Update Your Hallway ~ 2 Easy Ways

So, it’s negative 13º here today. Man, I’m cold just writing that. What about where you are? If you tell me it’s 80º and sunny, we can’t be friends anymore. At least not until it’s 80º where I live too. And since there’s not much else to do when you’re nose hair freezes if you go outside (not only gross, but true) we’ve been busy adding character to our builder grade home one project at a time.

(Oh how I promise to never curse your muddy messes again spring, please come back)

Anyhow, after finishing the plank wall in our stairway, the hallway looked a little…blah..and was in desperate need of some TLC. So we got to work lovin’ on it.

This is the hallway before. It’s ok. But certainly not special, except for the people in the picture.


A while back we added board and batten to our dining room and when finished, my husband wanted to do the same for our upstairs hallway. And while it’d probably look really good up there, I didn’t want the hallway to look too busy.

So one day when he was at work I got this great idea to surprise him with my version of updating the hallway. The plan was to have it all done by the time he got home.


I’m sure the DIY gods were having a good laugh because seriously though, who do I think I am? You’ve got two toddlers running circles around you, and you think you’re going to saw wood, install said wood and then paint it? In 4 hrs?

Nevertheless, I forged on.  And while I didn’t get it done that day, it’s still quick enough that if you have a spare weekend you can update your hallway in two easy projects!

I started with the walls. On my first go ’round I gathered up some scrap boards from the garage. I found some 1×6″ boards and nailed them to the wall. And then my husband came home, took one look and said ‘nice try babe, but it all needs to come down’.

Wha?!! But I even got it all level and stuff. Only, if I’m being honest, I didn’t really know how to use the compound miter saw to make 45º corners so I just kind of made up my own way. Plus, the boards were too thick and stuck out past the door trim.

He was right, it needed to come down.

Then we got better stuff, which was 3 1/4″ x 3/8″ pine moulding and I learned how to miter corners. The right way.

We attached the moulding using a nail gun. Then filled the nail holes with wood putty and added a bead of caulk around all the edges.


See that little gray strip of paint? It used to be covered up by my first attempt.


Definitely a better mitered corner.

We painted the wall and trim a matching white. And project #1 of hallway update was complete!


 You could easily add the batten part (the vertical pieces) to the wall if you wanted. Maybe we will down the road, after I live with this for a while…


Notice anything missing?

We added new light fixtures, but don’t worry, I’ve got the light bulbs on order. I bought these pretty edison light bulbs here (and so can you)!

 And remember the kids art work from before? Well, here it is!


We had so much fun potato painting!

DSC_1017 DSC_1037

I can’t wait to share with you a simple way to update door trim with project #2, but this post is long enough, so it’ll have to wait!

Before you go, what would you do? Add the batten to the walls, or leave as is?


About Amanda

I’m a Minnesota mama of three, wife of one, and human to our 4 legged canine friends Charlie and Jack. I’m a lover of all things DIY, coffee with cream, summer nights at the lake and good craft beer.


  1. That came out great! I think I like it without the batten. It’s very clean and not busy at all. Hallways are tough spots!
    Christine from So Domestically Challenged recently posted…Oh My Heartsie Girls Wordless Wednesday ~ February 18, 2015My Profile

  2. I really like this! I’ve been debating on doing board and batten in our upstairs hallway, but now that I’ve seen how nice and clean this I may have changed my mind 😮
    Angela @ Simply Beautiful By Angela recently posted…$4 Chair Re-Do, Re-DoMy Profile

  3. It is fun to make changes in the home…. and it feels good to have a new look.
    Gentle Joy recently posted…The Beauty of Being “Known”My Profile

  4. I really like the look of this, you did an amazing job. I especially love the kids paintings!! My hallway is so narrow, that I just don’t know how to decorate it. :(
    Kim Cargile (Life at 523) recently posted…Those little plastic things…My Profile

  5. Hey, stopping by from the Cook it, Craft it, Share it linkup!

    I LOVE this, it seems pretty simple to do but made such a difference. We have the ugly boob lights in our hallway so I’d love to get rid of those and add a fixture similar to what you have. Thanks for sharing!
    Maggie@ Polka Dots in the Country recently posted…Pottery Barn Knockoff | Chalkboard LabelsMy Profile

  6. I have hall envy. Just beautiful

  7. Amanda, I love the look you gave your hallway. This summer, one of my projects is to paint the hallway. I love the look you gave yours just by adding a little chair rail. My hallway is a lil narrow but I’m sure it will work. I would love to “go at it ” now, but like you, the temperatures have been in the negatives and I would much prefer to do it when I can open the windows a bit. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  8. Beautiful work! you can’t go wrong with such skilled and cute helpers :)
    Nicole recently posted…Sunflowers ~Proudly Proclaiming SummerMy Profile

  9. What a difference a few boards and some paint can do! Your new hallway looks great. Love the colours you’ve used too.
    Melanie recently posted…New IKEA Kitchen RevealMy Profile

