Board & Batten, On The Cheap

This month’s Lowe’s challenge is a room makeover.  In the interest of keeping posts a manageable length, I’ll be breaking it up.

I’ve been meaning to get to Macy’s room since, oh, this post.  Let me refresh your memory with where we’re headed:


Let me also show you where we started:

Macy would like the record to show that the American Girl dolls had been moved to a bin in the garage.  She’s practically 12 now.  Geez.

As you can see at the top of the picture on the left, we already had some decorative molding about 6 feet up on the walls.  We’d also put up some flower wall decals above the molding.  They took massive amounts of the wall down with them.

(This is after I started spackling.  I love the kind that goes on pink and changes to white when it’s dry.  I tend to get a little impatient when it’s time to sand.)


After some massive spackling and sanding, it was time to paint.


The bottom portion of the walls is a semi-gloss paint that I had Lowe’s tint to match the trim in my house.


The top is a Valspar color called Icy Mint.


I picked up 2 gallons of the white, but I probably could have gotten by with one.  1 gallon of the Icy Mint was enough for the top portion of the walls and the entire ceiling (which was previously builder beige).

I looked at the selection of moldings and trims at Lowe’s, but they were all in the $3-6 per piece range.  I knew I needed at least 30, maybe more (depending on spacing) and that was going to eat up my budget FAST.  So, I needed another option.  I channeled my pal Mandi and decided to use her method for board & batten…having MDF plywood cut into strips.  When I got over to the lumber section, I discovered that the thinnest MDF was thicker than I was after.  You see, I didn’t want the B&B to stick our further than my existing molding and baseboards.  So, I went for some super cheap plywood that I believe was 5mm thick.  I had BC take it to his crate shop and cut it into 3” strips for me (the same width as my existing molding) on the big daddy panel saw.  The entire room took 2 pieces of plywood, or about $22….WAY better than $3-6 per piece of molding, right?  It WAS a little bit prickly on the edges, so I sanded the edges of the pieces with an electric sander before I got started.

For purposes of this room, I decided to center a B&B strip under the window, lined up with an outlet.  This is where your eye goes when you walk into the room and was therefore the wall I needed to have look the best.


Once I had the strip centered under the window, I decided on spacing for the rest of the strips.  I went with 15”.  BC says he would have gone for 12”, but I was the one doing all the work, so I won.  (Yes, that means I did all the sanding, cutting, and nail gunning.  Surprised?  Open-mouthed smile)  I cut a scrap piece of wood to 15” in length and used that to space the rest of my strips.  The only time that didn’t work out was when I got to a corner.


I just measured 15” along the baseboard and then leveled out the first strip on the new wall.

I used 3 tubes of DAP’s vinyl spackle to caulk the edges and some more of the DryDex I used to patch the wall holes to get the B&B ready to paint.  I applied 2-ish coats of paint to the strips using a Purdy brush (they’re the best).


And I’m kind of in love.

Here’s a shot of the corner where I ended after moving out in both directions from under the window.


Next up?

Doing something about this:

($25 thrift store find)

and this:

($50 thrift store find)

and a headboard involving a pallet and an outdoor light fixture.  Also getting Macy’s mattress off the floor in my room.  Winking smile

Don’t forget to pick up a FREE Subscription to Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine:


You can also find Lowe’s Creative Ideas on Facebook.  (They’ve moved, so if you “liked” them before, you should “like” them again!)

And, now there’s a Lowe’s Creative Ideas blog.  Go have a look around.  You might recognize a face or two.

Disclosure:  Lowe’s provided me with a gift card for supplies for my room makeover.  They’re also providing me with a gift card to give away to one of you this month, so look forward to it!

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  1. Julia @ Blue-J Cottage says:

    Love your thrift store finds! I am always drawn to those pieces when I see them. Great deal! And great progress :)

  2. Ashley W. says:

    It’s looking great…I love the color! Where did you get Macy’s old day bed? We’re expecting #2 soon so my daughter is graduating to a big girl bed and I love the look of the day bed pictured.

    • Char @ Crap I've Made says:

      It’s a Hemnes daybed from IKEA. Just a warning, the directions are like 36 pages long. And it didn’t come out in one piece. :p

  3. I love the thrift store finds – and GREAT work on the room! It looks great. I love the colors, the “b&b”… everything! (no originality points for me)

  4. Brilliant solution on the B&B with the paneling! The room looks great so far. Can’t wait to see the finishes on the new furniture.

  5. I’m loving it. I can’t wait to see it in its finished glory!

  6. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOUUUUU…. for solving our dilemma! We have new baseboards, we want the look of board and batton, but my hubby doesn’t want pieces thinker than the baesboards! YOU my dear, are a dilemma solving GENIUS!!! GAH!! If you were in front of me I’d probably kiss square on the mouth! (not really.. but it felt like I should be overly dramatic here ;)

  7. I love a fresh room makeover! The walls are just gorgeous! I look forward to seeing the finished room! It’s fun when the kids grow up a little and they desire a more “grownup” room!

  8. I am loving that mint color with the bright white B&B! It looks great and you couldn’t tell it was plywood!!

  9. The thrift store finds are, I think, what they call a “waterfall” style. My dad had a dresser like this in his room with matching bed and vanity/mirror since I can remember. Dad thinks he had it since maybe 1939, but I don’t know that for sure. I’d always loved that furniture and was honored to receive it for my bedroom set after both my grandparents were gone. It’s a treasure to me. However, it has been taken care of better than your dresser, it would seem. I’ll be curious to see what you do to these pieces. P.S. Love the b&b!

    • Char @ Crap I've Made says:

      Yes! I love this style! My grandma has a vanity in her spare room this style so I think it’s nostalgic for me.

  10. The walls look amazing and I love the color. I’ve been wanting to try board and batten but haven’t been brave enough yet.

  11. We painted that exact dresser and it looks awesome! I wish I had found a desk like that to match.

  12. Looks SO GREAT!!! I would love to do that to a room in our house someday! Thanks for sharing all your ideas :)

  13. Looking great!

    Absolutely love your old desk, dresser and the typewriter, too! Personally, I would leave both pieces as is….the room (now that it’s bright & fresh) can handle the darker wood & it has an authentic vintage feel. They look like they’re in great shape, too! Lucky girl!! :O)

    • Char @ Crap I've Made says:

      The pictures are deceiving…that light spot on top of the dresser? Wood putty. Inside the dresser holding that wood putty in place? Duct tape. And the veneer is missing in several spots on the desk. I’ve got my work cut out for me. LOL!

  14. I am excited to see where this is headed. I have that same dresser in my room-had I known you wanted it, I would’ve given you ours for free-hubby hates it.

  15. Catherine says:

    I’m in awe.

  16. Looks great so far!! I love the Icy mint color – veryyy pretty! Can’t wait to see what you do with the vintage furniture!

  17. It looks great! The thrift store finds are amazing.

  18. Char,

    I haven’t been over in awhile but look what you have done! This room is going to be so great!


  19. Just found your site from Pinterest. I’ll be following along, would love to see what you do with that desk and dresser. I’ve got the matching set desk, tall boy dresser like yours, low boy dresser, and vanity. Unfortunetly the desk had a little to much love and recently went on the burn pile but the dressers are still at home. If case you are wondering my grandparents bought theres in the late 50′s (maybe early 60′s) and were still in the house when I moved in so that makes them mine.

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