If you have managed to get this far into your existence without knowing a thing about board and batten, here is a breakdown from This Old House. Most people in blogland ignore 5)panel, 6)baseboard, and 7)shoe moulding, instead just painting the wall behind the batten the same white as all the boards you are applying and leaving the existing baseboards.
That’s as much time as I am going to devote to a tutorial since there is a plethora of information out there already. If you have a specific question, please contact me with the button on the menu and I will get back to you.
What you have to decide for yourself is:
Here’s what I’ve chosen after doing this:
My man and I chose the 1/2″ material. I found some mdf at Lowes that meets the new formaldehyde emission regulations and we will be using that.
You’ll read a lot that it is safe to choose either 1/3 or 2/3 of the way up the wall for your top rail. I didn’t want it as short as 1/3 and 2/3 felt too high to me–especially since I want to hang framed art above it. I do feel it is important to avoid chopping your wall in half with the top rail (it is advised that you do not do this).
So with all that in mind, I drew out my floorplan to try to use the least amount of material:
I will have Lowes cut the 1/2″ mdf I chose to use since it is really heavy and very dusty to cut. If you follow me, you know that I have not had great success with having someone else do the cutting. For this reason, all the cuts that meet each other will be from the same board (same color highlighter) so that any variations in cuts will not be noticeable. If I do not put the board and batten on the yellow highlighter wall, I can make the top rail 4″ and the batten 2″ wide and fit it all on one 4×8 sheet of mdf.
I am also going to add a cap moulding piece with a cove moulding section under it to make it a little fancier (see This Old House article for what I’m talking about).