Home Improvement

DIY Board and Batten to “Hide” White Tile

How to use board and batten to hide white tile | The Chelsea Project Blog | www.thechelseaproject.com

If this project was made into a movie,

the name would just have to be “Hiding In Plain Sight”...


Harrison Ford would just have to play the superhero lead.


The story would begin in the tub and toilet section of an outdated 1995 Jack and Jill style bathroom.

Not nearly as flashy as a spaceship..

or a tomb…

or fighting with terrorists aboard Air Force One…


oh hey…

everything can’t be a blockbuster.

….Can it?

In this little drama, the wallpaper is faded, stained, torn, and way, way, way out-of-style.

But, the tiles…….the tiles are perfect.


Out of style?


according to current trends

…but aside from that….

they’re absolutely showroom perfect.

And, because of this… it seems illogical to rip them out….

I mean


brass accessories and the little denim jacket

can make superstar comebacks all the way from the 1990s…..

then surely there’s hope for these little white tiles.

What they need is a story that makes them

the hero of this little space….

…instead of…

the villain.


And, so……it begins with the wallpaper getting thoroughly washed and rinsed.  All torn places are either reglued or cut away.  Then…custom-sized wood pieces are cut from 1/4 inch thick plywood.  This way, the planks will sit flush with the ceramic baseboard.  The boards are attached with Liquid Nails and a few brads here and there.  Joints and imperfections are spackled or covered with wood filler and then sanded.


Next…. one coat of Zinsser 123 primer and two coats of semi-gloss primer plus paint combo complete the board and batten.


Before the painting began, the white color in the tile had been color-matched, but the paint color of the board and batten was ultimately matched to the trim.  This provided a softer and more cohesive look with the two vanity areas. The rest of the color cast was added based on the color-matched formula of the tile, but with gradual increases in pigment saturation.  The result is a neutral scheme with varying colors, textures, and finishes.


White towels…. strikingly more white than the tiles and the bathtub…also soften the effect of the tiles and tub.  And, with the shower curtain at the mid-range of color saturation, the tile color has now been sandwiched between the towel and curtain colors…… which incorporates the tile….. as if it was planned that way from the beginning.


The tub is ready for primetime with just a little bit of caulk.  It actually looks like this after 19 years of continuous use.  Amazing, isn’t it?  Now….you know why I couldn’t bring myself to tear it out.  Well, this……and the moola.


Follow the shower curtain upward to get a look at the tile topped with the deepest color in the room.  The paint (which is a primer-paint combo) was applied directly over the wallpaper without any prep primer.  I know this goes against conventional wisdom…..and I was a bit nervous…..but not enough to change course.  I had scrubbed that wallpaper within an inch of its life…..and was convinced that it wasn’t coming off.


Then round the corner from the tub/shower to the other door……remember this is a Jack and Jill so there is a private vanity at each end of the tub area.  The curtain on the right is the window drape.  The window drape and the shower curtain are made from the exact same fabric.


When the door opens…..the color of the tile flows onto the painted subfloor (Instructions here) of the vanity area.  The vanity cabinets and the board and batten on the walls are also the same color as the tub area board and batten.  By doing this,  a spotty refresh turns into a redo with flow, cohesion, and an overall design plan.


And.. so…..my friends…….what’s in your bathroom?

Have any little white tiles….or other kinds of tile..

that need a new story?

Villains turn into heroes by rethinking the possibilities.

Now, go….

…..rewrite your story……


“May the [decorating] Force be with you.”


Until next time…

Please….don’t forget to PIN…..


And…..That’s a wrap,




  • Reply janetberridge February 8, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    Beautiful…crispy clean!

  • Reply happylaughs February 9, 2015 at 2:47 am

    Awesome!! Looks amazing.

  • Reply Portable Tub & Shower Safety Items for Geriatrics | The Chelsea Project February 9, 2015 at 5:05 pm

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  • Reply Katherines Corner February 11, 2015 at 2:53 am

    Lovely, bright and cheery.I invite you to share at my Thursday hop. Hugs

  • Reply melaniealexander February 12, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    It looks wonderful! Wanna come do mine?

    • Reply thechelseaprojectblog February 12, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      I wish we were close enough… I’d be happy to help. ….But..I’ve seen your work…and you got this. 🙂

  • Reply Christie February 24, 2015 at 3:10 am

    Looks great! Thanks for sharing at Totally Terrific Tuesday! See you again this week!

  • Reply Board and Batten: DIY Tutorial Without Using Miters or Nails | The Chelsea Project April 28, 2015 at 9:08 pm

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