MODERN ENTRYWAY: Black and White Board and Batten Wall

Your entryway is the first impression for your home. I want my entryway to be warm and welcoming while showcasing our style. Our entryway is large and with all white walls, it seemed rather plain.

Before of entryway with barn door shutter

Board and batten walls are a quick and easy way to update any space. I chose to put a twist on the traditional board and batten wall for my entryway by painting the top portion of the wall black. Below are the steps that I took to create this modern entryway.

Painting the Wall

When installing a board and batten wall, I paint the wall first. If you install the board and batten first and then paint, there will be lines that will be difficult to get rid if you ever remove the wood from the wall.

I started by painting the top half, I selected the height of the board and batten wall. The horizontal piece of the board and batten wall will hide where the black and white paint comes together, so I painted just below the top of the height that I decided upon.

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Our floors are not level and it is very obvious when doing projects like this. Instead of measuring up from the floor along the length of the wall to place my tape line, I measured up from the floor in one spot. I then used my laser level to project a laser line on the wall. I was able to follow this line to apply my tape.

Apply painters tape using laser level line

Once the tape was up, I painted the top half black. I used a trim paint brush to paint near the crown molding and created a smooth line. Our walls have many imperfections and I have found that matte paints hide the imperfections fairly well. I chose to paint the black half with a matte finish because it would hide the imperfections.

After I let the black paint dry, I removed the tape. For the board and batten portion of the wall, I selected a white semi-gloss paint. With little ones, it is really difficult to keep the walls clean. Semi-gloss paints are much easier to clean than matte paints. Since the wall was already white and the top piece of the board and batten wall will cover where the black and white paints intersect, I simply painted the white as close as possible to the black paint without touching.

Install the top piece of the board and batten wall

Initially, I was going to use furring strips because they are super cheap. I did not want to spend much money on this project, but I also didn’t want it to take forever. If I would have gone with the furring strips, there would have been a lot of sanding and prep work required. Ultimately, I chose to use MDF boards for the board and batten wall. MDF is a little more expensive but has a very clean finish.

For the horizontal piece of the board and batten wall, I used 1×4 MDF. After cutting all of the pieces to length, I measured and marked a spot on the wall where the top of the board needed to be installed. I used a level to ensure that the top piece was level and secured it to the wall using a finish nailer.

I have one door opening that does not have any trim around it. The end of the horizontal member would exposed and I did not want the MDF to have an unfinished look at this point. To make the end look finished, I cut the end on a 45 degree angle. I then used construction adhesive to glue secure an end piece, which was also cut on a 45 degree angle. This left a nice clean edge to the horizontal member.

Horizontal board and batten piece at door openings
End cap for horizontal member of board and batten wall at door opening

Install the vertical pieces of the board and batten wall

Once the top piece of the board and batten wall was installed, I cut the 1×3 MDF vertical pieces. Since my floor is not level and the horizontal piece was installed using a level, the vertical pieces were not all the same length.

I recently installed a base cap on my baseboards. In order to make a smoother transition from the board and batten wall to the base cap, I cut the bottom of the vertical pieces on a 45 degree angle using my miter saw. If I did not have a base cap, I could have just made a straight cut.

Cut bottom of vertical pieces of board and batten wall on a 45 degree angle

Before I actually installed the vertical pieces, I laid them out on the floor where they would be installed. This allowed me to verify my dimensions and ensure that the spacing was correct.

In order to quickly install the vertical pieces without having to measure the spacing, I cut a piece of scrap wood to the length of the space. I held the spacer up to position the vertical members and nailed them to the wall using my finish nailer.

Entryway with black and white board and batten wall

Patch and caulk seams and holes

For the nail holes and seams, I used spackling. I think spackling is easier to use, smooth out and sand than caulk. I did use caulk to fill in the spacing between the MDF boards and wall.

Spackling for holes and seams

I discovered this amazing caulk finisher tool a while ago. I am kind of a freak about making perfect the perfect bead of caulk. I would try to smooth the caulk with my finger several times and would end up rubbing my skin raw. This tool is affordable, easy to use and leaves the perfect bead of caulk.

Caulk and caulk finisher tool

Paint board and batten wall

If I were painting the board and batten wall any color other than white, I would have painted the MDF before I installed it on the wall. Since I painted the board and batten wall white, I decided to wait until the wall was done to spray the board and batten portion of the wall.

The finish that you get with a sprayer looks professional and is hard to achieve with a roller. There is more prep work involved when using a sprayer, but painting with a sprayer is much quicker than using a roller. Therefore, the overall time to paint is about the same either way…so why not go with the professional finish?!

Wagner FlexIO 3000 paint sprayer for board and batten wall

In order to prep my entryway for the sprayer, I taped plastic up over the black portion of the wall and the door openings. I used drop clothes to cover the floor. For this project, I used my Wagner FlexIO 3000. This sprayer is perfect for home projects big and small. It is a hand held, battery powered sprayer that applies the perfect finish. The clean up is super easy too…which is a must for me!

Entryway with HOME sign, metal bench and board and batten wall

This board and batten wall with a modern twist added the perfect amount of character to our entryway! I put the finishing touches on it with a new table, mirror and bench.

Entryway with board and batten wall and barn door shutters

This space is so warm and welcoming now. I really love the feel of our modern entryway and I think it represents my style much better!

Round gold mirror on board and batten wall
  1. Elaine Sisung says:

    While you use your considerable skills and ideas to create a feeling of “welcome” you do not overlook the power of simplicity. Your creative treatments touch on the Scandinavian. At least to me it’s putting a touch of Americana on the simplistic lines of Danish design. I truly admire the way you make your inspirations a reality.

    • NICOLE says:

      Thank you!! I think you’re right about the Scandinavian style. I love renovating and decorating my spaces while keeping the simplicity!