How to Finish White Pine Board & Batten


Board and batten is a rustic siding application that is common on country homes, cottages and barns. In board and batten applications, the boards are nailed vertically to the exterior sheathing of the structure; they are spaced approximately one-half inch apart. Battens or narrow strips of wood are nailed over the gaps and overlap the boards by approximately one inch. This provides a way for the siding to expand and contract with varying conditions. According to Craftsman Style, white pine is a fantastic wood for finish, paint and enamel, as its grain is sturdy and resists warping. To finish white pine board and batten siding, the wood must first be completely dried. Once the wood is dry, a finish can be applied.

Things You'll Need

  • Boards
  • Battens
  • Wood strips
  • Wood moisture meter
  • Wood finish
  • Poly brush
  • Roller, roller pan
  • Stack the boards and battens in an open space to allow the wood to thoroughly dry. Lay out a row of boards as wide as you would like. Place a wood strip perpendicular to the boards across each end, approximately six inches in. These are called stickers; they allow space between layers of wood.

  • Stack another row of boards on top of the stickers. Place another set of stickers over across the boards. Continue this procedure until all of the boards have been stacked. Follow the same procedure to stack the battens.

  • Allow the boards and battens to dry over a period of days, up to several weeks. The exact length of time will depend on the weather conditions and how wet the wood was at the start of the project. Test the moisture of the wood using a moisture meter. The wood is ready to use when the moisture is between 10-12 percent.

  • Apply a wood finish to all sides and ends of the boards. Even the parts of the boards that are not exposed to the weather must be finished in order to protect the wood over time from weather damage. Apply the finish with a poly brush or roller according to the finish manufacturer's instructions. Allow the finish to dry according to the instructions on the finish container.

  • Apply a second coat of finish. Allow the finish to dry before you attach the boards and battens to the exterior of your structure.

Tips & Warnings

  • Apply a bleaching oil stain if you want a natural, weathered look. If you prefer a more finished look, you may choose to use a pigmented stain.
  • Be sure that the boards are fully dry applying a wood sealing finish to avoid the splitting and eventual decay of the wood.

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  • Photo Credit Chopping board image by Pomidors from
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