Board and Batten can be used to create a box shape on the wall to add interest and architectural detail. I love seeing this kind of detail in stairwells. I loved how the refinished stained stairs turned out but once I added the box molding and painted, that’s when the magic happened! The staircase wasn’t dark and scary anymore.
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To see how I refinished the steps check out these posts:
To see how I added another architectural detain in my laundry room by adding shiplap check out those posts here!
How to Add Box Molding
Adding board and batten box molding is actually pretty easy. On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being easy and 5 being really hard I would give it a 2. As long as you have a miter saw it’s really a piece of cake.
Start with the Wood
First you need to decide how big you want the boxes, for me I decided I wanted them to be about 18-24 inches so I used 4 inch boards, measured down from the top of the stairs 24 inches and used that as the bottom mark for my boards. So the interior of my boxes are 20 inches. If you have a very large wall you may want to make your boxes larger because if they are small it will look very busy.
I actually mapped out on the wall exactly where I wanted the boards so I could see it visually, this also really helped me to know exactly how much product I would need. All I used was a pencil, tape measure and a level.
I used 1/2 inch mdf for this project from Home Depot and had them rip down a 4X8 sheet into 4 inch strips. The guy at the store was able to get 12 boards out of it but only used 7 for this project.
You can choose to use 1×4 pieces of lumber but that is a bit more expensive and for my room, the 1×4 would stick out from the existing baseboards so I went with MDF for practical and economic reasons.
I did the vertical boards first, measured and cut the boards with my miter saw. The hardest part was figuring out the angle. I assumed it would be 45 degrees but nope. I am sure there is a better way to figure this out but I just did trail and error and figured out what my angle was…..hey, never said I am a mathematician!
Then I measured the horizontal boards, cut and repeated the steps to apply to the wall.
You can see in this picture above that I angled the wood by 45 degrees where it met the end of the wall. I accomplished this with my miter saw.
Time for Paint
Once the caulk is dry and everything is clean you need to tape off and cover these beautiful steps you just stained. I used just plain old newspaper!
I used some primer that I had on hand and covered the wood risers and MDF with it. Once it was dry I used this new paint that the guy at the paint counter at Home Depot recommended. It’s a combo of oil and latex based paint, said to level brush strokes, have a harder finish and cleans up with soap and water.
I am not sure about it’s leveling abilities but as far as cleanup goes it did come off with soap and water but not very easily. I will see how well it wears and let you know if it takes a beating better.
After three coats of paint I am done and I cannot believe the change, this is such a big transformation and I couldn’t be more happy with it. From smelly brown carpet to beautifully stained wood with architectural features I would say this was a complete win!
What do you think? Quite a transformation from greige walls and ugly brown carpet to beautiful wood steps and white box molding! Do you think you might give this a try?