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Board and Batten Wainscoting: Classic & Refined

In this post: Board and Batten Wainscoting. See the one detail that takes this board and batten wall project to the next level!

board and batten wainscoting in dining room

As promised (and thank you for your patience while I got my act together) here are the details on our new dining room board and batten wainscoting. I’m going to try and include as much information as I can but remember…this was not a DIY project. I will sure try to answer any questions, but there may be some I don’t have answers to. It’s totally possible to DIY this board and batten wall project if you have the proper equipment and know how to measure. Truth be told, the measuring this required boggled my mind. If you want to investigate further, just put “board and batten” in the search bar on Pinterest. There are a million pins to look at. 

board and batten wall in dining room

Board and Batten: The Process

When my carpenters first came to take measurements, I showed them pictures of what I wanted. I had spent quite a bit of time looking online for good pictures of board and batten wainscoting that depicted the “look” I had in mind. There are actually many different ways to install board and batten, so I wanted to be as specific as possible. They seemed very confident that they could replicate my inspiration pictures, so I was happy about that.

board and batten wainscoting on wall in dining room

Board and Batten Wall Details

On the first work day, they spent about an hour in my dining room taking more measurements and drawing mock boards on the walls. After that, they had me come in for a question and answer session. This was really fun for me and they were very patient.

  • They asked if I liked the spacing, size of the squares and height. 
  • They explained how the outlets/switches would be accommodated.
  • They showed me numerous ways to add the trim pieces and had a good selection of different trims for me to choose from.
  • They asked how I wanted the paint applied.
  • They explained the actual process. In a nutshell, my wainscoting was being assembled one piece at a time. 

Update: I had some questions about how we determined the height of the wainscoting. In my opinion, it’s a personal choice but one guideline would be to try and match another element in the room. I matched the height of the wainscoting with the middle line of the windows. (See first photo.) My room is small with just one set of windows so the choice was fairly straight-forward. I knew I wanted it higher than the bottom of the windows and the top of the windows would have been too high. 

board and batten assembly on wall

Board and Batten Wainscoting Assembly

The first thing to go on the walls were the 1 x 6 pine boards that were serving as the baseboard. Next were the vertical boards followed by the horizontal board on the top. All the other pieces were added, one at a time, working from one wall to the next. 

board and batten wall under construction

Since there was so much detailed cutting, they set up their miter saw in the dining room. They taped off the doorways with plastic and also covered the window. One thing they did that I thought was brilliant was to put a fan in the window facing out. They taped plastic all around the fan so when they turned it on, the sawdust was blown out the window. I had hardly any dust in the other parts of my house so it worked beautifully. 

close up of board and batten wall with light switch

The detail that took this board and batten wall project up several notches was the molding installed inside each square and rectangle. 

close up of board and batten construction

I debated about having them add it but I am so, so glad I did. It was time-consuming but in the end, it was the perfect finishing touch.

board and batten wainscoting around window

The local construction company I chose is run by two brothers and they employ a few other workers. One brother worked exclusively on the wainscoting while another employee painted and installed the other baseboards. They were all hard workers and put in a full day. I had them do a few odd jobs for me in addition to the carpentry. My toilet had been in our family room since the hardwood installation started so they reset it in the bathroom and they installed the new light in the dining room. From start to finish they were here for six full days. It was a pleasure having them in our home and I am so thankful to have found them. 

Take my spring home tour for simple decor ideas that will freshen your home and welcome the season. Features fresh flowers and easy farmhouse touches.

 

Board and Batten Sources:

 

dining room with board and batten

I’d like to publicly thank Fogarty Construction
for a job very well done. 

Related posts:

See the before pictures here: 
Living & Dining Room Makeover | What Stays & What Goes

Living & Dining Room Makeover | Hardwood Floors are Finished!

Living & Dining Room Makeover: Final Thoughts & Lessons Learned

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109 Comments

  1. Hi Ann! I just LOVE On Sutton Place. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful ideas and beautiful home with us. I had a quick question about your gorgeous wainscoting. I see that your baseboard is 1×6. How thick are the other boards (horizontal/vertical)? 1×4’s? Thanks much!

