Board & Batten Bathroom Beatdown

This bathroom project can easily be called the project that took forever and should not have.

Our kids’ bathroom once had robe hooks that took sheetrock with them when they decided to no longer be relevant. We tried to patch but it never took… and the other wall in that space had a circa 1980s ceramic + plastic towel rod. The children could not share this one towel rod so naturally the next best thing was to just throw them on the floor.


So I got out my tools and entered destructo mode.

It was about here when things started going wrong. I know, I know. It just started.

I took these photos in November. Pulled the towel rod off the wall, giving kids no rod to even fake use, and then Thanksgiving hit. We’re talking five pies from scratch people!

What could have been a hugely simple project turned ugly because instead of pretending to patch sheetrock I hung particle board to just cover it all. I couldn’t find studs so things started looking like this.

Then you guys Christmas hit. I mean we’re talking hosting a fancy dinner party for 25 then leaving town for 3 days then hosting Christmas day! I couldn’t possibly go upstairs and swear at a drill at a time like that.

New years day I shit you not our tub sprung a leak and wiped out this huge section in our kitchen. We had a gaping hole in the kitchen for a month waiting for various parts to dry. I couldn’t necessarily stop “helping” with this issue to finish something I’ve successfully put off since November.

Vowing to finish before Valentine’s day, which I did, I began hanging, gluing, drilling, swearing and painting in earnest to get this project completed. I learned after these little side pieces were up that I could have avoided many cuts and attempts at lining things up had I made the horizontal piece short and the side pieces long.

During the top shelf install I somehow managed to burn a hole in the wall with the side of the drill rubbing on it. This here is an attempt to paint – with the wrong color mind you – and realizing patching had to happen. Again.

Because I couldn’t find studs anymore and my screws weren’t really attaching to anything I had to fake a counter-sink on my screws. The amount of wood glue I used will prevent these boards from going anywhere anyway.

It got to a point where I hung one piece of wood a night. It didn’t go well. By now my kids were just throwing their wet towels on their bedroom carpet. I couldn’t complain.

Finally, finally we put the hooks up. It looks mediocre up close.

I admit that. From far away the concept of it looks great.

Today, as I prep this blog post, I see a wet towel draped over a closet door in my son’s room. The hooks have been up over a week. He claims he hasn’t gotten into the new habit yet. Can I complain? Probably not.

An Update:

Since completing this small project in the bathroom, I’ve updated the door trim also. I love how it turned out! Someday I’ll do more doors like this, it’s such a clean and crisp look that gives an immediate update.