Ok, so we recently had some work done. Nope, not calf implants, but you’re close…
How about can implants? Also known as recessed lighting. And we went for a pendant injection while we were at it (when in Rome…). Actually the wide shot shows more of the chaos that ensued just to get the room ready for its close up (we removed half of Karl The Sectional and pushed him across the room along with rolling back the rug and covering the floor with drop clothes under each work area).
Can you believe we’re well into year three of living here and we’ve never had overhead lights in the living room (except for one small light that used to hang off-center in the corner). And while we love lamps for ambiance, overhead lights can be helpful to flip on when more illumination is necessary (like for finding that rogue doll shoe that Clara needs rightthissecond!). Basically there’s a reason that Candice Olson champions the whole light-layering thing (some recessed lights + a pendant + a few table lamps or floor lamps seems to be her sweet spot, sometimes with a sconce or two tossed in there for good measure).
And since we used to have two large fans overhead – without lights mind you, just big hulking brown fans that we never used (this part of the house is cooler and has lots of sliders to open for a breeze) – we had two fixture boxes in the ceiling to tap into for the recessed lights.
And magically, with the scroll of a mouse they’re done. And they’re glorious.
We thought about branching off from them and adding a ton more (four? six? eight?) but decided that since there were just those two fixture boxes that existed, we’d live with two for now before swiss-cheesing the ceiling and buying more materials. But knowing that we can always add more now that these babies are wired up is nice.
When it came to making sure those recessed light conversions were done safely, we hired our favorite local electrician (his name is Sean, and he runs S.J. Ryan Electric, who we mentioned during our kitchen reno here).
The cords up in the attic above the living room were a little too scary (not up to code at all) for us to deal with on our own, and the peace of mind of relying on an expert for things that can burn your house down is always nice. But like most DIYers, we were excited to tackle whatever was within our skill set (because we’re cheap like that). Which meant that we were happy to instal the pendant light over the table by the window, just as soon as Sean’s guys got the fixture box centered (it used to be about a foot too far to the left so the old pendant made the window look really wonky).
Sometimes we can move fixture boxes ourselves, like we did in our master bathroom here…
… but in this case there wasn’t any slack in the wire for us to move it ourselves, and there were lots of other wires going to the box that confused us, so we had them get things up to code and move them over while they were at it.
It’s a lot like how we hired a contractor to help us open up the wall between the kitchen and the dining room and then did all the drywall/trim/finishing ourselves to save some loot. In this case we grabbed the ol’ baton and did the pendant installation and patched the ceiling hole. Since most electricians charge hourly, the more you do yourself, the more you can save.
Oh and you can also save money by prepping the room before anyone shows up. For this little adventure we:
- moved the sofa
- rolled back the rug
- put down drop cloths
- marked the ceiling for where we wanted things to go
That last bullet is a biggie. Measuring to be sure the pendant would be centered and then marking an x on the ceiling saved us time since we didn’t have to debate the pendant placement while the electrician was here (any long chats while the electrician’s around = cash-money out the door, since they’re on his time).
And after they left, we:
- hung the pendant light
- patched that hole in the ceiling near the back window
- caught our breath
- put the room back together
And then it looked like this…
Of course the giant window makes our pretty pendant a lot more invisible than he is in person (he’s crisp and easy to see in real life), but going from zero overhead lights to two recessed lights and a pendant over the table is such an awesome change. There’s a reason all those people say “good lighting is a room changer.”
When it comes to the whole hole patching shebang, we have a few tips for you…
Hole patching tip numero uno: We use these little hole-patching mesh things from Home Depot along with Crackshot Spackle by Dap (applied with a spackle knife) for a nice quick cover-up.
Hole patching tip numero dos: Don’t stop at one spackle session, I always try to do 2-3 thin applications so I catch all the little imperfections that I might miss the first time (you can sand between each spackling sesh or just keep building it up and then sand when you’re sure you have all the low points filled). Note: you can see most of this process on video here if that helps.
Hole patching tip numero tres: I heard that Magic Erasers were pretty handy if you didn’t want to stir up as much dust as sanding would, so after my spackle dried I gave it a try. And I gotta say, it rocked. Some gentle buffing back and forth against the dry spackle with my only-slightly-wet Magic Eraser filed down the high points and made a lot less of a mess, but I think the key to my success may have been that I don’t mound my spackle (I just try to keep it flush while covering the low points, so minimal sanding is necessary).