  2. Your room is lovely. I realize this is an older post, but can you provide the dimensions of each of the board and batten boxes? I am doing the same project in my dining room and am in the planning stages. I know how high I’d like the molding to go, but am having trouble figuring out the width to get the “skinny” look like you have.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Beth! The width of the boxes (the outside edge) is 10 1/2 inches. The small boxes on the top are 12 inches long and the bottom boxes are 33 inches long. Good luck with your project!

  3. I too love the added trim on the inside of the boad and batten! Where did you find your beautiful faceplate for your light switch? I love the added detail of brass screws, too.

  4. Dave Van Daley says:

    I purchased 2 Wainscoting boards, had them cut in half, after getting them home they are giving off a chemical odor. Will that dissipated on it’s own? Do I need to treat the paneling?
    Regards
    Dave

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Dave…I’m sorry for the delay in answering. I was not sure how to answer you so I asked some DIY blogger friends who have experience with this sort of thing. They said that if the chemical odor stays after a few days, just apply a good primer. That will take care of the odor and also prep your wainscoting for paint. I hope this helps!

  5. Classic! Georgeous! Good on you.

  6. Jeanie Nichols says:

    Everything looks so beautiful!

  7. Diane Smith says:

    Hello! I’m a little behind on my email…but I am SO glad I saved this! SO beautiful! I was a big fan of your wallpaper, but this is just AMAZING!!

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Looks wonderful!! :)

  9. Shirley@housepitality designs says:

    So, so very beautiful…it truly transformed the room. You must be so very pleased!

  10. Penny Meade says:

    Oh Ann, thank you so much for your post “looks beautiful”. We did something like this in our home, but the painter used a roller (sponge) rather than brush, I have tried sand paper, but it still is not smooth. Someday when I retire, I will try to fix the wall areas! thanks again for sharing tips.

  11. What a beautiful job! It looks perfect in your dining room. I have to show this to my hubby, maybe it will plant a seed of inspiration in his mind. Fingers crossed…

  12. Kim @ Vintage Pretties says:

    Absolutely stunning! The additional trim is well worth the extra time and expense. Looking forward to seeing your final touches.

  13. Your dining room board and batten looks gorgeous! I don’t suppose your construction guys would make a trip to California to do my house though. Drat! I’ll be anxious for your final reveal when it’s complete.

  14. Barbara Harilaou says:

    Looks beautiful to me all ready. They did a wonderful job.

  15. Looks awesome!
    Looking forward to the reveal.

  16. This is absolutely beautiful, Ann! I love the inside molding; it adds such a finished touch. How wonderful to have such excellent carpenters, too.

  17. Debra Burgin says:

    Oh my goodness! This is stunning! Thank you for all the details of the progress and decisions. We (“they”) are just finishing work on two of our three bathrooms today, and my head is about to explode.

    I follow you with joyful expectation, because the age of your house is similar to ours and your taste is so classic. Oh, and we had the baked spaghetti the other night …

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Thanks for writing Debra…and doing two bathrooms at the same time sort of blows my mind! Glad you enjoyed the baked spaghetti. :)

  18. It looks beautiful and you were so fortunate to find these talented and thoughtful contractors. I’m sure it cost a fortune but it looks like a million bucks. Hope it brings a smile every time you walk into the room.
    Can’t wait to see more pics ????

  19. Lovely. It looks so clean and fresh. I love it. You mention windows treatments, pictures, & accessories…i think it looks beautiful as it is and would encourage you to consider “less is more” with all the extras. It is your home though so obviously do what pleases you and the DH. :) Just my opinion from seeing the beautiful pictures.

  20. I think the dining room is turning out very lovely. What a job the board and batten treatment was, though. I wouldn’t want to attempt anything like that as a DIY either!

    And do you remember how I said in an earlier comment that I didn’t particularly like the latttice pattern of the rug? Well, I just wanted to say I think the rug you chose looks very nice. And since you DO like the lattice pattern it is perfect! I especially like the grey color with the off-white pattern. It’s funny how something that you think you won’t care for can be quite pleasing once placed in an actual context.

    Can’t wait to see the finishing touches!

