How to Build a Board and Batten Coat Rack Wall

To say our new drop zone/DIY board and batten coat rack wall has been life changing would be an understatement. This little hallway remodel may rank as one of the smartest decisions I have ever made. Like EVER. Today I not only wanted to share how this project has improved the functionality of our home, specifically, our garage entryway, but I also wanted to FINALLY share how we built this bad boy.

board and batten hallway

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In my original post regarding this project, I mentioned that the idea to create this wall was inspired by the need for a more organized and functional entry way. We leave and enter our house strictly through the garage door (opposite of the laundry room door) and our past drop zone habits were driving me bonkers.
Coats, hats, shoes, mail...everything was always making it's way onto our kitchen island. Now when we come home we're practically smacked in the face with a coat rack and we have a nice place to organize our mail. The kitchen island is FINALLY back to be using for it's original purpose; meal prepping and eating!

So let's rewind! This hallway started off like most hallways, lonely and useless.

hallway makeover

But today it looks like this!

board and batten wall

Well, actually that's what it look like back in the Fall. See! I've held this blog post hostage for so long. Since then I've changed up the decor, rug, and added a few wire organizer baskets alongside the chalkboard calendar, but more on that later.

As I mentioned back in September, our faux board and batten coat rack wall was inspired by this project here. We followed Christina's lead and also used MDF purchased from our local Home Depot. Our store sells both 8' and 12' MDF boards and since we wanted out board and batten to be 6 feet high, we went with the 8' boards and I had the very kind, and not sexist-at-all gentleman at the store rip  them down for me. In case you have a hard time reading sarcasm, let me tell you that was sarcasm. We also used our circular saw at home for additional cuts.

Materials Used 

*Please note some of these measurements are approximates and your cuts will vary on the size of your wall and the look you're aiming for. I'm a visual learner, so I've included an image below that shows in more detail where we utilized each of the MDF boards.

(2) 4 " wide MDF boards that were 6 feet tall {Exhibit A}

(4) 4" wide MDF boards that were 3 feet tall {Exhibit B and C}

(4) 2'' wide MDF boards that were 2.5 feet tall {Exhibit D and E}

Circular saw


Stud Finder

Nail gun and finishing nails


Paint and painting supplies

Floor trim or base moulding (for top picture ledge)

Quarter round

Sand paper

Once again here's a "before" shot of our bare nekked hallway.

Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

I wanted to duplicate the board and batten on both sides of our laundry room door. My hubby did most of the labor while I wrangled the two year old from running amok among the work zone area. After finding and marking our studs and triple checking our wall measurements, the hubz started attaching our cut MDFboards piece by piece with the nail gun to the right side of the door. 

He started with the top horizontal and far side vertical pieces first, and then worked his way in.
You'll definitely want to use your level for this part of the project to make sure everything is straight.

board and batten DIY Pinterest

Next up was the horizontal middle piece and then the 2 smaller
 vertical pieces that trim out the middle of the MDF "box".

board and batten diy

After he finished the right side of the door, he moved onto the left side and 
repeated the process with the boards.

board and batten with shelf

Here's a long shot of the hallway after all the boards had been attached to the wall.
Sorry, I didn't capture any images (i.e. see "wrangling two year old" mentioned above) between the MDF boards being attached and the picture ledge being added, but we'll talk more about that ledge in a minute.

how to do board and batten

As promised, here's the image that gives you a visual of where we used which boards.  
You can see more detailed information on their width and size above in my material's list.
If you happen to have a light switch that interferes with the placement of some of your boards, you'll need to accommodate it by cutting a notch out of the MDF like we did.

board and batten measurements

Now let's talk about that picture ledge. Originally, I really, really wanted to do something similar to Christina's ledge, corbels and all, but I was concerned with the size and narrowness of this hallway and that the ledge may jet out too far and be a hazard for anyone, well, for anyone taller than me. Which quite honestly, is everyone, minus Little B (although he's catching up!) It's was the hubby's idea to use a piece of floor trim (or also referred to as base moulding) for the ledge.  It's slim (if you get the thinner size) and he thought it would dress the wall up a bit. He used the nail gun to nail the trim down to the top horizontal piece of our MDF "box" on the wall. Just make sure the back of the moulding is facing up towards the ceiling, that way the nice, finished side is what you'll see when you sashaying down your hallway. The ledge shelf was then finished off with a piece of quarter round.

board and batten project

 It wasn't until later when I went to lean a sign on our newly built shelf that I realized there is an extra bonus to using base moulding as a ledge! You know how floor trim typically has grooves or seams on the backside of the trim? Guess what?! Those "lips" keep your picture frames and signs from slipping off! I know, I know...pretty ingenius, right?

