Easy Bat and Board

Today I have a very inexpensive, oh-so-easy way to add character and architectural interest to an otherwise white walled box. A bat and board treatment that gives a slight coastal/Pottery Barn feel to your home. This one cheats a little and allows you to keep your existing baseboards… which is good because although baseboards are relatively simple to do, they are a little more complicated than the treatment I am showing you today.

The before picture was taken by our most awesome realtor (her name is Deborah Palmisano if you’re looking to relocate to the Phoenix area). It shows how humbly our short sale people were living.

Before…. as plain as could be.

And although the after is still a definite work in progress, it is a massive improvement. This picture is a little bright and you can’t see the treatment all that well, but better pictures will follow! Don’t mind the very naked windows and the totally beat up cheap vinyl blinds… that will all change.

I started out by painted above the chair rail Stone gray by Resoration Hardware. You all know I love Restoration Hardware’s palette.  Very happy with how that turned out!

Since I don’t own a miter saw I had Home Depot make all my cuts for me… which they did for FREE! I bought lattice (which is only 1 1/2″ in width) and that is what you will need if you are trying to keep  you baseboards in tact because it is thin enough to stack on top with no overhang. Since my baseboard was 3″ I had the slats cut to 36″ and got a thicker flat board (also 3″) for the top chair rail part. This will also add some dimension to the wall treatment. So 3″ + 36″ + 3″ = 42″ which is a pretty standard height for bat and board. Since they were only 1 1/2″ in width I spaced them about 12″ apart. If you were using a thicker width I would suggest something between 16-18″ apart.

You may run into some sort of electrical boxes. Depending on where it hits, you could use a jig saw to cut this out or just remove the section all together which is what I needed to do because it was right in the middle. So I just held the slat up to the box and marked the top and bottom and put an “X” on the section to be removed.

I don’t have an electrical miter saw, but I do have a miter box, which I sawed the piece by hand with.

I applied most of my pieces with liquid nail, reinforcing as needed (due to wall or board warping) with finish nails. As you apply each board make sure before the liquid nail sets up to level each one. I was surprised how off I was on some of them!!

After you do all the vertical boards, cap it off with the chair rail. You definitely want to reinforce this with a few finish nails to support the weight. Be sure to counter sink all nails so you can fill the holes and you will never know they were there.

The next part I didn’t get a picture of because it happened quickly and I couldn’t stop. You need to caulk all the seams with a thin bead of paintable caulk. This is a little tedious, but necessary for a finished look and will hide a lot of ugly gaps and imperfections in the walls. This went fast, because once I sliced open the caulking it kept streaming out without any assistance! Smooth out all caulking as you go with your finger. Let it dry for 2 hours and then you are ready to paint!

Here’s the finished treatment!

View around french doors.

It really didn’t take me that long to get a much more interesting look in the room.

Okay, so here’s what still is needing to happen. See all the plastic toy bins?

And the plain white wall? Well, that is phase 2. Under each window I plan to do a window seat with toy storage. In between the two windows will be cabinets with storage (we’re really lacking in storage in this house believe it or not). Above the window seats and cabinets will be a bat and board treatment that goes all the way to the ceiling. The TV will be mounted above the cabinets on this wall… and the coffee table (which I made myself =) will go back to being a coffee table! This furniture is going into my formal living room and I am getting a sectional for in here.

Well, there you are. You could easily get this done in a Saturday. Up next, I am in need of your advice! I will post a picture and an explanation soon with what I need your help with.

Happy Thursday!


3 thoughts on “Easy Bat and Board

  1. Suzanne says:

    It looks so beautiful! Could you explain a little bit more about the lattice that you used. Where do you find It? What lengths does it come in? Etc., etc. My son helped me do some board and batten in my bedroom but we used primed MDF which is thicker and wider. The only lattice that I know of is quite rough and has uneven (kind of warped looking) edges. I have beautiful high baseboards in my living room and I would love not having to remove them to do this type of treatment.
    Thanks for all of your great ideas!

  2. Missy says:

    I wish I would have seen this last week!! I ripped out all of the ugly tiny base in my girls room and installed mdf as board and batten. I am STILL working on it!! This is a great tip! I could totally do this on my main floor where I have nicer baseboards! Like Suzanne asked, what is the lattice you used?

  3. NataLee says:

    Suzanne, I know exactly what you’re talking about. Lattice typically is rough and meant for outdoor use. But Home Depot (I haven’t checked Lowe’s) now carries in their trim and molding section a much smoother and pre-primed lattice in their trim section for .69 a foot. It comes in up to 10 foot lengths, is 1 1/2″ wide and 1/4″ deep.

    Missy, Sorry I didn’t beat you. I am sure your girls room will look fantastic when you finish it!

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