Tuesday, June 14, 2016

board + batten diy reveal

The past two weeks we’ve been a little MIA as we’ve been working on house projects. We spent the last several weekends pulling paint chips and buying paint samples to really overhaul the paint in the house. Our Sherwin Williams Functional Gray is too dark so we wanted to lighten everything up with a lighter shade of gray. Picking a color can be the biggest headache. Back in October I began painting our entryway hall a lighter shade to help lighten up our original color, I never finished it and ended up living with half painted walls for the last seven months. It paid off because after looking at it day in and day out I began to see more green tones during certain times and although it was lighter than our original color, it still didn't bring in enough light. So I went back to the drawing board, hit up Pinterest for the best grays and read endless blogposts about what has worked and what hasn't. I decided to try Benjamin Moore's Classic Gray. When I first put it up on the walls it looked nearly white and it scared me. After painting a few different spots and seeing it in different lighting throughout the day, it began to pop even more and we decided to run with it.

This photo was taken when we first moved into the house. Natural light is limited and the dark paint made the hallway gloomy. 

We started by painting the top two-thirds of the entryway hall, all the while adding a little character with board and batten. We've been discussing adding this for over a year now and I can't even say what made us finally make a decision to move forward with it, but I'm glad we did because not only did it add more light in this dark hallway, it changed the entire design. We don't have a full tutorial we followed, but we can share what we did and the steps we took along the way to make it our own. 
Although I love the contrast of the dark rich tones of paint against our white trim, everything seemed really dark because our house faces south and the majority of our windows face north, leaving us feeling like we lived in a dungeon.

Supplies & Tools Needed
Table saw, miter saw, nail gun, wood filler, hand sander, caulk, sponge & choice of paint. 
1X4 pine boards (base board, top rail and vertical rails)
1X3 pine boards (vertical rails in corners)
1X2 pine boards (top ledge)

We started by measuring how high we wanted our top rail. We based our decision on the light switch since we wanted it to blend in with the trim rather than above and stick out against the gray paint. Mike began cutting our 1x4 inch boards and used a nail gun to secure them to the wall at each stud. When a board would meet another board he cut each board at a 45 degree angle in order to fit them together smoothly. He also cut each corner down to a 45 degree angle to remove the sharp corner point and to give the board and batten a more finished and professional design. Then he did similar cuts for installing the 1x2 inch board on top of our 1x4 board, again securing it with a nail gun. Once all the top rails were in place we filled each nail hole, knot and blemish, allowed it to dry and sanded it down.
Next, we removed all the baseboards and installed our new 1x4 boards on the bottom and decided where we wanted to place each vertical board. This is entirely a personal choice. We went for a more simple and chunky design and spaced our 1x4 vertical boards on every other stud (32 inches apart). When we came to smaller sections of the wall and corners we changed it up and put in 1x3 inch boards in order for our design to look consistent to the eye. After all our boards were attached and in place, filled and sanded, we began caulking each seam to hide any and all imperfections. This also helped fill in small spaces between a board and a wall that weren't quite flush against each other. Caulking can be a little tricky and takes a few times to get the right angle. We did purchase a smoothing tool, but it just made the whole process more difficult and we ended up just using my finger to smooth the caulk in each seam and wiped the excess away with a wet sponge. 
**When buying your caulk, be sure to purchase the one that is colored white and can be painted**
Once everything was dried and set we began painting our primer. It took a good two coats of primer with sanding in-between and cleaning up all the dust before painting. This was a mess especially with two kids running around wanting to ‘help’. Kensi and Finn ended up watching a lot of movies while Mike and I worked on this project. 
We painted the entire board and batten with Benjamin Moore Super White in a semi-gloss finish. This took three coats of paint with plenty of dry time in-between. We do recommend applying the semi-gloss paint with a spray gun, but if you’re like us with kids and don’t want to bother taping and lining everything you’re not painting with plastic drop cloths you can use a brush and roller. The combination of the semi-gloss and the brush will show your imperfections. We’re not professionals by any means and we took our time painting each coat being very careful with runs and drips. There are a few imperfections that show, but we just call it added character (wink-wink).

Here’s the final product! We love the brightness the Classic Gray brings to our home and it definitely has removed the dark gloomy vibe we've been dealing with for over two years and makes this halfway feel larger. There’s so much more character in this space and we are so happy with the results. Plus a little bonus info for our readers...our family and friends know we are major budget-ers and love doing projects ourselves even if it requires some hard labor. This whole hallway cost us $200 with materials and paint. Not bad for completely changing the design of our home.

Before I finish this post let me just end with talking about Benjamin Moore's paint. This was our first experience using this particular brand as we've always gone with different brands found at the home improvement stores. We are so impressed with the high quality of BM's paint compared to everything we've used previously. It's smooth and we can feel the quality difference just by touch. Mike and I highly recommend trying Benjamin Moore for your next painting adventure. 
Now it's time to work on painting the rest of rooms on our main level which will probably take place wall by wall and finding some fun decor to add to our newly designed space.

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