*Image below is not of the exact moulding we used, just there to serve as a visual to give you an idea of what the heck I'm talking about.
shelf for board and batten


After all of the boards, trim, and quarter round had been placed it was time for the next step; caulking. This is the part where I took over. I caulked  all of the nail holes and the seams between the walls and MDF boards. Once the sealant dried, I lightly sanded down the boards and patched nail holes. Then the wall was finally ready to be primed and painted!

painting board and batten interior

The www. is full of tutorials for faux board and batten, so I'm sure by now most of you realize that the cheater way to get this wall effect is to just skip the "board" part of the equation (the wall panels) and just paint your walls in between the "batten" part. It's a less expensive option and it still looks incredibly purrrty at the end!
diy board and batten hallway

board and batten coat rack

hallway coat hooks

Here's a view from the playroom, which sits at the end of this hall.

hallway coat hangers

Sources for all of my hall decor can be found at the end of this post.

Target wall hooks

coat hooks

The opposite wall got spruced up too. Although, not as pretty as the board and batten wall it has become twenty times more functional with a chalkboard calendar and wire wall baskets for mail.

chalkboard calendar

hallway drop zone

Even though this wall is intended to be our new drop zone for coats and stuff, I still have a lot of fun dressing it up. You can see how I decorated it for the holidays here. 

I originally painted the board and batten the same color as our trim (no idea what color it is, just had a local paint store match the color), but then it got a new BFF; our new ship lap kitchen wall!

shiplap kitchen wall

Since the two walls adjoin, it only made sense that if I was painting the ship lap wall Benjamin Moore White, that I repainted the board and batten wall to match it. It was a great decision, because the White Dove looks sooo much prettier and has no yellow undertones like the original color! Yellow undertones=bad. I hope to share more about the ship lap wall soon, but in the meantime you can catch peeks of it over on my Instagram.

diy board and batten entryway

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to know how you organize your family's drop zone? I've deemed 2016 the year of Operation Organization for my house, so any tips and ideas are greatly appreciated!


 Wall hooks and grey rug: Target
Bottom Coat Hooks: Menards (similar ones here)
Chalkboard Calendar: Kohl's
Basket on Hook: Thrifted
Wire Wall Baskets: Michaels


Jessica said...

Thats beautiful. Good job!

Michelle Paige said...

Genius idea to use the base moulding for a ledge! LOVE how this turned out. Adding hooks 'anywhere' always turns out to be a good decision--well, almost anywhere!

Samantha said...

Love this so much! Turned out amazing!

Christine @ Rustic-Refined said...

You did a fantastic job! Love it...

My Repurposed Life said...

saw this on Hometalk!

Beautiful job, I love the new walls, AND the chalkboard.



Unknown said...

was the paint enamel on the walss too?

Unknown said...

A great idea, and looks so good! I need something like this for my front entrance hall. It is narrow and short, about 6' by 5', and I need a place for mail brought in,keys, and occasional coat. Not wide enough for furniture. Any ideas?

shy said...

I like the idea of the ledge with the groove to hold things into place, plus it is already dressed up!

Unknown said...

Hey, odd question- how did you make the board and batten fit in along the base trim or is your base trim flat along the top? We want to do this in our entry but our base trim doesn't have a flat trim top.

Jennifer @ Delightfully Noted said...

Hi! Responding to questions. Paint on wall was regular latex paint. Secondly, our base trim is not flat either we just made sure the base board that sat along the base boards was not super thick so it didn't jet out. Hope that helps!

I'd love to hear from you!