What’s The Best Paint For Board And Batten?

Board and batten is now a popular choice for homeowners that want to add a quick accent wall, add some contemporary or traditional style to their home, and want to do all of this on a budget. Board and batten projects can be done in as little as day, and they are relatively easy to install using wood. However, equally as important as proper installation is using the proper paint to finish your board and batten project with a bang.

Because board and batten paint will be used on your interior wall, the best paints to use are those that have a matted or eggshell finish that integrate seamlessly into your existing color design. The best materials to use for your paint will depend on where you place your board and batten. In general, latex paints are some of the best paints for interior walls in the bathroom, bedroom, and high-traffic areas. 

An upstairs hallway in a luxury home with a coffered ceiling, dark hardwood floor, a wooden bench, and board and batten walls, What's The Best Paint For Board And Batten?

What is Board and Batten?

Close up of square board and batten accent wall

Board and batten is a type of decorative wall paneling that incorporates long strips of wood pieces that are placed directly on a wall. These strips of wood are then connected using nails onto the wall, sanded down, and sealed with caulking around the exterior where the wood is exposed.

The word batten traditionally means wood. Therefore, it's important to choose a paint that is going to stand up to wood, as well as help improve the look of your home and stand up to the wear and tear of your board and batten. 

Where Will I Paint My Board and Batten?

Panorama Exterior of a house with white board and batten siding

Because board and batten is placed directly on a wall, it's not a very good idea to leave it unfinished, unless you're placing it on an interior wall that is made of the same type of wood and are using a wood stain to combine the two.

Instead, opt for a paint that:

  • Matches the style of the rest of the room
  • Can add contrast to your existing wall
  • Can stand up to the elements depending on where you place your board and batten (Bathroom, kitchen, on your kitchen island, bedroom, living area, basement, etc.)
  • Is safe to use on wood

Fortunately, there are many types of paint that can be used on wood easily and can be absorbed to complete the look of your board and batten. Below are some of the best paints to use depending on the area of the home you're placing your board and batten, the type of finish you want, and the moisture content around your board and batten. 

Best Paint for High-Moisture Areas - Oil-based

In general, it's best to use oil-based paints for areas like the kitchen (next to the stove), basement, or bathrooms. These areas of the home can be prone to excess moisture buildup, so it's important to use a paint that can help protect against mildew, as well as will hold up to the test of humidity. 

These oil paints, such as this one found on Amazon, are usually high or medium gloss, meaning that they will be a bit more reflective of light than traditional latex or acrylic paints. Although you might not prefer the glossy look, it's important to choose a paint that, first and foremost, protects your board and batten against moisture build-up.

Moisture build up can quickly lead to mold and mildew, and has a tendency to smell bad. In addition, since board and batten is made of wood, you'll want to use a mildew resistant paint and a paint that protect the wood against wood rot and warping if you're using board and batten in your bathroom or basement.

Best Paint for Everyday Use and Indoor - Latex Paint

Paint Brush

Latex paint is a good paint to use for areas that have board and batten in the living room, bedroom, and areas that will not receive too much foot traffic.

Latex paint usually has a matte or eggshell finish. An eggshell finish is the name given to a paint that has a slightly porous appearance that is still matte. These types of paints are widely available online and come in a variety of colors, such as this paint on Amazon.

You might notice that latex paint says "flat," which is another way of describing the matted color. Latex paints are also quite durable, however, they do tend to lay on thick, especially on wood.

If you're using latex paint on wood, you might need to occasionally sand down between painting in order to get a smooth consistency.

Is Using Primer Necessary?

Whether you're using an oil or latex-based paint for your board and batten, it's also important to use a primer designed for wood before you begin your project. These primers are designed to help prevent wood grains from seeping out onto the front of the painted layer, as well as protect the wood and make it durable to use.

These wood primers are also good to use when combined with latex paints. You can use many different types of primers before applying your paint on top. This type of primer on Amazon can be used by simply applying a layer over the wood, instead of sanding it down. 

Color Matching

Urban jungle with many different potted plants interior home gardening with white walls board and batten interior design with plants

In addition to choosing the consistency of paint, the materials, and the level of gloss (matte all the way to medium or low-gloss), it's also important to choose a paint that matches with the style of your home. Fortunately, board and batten is easy to work with, and can incorporate many different designs. Feel free to mix it up and add contrasting colors in your board and batten. Some beautiful combinations include:

  • Black and white
  • Gold and Black
  • White and Red
  • White and blue
  • White and beige

The choices are virtually endless!

Final Thoughts

Front exterior of a house with wood beige siding and wooden front door with glass panes

Board and batten is a great way to spruce up any room in your home and easily add an accent wall. Choose a paint that suits your style, adds a matte finish or medium-gloss finish (depending on your tastes), and is made of the appropriate materials for the room your board and batten is located in, such as oil-based or latex-based paints.