When I finally decided what I wanted to do with the dining room, I was chomping at the bit to get started. We took a break from home repairs for a few months and after staring at my unfinished living and dining rooms, I was ready to start changing stuff again. We chose the dining room because we already have the furniture and it is much smaller than the living room.

We told you about our plans for the dining room here and after a bit of planning, we dove into the project.

Step 1, remove the chair rail and base board.

Step 2, freak out when you find mold behind a section of baseboard.

Luckily, we were able to remove all of the mold and the wall did not seem damaged. Yikes!

Now, once all the baseboards and the chair rail was removed, we had to do some serious wall repair. Just like in all the other rooms of this house, the previous owners had completely destroyed the walls by hanging millions of things, and by letting their pets climb on the walls. We think that’s what was going on because there really is no other explanation for the number of gouges in odd places on the walls.

So, once the walls were repaired, we decided how high we wanted the board and batten to go. Normally, the board and batten looks better if it is higher than the normal chair rail height.  We based the height off of one of the shelves of the built in bookshelf in the dining room to give the room a more linear look. Also factoring into this equation was the fact that the board we were purchasing came in 4′ x 8′ sheets. So, by default, the vertical pieces would be 4′ high. Coincidentally, these two factors matched up perfectly.

Once the height was decided, we put up scotch tape around the room to mark the divide.

On the website where I was getting the instructions for this project, she had mentioned it is much better to paint the wall behind the board and batten before proceeding with the installation of the boards. So, we painted first.

Please don’t judge me because of the crooked lighting. I think Matt hit his head on it.

Now, I mentioned a built in shelf in the dining room. We love that we have it, but I really have no idea what to paint it. I was thinking just to paint it all white to match the bottom of the board and batten, but that seems a little blah to me. Anyone have any brilliant ideas?

You can see in the picture that I already started to paint it. The difference between the unpainted top and the painted bottom is a little disgusting. But, anywho, please tell me what I should do with this space. Thanks.

Next up, installing board and batten!