  21. Oh Ann, the inside trim is the wow factor of the project! I too think the way they did the light switch was genius!

  22. Kathy Fowler says:

    Such Fine, Fine work!! Lines are impeccable, the paint and color are superb! As we say in Cali, “NICE!”????

  23. Martha Ellen says:

    My goodness, Ann, this is just beautiful! I love the detail of the inside rectangles. It definitely takes it to a beautiful level. Fine woodwork by your crew! ♥

  24. Looks so bright and fresh; very nice. I can see that the details are very professional. That’s the one thing that
    make the job look perfect and sometimes some carpenters just aren’t great with details. Your floors are awesome; love the shine. Perfect for the dining room. Your home is very nice. Thanks for sharing.

  25. Liz @ Infuse With Liz says:

    One word Ann- Fantastic! I’m so impressed. They did a wonderful job and your height choice seems quite perfect!

  26. Hello Ann,

    Your board and batten looks incredible! It gives your room an authentic old-fashioned beauty that I love, and it’s definitely timeless and classic. Gorgeous! Having said that, I absolutely adore the wallpaper you used to have in your dining room. Would you mind letting me know what it was?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Jenni, That wallpaper was from a discontinued book from Waverly called Williamsburg. I looked for it a few years ago and could not find it anywhere. Thanks!

  27. Teddee Grace says:

    This is classic and classy. The inner trim really did make a difference. Beautiful.

  28. Magnificent wainscoting. I love it! I must admit one of my favorite parts is how they placed the electrical outlet. It does not detract at all. What a wonderful group of workers.

  29. debrashoppeno5 says:

    Ann, They did a beautiful job. I bet you are tickled pink every time you walk by the dinning room.

  30. Mariann S says:

    Ann, this is absolutely exquisite. The design,the workmanship, everything is top notch. You must be so thrilled with the outcome. Thanks for sharing these photos and ideas. Looking forward to more pics soon. Smiles from TN.

  31. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says:

    Ann, this is so beautiful! Just love those walls. Your carpenters did such a wonderful job. So happy for you that all the work is finally finished!

    Blessings! Have a great day!

  32. All the details on the board and batten make the finished product outstanding. The work around the light switch is amazing. Fogarty Construction does excellent work. Living through construction in your home is difficult at best but worth it in your case.

  33. Pat Eager says:

    You had an excellent construction crew and their quality of workmanship speaks for itself. Very attractive. Yes, the extra layers were worth it!!

  34. Allie Smith says:

    The end result looks absolutely beautiful, all credit to your talented craftsmen who translated your ideas into reality. As usual, your finishing touches complete the look. I think know I feel some inspiration taking hold….

  35. Marlene Stephenson says:

    Looks real nice, its finally all happening and know you are smiling when you see your beautiful room. Thanks for sharing.

  36. Very nice work. Love the detail around the switch plate. You are lucky to find good workmen. I have had some bad experiences and it puts me starting anything new.

  37. Amazing! Beautiful addition!

  38. WOW !! Absolutely beautiful !!

  39. Stunning. quality , lasting workmanship.

  40. Carol Paulus-Kalis says:

    Wow! I am impressed. They did a beautful job. I love the way they incorporated the outlets on top of the wood and the way they trimmed out and around the window. You were very fortunate to find true craftsmen. It looks awesome and you have to be very, very pleased.

  41. Wonderful choice of finishes and excellent craftsmanship – everything is beautiful.

  42. So happy to see the first of the reveals of your new space. They did a beautiful job and you must be thrilled with the results. Can’t wait to see all the rest.

  43. Pamela Gordon says:

    Ann, it looks so beautiful! The men did a really good job with all the details. I also like your new chandelier. Wainscoting is a classic look and adds so much to a room or space. I was wondering about wall art and where it should be hung and what size so I’ll be anxious to see your post on the finished room decor. Enjoy the nice weather.
    Pam

  44. Nancy Bailey says:

    Ann – WOW – just WOW!! This project turned out beyond expectations. The carpenters you chose really did an exceptional job for you. The detail molding really makes it. Don’t you absolutely love it when a ‘mind’s eye plan’ actually turns out. I could not be happier for you. Thank you for sharing with us. xoxo

  45. Do you ever disclose the breakdown of your costs with a project?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Nancy…yes I’ll try and do that with this project. I plan to do a final wrap-up post so I’ll include it then. Thank you!

