When we bought our house back in 2014, we noticed something unusual. The house was pretty much in good shape but, the kitchen wall had tiles glued to it, covering most of it.The curious thing about that was the material of those tiles: cork.You read right, cork. For three years we thought of several ways to get rid of them but, we never had made a decision. Nothing was more frustrating than having to answer the same question every time we had a guest in our house, “what are you guys trying to do here?” The question always came accompanied with a face that spoke for itself pointing how weird that was.
At first, we tried to remove the tiles by scraping them off of our wall but, believe me the previous owners really, I mean really wanted them attached to the sheetrock. They put glue everywhere and no matter how hard we tried only a few little pieces of the cork would come off. My kitchen was literally my most hated place in the house. As I am not a big fan of cooking my wall certainly did not help the problem, at all. The first thing I did to resolve my frustration was to repaint my cabinets. Big mistake! I contacted some painters who quoted me up to 3k just for the labor. I also, checked with Home Depot for new doors and they quoted me 4k. I couldn’t believe they wanted four thousand dollars for 13 doors!
“NEVER USE AN ELECTRIC GUN”
The mistake I mention above was caused by the fact that I used an electric paint gun. Later, I learned that if you want a professional finish you will need to invest in an air-gun with an air-compressor and that’s what I did. I repainted my cabinets all by myself and by this time I got them all right. It took me one week to strip all the old paint off and sand up the cabinets. Many things have changed since then in terms of style, however I am pretty satisfied with the result as I am not quite willing to invest money in new cabinets right now.The original cabinet’s color was varnish and an important tip I learned from the same mistake is; varnish and acrylic paint can’t be mixed together. If you have cabinets or any kind of furniture that you want to give a new coat of acrylic paint make sure you have striped all the varnish off before, otherwise the acrylic won’t attach to the surface of the wood and the result will be a paint with the appearance of a melted rubber.Therefore I used paint from Behr.
I’ve being using this brand for three years and I love its quality and beautiful colors.I have Behr paint in every single furniture I refinished in my house and that means a lot .Going back to the wall, we first thought of covering it with reclaimed wood, but we had to give up on that idea since this type of material today is hard to find in quantity due to its popularity. We decided then to install a wood composite wall panel to create a colorful beach style paneling but, the cost would be too high for such big wall. So, we postponed for months, actually years to make a decision on what to do with that ugly wall. It was winter when I came up with the idea of creating a Board and Barton Style wall. You might remember that I had those cork tiles glued to the wall, right? Well, the only way to get rid of them would be to tear the sheetrock off the wall, which my husband refused to do as it would be a lot of a hard work. We thought of covering it with some kind of paneling but, all of the ones we thought of had those annoying wood grain that are impossible to hide under the paint. And that is when I came up with the idea of installing a Board and Batten Wainscoting / Craftsman Wall using Sheetrock and my husband, smart as always, suggested me to try the ¼ in. version.
As you can see parts of the Cork Tiles mixed with glue were still attached to the wall and there was no way to get rid of them.
So, the ugly cork titles are still there underneath the paneling. We covered the old sheetrock with new ones and it was when we started to see a changing. The whole process of cutting the sheetrocks in the angles of the wall took one day and mud work about 4 days.
After that, we started by measuring the entire width of the wall and figured out how many pieces of baseboard we would need in order to cover every 32 inches. The second step was to add the 1×5 molding we chose where we knew the studs were. We attached them to the wall using a nail gun.
Once all the boards were up, we filled the nail holes with acrylic latex caulk, called Dap in order to fill the gaps between the trim boards and the wall. This step seems very tedious but it is key to giving your board & batten the finished look as if it was a huge “all one thing” paneling. It’s worth your time to spend a couple of hours on doing this step. Believe me! The best way to do so is by using your finger to smooth the daps and done. This is the time when hubby moves out of the way and the wife steps in.
As I mentioned before, I always use Behr and I chose the lighter white color they had, which is nice. My secret for the perfect finish is an air-gun and an air compressor. I really hate the effect that a paint brush gives to any surface leaving behind all the stripe marks caused by hair of the brush. This is why I prefer to work with the Standard Gravity Feed Spray Gun Kit from Husky.
I really love the look of my kitchen now and I am super proud of how beautiful my Board and Batten Wainscoting / Craftsman wall ended up to be.
Have your tried a DIY board & batten before? Tell me how did it go?
Thanks for reading!