Fresh update for $15 in the foyer

June 27, 2018

Hello there! I wanted to share this project with you yesterday, but the rain we had all day slowed down the drying process a bit and made for horrible light for taking photos. ;) I'm really in love with this one and am excited to show you! 

I shared our foyer with you last fall -- it's one of my favorite parts of our home. I've always wanted a "proper" foyer that's separated a bit from the rest of the house. Our old foyer was very pretty but I couldn't do much since it was open to the front room. 

This is like another room and I'm treating it as such. I've always known I wanted to do something on that long wall when you walk in the door: 
Foyer with blue dresser

I went through a ton of different options in my head, and every time I think I had settled on something I would change my mind. There are so many ways to add character to your home by adding trim or wood to the walls! 

I finally decided the other day to move forward with this square look that I did in our old guest room:
squares on wall painted white

But I changed my mind again during the install and LOVE it. :) 

I went with my old friend -- cheap luan boards cut into strips: 
Luan cheap alternative for wall treatments

This stuff is the best and I've used it for years! You can sometimes find wood already cut for this type of project. I went to Menards, where they have wider pieces like this, and this wall would have cost around $70. Not too bad really, but I knew if I just went and had this stuff cut down I'd save a ton.

One 4x8 piece of luan is only $15. Thankfully the folks at Lowe's are always super helpful and cut it down for me into four inch strips for this project.

The install was super easy and quick -- here's some details if you want to try this!

  • I take a sanding block along the sides very quickly to knock down any little slivers or rough spots (you can see a little of that in the photo above).
  • I didn't miter corners or anything fancy. Just butted them against each other in the corners and then later filled in any cracks where they met up. 
  • I used a nail gun for quick install and because this stuff is so thin and lightweight, you don't need to get the nails into studs. It never hurts, but not necessary. 
  • There's no need to caulk when they are up -- at least in most spots. Nailing in any loose boards will take care of any gaps. 
  • The sides will be a little rough looking, but after paint you won't even notice it. Don't be stingy with the paint! It really helps to fill in the rough sides of the wood.
  • I used PURE WHITE in semi-gloss by Sherwin-Williams 
And finally -- I get asked this every time I share a project like this. I don't paint the wood or trim before I install. I just think it's easier and less time consuming to do it when it's on the wall. And the paint will help to "caulk" where it meets the wall. 

I used a brush along the sides to get the paint in there and then a roller on the the walls and wood. It took two coats and I always use semi-gloss finish on my wall treatments like this. I just love how fresh and pretty it is!:

Simple board and batten look on walls

Simple board and batten look in white foyer

I always forget how much I love white walls till I paint one again. 

I don't think I could do white all over my house, but there's just something about it!:
$15 board and batten look on walls

The blue dresser really pops now! 

You can find out more about that dresser and paint color here:
Board and batten look for super cheap

While I was painting I realized this this is the first wall I've painted in nearly a year. I must say I didn't miss it. 😂 Obviously painting a wall without trim is easier. But still...didn't miss. Not at all. Nope.

As you can see, I decided mid-project not to add the horizontal strips across the wall. I think this simple board and batten look leans slightly more modern and I like it in here:
Fresh and pretty white wood treatment on walls

The ceilings are nine feet here and it makes them feel even taller. This is a great way to trick the eye! 

Now we're wondering if I should continue the look around the whole foyer. Before I started I was thinking I should, but after it was done we're leaning towards leaving it as an accent wall. I think having it all around the room would be a little much:
White accent wall in foyer with wood

There's not a lot of wall space other than this in the foyer, but I still think it would be a lot. (You can see the whole space here.) 

I may just paint the whole area white...but we'll just wait and see. We love it as is so I'm not painting any time soon. 

The power of paint always surprises me, but combine that with some simple trim and it's extra special: 
Easy and inexpensive update on accent wall

I forgot to mention we had crown installed in here! I went with the thicker stuff and it made a BIG difference. I haven't finished painting it all yet because I have something in mind for the ceiling...are you surprised? :)

We've added crown to two rooms so far and I forgot how much I missed it:
Simple board and batten look for only $15

But it always makes me want to paint a ceiling. :) Maybe next shoulders need a break! 

This project cost all of $15 and some white really can't beat it. I love the fresh and bright look, but of course you could paint it any color you want! It would look amazing in a dark color too. 

Have you tried this simple look or something like it? You can check out all of these posts for tons of projects I've done over the years. 

Email subscription form header
Your email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide


  1. It looks great! I would want to do the whole foyer. It would really set it off as its own unique space.

  2. This looks awesome!! Did you do a strip(s) across the top (under the crown molding) and the same at the bottom (above the floor molding)? We are thinking of doing something similar in our daughter's bathroom. Not sure if luan would hold up or if there's something else to use. Haven't found much help using Google for the best type of material. Or maybe it doesn't matter!

    1. Yep I did it along the top and bottom. :) As long as you have a fan and won't have water on it constantly, luan would be fine. What matters most is that it's sealed with paint really well.

  3. Where is the mirror from? I checked the other post but don't see any info about it. It's awesome!

    1. Found it at Homegoods! They always have some like this when I go. :)

  4. That makes such a big difference! Would you mind sharing the rug source?

  5. looks amazing! Where are these knobs from?

  6. Simply stunning! I plan on 1/2 wall using your idea. Thank you so much!


If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here!

You can find our paint colors and links to items at the "Our Home" tab at the top of my site.

THANKS so much for reading!