  46. susan cecere, NJ says:

    I truly love it. That is what I would love in my LR and DR. It shows wonderful character.
    I am not ashamed when I hire outside workers, some things (a lot of things) are beyond my capabilities.
    I always “pick their brains” for projects I plan to do myself. Most people are happy to offer guidance,they know I will never be a business competitor.

  47. It’s beautiful. I’ve always loved the look of board and batten, but your wainscoting takes it to a new level of elegance. How lucky were you with a great company who worked with integrity as well as mastery.
    Your blog is one of my favorites. Please keep it going and going.
    Hugs,
    Judy

  48. Stunning workmanship. I love the attention to each perfect detail. This is a timeless improvement to your dining room. Smiles

  49. Beautiful!!! Such attention to detail and craftsmanship…so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to see the final reveal.

  50. I love the look of your new dining room, Ann! I’ve been wanting to install Board & Batten. to my dining room too! I’m pretty nervous about it though. My problem is, my ceilings througout the whole house are 12 ft. Is there a certain height recommended since my ceilings are so high? Or, do I go with what I like? Can’t wait for the final reveal on your dining room!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Nancie…in my opinion, height is a personal choice. You might want to find some other feature in your room that would match the height of your board and batten. For example, we made the wainscoting the same height as the top of the bottom window. You can see what I mean in the first picture at the beginning of the post. This way as your eye travels around the room, there is one level line. I have seen very tall wainscoting and it looks amazing too.

  51. Absolutely beautiful! I hope to replicate this some day in my dining room. The craftsmanship is wonderful, and I don’t say that lightly. We have builders and craftsmen in our family, so I’m very picky. So happy for you and look forward to seeing the finishing touches! Kudos to you and your workmen ????

  52. Peggy Cooper says:

    Well done. You have exquisite taste. It’s amazing as I knew it would be.

  53. It’s just gorgeous. What craftsmanship. The trim inside each square is stunning. I also love the paint colors you chose and your light fixture. Lilacs are always a beautiful touch! Enjoy your new dining room.

  54. Mary from Virginia says:

    Beautifully done! The company is a gem! They did such a very nice and classy job. Lucky you!

  55. Absolutely beautiful! Classy, yet comfortable and welcoming.

  56. Nancy Elizabeth says:

    We all agree, the skilled craftsmen have done a beautiful job on this addition to your room! I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful room. Enjoy your new room.

  57. Bonnie Mann says:

    I love it! Can you tell me what your budget was for the wainscoting?

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Bonnie,
      I’m not sure of the breakdown but I’ll figure it out and include the cost in my final wrap-up post. Thank you!

  58. Everything looks fabulous.They did a beautiful job with
    all the detailing.You found a gem in these carpenters.
    Can’t wait to see the end result.

  59. I love the changes in your dining room. Your carpenters are real craftsmen, their work is beautiful!

  60. A beautiful job well done. You are so lucky to have found such wonderful craftsmen and ones who were willing to offer input during construction from you. Your room looks fresh and beautifully put together.

  61. They did a beautiful job Ann! I am installing a board and batten design to my bathroom right now and mitering those little pieces of trim, caulking, filling nail holes, and painting it all to perfection is a lot of work. your carpenters are very talented. It looks fantastic!

  62. I loved your “old” dining room…especially the wallpaper but the beauty of this new space is in the percision workmanship.
    Every item you place in that room, from furniture to table top will stand out against this beautiful backdrop.

  63. It turned out just beautiful! I have a question for you. How did you determine the height of your wainscoting? Yours looks quite high up the wall. Is there a rule to go by for determining the height? Thank you.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Claire…I don’t think there is a rule. I usually don’t follow them anyway! What I did was match the height of the wainscoting to the center line of the windows. You can see what I mean in the first picture at the beginning of the post. I thought it was the best choice because as your eye travels around the room there is one, level line. I will edit my post to add this info. Thank you!

