This “DIY Modern Board and Batten Accent Wall” blog was written by a paid contributor. All images by Alex from Mr. Build It.
Board and batten accent walls are a popular paneling option that bring definition and charm into any ordinary room of your home. Craftsman, cottage, and farmhouse-style homes often use board and batten accent walls to take a space to the next level.
For this project, Home Improvement Expert and Flex Seal Ambassador, Mr. Build It, decided to transform his formal dining room into something a bit more exciting. Read on to see how he makes a DIY modern board and batten accent wall with the help of Flex Glue MAX.
● Eucalyptus board (A.K.A eucaboard) paneling
● 3½” wide primed trim boards (for vertical pieces)
● 1x2 primed pine trim boards (for horizontal trim)
● 5” wide primed trim boards (for horizontal trim)
● Rotary drywall cut-out tool
● 1½” brad nails
● Electrical box extenders
● Wood filler
● 220 grit sandpaper
● Paint with primer
● Paint brush, roller, or sprayer
● Utility knife
● Small pry bar
● Tape measure
● Rotary drywall cut-out tool
● Miter saw
● Nail gun
● Caulk gun
● Putty knife
● Orbital sander
Note: Use caution when working with power tools and always follow manufacturer’s instructions. Before using Flex Seal products, read all directions and take proper safety precautions, such as being in a well-ventilated area and wearing protective gear while applying.
Use a screwdriver to remove any vent, outlet, and light switch covers. In many cases, it’s also easier to install a board and batten accent wall if you remove the baseboards.
Flexpert Tip: To remove the baseboards easily and with minimal damage, score the caulk lines with a utility knife and use a pry bar to pop the baseboard off the wall carefully.
For this step, you’ll need to put the eucaboard paneling on your wall and use a rotary drywall cutter to trim away rectangles in the paneling for any vents, outlets, and switches you need to expose through the paneling.
The best way to ensure that the cuts made into your eucaboard align with the existing openings is to measure. Use a tape measure to get the exact distance between the top and bottom of the box from the floor. Likewise, measure the distance of the left and right sides of the boxes relative to the edge of the board. Transfer these measurements to the paneling and use the rotary tool to make cuts.
Use the caulk gun to apply Flex Glue MAX to the backside of each panel (working one panel at a time). Flex Seal’s strong instant grab technology will help secure the paneling directly to the drywall.
Flexpert Tip: You have about 10 seconds to reposition your panels before Flex Glue’s instant grab takes hold. Flex Glue Max fully cures in 24-28 hours and reaches maximum strength in seven days.
Next, use a nail gun and 1½” brad nails to pin the placement of the paneling while the Flex Glue dries. You can install these nails along the bottom of the paneling that will ultimately be covered by the baseboard, or every 16”, where the vertical boards will hide the indentations from the brads. Do not put them along the whole top of the board.
Reinstall the baseboard along the front of the paneling using a bead of Flex Glue MAX and brad nails. Next, measure the vertical 3½” boards to match the paneling height once the baseboard is in place. Then, apply Flex Glue MAX to the backside of every vertical board. Use a level to ensure that they are installed perfectly and apply them to the front of the eucaboard every 16” on center. Use the nail gun to secure the boards further in place.
Measure and cut the 1x2 boards, so they run continuously as a finishing edge along the top of the new board and batten wall.
Flexpert Tip: If you need to string multiple lengths together, consider using a miter saw to make angled cuts; it can be less obvious where the connections are than if you were butting two boards together.
In any places where you know, there will be an exposed end of 1x2 board, use sandpaper to soften the sharp edges. If you have a router, you can use a ⅜” router bit to round the edges for a professional finish.
Line a horizontal bead of Flex Glue MAX along the top edge of the eucaboard where it meets the drywall. A consistent bead of product will not only hold this horizontal rail in place but also act like a bead of caulk, making it easy to paint and finish the project.
Once the first 1x2 rail is anchored, install the 5” boards around the room's perimeter. Apply a bead of Flex Glue MAX along the back of each board and install it to sit on top of the 1x2 ledge. Use the brad nailer to secure them into the drywall.
The last piece of the board and batten is one additional ledge of horizontal 1x2 that sits atop the 5” board. Apply a final bead of Flex Glue MAX and press the last 1x2 boards into the adhesive. Use the nail gun to secure the 1x2 boards to the wall.
Use wood filler and a putty knife to fill any nail holes. Once dry, use 220-grit sandpaper and an orbital sander to smooth out any areas before painting. Finally, caulk along all edges to close gaps between the eucaboard and the trim.
Use a paint and primer in one to finish the job. You can easily apply paint on flat areas with a roller or use a paint sprayer for a smooth finish.
Flexpert Tip: Allow the paint to dry before moving on to the next step.
Add electrical box extenders, so your wiring doesn’t sit too deep behind the eucaboard. Replace switch and outlet covers.
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