Seaside Villa siding

I’ve never attempted to use clapboard on the octagonal portions of my houses — too many small pieces to cut and corners to make neat. On the Queen Anne Rowhouse, I just painted the wood. I would have done the same with the Seaside Villa, except I needed to fill in a portion of the door frame to make the front door fit, and that would have looked bad with paint over it. So I used board and batten siding like I did on the Victorianna’s towers.

I like this stuff because it’s easy to cut, and the vertical lines allow for neat seams at the corners. I glued on all the front pieces, then moved on to the clapboard, saving the smaller pieces on the back of the tower for last.

A few years ago I bought two old packages of Northeastern Scale Lumber clapboard cheap at a flea market. In the past I’d always used Houseworks siding. I’m not sure if it’s due to age or this is just the quality of this product, but the siding is very brittle and hard to cut without splitting. I thought about buying a new package of siding for the Villa, but that stuff is expensive, so I decided to do a few test pieces first. If I had any trouble cutting those, I’d order a new package.

I started with the piece under the upstairs porch roof, since the roof gives a flat surface for the siding to push up against. This would help me keep the pieces lined up all the way around the house.

(Note: I didn’t actually glue the pieces on as I went along — I cut them all first, then glued — but I’m showing the pictures I took as I glued them in.)

Next I cut the angled piece above this. I made a template of the space using pieces of paper.

I expected this to be a mess when I cut it, but it came out perfect. I decided at this point that I’d move forward with this siding.

I continued down the wall. These were easy since they don’t have window or door holes.

I cut the equivalent pieces on the other side of the tower and glued them in, leaving it to dry overnight. I used tape over the seams between pieces to prevent a visible bulge where two pieces of siding meet.

I did these pieces next, being careful to line up the boards at the corner.

I did run into some issues cutting the window holes. The thin parts at the edges or between the windows tended to split off. Fortunately they split cleanly, so the seams blend in once they’re glued back together.

For the other side, I thought maybe I could avoid the splitting by drilling holes at the corners of the window holes.


Turns out I got lucky with the first two sheets of siding I used. The sheet I cut the final pieces from was horrible, and every piece basically shattered as I tried to cut out the windows. I had to throw them all away and redo them with another sheet of siding. So that was fun.

The last task was to finish the board and batten on the tower. Again, I used paper to make a template for the angle.

The board and batten I used was leftover from the Victorianna. After doing the front I didn’t have any wide pieces left, but I had enough scraps.

The vertical lines in the siding make it easy to piece these together without an obvious seam. Once it’s painted I don’t think you’ll notice it at all.

So that’s the front of the house complete! I still need to add siding to the back. I’m planning to make the door and windows for back there, so I need to do that first to ensure the holes are the right size before adding the siding.


  1. Sandra

    This is so beautiful! Dare I ask how long this took in hours? Or days? Not that this is a race or a timed competition, but as a reference; I always underestimate how long these things take. Am I extra slow?

    • Emily

      It took two weekends, maybe about 2-3 hours each day? Except for the pieces I had to redo it felt like it went pretty quickly, but most of the pieces were simple rectangles, there weren’t a lot of funny angles to deal with.

  2. Suzanne

    If I use thin wood that tends to split I put painters tape on the back before cutting. It seems to help.

    • Emily

      Thanks, that’s a good tip! I’ll try it when I do the back pieces.

  3. Diane

    Looks great. I love the board and batten siding – I’ve used it on a couple of houses. Have you decided on colors yet? I thought I knew what I was going to use on the First Lady, but now I changed my mind and I don’t have any inspiration.

    • Emily

      I was thinking about blue/gray and then I realized I probably thought of that because that’s what color the Seaside model is. Also I was thinking of staining it instead of painting but didn’t like how the test looked on my clapboard so I decided against it.

      Now I’m thinking of painting it “Belgian Waffle,” which is the same color as my puzzle house.

      I have a lot of that paint leftover and I think it will look good with the white trim, and with stained wood on the porch floors.

      I also thought about yellow… I want it to be bright and beachy, and I have a quart of nice custardy yellow paint, too. But I used that on my Gull Bay, which is also a beachy house, and I didn’t want them to have the same color scheme.

      • Diane

        Nice choices. I tend to use neutral colors, but how many beige houses can you have?

  4. Debora

    It looks great so far. :D

    • Emily


  5. Sheila

    I really love how it looks. I’m going to remember the tape down the edges trick as I have some of the same siding only in a larger scale.

    I’ve successfully used little bits and pieces to fill in larger expanses with strategic applications of wood putty to hide the seams. A plastic card to smooth it out to the right contours and it’s not noticeable at all once it’s sanded and painted.

  6. elizabeth s

    A very neat and tidy siding job which instantly gives the feel of a seaside villa.

  7. ann rasmussen

    Excellent. Now we won’t be afraid to try this wood product. Thank you.

  8. Sue Matyszak

    Hi Emily,
    It looks so wonderful. You know I am following your progress on this house closely, it is so amazing to see you move forward. So much better than sitting in my closet naked and alone. It is being loved! Makes my heart happy. Keep up the good work. Sue M.

    • Emily

      Aw, thank you! It’s definitely being loved!

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