Hole patching tip numero quatro: When it’s time to paint over your smoothed out spackle, be sure it’s completely smooth (drywall or spackle imperfections aren’t covered by paint, they’re emphasized by it). You also want to feather the paint out about 12″ beyond the spackled area, just so it’s not an obvious blob of paint on the ceiling (two thin and even coats with long feathery brush strokes works for me).
As for the pendant that we chose, you might remember it from our little lighting collection (we mentioned that we purchased three things in that old post- two of which we still had to hang). It was awesome to finally get it this baby up – especially since it’s now perfectly centered over the table and in front of the window.
I love that the wire and canopy are a crisp white color. I almost looks like it’s floating like a big ol’ sun in the sky.
And as for the third thing that we bought from our collection, that colorful shade found a home on our little stationery desk. Which is also known as Burger’s treat desk since those are its two functions.
It adds more of the colors that you see in the green and blue lanterns on the desk, and the shapes in the shade seem to tie into the shapes in the mirror and the cutouts on the lanterns. It’s a nice counterpart to the neutral choices around it, like the walls, the desk, the chair, the ottoman, and the curtains.
We hosted a little lamp shade fashion show with him. We tried it out on a few other lights, including the floor lamp in the sunroom (which was also cute) but decided to enjoy him in the living room for now. Who knows where he’ll end up though…
Close up in 3… 2… 1. Boom.
As for the cost, this lighting upgrade was $72 in materials (for the two can lights, the trim for those, some wiring and junction boxes to fix a few bad connections in the attic, etc) and around $200 for all of the labor. We usually tell people it’s about $100 to get an overhead light added, so we thought that converting two of them to recessed lights and moving a fixture box so it’s centered (while straightening out some tangled fire-hazard wiring up in the attic) for $200 was a great price. Heck, when we look back at this before picture from 2010…
… it’s amazing how far this room has come.
The only sad thing is that we sat on the sofa this weekend and said “why did we wait so many years to do this?!” Isn’t that always how it goes? Oh well, at least now we can enjoy it. And say pun-tastic things like “I see the light!” every time we walk into the room. Heck yeah that happens.
What are you guys up to with lighting/ceilings/holes/pendants? Do you take the hire-out-some-but-do-what-I-can approach? I think we saved around 100 bucks patching that hole and hanging the pendant ourselves. Sing it with me: “everyday I’m
We’ve successfully added crown molding to Clara’s bedroom and I’m feeling quite proud. *pats self on back*
My last attempt at installing crown was a bit of a rough ride. It still turned out just fine, but a combination of factors (being tired from book shoots, being short on materials, it being my first time, etc, etc) nearly made me swear off installing crown molding ever again. But I’m glad I didn’t because this time it went much more smoothly and the results are well worth the effort.
So let me back up, tell you how I did it, and explain why crown molding went from one of my most dreaded projects to one I’ll surely be doing again.
First, I purchased my materials and let them sit in our house for a week so the wood could acclimate to our home (the key is letting it expand or contract before it’s on the wall, since if you nail it in and then it contracts or expands on the wall you’re left with cracked or bowed molding). I bought the standard 3 5/8″ crown from Lowe’s because it appears to be what the previous owners installed in our other rooms (every room except for the guest bedroom, playroom, and Clara’s room have crown already – so we thought finishing off those spaces would make the whole house feel equally upgraded).
Each 8ft, pre-primed piece was about $9.50 so, including a couple of extras to cover my butt, my total material cost was $72 (I ended up getting to return some, but I’ll get to that soon enough).
The other thing I bought at Lowe’s was the Kreg Crown-Pro. I had read great reviews of it and considering my love of the Kreg Jig, I figured it was worth the $30 price tag to give it a go. Spoiler alert: I love this thing (perhaps it and my Jig can be sister wives or something). And no, they haven’t twisted my arm to say this. They don’t even know I bought it yet.
Once assembled (which takes all of five minutes) it looks like this. It’s basically a platform on an adjustable angle so you can cut your crown molding at the same angle that it will sit against the wall. Sounds simple, and it is, but this is a huge help when it comes to cutting crown (it was getting my wood to stay at this angle while cutting it last time that gave me hours of trouble).
To find the angle the cutting guide should be set at Kreg includes an Angle-Finder tool so you can determine the “spring angle” – or the angle at which the crown tips away from your wall. Apparently most moldings sit at either 38°, 45° or 52°. Mine was 38°.
