Today marks exactly four months since moving into our house, and during that period our board and batten fireplace has definitely been one of my favorite projects! We wanted to add the board and batten above the mantel for several reasons: A. Most importantly, we thought it would look good B. the ceilings in our family room are 10 ft. high so by adding the board and batten above the mantle, it complimented the tall ceilings and made the wall feel taller than before C. In our family room we have a mixture of dark and light furniture. We thought by adding this large board and batten extension and painting it white, it would help balance the large bronze clock that will be hung on the wall across from the mantel. Paul and I came up with the design plan for this project, and together my husband and father-in-law made it come to life. They did an AH-Mazing job, if I do say so myself, and I'm so grateful for all the time and effort they put into this project!
Below is the design plan that we came up with. The blue shaded areas are where the boards were used and the other pieces are the battens. The picture is a little deceiving because it looks like the trim used in the middle section is different than the trim used on the other boxed out areas, but in fact the same 5/8" trim was used for each three boxes (Powerpoint just didn't give me any other shape option!). To create the battens we used 1x4's for all of them except the top batten was made from a 1x8.
Here is what it looked like before they began putting any of the boards or battens up. A new hole was cut for the HDMI cords and the cords were redirected to the left of the mantel so that our media cabinet could be next to the mantel rather than in the corner next to our window like the previous homeowners had it.
Next, the battens that frame out the board and batten area were attached to the wall using braid nails. We did not have to use glue for these pieces, because there were studs right behind the batten piece which allowed us to just use the nails. The size of the wood to make the battens are 1"x4"s The bottom piece of wood that acts as the batten came in 1" x 4" x 4' size at the store, so only the two battens on the side had to be cut to the right height. The height of the two vertical battens are 58", and we had the nice people at Lowes cut them.
Next the the center boards and battens went up. The boards we used are thin sheets of wood that also came in a 4 ft. width, so only the height of the board had to be cut to size. The sizes of the boards are 5" x 48" , 30" x 48" and 5" x 48" and we had the nice people at Lowes cut these as well. For $0.25 per cut, it's just must easier to have Lowes cut it with their much larger machinery than doing it ourselves!
With the bottom batten in place, from the step above, the next step was to add the horizontal batten above it. They made sure it was level and at the right height and then secured it to the the wall with brad nails. After the batten was in place, the bottom board was inset into the box that was created. At this point nothing is securing the board to the wall. This will happen in the next step when the trim is added. In the picture shown, we did put the middle board up to make sure that the hole and square that was drilled out with a key hole saw lined up before installing the batten above it. Once we verified that things did line up, we took the board down, installed the batten, and then inset the board once the batten was in place. The same steps were followed for the top box as well.
Here is an image of all the board and battens installed! As you can see, the top batten is larger. That is where the 1x 8 was used. We used a larger batten on top so that the batten would look the same size after we had secured the crown molding to the top part of the batten.
Next comes adding the trim to the boxes to get that inset look. We used 5/8" trim, and bought a trim that looked similar to the trim used on the lower part of the fireplace so that the top and bottom would look as similar as possible. A miter saw was used to cut the trim to the right length and the ends were cut at 45 degree angles to create the nice fitted corners. These were installed using a hammer and brad nails as well. Since the boards are behind the trim, the brad nails both secure the trim to the board but also keep the board secured in place.
After the trim was installed, the crown molding was added. I tried contributing to this part of the process by showing youtube videos to my husband and father-in-law on how to attach the crown molding, but they were more confident in their skills than following some random 90's wood working video. I'm glad they did their own thing though, because the crown molding turned out beautifully. The crown molding was attached using a good ol' hammer and brad nails as well.
After the board and batten was complete, the nail holes were filled with patch and primer which acts like a wood filler, and the seams were filled with caulk. Once the patch and primer and caulk were dry and slightly sanded down , Paul primed and then painted everything with the same paint as the fireplace which is the Sherwin William Pro Classic trim paint in bright white. I apologize for the poor lighting but here is how the board and batten looked like before the TV was hung.
And here is the board and batten finished and with the TV hung.
I plan on adding candlesticks or something else to the mantle down the road, but for now I'm enjoying these little ceramic vases by themselves!
So what do you think? Easy enough to do in your house? Although I wasn't hands on with this board and batten project, we plan on doing more board and batten throughout our house that I will be very involved in and look forward to sharing those projects as well. If I forgot to leave anything out about this project or if you have any questions regarding it, please ask away in the comments section below and I'll get back to you as soon as possible!
If you would like to follow along and stay up to date on more of my home decor, DIY, lifestyle and other posts, I'd love to have you follow me along on any of the following: