Monday, February 25, 2013

Board and Batten in the Bathroom

Happy Monday! I am still putting the finishing touches on the master bathroom redo, but I just couldn't wait to share the pictures!

Last weekend I finally took the plunge and installed board and batten in my bathroom. Since I moved into my house I've been dying to add some more character by way of bead board or board and batten. I always thought it would be in my dining room, the hallway outside of the laundry/pantry area or even in the guest bathroom. But when I started to notice how dingy and dirty the walls of my master bathroom were getting, I knew it was time to do something.

You see, my builder had his painters use flat paint all over the house. And me, not knowing any better at the time, didn't think anything of it. But as the years have gone by, the walls are looking terribly stained and with flat paint, you really can't clean them off. My master bathroom seemed to be the worst because its used so much. There was soap scum on the walls near the tub and sink. There's hairspray and lotion residue near the mirror. It just needed a good freshening up and unfortunately, it was nothing that a good bathroom cleaner could fix.

So I decided that since I had to paint the walls anyways, I might as well add some architectural elements to the tiny room. So, what do you think?

Pinspiration via here and here

Pretty, right! Okay, so how did I create this board and batten look? Well, first I started with a trip to Lowe's. I purchased:
  • a gallon of the Valspar Ultra Paint + Primer in one. I just used the straight off the shelf semi-gloss white. This way the walls would be much easier to wipe down and keep clean.
  • 20, 8 foot lattice pieces that I used for both the horizontal and vertical boards.  I have a few boards left over.
  • a tiny hand saw for about $12. Since the wood was so light, I didn't need any fancy, or expensive saws to get the pieces cut. Phew! 
  • paintable caulk, which is the best invention ever. Messy, but totally makes your job look professional in the end.
What else I used:
  • a yardstick for easy measuring
  • a pencil
  • a level
  • brad nails so that the heads could be hammered into the wood
  • a hammer
  • an angled paint brush
  • a mini-paint roller and tray
  • drop cloth
  • painter's tape

From some of the pinspirational pins I came across, a lot of people started with painted or at least primed boards for their horizontal pieces. I did not. I relied on tape later on. But like those other DIYers, I did start with the horizontal rail around the top. I used the same lattice pieces for the whole project. I have seen some people use a bit thicker and wider board for the horizontal pieces, but this just worked easier for me so I could use the small hand saw.

To figure out how high I wanted the board and batten, I used the top of the tub surround as my guide. This way, I think the tub looks more built in and less cheap and builder grade. It sort of just blends in with the rest of the white. Once I had my horizontal pieces measured out and level, I secured them to the wall using the brad nails and a hammer. I thought about using wood glue, too, but in the end decided the lattice was light enough and the nails would suffice.

Once the top portion was secured to the wall, I then had to figure out the spacing for the vertical boards. Because I was working with several short walls and around the toilet, sink and outlets, none of the walls ended up having the same spacing between the boards. They range from about 13 inches in between to about 15 inches. Its very hard to tell with the naked eye and it just made my life so much easier then to be less precise. It actually looks better and more even in the end since there are no weird breaks, if that makes sense.

With the spacing figured out, I then measured each of my vertical boards and cut them to the right length. However, if all of your horizontal boards are level, the vertical boards should all be the same length, which they pretty much were, but you never know with some houses and how they've settled, etc. 

The next day I taped off the room and added a coat of paint. At that point you really see the gaps between the wall and some of the wood pieces since none of the wood is perfectly straight. Once the paint was dried (I gave it 24 hours) I then went around the room and caulked all the gaps using the tube of caulk I purchased and my fingers. This part was so messy, but so worth it in the end. I could have painted over the caulk in about 40 minutes, but I let it dry another day, mainly because of my own lack of time.  I then applied the last coat of paint the following day.

You'll notice from the pictures that I left about two feet at the top of the room the original turquoise color. I love that it still has the pop of bright color, but is nice and clean around the majority of the room. Luckily, the top part that I did leave turquoise was not dirty at all to begin with.

Like I said, I am still adding details, and I can't wait to do a full reveal once I get a new shower curtain, sew up the curtain over the window and add some more artwork.

The whole process was relatively easy, and I would totally do it all again. In fact, I still have plans to tackle the wall out of the laundry/pantry downstairs. I even have leftover lattice and paint that I plan to use. I just have to find the time. What else is new!

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