Then you just use the red guide on the underside of the Crown Pro to match. Now the cutting guide is ready to help you cut.
But to get my saw ready to cut, I had to figure out the angles on my walls because – as anyone who has looked carefully at their walls before knows – not every corner is exactly 90°. And these not-quite-right angles can mess you up if you’re not careful. Thankfully the Kreg kit also comes with a handy little Angle-Finder tool.
So after measuring and recording every angle, I could figure out how my miter saw should be turned to give me the right cuts. Luckily most of my corners were very close to 90°, so I could set my saw at 45° (half of 90°) for pretty much everything. For the non-so-perfect corners there was a bit of extra math involved that I won’t get into here because it depends on how your particular saw is labeled, but the instruction booklet that came with the Kreg has a great illustration for this.
And while I was on a roll, Sherry helped me take precise length measurements from corner-to-corner along each wall of the room using a tape measure (this went MUCH faster with an extra set of hands, btw). So definitely try to recruit someone else to help you measure from corner to corner along the ceiling line (as opposed to measuring along the floor and assuming the ceiling’s the same, since often times it’s not).
Another thing that I was constantly getting mixed up last time I tried to tackle crown molding was exactly which direction I should be cutting the wood. Which way does my saw go? Which side of the blade do I put the wood on? For some reason my brain doesn’t visualize it very well, especially when having to mentally toggle between cutting inside corners and outside corners (of which Clara’s room has both, gah!).
Luckily, the Kreg tool helped me out there too. Right on the guide there are some little stickers that show how your blade should be angled and where you should place your wood to get each of the four most popular cuts. Life saver.
The other important thing I was reminded from the Kreg instruction book is that when cutting a piece of crown molding you have to turn it upside down, so that the bottom (the part that sits against the wall) faces up. I totally would’ve forgotten this had I not read the instructions.
So with my measurements all taken, my Crown Pro all set up, and my saw blade angled I was finally ready to get cracking, er, crowning (er, nevermind, that sounds like I was giving birth – and I’m pretty sure birth doesn’t involve this much sawdust).
In addition to my Kreg taking the guess work out of cutting, the other thing that made this crown project ten billion times easier was having my nail gun (the one we bought to install board & batten last week). I can’t even begin to describe how long it took me to hammer in all of the nails by hand for our last crown installation adventure, so just going pop-pop-pop with the nail gun was the best feeling in the world.
I think it took me just about 2 hours to get all of the molding cut and nailed in place this time. Which is a miracle considering last time it took me two hours just to figure out how to make my first cut. And all-in-all, things turned out quite nicely in my opinion. Here’s an un-caulked corner for your viewing pleasure.
One shortcoming of the Kreg tool is that it doesn’t really address scarf joints – the ones where two pieces of crown meet along a straightaway, not at a corner. This happens when your wall is longer than your piece of molding and – since I could only fit eight foot pieces in my car – I had three of these joints in the room. Luckily I was able to figure it out on my own pretty quickly, but I did screw up a couple of pieces because the Kreg guides hadn’t made that part as dummy-proof as the rest of it.
Since the actual installation didn’t take me nearly as long as I thought, we even had time before Clara needed her room back (for the ever-important nap) that we could get our caulking done. We just used white paintable Dap caulk (made for windows, doors, and moldings) to fill all of the seams (like those pictured above) along with nail holes. We also ended up caulking the line where the molding meets the ceiling (even if though there wasn’t a noticeable gap, it made it look a lot more seamless to do that around the entire room).
See, much better. And the stuff isn’t even painted yet!
So yeah, I do still have to paint it – since there are some parts where the primer is pretty scuffed up – but even still, we’re very happy with the results and, as Clara would say after she uses the potty successfully, “I’m so proud.”
Oh yeah, and since I didn’t need all eight of the pieces that I purchased (I only had to cut into one of my back-up pieces for that confusing-at-first scarf joint) our material cost ended up being $67. Add the cost of the Kreg Crown Pro ($30) put my total project cost at just $97. Not bad! We’ve seen enough house listings that say “crown molding throughout” to know that it’s a nice selling point – and now we’re one room closer to a fully crowned house.
With my new found crown-fidence (see what I did there?) I’m gonna tackle Clara’s big girl room, the guest room, and even our freshly board & battened hallway so that every room in the house (except for closets, bathrooms, and our little laundry nook) will have crown molding. And who knows, I might just go crazy and do those at some point if I’m craving some quality nail gun time. Well, probably not the closets…
Does anyone have any tricks to their crown molding installations that they’d like to pass on? Or have you had a similarly discouraging first experience with crown, only to crack the crown molding code on your second attempt?
