Free Farmhouse Headboard Plan

This FREE Farmhouse Headboard Plan is one of our favorite beginner woodworking projects! It is easy to build, even though it is a gorgeous statement piece! Beginner woodworking projects are often gimmicky, but this Queen Sized Farmhouse Headboard is useful, too! 

We’ve even had friends ask us if they could pay us to build one for them! So, if you can wield a hammer and saw, you could be in business!  😉

If you’re looking for an easy project and have limited tools, this is perfect! You can build this free Farmhouse Headbaord Plan in less than 2 hours for around $75.

A drill is required to fasten the headboard to a set of rails, but aside from that, all you need is a a hammer, a hand saw, a paint brush, and a couple of nails.

The boards used come in standard sizes at most wood shops or hardware stores, so there really isn’t a lot of cutting to done!

If you have a miter saw, you can use it on this project but it is definitely not required. A simple hand saw will do just fine for the 5 small cuts that need to be made.

In this project, we have listed the tools in the free Farmhouse Headboard Plan below, along with the materials we purchased to make it happen. 

If you use our plan, we’d love to see your finished project! Tag us on Instagram, or send us an email! 

Free Farmhouse Headboard Plan

Free Farmhouse Headboard Plan

This simple, yet gorgeous farmhouse style headboard is an excellent beginner project, for a great bedroom upgrade!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Materials

  • 10 pcs 1"x6"x5'
  • 1 pc 1"x6"x6'
  • 5 pcs 2"x4"x8'
  • 2.5" Deck Screws
  • 2" Nails

Instructions

Note:

OPTIONAL: You can glue each joint before nailing/screwing it together. We didn't bother, so it isn't strictly necessary.

Overal Size:

Step 1

Start by cutting all 5 of the 2x4s down to 72 inches. 

Step 2

Next is to build the 2 side posts by joining 2 of the 2x4s by screwing them together as seen below. 1 screw every 18" or so fine.

Note that it is good to pre-drill and countersink the screws to avoid splitting the wood. This isn’t always necessary when using soft wood such as the pine as we used in this project but if you use other types of hardwood and want to play it safe, then using a countersink and pre-drilling is the best option in avoiding cracking, chipping or splitting the wood.

When you're done, You can lay the extra of the 2x4 in the middle as it will provide hold and support for the boards later on as you start to nail or screw them piece by piece. It should look something like this:

Step 3

The next step would be to start adding the 10 pieces of 1x6.

Put the first one on and just line it up at the edge of the side posts made in step 2:

Step 4

Step 4 would be adding the next 1x6 about 1/8" away from the edge of the first one; and the repeating for the rest of the 1x6s.

2-inch nails on each as shown by the arrows below, and an inch in from the end of the board to avoid cracking or splitting the board should do nicely.

And then just proceed to do all 10 of the boards until you’re left with the space on the lower end as seen in the image below:

The space you see in the bottom will provide the room for your bed frame which you can choose to be bolted through the 2x4x72inches board.

You will also need to position the center upright and nail the boards to it.

Step 5

Once you have placed all 10 boards down to both side uprights and the center one, the only step that remains is to place the 1 piece, 1x6x72inches board on the top.

The easiest way to do that is to find the center of the board and line it up with the center of the center upright:

Lastly, you want to measure both sides to see if it’s even on both sides. There should be about 4 1/2" on both ends or at least, equal in measurement on both ends as seen in the picture below:

At this point, we’re done building our frame and all we need to do is stain it or paint it!

Finished Product

Here’s a picture of the actual product

 

Refinished Coffee Tables

After a year of living with a broken coffee table (they don’t make MDF coffee tables for 4 year-olds to jump off of, apparently!), we decided to invest in a new set for our new house and pitch the old one.

Trouble is, with buying a house and all, we didn’t want to invest much. I didn’t want MDF ones again (because, four kids) but if we were to buy brand new, that’s all we would be able to afford. $200 on a set that would likely have to be replaced again in a few years seemed imprudent, so I started checking Kijiji regularly for a used, solid wood set. (Kijiji is Canada’s Craigslist.)

coffee tables before

Within a few days, a gorgeous collection appeared online. Gorgeous, if you looked passed the nasty stain and dinged up top to the beautiful wood underneath and the great leg detail. These babies had curves! The seller was asking $150 for all three tables. I offered $100 and he accepted it. Yay!

