How to Install Board and Batten

How to install board and batten on the walls in a small bathroom.

Spa like bathroom makeover for under $300
Bathroom BEFORE betting board & batten on the walls.

Here is the before photo of the bathroom.

Here is the after.

How to Install Board and Batten on a Wall

supplies needed:

  • 3 1/2″ wide Pre-Primed Mdf or Wood boards(vertical)
  • 5 1/2″ wide Pre-Primed Mdf or Wood boards (horizontal)
  • Table or Mitre Saw
  • Liquid Nails
  • Tape Measure
  • Bubble Level
  • Pencil
  • Sandpaper
  • 12″ Ruler

I removed the bottom trim from the window so the boards would look better against the window. It was an extra step, but I feel it was worth it. It now has a much cleaner look.  I also removed the existing wimpy baseboards as I wanted beefier looking ones. I used 5 1/2″ Mdf boards as my new baseboards.

I painted the top section of the wall first, this makes it much easier than to have to tape everything off once the board and batten is up.

I measured and cut all the boards before I attached them to the walls. All of the vertical boards were cut to the same length except for the ones that were under the window, one above the toilet, and two by counter.

  • The vertical boards are 3 1/2″ wide
  • The horizontal ones are 5 1/2″ wide

To space the boards evenly around the wall, I used a 12″ ruler as my spacer.


Most of the cuts were straight across, I did have to make a few angled cuts on the baseboard and top boards in the corners.


Once I was sure everything was cut correctly, I used Liquid Nails to attach the boards to the wall.  I used a bubble level to make sure I was attaching them straight and even.


Had a few obstacles to work around – the toilet tank and the AC vent.


I was lucky that my 12″ spacing worked perfectly on this wall – no obstacles.

How To Make a Small Window Look Bigger

This is the window before – pretty small.  I wanted to give it more impact so I added molding to the top.


I cut a piece of very smooth plywood the width of the window x the height between the window and the ceiling.  It is the same thickness as the existing window trim. I used Liquid Nails to attach it to the wall.

I also did this between my family room and kitchen to break up a long wall they share. You can read about that in this post:


I added crown molding to the top of the plywood and a piece of screen molding to hide the joint between the board and the existing window trim.

Add molding to window

Now it just needs to be painted. 

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  1. Laura Adams says:

    Diane – it looks great! May I ask what sheen you chose for the paint?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Laura – I used semi-gloss. This has a slight sheen and makes the walls easy to clean when needed.

  2. Your new bathroom is GORGEOUS! It looks so much bigger and definitely brighter. I love your color combinations. The towel colors are so pretty and pull the whole room together. I know you are proud of it and have every right to be.

    I wish I could do board and batten in my bathroom(s) but have partial tile walls that go around corners so some previous advice on how to do this over tile wouldn’t work for me. Makes me want to go at it with a sledge hammer now. It’s been in this house since it was built in 1961. I think it’s time for it to go!

    You really did a beautiful job!

  3. Wow, look at that a/c vent now! Lol I love board and batten and have a 1/2 bath off the utility room that is begging me to start in there. In. My. Spare. Time. Sigh… many irons in the fire already! Your room looks awesome, Diane.

  4. You’re bathroom looks amazing, thanks for sharing. Our bathroom layout is identical to this and I’ve been wondering for about a year now what I wanted to do with it, and now I know :)

  5. Leigh Ann says:

    What length/height did you cut your main vertical boards?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Leigh Ann – The boards are 6″ – 2″ high. The ceiling height is 8 feet. I chose this height so the top board would fall about 3/4’s of the way up the window height. I didn’t want it to fall in line where the window sashes meet. If you have a window in your bathroom – determine how high to place the boards with the window in mind. Go either higher or lower than where the sashes meet or the center of the window.

