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  • kbenson15027

How to Install A Modern Batten Focal Wall

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

*This post contains affiliate links from Amazon. By purchasing through these links, I may receive a small commision.

This spare bedroom has certainly served our family well. It has seen us grow and change over the years, morphing from office to teenage bedroom, then online classroom to its current status as guest bedroom. Even though there were still remnants of this room's past life remaining, I was ready to try something new to update the space without doing a total overhaul.

I saw this batten wood wall in several places online and in person and decided to just go for it. I couldn't have been happier with the way it turned out! Want to give it a try? Here are some steps to help you along the way.

Step 1: Calculate

There are many different board and batten patterns to choose from. Although I love some of the unique and clever designs that are trending, squares seemed to fit this space best. Once you've chosen a pattern, measure the length and width of your wall. Go to and click on "Construction and Garden Calculators." Enter the dimensions of your wall. I used

3 1/4" x 8' primed MDF trim board from Lowe's for the battens along with two 6 in. boards for the top and bottom. After you figure your calculations, you'll know how many boards to purchase. I made all the cuts using my *Craftsman Mitre Saw from Amazon. If you want a smooth finish, you'll also need smooth backer board. I chose to apply the boards directly to the wall and it turned out great!

Step 2: Paint

There are various opinions on whether or not to pre paint the boards before cutting or hanging them, but I like to paint them first by lining them up side by side and rolling the paint on several boards all at once. I used a smooth mini paint roller for this. The paint I chose was SW Peppercorn. It's dark and moody and gives a Restoration Hardware vibe. Most importantly, it hides mistakes well!

3 Step : Cut and Hang

I started at the top and bottom by installing the 6" x 8' base boards. Next, I hung all the vertical battens. My ceilings are 9 1/2 ft. tall so purchasing the 12ft. length would've been seamless and most ideal; however, without a truck I had no way to get them home. I had to piece each vertical board together and patch the seams. Be sure to use your level to make sure each board is straight. Since I may want to remove this installation someday, instead of using liquid nails or glue, I chose to use my *Ryobi Cordless Brad Nailer to keep the boards secure. In the future, I can simply pull them down and patch the holes. Using any type of glue would secure it well but may cause the drywall to tear upon removal. In spots where you want two boards to seamlessly join, cut them at a 45 degree angle to create a miter joint. Next, it's time to caulk!

Step 4: Caulking and Sanding

Where each horizontal batten meets a vertical board there will be a seam that needs to be filled. A good rule to remember is if wood is butting up against wood, you can use wood filler. If wood is meeting the wall, it's best to use paintable caulk. I like *Minwax Color Matched Wood Filler. It comes in different colors and can be sanded, cut, drilled, stained and painted. A good tip is to keep some baby wipes handy for quick cleanup as you go. Once you have filled the seams and everything is dry, you're ready to sand them smooth. The battens will catch a lot of the sawdust as you sand, so keep using those wipes! Once it's all patched and smooth, you're ready to paint the seams. This is where I was so happy I had pre painted the boards. The bulk of the work was already done! Many people also caulk the wall to wood seams. Again, because I want to be able to easily remove this someday, I skipped this step.

Here is the final product:

Is this the perfect guest room? No. It's definitely still a work in progress. Am I loving this focal wall treatment? YES! As with most projects, I learned on the go. There are a few other DIY's in this space including the Pottery Barn dupe lamp with the "clay" treatment, comfy hand loomed throw blanket my daughter made from a Tik Tok post and a black and white photo gallery. You'll be seeing the lamp project soon, so stay tuned!

Every project I complete inspires more thoughts on what I could do next. The wheels never stop turning for me. What projects are you considering? Maybe this post was the inspiration you needed to get going!

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