Brad picked them up the next evening and in a moment of insanity with just three weeks before moving day, I decided to refinish them. Surely it wouldn’t take me that long, would it?

Six days, guys.

It took me SIX days! Not bad if you don’t have four children five and under, a nursing baby, and a whole house to pack while you’re homeschooling. 😀

I decided to stain the top dark and paint the legs white. Our living room is on the North side of the house and I was afraid staining the whole set dark would make the room feel too “heavy.”

First I stripped them with a heavy duty, gel-based furniture stripper. All I had to do was wipe the stuff on and then wipe the stuff off, the back of the can said. It’ll be fun, it said.

It took three applications of gel just to get the tops of the tables stripped. I used the whole quart and then some. I’m still sure it was faster than sanding them though (at least, that’s what I tell myself), and with the help of a putty knife, I was able to scrape every last bit of old stain, wood glue, and shellac off. If you’re attempting a project like this, be sure to use a plastic putty knife or you may accidentally scrape your wood. (Ask me how I know. On second thought, don’t).

After stripping the tables, I sanded them lightly with 220 grit sandpaper, vacuumed and dusted them off and wiped them down with mineral spirits to make sure every last bit of residue was removed. “Mineral spirits” sounds so weird, don’t you think? *Shudder* Let’s just call it “paint thinner,” mmmkay?

You could easily use a detail sander, or similar but I just used sandpaper; a favorite place to get tool advice is woodworkology.com – great site :).

coffee tables leg detail

Then came the primer for the legs of the tables. I applied two coats of Rust-Oleum’s Zinnser Cover Stain Primer . I used this stuff before when I painted the kitchen cabinets in our old house and it held the paint amazingly for the 6 years we lived there.

At this point I thought, “What have I done?!” It had taken four days already and I knew I had at least three coats of paint to go before staining and sealing the tops. Thankfully, the painting time goes faster and faster with each coat.

coffee tables painted legs

For the legs, I used Behr’s Interior Semi-gloss Enamel for Cabinets and Trim in “Spun Cotton,” a warm white.

coffee tables wood top

The tops were stained with one coat of Minwax’s Dark Walnut using a foam brush. I chose this color because it matched the legs of our couch. This was my first time staining anything and I was very pleased with Minwax’s product. I couldn’t believe how little I needed. I should have bought the tiny sample size; a quart was waaaaaaaaaay too much. Now I’m walking around the house looking for other things to stain…

After letting the tables dry for 24 hours, I sealed them with 3 coats of Minwax’s Polyurethane.

living room watermark 2I love how they turned out! They were totally worth all the time and all the fumes. You just couldn’t pay me enough to do it again. 😉 We had two full weeks before moving day, which gave them a good chance to “cure” before being moved around. They held up fabulously during the transfer and we’re enjoying them in our new living room.

coffee table before and afterLinking to: Miss Mustard SeedThrifty Decor Chick

IKEA Kitchen Renovation | Part 2: Ordering & Delivery

This is Part 2 of our IKEA Kitchen Renovation Series. You can read Part 1 here, and see our Before & After photos here.

After I finished designing our IKEA kitchen, we decided to make the trip to our nearest IKEA (a 40 minute drive) and order at the store instead of online.

I am so glad we did.

We bought our kitchen cabinets during IKEA’s Kitchen Event, which resulted in the kitchen department being insanely busy. We happened to arrive half an hour before the store officially opened, so we were third in line. By the time we had placed finished ordering, the line-up of people waiting to talk with a kitchen staff member was longer than the whole department! I highly recommend arriving well ahead of time if you plan on ordering your kitchen at the store during their sale. We received 10% back in IKEA gift cards which easily covered the cost of our back-ordered sink, and light fixtures.

