Foyer Board & Batten

Hello there lovelies in blogland!
Are you ready for a Little Engine That Could story?

Believe it or not I am actually done with phase two of my foyer makeover!  Phase one happened last year when I painted the walls, pulled the nasty carpet off the stairs, and painted the risers and spindles.  What a difference that made.  You may also recall that ages ago I showed you the treads and rails that I finally got around to refinishing with a dark brownish black stain.  And now — my most recent project, and biggest undertaking as a DIYer to date — installing board and batten!

Now I know many, many people have gone before me in installing board and batten – it’s nothing new.  But this was a big, huge deal for me because it’s truly the first carpentry project I did almost entirely by myself.  You know, despite my lack of experience and the This Old House rating of the installing board & batten on stairs:

Yeah… and my big ol’ stubborn Irish genes!!!  My husband Mark is quite handy, but he travels for work, spends weekends coaching and running around with our kiddos, and just doesn’t have the time or energy to do projects like this that we really feel add character to a home.  So instead of pining away for board and batten for another five years,  I took the bull by the horns and did it myself.  Mark showed me how to make different kinds of cuts on our compound miter saw, and I consulted him about issues that arose, but I installed the whole thing myself!

So do you want to see how it came out?  I’m excited to show you!
Oh wait – this wouldn’t be any fun without seeing before pics!  

And now – here she is – my fourth child board & batten!  
{Not quite decorated yet – that’s a whole other project!}

{See the mantle in the family room below?  
I thought making the board & batten the same height would be visually appealing.}

{Oh angled cuts, how I love thee!  NOT.  You are the bane of my existence!}

To the ladies with no carpentry experience but a big desire to change your house
this post is for you.
The moral of the story: 
If I can do something like this without much experience, SO CAN YOU!    Have someone show you how to safely use a saw (you can rent one if you don’t own one already.)  Home Depot and Lowes offer free classes on various DIY topics all the time.

Yes, a saw is dangerous but you can operate a stove, right?  A mixer?  You know how to use sharp knives without impaling yourself???  Okay then, you can learn to use a saw.  Some of you are mothers – if you can raise a child, well then – using a saw is a no-brainer!!

Installing in the foyer was easy peasy – all straight cuts that go up very quickly.  However, I’m not going to tell you making angled cuts for the stairs was a piece of cake.  Even though I read many a tutorial beforehand, the learning curve was ginormous for installing on the stairs.  I labored over making it look professional, which meant ripping more than one board off the wall after nailing it up and discovering that it wasn’t right, making 10+ trips to Lowes and Hope Depot thanks to mismeasuring and/or changing my mind about trim, spending hours, hours!, caulking, painting, touching up, spending way too much money on wood, and generally obsessing over what has turned into my baby.  
But – I did it!
And I’m really happy with how it came out.  I feel blessed that I found the courage to try this.
Yep – I am woman, hear me roar!

And I learned a lot along the way that has me all fired up to take on another project involving my saw and nail gun.  Crown molding perhaps?  I know a few of you were waiting on the deets about how I refinished the treads & rail, so in the very near future I’ll post about that as well as the ins-and-outs of installing the board & batten.  

I feel so lucky to have met through blogging women who share my love of power tools and DIY projects.  Lisa of A Vintage Vine and Mandi of Tidbits From the Tremaynes have both tackled their stairs lately too and if you haven’t seen their amazing “afters” yet you must check them out!!!  
Thanks for sharing in the insanity with me girls!

Check out this post on installing board and batten for more details.

I’m linking up to these great blog parties – please stop by and visit them for tons of inspiration!