This TikTok Creator's Clever Board And Batten Installation Hack Is A Gamechanger

In a mere 13 seconds, TikTok creator @hanashappyhome manages to do several remarkable things. She solves a problem that has long plagued mankind, gets Pokemon cards off of her floor, and inspires humor in her TikTok commenters rather than their less-than-humorous default. What she most wanted to do with her 13 seconds was to let her audience know that, when you're installing a board and batten wall and inevitably get top boards, skirt boards, or battens that don't sit flush, you can often shim them with playing cards. Or, in her case, her kids' Pokemon cards, prompting commenter @mandyrenegade to say "Probably a Charizard card worth a couple grand" and @AaronXR to add, "Cut to scene of me ripping apart all my walls looking for a Black Lotus."

Interior board and batten usually refers to a style of wainstcoting that, unlike most beadboard installations, uses thin strips of wood to cover panel seams. It is a type of paneling that can add a timeless flair to your living room or other spaces, but it can be frustrating to install. The problem @hanashappyhome is solving tends to happen to top boards, skirt boards, and the first and last battens along a wall. It's usually caused by bridging materials of different thicknesses with a board, or resting a batten on a backing board only on one side. This causes the wood to sit unevenly on the wall, and shims are often all you need to bring things back into shape.

The right way to shim board and batten

Okay, but Pokemon cards? Surely there's a better way to do this, right? Other tutorials online recommend making shims of such materials as Post-It Notes, thick cardstock, and even actual wooden shims, so using Pokemon or playing cards don't seem entirely out of line. And it turns out that playing cards have a long history of use in the woodworking shop specifically because of their uniform thickness and stackability. They're often used to make fine adjustments to shop jigs and other spacing, and they work very well for "sneaking up on" a precise measurement.

Of course, properly using drywall shims, playing cards, Post-It Notes, and any paper shims requires keeping them dry. You absolutely shouldn't use them for exterior board and batten siding exposed to moisture, of course. But inside, your Pokemon shims should not deteriorate ... and even if they did, there's so little pressure on the boards and battens that they could probably be supported by their finish nails and caulk. But, like @AaronXR says, don't use a Magic: The Gathering Black Lotus card, copies of which have sold for as much as $540,000. A cheap three of spades will do just fine.