When we got to the store, we looked over our selections on display in the kitchen department before ordering. I wanted to make sure everything looked as good in person as it did online. This is where we made the decision not to use IKEA’s laminate counter tops. The largest slab of laminate was 8 feet long, and we needed a piece that was over 10 feet. In addition to very obvious seams, IKEA’s laminate counter tops looked more plastic-like to me than the Formica samples I had seen at Home Depot, so we nixed the idea completely. Everything else was just how I imagined; better, actually, because the GRIMSLOV cabinets looked more white than off-white!

 

A member of IKEA’s kitchen staff, Maureen, looked over our design online with us, confirming measurements and placements, and made several great suggestions, one of which was purchasing an extra set of shelves for each 40 in. upper cabinet that we had two or more of in the same size. Shelves are sold in packages of two, which we had included for each cabinet, but it turns out that 40 in. cabinets can fit 3 shelves very nicely. We had four, 24X40″ upper cabinets in our kitchen design, so we bought two more packages of shelves which gave us enough for 3 shelves in each cabinet.

Maureen also convinced us to pay for delivery rather than picking up the cabinets ourselves and we are SO glad we did. If you’re ordering a kitchen, do yourself a favor and pay the $75 to have your kitchen delivered to your house. IKEA takes care of picking out all the boxes from the warehouse, loading them onto the truck, delivering it to your house (which was a 40 minute trip for us), and unloading everything when they get there. If anything is damaged or missing, they will deliver the replacements for free within 4 days. Our only complaint about IKEA’s delivery service is that the driver cursed an awful lot in front of our kids (which he thought we had too many of, ha!), even after my husband asked him to stop swearing.

Taking inventory was the first thing we did after the mountain of boxes arrived. We had 4 days to let IKEA know if anything missing or damaged if we were to receive free replacements and delivery. I started doing the job by myself, but was overwhelmed but the magnitude of everything that needed to be checked. It didn’t help that our itemized sheet was sectioned by all the different parts needed to build each cabinet, rather than listing each item in alphabetical or numerical order. Brad stepped in to help me out and we quickly learned the most efficient way to go through the list.

First, we grouped like with like. Doors and cabinets of the same size were stacked on top of each other, bags of matching hinges were grouped together, suspension rails  and toe kicks were stacked together, sink components were set aside in a corner, etc. Then, Brad counted how many of each box or bag was in a group and I used a highlighter to mark them off our list. Everything but two back-ordered items was there, and only one door was warped (which we found out about after it was hung), so we could get started on our kitchen as soon as we were ready!

Up next in the IKEA Kitchen Renovation Series| Part 3: How To Assemble An IKEA Kitchen. 

IKEA Kitchen Reno: Before & After!

OUR KITCHEN RENO IS FINISHED!

Sorry for yelling. I’m just very happy to have a stove after 8 weeks of “cooking” for 7 without one!

(By “cooking,” I mean we ate prepackaged carbs that tasted similarly to the boxes the came in.)

It’s an overcast day, so these photos aren’t great, but I thought I’d share a few shots anyway. Here’s a photo of our old kitchen from the MLS listing when we bought our house two years ago:

This is our kitchen now:

Another before:

Same spot, after:

A before photo of the dining area:

And how it looks now:

It felt like a long haul while we were in the middle of the chaos, but now that it’s finished, I’m so thrilled we plowed through the challenges (I’ll share those another day).

This was the part where I seriously second guessed our decision to renovate the kitchen!

Except for the electrical work, Brad and I installed the entire kitchen ourselves, working in the evenings and on Saturdays.

Removing the island resulted in a much better flow of traffic for our family of seven.

The kitchen is so much brighter, even on this rainy day, thanks to IKEA’s white Grimslov cabinets, shiny white subway tile, under cabinet lighting, and new, recessed lights.

We chose Formica’s Argento Romano laminate counter tops because of their affordability, but everyone asks if they’re granite!

The addition of two pantries and a built in desk provide more than enough storage for food and all our homeschooling books.

The kids love to do their schoolwork here, and when they’re not using it, it makes a wonderful command station for me!

This invisible spice drawer in our double bank of drawers next to the stove is one of my favorite features. I love seeing my most-used spices at a glance and knowing how much of everything I have left.

