tape measure
- caulking gun
This is how long the wall took me working solo.
- 5 hours: painting the wall and getting the boards up
- 2 hours: caulking and painting
Here is what I did. Take it, adapt it, make it your own. I’d love to hear about it too!
1. Measure and make a plan.
You know the saying: Measure twice, cut once. I planned and measured and triple checked it.
I went to Home Depot with a very specific list early on a Tuesday morning and picked out all my lumber. I took it to the cutting center and they cut all my pieces for me. This was a big deal as I don’t have any power tools!
If you want success at finding someone to cut lumber for you at Home Depot, I suggest going early on a weekday. People are still in a good mood and the store basically only has builders shopping (who cut their own wood!). Miguel was also willing to help me because I had a specific list.
The whole thing is almost 7 feet tall. The small vertical pieces are 16 inches. And the taller vertical pieces are 4 feet.
2. Lay out the pieces.
Lay out the pieces and make sure you have everything you need and it fits together properly. This is when I realized Miguel misunderstood me and cut 7 inches off the wrong board.
It’s not good for me to have wood pieces and tools laying around when the boys get home from school because they always mess with my stuff! So I decided to plow through and piece it together as a puzzle rather than spend an hour getting a new piece. This was a mistake.
3. Paint the wall before adding trim.
I taped off how high the moulding would go and painted with a roller. Don’t worry about the trim because the wood will cover that. This is much easier than painting after the moulding is up. (The bottom piece is on in this pic because I forgot to take a picture beforehand!)
4. Get those boards up!
I started finishing nails on one side. This makes it easier to hammer into the wall once the board is in place. Then I flipped the board and added glue (Liquid Nails) on the other side. I think I used two tubes of glue.
Position the board on the wall with a level and nail it on! Repeat in the pattern you laid out on the floor.
5. Nail the board with hooks to studs.
That 1×6 in the middle is nailed to the studs so the hooks will be nice and sturdy. The other boards are not.
Remember when I said I’m not a professional? Yeah. Here’s how I found the studs, haha!! That’s one way to do it. I did learn though and after you find one stud (however you do it, no judgement), you can measure 16 inches to the next one. And now I own this inexpensive stud finder!
6. Roll on one coat of paint before caulking.
I rolled on one pass of paint just to see just how much caulking I had to do. The answer was a lot. You see all my little puzzle pieces? Was there a smarter way to do it? Yes. But there was no going back now!
Now it’s time to caulk each and every crevice. It takes some time, but you won’t believe what a difference it makes! I used one and a half tubes.
Caulking trick: use a little bowl of dish soap and water to dip your finger in before you smooth. It makes a super smooth line!
This is the most embarrassing part of the wall. I said I was going to be honest! It’s easier to post a tutorial and skip over mistakes and avoid comments, but I don’t think that’s fair. Caulking didn’t correct it, but it sure did help! (If you’re handy, stop laughing!)
My helper lost interest by this point.
I used paint and primer in one to hopefully skip third and fourth coats. I used all of one quart for this project and probably could have used just a bit more.
8. Add hooks.
I traced the hooks and taped them straight and evenly spaced on the wall before I screwed them in. I marked the holes with the screw before I took the pattern off. I worked well. These are the flat black hooks I chose.
I did about seven hours of work in two days. I didn’t expect to finish it so fast, but I hate painting and caulking and math, so I worked double time! I know I do lots of DIYs, but I actually hate the process of doing them. I’d rather work super hard and finish ASAP. How about you? Do you love DIY or mostly just the result?
Here are the cliff notes if it helps: