I should call this my "dad" wall.
I had in my mind back in January/February-ish that I wanted to do a Board and Batten wall in my house. Our family room runs straight into the dining area of our kitchen with one big long wall. I never knew how to decorate the wall because it was just too long. I didn't know whether to make the whole thing one big gallery wall, or break it up into sections. When I tried to have small clusters of pictures and things, it just ended up looking thrown together. I'm a little more meticulous than that, so the board and batten idea got better and better in my mind.
I sort of thought I could do it all on my own... people all over the blog world do it, so it certainly must be possible.
My husband was scheduled to be out of town for a few weeks on business, and I decided that's when I was going to make this happen.
Only, I often forget to account for the fact that life is most certainly going to keep happening, despite my plans.
A few days before my husband was scheduled to leave on his trip, my dad passed away.
Life really fell apart for me. I was crushed, devastated, defeated.
My husband still had to leave for his trip the day after my dad's funeral, but I was in no place mentally or physically to work on the wall.
In fact, it didn't even cross my mind. I had been thinking about and staring at this wall for months, and suddenly I didn't care about it at all.
More time went by. More months even.
I just couldn't bring myself to feel like doing anything. My kids were clean, fed, and happy... which was more than I could say for myself.
Finally, one day in July I felt like I was being lifted out of a haze.
I could feel my dad telling me that I had to keep going. This was not the kind of life he had taught me to live.
So I jumped back into life with both feet and back at the top of that list was that dang wall.
Since my husband was home, I enlisted his handyman skills, and we knocked this one out in just a couple of days.
I started by deciding how high on the wall I wanted the boards to come up. I knew I still wanted to be able to hang my clock on this wall so I was going to need a pretty good amount of space, but I also didn't want it to be so short that it just looked "off." So I went up about 58 inches (on an 8 feet wall) and taped a straight line all the way across the wall.
Next, I painted the wall AND all of the boards I was going to be using. I HIGHLY recommend pre-painting the boards.
After the paint was dry -- or maybe dryish, it's hard to be patient waiting for things like paint to dry -- I added a 1 x 2 1/2 inch mdf board right above the baseboard that was already in place. (I did this because I didn't want every single board that was coming down to be sticking out from the baseboard. This made a much more smooth transition, I think.
Next I measured up about how far I wanted the boards to go before the "top trim" went on and nail gunned in another 1 x 2 1/2 inch board.
Then the fun part... installing all the vertical boards. I cut a spacer that was about 13 1/2 inches long (just the space I decided looked right to me... all personal choice.) and started at the laundry room door. I only went about 7 or 8 inches from the door and placed the first board. Then used my spacer for the rest of the wall.
I had to measure out each board individually, but I think you end up with a better fit that way. Not all walls are exactly straight and level like you think they should be, so this is a good way to ensure it's going to look level. In some spots I went over or under the spacer amount, to avoid outlets and such... but I don't think you can really tell. (Don't tell me if you can really tell!!!)
Once all of the vertical boards were nailed in, I put up some of the extra baseboard that the builder had left in the basement when he finished our house above the top horizontal mdf board. Then added the ledge. OH the ledge. I had to do some serious convincing that the same 1 x 2 1/2 inch mdf board wouldn't stick out too far. I wasn't sure yet if I wanted to hang things on the wall above or rest them on the ledge, but I did know I wanted the option of either. So the ledge stayed.
Then I just added a simple trim right under the ledge and nailed it into the baseboard behind it to give it a faux crown molding effect.
We sanded, repainted, and a masterpiece was completed! :)
There are really dozens of great faux board and batten tutorials out there. This is NOT one of those. This is just a general idea of how we did it.
I'm so glad we did it. It has high impact for a really relatively simple and inexpensive project.
I was planning to do a small gallery of pictures above, but after everything was off the walls I loved the simplicity of it so much that I only put a few pictures and the clock back up. (resting on the ledge :) )
I'm grateful for the gentle promptings from my dad to keep moving forward. Heaven knows I need it sometimes!