Originally, I had envisioned an undermount sink, but since they aren’t yet compatible with laminate counters, we opted for IKEA’s NORRSJON stainless steel double bowl, top mount sink that sits almost flush with the counter. We’re loving our IKEA Kitchen Sink!

We also chose IKEA’s RINGSKAR faucet. It’s a super simple, sleek design with a pull-out sprayer. It’s quite high, which makes it really nice for filling up large stock pots.

You can see more of this art gallery wall on the other side of the table here.

A few side by side before & afters:

 

 

More IKEA kitchen details and hacks we discovered to come. 🙂

IKEA Kitchen Renovation | Part 1: The Design Process

The lack of cupboard and storage space in the kitchen was one of the first things we noticed about our house when we bought it two years ago. For the elderly lady who lived here previously, the kitchen was ideal, but despite our minimalist bent, it’s a challenge for our family of seven to find a place for everything.

Our kitchen truly is the heart of our home. More than just the place where food is prepared, it also serves as our dining room and homeschool room. We eat here, talk here, play here, and study here. We’ve decided to renovate the most used room in our house this year by designing a homeschool-friendly kitchen on a budget.

The main goal for our new kitchen is functionality. Aesthetics are important too, but our biggest objective is to squeeze the most use out of our space. To do this, we’ve settled on a few features:

  • tall cabinets (40″)
  • 2 pantries
  • no glass doors or open shelving (I love the look of open shelving, but it would cut down greatly on our storage space. Glass doors are pretty, too, but they’re also more expensive and can look cluttered if they’re not styled properly.)
  • a built-in desk
  • cabinets for school books

A few months ago, I found a used kitchen on Kijiji that appeared to be ideal for our space for $1200. It came with a new, stainless steel 36″ double door refrigerator with a bottom drawer freezer, 2 stoves, and a dishwasher. I knew the refrigerator alone was worth well over $1200, so even if the cabinets didn’t pan out, we still would’ve scored big time. The tall, shaker-style cabinets were right up my alley, but they were stained a light brown with a pink undertone, so our plan was to get them refinished in white (I adore white and grey kitchens alike, but our kitchen is too dark to handle grey cabinets).

I sold the two stoves, the dishwasher, and an unused fridge in our garage for $450. We consulted with a cabinet maker who priced out the cost of refinishing the cabinets. It was 3x more than I expected, and he told us that the cabinets only had 5 years of life left in them. It was simply not worth it. I re-listed the cabinets on Kijiji and they sold within a few days for $1100. We kept the refrigerator, which essentially ended up being free after the sale of the cabinets and the other appliances!

I went back to the drawing board and researched (read: scoured the Internet for inspiration and visited all of the custom cabinet builders in our town) different ways to achieve a simple, affordable, quality farmhouse-inspired kitchen with a touch of elegance that suited the style of our house.

We concluded that an IKEA kitchen would be the best option for us. Their price was unbeatable. The cost of a brand new IKEA kitchen was less than the price we were quoted to refinish and install the used cabinets I had originally bought off Kijiji! After talking to other friends and family and touring their IKEA kitchens, I was convinced the quality would stand up to heavy use by our tribe of seven, too.

Image via Houzz

 

Image via Zillow

 

Image via Pinterest

Aesthetically, I had a couple dreams for our new IKEA kitchen. My wish list included:

  • white GRIMSLOV cabinets (Luckily for me, they are one of IKEA’s most affordable options per linear foot! I really wanted pure white cabinets, but GRIMSLOV ‘s shaker style doors only come in off-white. With the right counter top, wall paint, and backsplash, I think it will still be bright and beautiful! Plus, off-white shows dirt less, right? :) )
  • a chimney style range exhaust hood
  • brushed nickel door and drawer pulls
  • subway tile back splash
  • granite-look laminate counters, or solid surface in a medium grey color/pattern

After taking our kitchen measurements (a boring, but  essential step), I spent a few days designing our kitchen on IKEA’s handy kitchen planner tool. IKEA was on top of their game when they launched this thing (which now allows you to design your own office, bathrooms, and closets too!). With a keyboard and mouse, you can have a realistic picture of what your future kitchen will look like without even visiting the store. The IKEA kitchen planner features a floor view and a 3D view. You can zoom in and pan out; add, delete, and open up all the different cabinet, drawer, and pantry configurations; change the door fronts for a different look; move cabinets and appliances around; add furniture; select different handles, knobs, pulls, faucets, and sinks; add counter tops and crown mold, and even choose your wall and floor colors!