  64. Beautiful. Your carpenters did amazing work!

  65. This looks amazing, Ann! So happy for you.

  66. Beautiful, gorgeous, amazing, classy….and any other word to describe spectacular!! Wondering how it would look in my 1880’s farmhouse dining room!! ???? You have such a great talent in design and decorating. Care to make a trip to Wisconsin?!?
    Well done!

  67. MARY SWIFT says:

    Absolutely beautiful. I love it.

  68. I love this and can hear the excitement in your words. Nothing like a little remodeling to lift our spirits. Plus….the weather has been an added plus here in MI.

  69. Absolutely gorgeous wainscoting! It’s obvious your construction guys are real professionals!

  70. You made really great choices. It turned out beautifully! Can’t wait to see more!

  71. Kathleen G says:

    Adding the molding did add the extra touch. The workmanship is beautiful and It was worth every penny in your renovation. Your dining room set is a perfect fit too.
    Kathleen in Az

  72. Cindy Nimmo says:

    It’s absolutely beautiful. I love the extra trim. It really is the perfect finishing touch. Thanks for sharing.

  73. Wow!! What a difference board and batten can make. I love it and the detailed trip is the icing on the cake…great choice! I cannot wait to see the finished room. Your house is beautiful, so I know the dining room is going to make a big statement! Great job Ann!!

  74. Wow, your dining room is amazing! The new board and batten wainscoting is gorgeous and really makes such a difference in the room! Simply gorgeous elegance!

  75. Susan Alps says:

    I guess saying that I want to copy your dining room remodel tells you what I think. Lovely! The moulding detail really looks gorgeous!

  76. Gorgeous…I’m so jealous!

  77. I love it Anne ~
    You are so right I love the molding in between the squares.
    Just lovely.

    Have a wonderful day.
    Much love,
    Rose

  78. I love your new Board and Batten in your dining room. I’ve been wanting to to this look in my entry way and now I have the inspiration for how I would like mine to look.

  79. I love everything you do. Your taste is very similar to mine, although I have a very small condo and can’t do most of what you do. I can dream though! Thanks for always sharing!

  80. Absolutely stunning! What a tremendous amount of work. I think it definitely is best left to the professionals. I can hardly wait for the full reveal. Thank you also for your detailed explanation of the process.

  81. Mary Chris says:

    I really like the look and also the step by step pictures on the process. Great Job. Looks beautiful.

  82. Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things says:

    It turned out beautiful Ann!

  83. Beautiful!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  84. Your board and batten is gorgeous! You were so fortunate to find such excellent carpenters. They are truly artisans. I’m looking forward to the full reveal of your dining room.

  85. Loving it, Ann!!! Please be sure you post the before pics when you do your final post. I can’t recall how it looked. Happy for you.

  86. Sue Monteith says:

    Your dining room looks stunning, Ann, and I love your neighbors’ white lilacs!

  87. Elaine Wesselman says:

    It all looks beautiful! Wonderful job in choosing and wonderful job by your carpenters! Congratulations,now enjoy!

  88. Oh my goodness, what beautiful work they did! But it all began with the idea you had in mind, so kudos to you, Ann. Love the color combination….soft and fresh and so inspiring. Look forward to the final reveal and by the way, I have a couple of small white lilac plants and if you were closer I’d give you one! How lovely they look on your table.

  89. Lorri Rauscher says:

    Lovely..very classic looking…your floors are very nice..love the colour of them..????

  90. You must be so pleased with the results. This is quality workmanship and the end product is stunning.

  91. Love love the finished look. You (and the guys) did an absolutely beautiful job. You have added a period style to your home and it . I love the classic look. Can’t wait to see your window treatments. That’s where I seem to get stuck when I do project a are the window treatments. I know . It feels good to have something finished.

  92. Nan, Odessa, DE says:

    Beautiful! Skilled, dedicated craftsmen are hard to find.
    Waiting for your next post!

    PS my mind can smell the lilacs

    1. Becky Johns says:

      Your careful research paid off and you were blessed to find skilled craftsmen. I am so happy for you; it looks refined and classic. A perfect fit for you.