Inexpensive Wainscoting Tutorial {Nursery Board and Batten}

It’s the first official nursery tutorial!  Exciting stuff.  We actually have quite a bit more finished in here than what you’ll see in these pictures, but I’m backing up and will share a bit at a time.  We got a lot accomplished in this room around the holidays and we really just need to add shelving and put in a few accessories and finishing touches.  We’re headed on a shopping trip this weekend to pick up a few more essentials, but until it is complete I have some easy and fun tutorials to share, starting with the wainscoting.  We only spent $13 for this whole project.  We had the chair rail on hand already and used inexpensive materials to create the vertical battens on the walls.  We had the paint leftover from the half bath makeover, which helped keep costs down also.


  • chair rail
  • nail gun and finish nails
  • paint
  • dry wall patch or wood putty
  • paintable caulk
  • 1/4″ 4×4 handi panel {we used 3 of these and had a little leftover}

We started by painting the top half of the room.  If you remember from my mood board, we went with Sand Stone by Behr.  It’s a really soft creamy gray color.  Once that was painted, we added the chair rail.  We measured 3′ from the top of the baseboard for our chair rail.  You don’t want to split the room exactly in half, so either go a little shorter or a little taller {our ceiling is 8′ tall}.  We painted the chair rail first, then Mike made sure the pieces were level and nailed those up.  We used a paintable caulk in the corners to fill in any seams between boards.  Then it was time to add the vertical boards.  We took the 4×4 sheets and cut them into 6″ wide strips.

We laid out our design first, spacing the boards 1 1/2′ between each board.


Then we went through and nailed each board into place.

Mike nailed most of the boards and I followed behind him patching in the nail holes.  We used Dry Dex, which is actually a drywall patch. It works well in this material and dries quickly.  It’s also really easy to apply {I just smooth it on with my finger}.  The color is purple when wet and dries white so you know when you are ready to sand.

As each hole dried, I went back with a sanding block and smoothed out the nail holes.

Then I painted all the walls and boards. It was really that simple.  We finished this project in an afternoon and with a total cost of $13, it created a lot of bang for our buck.



There is a lot more to come in this room, so be sure to check back!  I finished the curtains this weekend and can’t wait to share them later this week:)

Are you a fan of wainscoting?  You can see some of our other wainscoting projects in the new project gallery!  I think I’m beginning to get addicted to it.  A room just seems bare without it:)  Anyone with me on that?





These are the fabulous blog parties I link up to each week:

Tip Junkie: Tip Me Tuesday

Home Stories A to Z: Tutorials and Tips Tuesdays

Not Just a Housewife: Show Me What Ya Got

Hooking Up with Hepworths

Shabby Chic Cottage: Transformation Thursday

5 Days, 5 Ways

30 Handmade Days

Serenity Now

Tatertots and Jello: Weekend Wrap-Up


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  1. Awesome! I’ve been looking for the easiest way to do this at our new house and I think I’ve found it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. what color is the white paint…please

  3. Looks great! getting ready to do something similar

    Did you just nail the corners?? As well did you construction adhesive or glue on back of the board to the wall??


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