Yesterday you saw how our board & batten project came out for the Pinterest Challenge, so today we’re back with the full tutorial shebang. And hold onto your safety goggles, it’s 2,000 words long. But don’t let all the words fool you, we’d say that this was one of the biggest bang-for-you-buck / most fool-proof ways to make an easy upgrade that we’ve encountered in a while. Wow, just realized I’m five sentences into this and I’ve already said “bang” twice. Not sure if that’s a good sign or what…
We had long known that adding some sort of molding feature to our hallway was in our future… and now we’re just kicking ourselves for waiting so long. It cost us a mere $57 for the materials (we did buy a tool on top of that, but we’ll get to that in a second) and it only took a few hour-or-two-long work periods over the course of 6 days (including some break days for paint-curing) to finally bring some oomph to our boring hall. So anyone who’s looking to tackle this on nights and weekends could hopefully do it within a week since each step only took a few hours and could be spaced out across each evening.
We were inspired by a few other tutorials – like Ana’s, Kate’s, Sarah’s, and Emily’s – and took pieces and parts of each to figure out what worked best for us. So our tutorial below may not be exactly what your space needs, but between the lot of us there should be a fitting solution in there! Let’s just say that we learned that there are many different ways that you can approach board & batten, so a lot is about personal preference, what suits your home, etc.
As for our approach, there are a few things to note upfront:
- We did not add any “board” to the wall – i.e. large flat panels. Since our walls are smooth (not textured) we just used the existing drywall as the backdrop for our vertical battens. Once everything was painted it all looked seamless and gleaming, just like a board would have looked. But if you have textured walls, check out Kate’s tutorial above.
- We used our existing baseboards. Why? Because it was easier – and you know we love to use what we have. Simply by choosing battens that were thinner than our baseboards, we could keep them in place and work with them (saving us time and money). But if you can’t or don’t want to take this approach, both Ana and Kate’s tutorials above talk about replacing the baseboard.
Oh, and if you’re not the word-reading type we made two videos of the process for you (one for the building portion and one for the finishing). So here’s how it all went down when it came to installing the rails and battens (including tips for how to keep the boards level, how to space them out, how to keep them from bowing too far from the walls, etc).
And here’s how we finished everything (including how we filled the nail holes, how I cut in without taping off, and a bunch of other stuff that we shoved in there):
And fret not if you can’t watch the videos (if, say, you’re at work) – we broke down all the steps with photos and descriptions right here (note: watching them later if you’re planning to tackle this might simplify things a lot – I always think videos make things less intimidating).
But on with the words! To start, we measured the space and planned our materials. My graph-paper sketch was probably overkill, but it made me feel better. It helped us plan how many boards we needed for the top rail and ledge, as well as count how many battens (the vertical strips) we might need.
Next up was a supply run. We had most of what we needed on hand, so the only four items that we ended up purchasing are pictured below (the nail gun being a belated birthday gift from my sweet wife who was just waiting for me to pick out the one I wanted).
Here’s a full list of supplies & materials that we used (many of which we had on hand, along with the things we purchased above):
- Pneumatic brad nail gun
- Pre-primed lattice strips (our came in 12ft lengths, so I cut them down in store for easier transport)
- 1 x 3″ pine boards (for top rail)
- 1 x 2″ pine boards (for top ledge)
- Measuring tape
- Laser level (optional)
- Stud finder
- Miter saw (you can also use another saw for cutting wood, or even have them pre-cut in the store)
- Spackle, joint compound, or wood filler (for filling nail holes)
- Paintable white caulk meant for moldings & a caulk gun
- Sandpaper and/or palm sander
- White paint (we used an extra durable cabinet-type paint in a satin finish)
- Paint brush, roller, and other painting supplies
*Buy your wood around a week before you start the project and just let it sit in your house (this is called “acclimating” the wood) to avoid any cracks caused by expansion or contraction, which happens if it’s not acclimated when it’s installed.
We opted to use 1 x 3″ pine boards for the top rails, which we wanted to attach first (after their acclimation period). So I cut them with my miter saw to fit snugly along each stretch of wall. If you have exact measurements for your space you can even get them pre-cut for you at Home Depot, so don’t let the use of a saw scare you off from this project.