Proposed new kitchen layout via IKEA’s Kitchen Planner

There are a few things to be aware of if you use IKEA’s kitchen planning tool to design your own kitchen:

  • Disable any ad-blockers for IKEA’s webpage. I was getting frustrated about not being able to set up an account (which is free, but necessary in order to use the planning tool), until my husband disabled the ad-blocker for the IKEA webpage. The planning tool worked like a charm after that.
  • Measure, measure, measure, and be sure to add any permanent fixtures such as windows and doors to your plan.
  • Be aware that your ceiling height must be at least 96″ in order for the IKEA’s taller 40″ cabinets to work. This is standard for newer homes, but double check, just in case!
  • Take into account any plumbing or electrical changes. The plumbing for our kitchen renovation is staying the same, but we will need an electrician to hard wire the under counter lighting, the exhaust, and the new lights above the table.
  • The software can be a little glitch-y at times, so it’s important to save your work as you go. (Did you notice the misplaced cover panel next to the window in the drawing above? That was one of the issues the planner couldn’t resolve for me!)
  • Keep the “Work Triangle” in mind as you plan your layout. You want your fridge, stove, and sink to be close enough to each other that you’re not wasting steps between them.
  • Change things up to see how they look. I changed my mind about a few things after seeing how everything looked put together. Play around before you buy so you don’t have any regrets later!
  • Make use of the open cabinet feature. This allows you to see what’s behind your cabinet doors so you can plan your kitchen with maximum efficiency and functionality.
  • Don’t forget to add cover panels to your design. You’ll want these on the sides of any cabinets that are exposed to the eye to cover the frames.
Image via Cape 27 Blog

Initially, I thought I wanted black knobs for our doors and black pulls for our drawers, but realized it looked too heavy for the cabinets. I eventually settled for much sleeker, matching LANSA handles of the same size for all the cabinets and drawers (pictured above).  They feel classier and more cohesive to me.

IKEA NORRSJÖN Double bowl top mount sink

I also changed our sink selection at the last minute. Instead of the pure white DOMSJO double-bowl apron sink, which I thought clashed too much with the off-white cabinets, we chose the stainless steel NORRSJÖN sink. It can be top-mounted or under-mounted.

After touring IKEA’s kitchens, we decided to pass on their laminate counter tops. I really loved the look of their grey stone and white marble laminates, but one stretch of counter top will be over 10 feet long, and IKEA’s largest laminate slab is 98 inches. This means that we would have a seam somewhere in the stretch that would be near the sink or over the dishwasher, which can cause major moisture induced problems later on.

White Ice Granite laminate counter top via Formica

We’ve settled on Formica’s White Ice Granite laminate. We’re hoping to do this kitchen reno for under $10,000, so real granite is not in the budget, but laminates have come a long way and the White Ice Granite laminate looks incredibly close to the real deal.

I was torn between a light grey subway tile backsplash with white grout, or white subway tile with a light grey grout.

Grey tile back-splash with off white cabinets. Image via Jeleba.

I like the depth grey adds to white kitchens, but I feel grey tile is a fad that will be over long before white tile is. I plan to paint the main walls a very light grey paint, and the accent wall by the patio doors a wonderful charcoal paint called (Cracked Pepper by Behr). Paint it easier and less expensive to change.

GRIMSLOV cabinets with white subway tile via Southern Hospitality

White subway tile appeals to me because it’s timeless, bright, and has a definite farmhouse feel about it. The trick is finding an off-white tile that will work with the GRIMSLOV cabinets. Pure white tile would make the off-white cabinets look grungy. After searching online, I discovered Home Depot has an off-white 3×6 tile that’s almost an exact match to our kitchen cabinets. I took a cabinet door to the store with me last week to make sure, and was thrilled to discover that these perfectly matching tiles were on sale!