  10. Hello. Great project! Have to admit I got sidetracked by cute kids doing crafts! Here’s two tips for you! When you cut off the bottom of the whole stock of celery, it looks exactly like a ROSE! Looks amazing dipped in pink, red, yellow, even gold craft paint. (And if you overlap colors and sprinkle glitter on wet paint?–work of art!) Have to say my son’s favorite was when we dipped his little cars and trucks into paint–the ones with the raised rubber wheels work the best. Makes GREAT wrapping paper. Take care!
    Cynthia – Clockwork Interiors recently posted…Coffee Table MakeoverMy Profile

  11. Dori Garbutt says:

    Hi Love the hallway! I would leave it as it is now. Looks interesting but clean. I would love to know the name of your hallway lights and where you got them. My dear hubby wants to replace 1990 boob lights with 2015 boob lights! He’s already done it in the laundry and our closet. If I can find something else to put up, then MY hallway won’t have NEW boob lights! Thank you.

  12. Girl..we love your handy skills! You should be very proud of yourself. We think the hallway looks great as-is. Your kiddos are adorable by the way :) Thanks so very much for inking up at Something To Talk About!
    Vicki and Jennifer 2 Bees in a Pod recently posted…Something To Talk About Link Party #5My Profile

  13. Love the update! My husband installed something similar to board in batten in our nursery but the back panelling isn’t flat but has indented rectangles (hard to explain) but it is by far my favourite room in the house. I think you might be able to put up the board and batten but love it either way.
    Kristen recently posted…Twitter Link PartyMy Profile

  14. Your hallway turned out lovely. Great job on the mitered corners :) As a DIY’er I think we all believe we can move mountains…and we can. Nice project!
    Wendi @ H2OBungalow recently posted…Pantone Spring 2015 Color TrendsMy Profile

  15. Popping over from Totally Terrific Tuesday =) What a dramatic change for so little done! Love it! Be sure to share your recipes, crafts, upcycles & DIYs at Two Uses Tuesday (Mon 11pm EST to Fri 11pm EST) over at Sarah Celebrates if you don’t already!
    Sarah J recently posted…Link Up 17 Last Chance!My Profile

  16. We have a pretty narrow hallway and entry. I ‘d love to paint it a brighter color or off white. I love what your doing to your home. Thanks for sharing at the party @DearCreatives Hope to see you again soon!! Shared…
    Theresa @DearCreatives recently posted…Fresh Beauty Tips For Springs Dewy Skin LookMy Profile

  17. Love this! Maybe I missed it but where did you get the new light fixtures?

  18. It turned out great! Love the potato paintings too! We are so glad you shared with us at the Merry Monday party! We can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to at our next party!
    Shirley Wood recently posted…Apple Banana Oat Nut MuffinsMy Profile

  19. I really like this look! I have a hallway that needs something, and this just might be what it needs! Thanks for sharing at Totally Terrific Tuesday!
    Christie recently posted…Wordless Wednesday 2/25/15My Profile

  20. Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! Hope you come back tomorrow and share some more stuff!! Pinned!!
    Elaine@cookinandcraftin.com recently posted…A Family Keepsake!My Profile

  21. Wow – this looks great! I want to do something like this in our master bedroom! Thanks for linking up at last week’s Motivational Monday link party! I hope you’ll join us again this week. Have a great weekend!!

    Danielle recently posted…Friday Faves {{Baby Book Edition}}My Profile

  22. I LOVE it!!! Just what my dark hallway needs to brighten it up!! I totally would do something like that – just do it on my own & try to get it done before the hubs comes home. Yep – totally my style. Probably because my mom was notorious for waiting for my step dad to leave on a trip & the moment he drove away her makeovers would start. He’d come home to 3 rooms looking completely different.
    Gina recently posted…12 St. Patrick’s Day ProjectsMy Profile

    • Thanks Gina! Isn’t it funny how we do that?! I can’t decide if I really wanted to “surprise” him rather sometimes it’s just easier when he’s not around!! :)

  23. Hi Courtney! I arrived here from a link up and the first thing to catch my eye was your ‘littlest’ in your project photo- I love that they weren’t shooed off! It instantly made me smile and added so much personality to your post. I love the neutral palate that is still bright in this hallway, sometimes halls get can so dreary! If you’re interested, I’d love for you to share a post at the link up I host on Tuesdays.

    Xoxo K
    K recently posted…SHARE YOUR CONTENT: Tell ‘em Tuesday [1]My Profile

    • Oh my goodneness I’m so embarrassed, your name clearly is not Courtney…I think I’m losing my mind. I seriously have no idea where I just pulled that name from. This is what I get for watching ‘The Voice’ while reading blogs.

      Please forgive me.
      K recently posted…SHARE YOUR CONTENT: Tell ‘em Tuesday [1]My Profile

      • Ha! That’s hilarious. I forgive you and if you want to call me Courtney go ahead, it’s a nice name 😉 Thanks for stopping by though and I’ll definitely hop on over to your link party!

  24. this turned out great! I love the kids artwork! I think that is the best kind of things to put on your walls!!
    thanks for sharing at Totally Terrific Tuesday! I cant wait to see what you linked up this week! Pinned and shared all of your goodies!
    jess recently posted…Top 5 Must Have Blogging ToolsMy Profile

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