Before attaching them to the wall, we had to do a few things – like deciding the height of our board & batten. We first assumed “the higher the better!” and held it just under our light switches and thermostat. But after stepping back, we realized the high placement was just making our eight foot ceilings look lower than they already are.
So, as you’ll see, we later landed on a more traditional height of 40″ off the floor, which is a lot closer to the “traditional range.” But again, many aspects of installing board & batten are just a personal preference thing, so go with whatever you think looks best for your space. I’m sure rooms with tall ceilings or ornate crown molding might look awesome with higher board & batten (as well as mudrooms and other entryway areas, etc).
Since floors and baseboards aren’t always level, we relied on this cheap laser level that I picked up a while ago to mark the 40″ line on a few spots along each wall. Those marks created a guide for us when holding our 1 x 3″ board in place.
And since nails are always more secure when they go into studs, we also broke out our stud finder to mark each to-be-nailed spot along the wall. Obviously just remember to make your marks low enough that they won’t be covered when you hold up your top rail piece.
Next up was nailing the rails into place with my new pneumatic (i.e. air compressor powered) brad nail gun. This was my first time ever using one and it intimidated me the first few times, but now I’m in love with it (not as much as Sherry, who says she wants to marry it). I’ll write a separate post about it later, but let’s just say it was the saving grace of this project. It probably would’ve taken us three or four times as long to complete the construction portion of this project without it. I got this pretty basic, but well-reviewed Craftsman model from Sears for $70.
So here are all of the top rails in place. We opted not to glue them to the wall in addition to nailing them into studs simply because if we ever decide to remove or replace this, we don’t want to rip off chunks of drywall in the process. The good news is that the boards are so light – especially all of the vertical lattice pieces – that nails shot into studs with a nail gun are supremely secure… especially with the caulking that we did around any cracks to hold them even more firmly.
But even if you opted to glue things on top of nailing them, it wouldn’t add much time or cost to the project (a tube of Liquid Nails is just a few bucks). Speaking of time, if you subtract the time it took us to set up and figure out the nail gun, I’d say the process of measuring / cutting / nailing these took us about an hour.
The next step was adding the vertical battens. We used lattice strips at Sarah and Emily’s suggestion because they were cheap (66 cents per foot!) and they didn’t stick out past our existing baseboard. Had we used 1 x 2″ boards like some folks do, it would’ve hung over our baseboards. We could’ve replaced our baseboards too, but then they would’ve stuck out past the trim around the four (count ‘em four!) doors in our hallway. So yes, chunkier battens could be nice in less narrow spaces (we didn’t want ours to jut out too far and close things in) but in our case we actually thought the lattice + rail setup was ideal and we like the dimensional-but-not-crazy-thick result.
We chose to space our battens at 16″ intervals because our studs are 16″ apart and this meant that more nails would go into studs, not just into drywall. Plus, when we held up a few spacing options it looked pretty darn good (seriously, half of this project is just deciding what looks best and going with it). To make our lives easy, we used a scrap piece of 1 x 3″ board to make a spacer (a 14.5″ spacer kept the lattice 16″ apart from center to center).
The lattice was light enough that tape held it to the wall while we used a level to make sure each batten was perfectly vertical. Then Sherry went back with the nail gun and secured them in place. Is it wrong to say that watching my lady concentrate so hard while wielding a power tool got me a little hot and bothered?
About an hour-ish later, all of the battens were cut to size and nailed into place.
Since we wanted the batten on the facing walls to line up (and that’s where the studs were, which added stability), the placement was pretty easy to determine. But if you were tackling this and not every batten could end up in a stud to accomplish a balanced look, I’d go with balanced placement over hitting every stud (they’re seriously as heavy as a paint stirrer, so they’ll likely hold up fine either way).
At around this stage of the project, Clara saw it for the first time – and here’s her reaction word for word: “Wow! It’s beautiful! Did a man come while I was sleeping and bring that?” Is that kid hilarious or what? She totally didn’t give us credit for it. We think it’s because that morning the heating guy came with an oil delivery for us, so she remembered a man coming to help with something and assumed he came back to fix up the hallway for us. Naturally.
Lots of the tutorials we saw included adding a ledge along the top to sort of beef things up or create a spot to lean art or other items. We bought some 1 x 2″ pine for this purpose but as soon as we held it in place we realized we didn’t really like it. Since it wasn’t going to be a functional ledge for us, it basically just narrowed the hallway more and created a few hazardous little corners for tiny heads to walk into. So we scrapped the idea, returned the wood, and enjoyed calling the construction phase: COMPLETE.