For the lighting in our kitchen, we’ve settled on IKEA’s hardwired under cabinet lighting by UTRUSTAWe currently have recessed lighting over our sink that will be staying, and I’m still deciding on which pendant lights to put over our farmhouse table. It’s a toss up between IKEA’s RANARP or ALVANGEN pendants:

RANARP Pendant lamp via IKEA
ÄLVÄNGEN Pendant lamp via IKEA

or, these pendant lights I found on Amazon:

For the wall color in our kitchen, I was leaning towards Sherwin Williams’ Repose Gray, but since Behr paint is my favorite, we checked out Home Depot to see if they carried a similar color. My 7 year-old found nearly identical match: Dolphin Fin.

Dolphin Fin will be our new main floor color. It’s a gorgeous gray that has just enough of a greenish brown undertone to keep it from feeling cold.

For a depth and drama, I plan to paint the accent wall (where the patio doors are located) and possibly the walls behind the cabinets Cracked Pepper by Behr.

Miss Mustard Seed’s kitchen via Miss Mustard Seed

I think it will make the cabinets pop. Miss Mustard Seed did this in her kitchen and I love how it adds a bit of contemporary moodiness without detracting from the farmhouse feel.

While my type of farmhouse style has evolved over the years, I’ve always loved the country look. Even as a little girl, I decorated my side of the bedroom (my poor sister) with twinkly lights, tin pails, and anything wooden or rustic. I’ve saved several farmhouse pieces, similar to the ones below, and can’t way to display them in our new kitchen!

Next up in the great IKEA Kitchen Reno Series: Ordering & Delivery!

Board and Batten Tutorial

Earlier this week, I showed you our main bathroom makeover! Here’s the easy board and batten tutorial if you’re thinking of installing your own. If I can do it, anybody can!

main bathroom after 2

The best thing about this project is the quality time it gave me with our 4 year-old son. He LOVES tools and is always “fixing” things. I let him help me measure the boards with his own measuring tape. He got to mark the cutting lines with pencil and hand me nails while I hammered up the boards. You can see some of the projects he and my husband do here: boysthatbuild.com

He was such an eager helper and grinned from ear to ear the whole project. “We’re tool men, right Mom? I’m Bob and you’re Wendy!” “Know what, Mom? You’re the best Mom ever. You even have a hammer!

Other awesome things about this project (in no particular order):

  • No power tools required!
  • All straight cuts, no weird angle business.
  • It can be done in a few hours (I did it over two days because, lots of “helpers” 😉 )
  • It’s inexpensive.
  • It brightens up a space and adds architectural interest

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

mission rd bathroom after

You’ll need:

  • lattice boards (how many depends on how many walls you plan on doing and the height you’d like your board and batten to be)
  • 2 1/2″ width, pre-primed MDF boards (how many is dependent on the above)
  • level
  • pencil
  • stud finder
  • finishing nails
  • hammer
  • white Kitchen & Bath caulk
  • caulking gun
  • Spackle
  • putty knife
  • sandpaper
  • Liquid Nails
  • damp rag
  • primer
  • paint
  • paintbrush
  • fine foam roller
  • paint tray
simple board and batten
Sarah’s board and batten – my inspiration!

Sarah, from Thrifty Decor Chick inspired me to use lattice boards for the vertical battens and I’m so glad I did! Our local Lowe’s didn’t have any, but I found them at Home Deopt for $7 per 8 ft. piece.  Since I was only doing two walls, I didn’t need very many of them. I used 2 1/2″ width, pre-primed MDF boards for the horizontal top and shelf on the wall behind the toilet.

board and batten tutorial 1

Instructions:

To start, measure the width of the wall you’re installing the board and batten on and hang your wider, horizontal boards first. Measure twice, cut once! I could cut my boards easily with a cheap-o hacksaw.

