Home Projects

Before and After: A Fresh Take on Board-and-Batten for This Plain Nursery

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Before: plain white wall

There’s plenty of value in white walls: They can make rooms feel bigger, look brighter, and provide a clean canvas for gallery walls. But there’s a lot of fun in redoing white walls with color, too. Annika Elbracht knew she wanted to do something different with one of the wallpapered white walls in her office, which she’d be turning into a nursery for her baby boy. “The ‘before’ was just a big, white, boring wall,” Annika says, but she had a specific idea for how she’d want to transform it, using both wallpaper and board-and-batten wainscoting.

Annika started by removing the existing baseboards and peeling off the old plain white wallpaper. Then, she patched all the uneven spots on the wall and evened out the holes to create a flat, smooth canvas. Once that was done, she and her husband applied the new wallpaper—a freehand-look geometric design—to the top portion of the wall. “I would suggest two people or more to hang the wallpaper. It’s much easier with more hands and I could not have done it alone,” she says.

For the bottom, Annika installed wood pieces to get the look of board-and-batten wainscoting. She did this mostly with adhesive, using nails in places where she needed extra security. Then, she caulked the gaps and sanded the wood smooth before painting.

A light blue-green paint color on the paneling makes the newly added architectural detail pop. Annika estimates the project cost about 90 Euros and about 7 hours of work, with most of that spent on prep.

“I love how the combination of the wallpaper and the wood panelling came out,” Annika says. “I am over the moon about the pattern and print of the wallpaper and the color of the paneling beneath. It’s the perfect match!”

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Megan Baker

Home Projects Editor

Megan is a writer and editor who specializes in home upgrades, DIY projects, hacks, and design. Before Apartment Therapy, she was an editor at HGTV Magazine and This Old House Magazine. Megan has a degree in Magazine Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is a self-taught weighted blanket connoisseur.

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