Remember when I told you about how we recently bought our first home and how the living room was outdated and greener than green? I doubt it, so let me refresh your memory.
Last time I wrote about my on-going reno the space looked like this. This is what happens when you rip out seventies window valances and wood paneling.
Not so pretty. Prepping our walls just to apply paint took a maddening amount of time to get perfect. I was silly enough to think we could get it done in a long weekend. Such a dreamer I am.
So as you can imagine I was eager to get the ugly out and welcome the purdy in. After we finally primed the prepped walls I could already see my vision coming to fruition. Then my painting-pro fella started cutting in the edges around the room sans the barrier taping (which was much braver then I’d be) with my paint of choice CIL’s “Pillar” and did so flawlessly I might add.
I decided to go with the classic board and batten look for the living room because let’s face it, the look just works. I felt like it had a the sweet “our first home” feeling to it which makes me all warm and gushy inside. So half the wall got the “Pillar” treatment and the bottom half got coated with Benjamin Moore’s “Decorator’s White.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if things just went swimmingly the first time around and you didn’t have to work into the wee hours of the night fixing the “uh-ohhs” and the “whoopsies”? Well it doesn’t. Turns out we focused too much of our attention on making the torn out window valances look perfect that we overlooked the littler things. After the paint dried we realized there were lumps in the wall where the plaster didn’t get sanded down enough. That just won’t do, so back to the ole sanding grind we went. Then came the re-paint.
We moved onto the actual board and batten steps once the walls were ready to go. I used 2 inch pre-primed baseboards for the entire room. I also painted all my boards in the Decorator’s White prior to the instalment for the sake of saving time. They will obviously need touch-ups after they been nailed down but it just won’t be as gigantic of a job.
The first boards we laid down were all the baseboards. We all know there’s a plethora of board batten instructions online and particularly in blogs so I won’t get into much detail of how we went about it other than a few tidbits here and there.
Each board was cut to size out back with a table saw. My fella will take any excuse to use a power tool since there was zero opportunities in our little rented apartment. I call it man’s-arts-and-crafts.
Once you’ve determined your chair rail height and gotten all your horizontals nailed in place you can start putting in the vertical boards. After much deliberation and harmless bickering we went with 16 inch spaces between each board. Our only reasoning behind it was because we needed to work around the light switches and I had some specific spots that boards MUST be placed in for pleasing visuals (ie centering properly under windows etc) so the other boards would just have to adapt to those spots. My fella fought me on that but I assured him that I’ll be the overall visionary in this operation and he can be the master executer of said vision. Trust!
Another one of our other disagreements stemmed from this unsightly vent. He had one idea of how to frame it out and I had another. In the end I was the one who caved and went with his idea. I know how to pick my battles and since the entertainment unit covers the vent and we intend to one day rip the whole wall down it really wasn’t worth get my britches in a bunch over.
By what felt like week 329, we were working on the detailing of the otherwise completed room. We taped off the top trim and filled in along the each board with caulk so the boards would look seamless.
Here is a close-up of the boards post caulk. Taking the time to do this makes a huge difference. It gives the appearance that the boards are all one piece cut to size for the room.
And of course the nail holes and board joints all need to be plastered to contribute to the seamless look. Then re-painted once more.
I’ll leave the project on that note and return soon with some bonafide “Before and After” pictures of the completed room soon. It’s so close to being finished I can taste it and it tastes like sweet sweet success, so stay tuned!
*Photo credits are property of Reckless Bliss*