Use a level to make sure your top board is straight before nailing it to the wall. I found it helpful to make little pencil markings every few inches on the drywall and then line up my board. I used a stud finder to make sure a least a few of the nails were secured to something solid and then added a few more to the ends of the board so it fit snugly against the wall.

This is when you can really tell how uneven your walls are! Don’t worry about any gaps that may appear; you’ll caulk and seal them later.

board and batten tutorial 2

Now it’s time to hang your vertical boards. Start by hanging your end two first so they frame your wall. Measure the distance between the bottom of the horizontal board and the top of your baseboard which your lattice boards will be sitting flush against. Mine had a slight overhang, but not enough for me to care about and nothing a bit of caulk couldn’t conceal. 😉 For the battens behind the vanity, I measured from the bottom of horizontal board to the top of the counter.

Once you’ve got the two boards on the end nailed in, decide how far apart you’d like your battens to be. If you’re doing a large room, every two feet is standard, but that was too far apart for the little walls in our bathroom. I settled on a spacing of 37 cm (approx. 14 inches), which gave me four battens behind the toilet and five behind the mirror. Remodelaholic has a great tutorial on how to figure this out. So that’s why Mom made me do math!

board and batten shelf

 To attach the shelf to the top of the board and batten behind the toilet, I used Liquid Nails. The shelf is purely for decorative purposes. It’s too narrow to hold anything heavy and too high for my kids to climb on, so I wasn’t too worried abut using an actual nail to secure it to the wall. I didn’t add a shelf to the board and batten behind the mirror because the light fixture was in the way.

For the shelf, I used another piece of  2 1/2″ wide pre-primed MDF cut to the width of my wall and attached it by squirting one bead of Liquid Nails on the upper side of the horizontal board and one bead on the side of the shelf that would be sitting against the wall. You need to act fairly quickly to get it in place because Liquid Nails start to dry fast and once it’s dried, there’s no forgiveness! Firmly press the shelf against the wall and your horizontal board for a few minutes until it’s secured.

Next comes the caulking! Caulking can be a bit surprising if you’ve never done it before, but if you keep an old piece of cardboard and a damp cloth on hand, you’ll be fine. 🙂

Here’s how to load your Caulking Gun:

If you’re installing your board and batten in a high moisture area, be sure to use caulk that is meant for Kitchen and Bath. I used Dap’s Kwik Seal Plus and it worked well.

Caulking feels pretty tedious and time-consuming, but the results are so worth it! You don’t want gaps between your boards and the wall. It looks ugly and it can harbor funny growing stuff, especially in a bathroom. It’s not hard; it just takes time.

To start, cut the nozzle at a 45-degree angle, place it in a caulking gun, and you’re ready to roll (some cartridges have seal that needs to be punctured with a nail).

I found it worth my while to practice on a piece of cardboard until I got a feel for the flow and size of the bead before I started caulking the actual board and batten. It’s important to keep the caulking gun moving quickly and smoothly once you squeeze the trigger; if you know what to expect, there will be less “Ooopsies!“. Keep a damp rag close by to wipe up any accidents as caulk starts to dry very quickly.

It’s far better to pull the caulk tube nozzle than to push it. For the vertical battens, that means caulking down instead of up. Caulking downwards allows the nozzle to slide over any bumps, while pushing up usually results in sudden stops that produce unsightly “blobs” of caulk. If you mess up, you can always scrape it off with a putty knife and start over.

Only caulk one seam at a time so you have enough time to get it “tooled” before it begins to dry. “Tooling” is glide over the bead of caulk in order to smooth it out and seal the gap. You can get a special tool for this, or just do what I did and wrap a damp rag around your index finger. Works like a charm! 🙂

Now all that’s left is to fill in the nail holes with some Spackle and a putty knife, lightly sand and prime the battens (I used Rust-Oleum’s Zinnser Cover Stain), and paint it all white!

board and batten white

I couldn’t believe how bright our bathroom became just by installing the board and batten! Once I painted the walls, it became even lighter.

mission rd bathroom after

That’s all there is to it! This is a perfect project for a newbie DIY’er. If you have any questions about the process, feel free to ask in a comment and I’ll try my best to answer. 🙂