The next day we started to prep the space for painting by filling nail holes and caulking gaps. At the recommendation of some of you guys, we went with spackle over wood putty (we hear joint compound works too) since it’s said to be easier to work with and holds up better over time. It certainly went on easier than wood filler so assuming it keeps looking as good as it looks right now, we’re completely sold on that approach for filling nail holes after your rails and battens are hung.
After all of the nail holes were spackled (not a fast process, but not too bad – maybe it took an hour total?) we used paintable white caulk to fill some of the gaps between our boards and the wall. Since our old house doesn’t have perfectly flat walls, this was a necessary step to keep the project looking nice and polished in the end. We didn’t do every edge, just the ones that needed it (across the top rail and a few places along the battens). I’d say the caulking step added another hour of work in case you’re wondering. Oh and definitely watch the finishing video in this post for more details about exactly what caulk we used, how I smoothed it, etc.
Later that day we broke out the palm sander to get rid of any excess spackle around the nail holes.
After that, the rails and battens were ready for primer. We already had Kilz Premium (which is a stainblocking primer) on hand, so we used a brush and a small foam roller to put one coat of primer on each piece of wood to prevent any bleed-through in the wood down the road (always a worthwhile “insurance” step). And we went over the battens too, just to be safe (even though they came pre-primed). Here’s the whole thing primed and almost ready for paint. Just had to let the primer dry.
The next day it was finally time to paint the board and batten. We used Benjamin Moore Advance paint in Decorator’s White in a satin finish leftover from our office cabinet painting project. Advance paint is especially durable (we used it on our kitchen cabinets too) so we figured it was a good choice for hallway molding that might get its fair share of wear and tear.
Admittedly, the finished picture of the painting step isn’t very dramatic since the walls above were still off-white.
So after letting the paint cure for a couple of days we tackled painting the walls above the board and batten. Sherry was still nervous that taping the freshly-painted top rail could peel paint off, so she opted to cut in by hand around the top rails (you can read her tips for doing that here and watch the video in this post and the video here for even more tips). She did a great job, despite not having her usual short-handled brush handy.
After she was done edging, I went back with the roller and (after a second coat) we had the finish line in sight.
Oh, and if you couldn’t tell – we were painting the walls with Moonshine by Benjamin Moore since:
- we had some leftover from painting our dining room
- we didn’t want anything too bold/dark to close in the hallway
- it’s the color in the adjacent frame-filled hall and we wanted them to relate to each other (so things didn’t feel too choppy)
Note: we still have to paint the trim in the frame hallway the same white color as the board & batten.
Boom. Just like that we’re ready for after pictures. So here we go!
We’re in love with the result. And we’re kicking ourselves that we didn’t do it sooner. You know how you never quite realize how “blah” a space is until you do something to it and wonder why you waited so long? I mean, we walk through this hallway dozens of times a day and all we had done up to this point was hang some art in one small corner (the most hidden part of the hallway, ironically). But now that we’ve got the board and batten up we’re ready to hang some more.
Okay, so let’s break down the budget. We only spent money on three items since we had things like paint, spackle, and caulk on hand. And had we actually purchased my nail gun back at my birthday in November as planned ($70 from Sears), our total cost for the project would’ve been only $57. Crazy, right?!
- Four 12′ pieces of lattice – $32 ($0.66/foot at Home Depot)
- Two 8′ pieces and two 6ft pieces of 1 x 3″ pine – $25 (also from Home Depot)
And time-wise, our project stretched over the course of five days (six if you count the trip to Home Depot for the materials). But if we had the luxury of not having to schedule things around Clara, it probably could’ve been completed in three days (first day for construction & spackling/caulking, second day for sanding/priming/painting the board and batten, third day for painting the wall). Heck, you could probably even ditch that third day if you’re doing this project on an already painted wall.
But if you’re doing the nailing by hand it might take longer (which explains why Sherry had the urge to make out with our nail gun). Oh but if you don’t want to buy one, you can always rent one from your local home improvement store, so that’s another option.
But here we are, roughly six days later and waaaay more excited to walk down our hallway. We’re now in the midst of figuring out what to hang on the walls above the board and batten, as well as choosing what next project we can take on to satisfy the itch I’ve now got on my nail gun trigger finger (after I wrestle it away from Sherry). I smell some crown molding in our future…