How to Install a Reverse Board and Batten on a Stud Wall

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Reverse board and batten siding looks like recessed grooves.
Reverse board and batten siding looks like recessed grooves. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Board and batten is an older siding style that uses wide boards attached vertically to the wall with the joint between the boards covered by a small batten board, also known as lumber core plywood. Reverse board and batten positions the wide board over a recessed narrower board. Although the two types of siding may look similar from the outside, they are constructed differently because the wall framework is primarily vertical, favoring the traditional style over the reverse style.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Exterior plywood
  • Table saw
  • Exterior nails
  • Hammer
  • Exterior board
  • 2-inch spacing block

Measure from the center of one vertical stud to the center of another vertical stud about 4 feet away. Cut a sheet of exterior grade plywood to this width using a table saw.

Attach the plywood to the studs using exterior siding nails. Position the plywood so the edge of the sheet covers half the thickness of the stud. Nail every 12 inches near the edge, attaching the plywood to the vapor-barrier-covered stud.

Continue measuring, cutting and nailing the plywood until you have fully covered the exterior wall.

Position the first wide board on your plywood wall. Space the wide boards so no seam will become visible between plywood sheets. Measure, mark and check the spacing before attaching the first board. Use a 2-inch wide scrap board as a spacer once you have determined your layout. Nail the wide boards over the plywood to create the look of reverse board and batten.

Tips & Warnings

  • Usually, the corners of the house are trimmed out first using trim boards similar to those around window and door framing.

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