  6. Could you please tell me how the wood trim worked out around the mirrors above the sinks? I saw clips holding the mirrors up prior… Is the wood overlapping the mirror edges or is it right up along the edge of the mirror? Thanks…

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Beverly – I did have clips on the mirrors before. I used MirrorMate adhesive to attach the mirrors to the wall, then built the molding around each mirror. MirrorMate is sold at Home Depot or Lowes in the mirror section. It comes in a tube that requires a caulk gun. The molding is over lapping the mirrors. When you add the Liquid Nails adhesive to the back of the molding that goes around the mirrors – it is thick and raises the level to that of the mirror thickness. So once it is on the wall – it is level even though it is overlapping the mirror. I made sure when I was adding the Liquid Nails to the back of the molding that I kept it away from where it would overlap the mirror. About 1/2-inch. It has held up great – no problems at all.

  7. Straykitten says:

    This is a fantastic makeover. Colonial chic in no time. Very impressive! Keep up the great tips and keep inspiring us!

  8. Love the bathroom. We’re remodeling our dining room and I’ve been tossing around the idea of adding board and batten. I’d never thought of using in a bathroom, but since our kids bath is up next, I’m thinking it might go in there as well!

    Do you remember the name of the paint color you used?

    Thanks :)

  9. I just love this remodel. The before bathroom has similar elements to our current never-updated-since-the-house-was-built-in-1970 bathroom so your tutorials intrigue me! Can you share the approximate budgeted amount for your remodel?

  10. Amanda Lucas says:

    Wonderful makeover, you are quite talented. I have been thinking of doing this to my wc.

    Thanks for sharing.

  11. Love this. You make do it yourself stuff doable for someone like me who has very few tools, a non-handy (but supportive) husband, but lots of desire for a beautiful home! My question is, what did you do in the tiny little corner where the top board turns and immediately runs into the mirror frame?

  12. Lauren from MomHomeGuide says:

    Love what your bathroom remodel — it looks beautiful! I hope to put up board in batten in one of my home’s bathroom, too!

  13. I love your blog! Do you think I’d be able to add the Board and Batten on top of existing tile in our bathroom?

    1. Hi Jennifer-

      Yes you can add a board and batten treatment over an existing tile floor. Treat the bottom horizontal board as you would baseboard molding around the room. I removed the existing baseboard in my bathroom and placed the horizontal board right on top of the existing vinyl floor . The board and batten will look great with a tile floor .

    2. I am writing this reply from my phone and forgot to add – since the wall is tiled you would need to attach thin sheets of wood over it, then add the narrow boards vertically and horizontally on top of it . They sell these boards at home improvement stores – they are usually pre-primed. If the tile only goes up half way on the wall that would be where you should cap the b+ b treatment off. You will need to add filler behind the boards if you want to carry the treatment higher on the wall. It can be done with Liquid Nails. The top piece of molding will need to cover the thickness of the tile and b+b treatment . It would have to be wider , but that would look good more beefy. I hope this helps, i can visualize it perfectly , let me know if you need any clarification

  14. betsy justis says:

    I love it! You have inspired me to have my dad teach me to use a miter saw this weekend. Where did you find the shower curtain? Brown is my new passion!

    1. Hi Betsy – I found the shower curtain at Home Goods, but I know that Marshall’s also carried them.

  15. This looks so nice! What color did you paint your bathroom. I love that shade!

  16. This looks fantastic! How did you paint behind the toilet?? That seems to be the issue I am having right now…it’s just so close to the wall.

  17. Miss Kitty says:

    Wow! You’re right, the window does look a lot better now than previously. Along with the no-sew valance, this is definitely something my bathroom window could use. For that matter, a LOT of my windows could use it.

  18. Hi. I am a new follower. Love this project! Stopping by to invite you to join Thrifty Thursday, because your I am loving your posts. Have a wonderful day. Blessings!


  19. Nan @ Playful Decor says:

    Oh, you give us just enough to leave us hanging….!! Glad your computer is working again!

  20. Katharine says:

    Can’t wait to see the finished project. It’s coming along great. Glad to hear your computer is doing better.

  21. I’m excited for the reveal! Goodluck!

  22. Looking good, Diane! I love all of the architectural detail! Can’t wait to see the reveal! Thanks so much for sharing your hard work! ;)

  23. Nice going. Looking forward to your next blog on the bathroom upgrade.

  24. Ashlyn@Pinecone says:

    It looks sooooo good. I can’t wait to see the finished bathroom!!

  25. Michelle @ Sweet Something Design says:

    It’s gonna be good!! Can’t wait to see!