Give a room or accent wall some personality with batten board wainscoting. It breaks up bare walls, can be used in many different kinds of rooms, and is relatively inexpensive for a DIYer to install. Batten board wainscoting can be 3-feet tall, 6-feet tall, or really any height you like, and topped with a decorative cap or shelf.
I recently installed some batten board in a master bedroom. Here’s what the room looked like before:
These are the steps I followed to install the batten board:
- Remove the existing door casing and baseboards
- Install new door casing (3-1/2″ x 3/4″ MDF)
- Install the new baseboards (6″ x 3/4″ MDF)
- Install the horizontal wainscot cap (3-1/2″ x 3/4″ MDF) , then the cap molding
- Install the vertical batten trim pieces (3-1/4″ x 1/2″ MDF) I recommend spacing these about 16″-18″ on center and so they miss any plugs and switches on the wall
The walls already had a smooth-wall drywall finish, so no smooth paneling was required behind the batten board trim. Here’s how it looked after installing the batten board, before painting…
Then the batten board was painted a creme color and the walls above were painted blue. Here are some after shots of the finished product…
They also installed batten board in their girls room and used a white, pink and black color scheme…
Here is a picture of tall batten board I installed in another home for the formal dining room. They used wall paper above it.
DIY Material Cost Breakdown
- batten board materials (about $5/lineal foot of wall)