Timber cladding is also known as weather boarding, as covering an external wall with timber protects buildings from the weather. However, timber cladding is also done for decorative reasons, which is why interior walls can also be clad in timber. You can clad internal and external walls with timber such as elm, oak and cedar using tongue-and-groove cladding. In addition to beauty and resilience, timber cladding is environmentally friendly, as it uses a renewable source.
Store your newly bought lumber in the room you are going to clad for at least 72 hours. Lumber tends to shrink when it's moved from a store environment to the warmer drier environment usually found in homes. Once acclimated, the battens will form a solid and level grid for the cladding.
Calculate how many battens you will need. You will need enough to go around the edge of the wall and to fit at intervals between the cladding. If you are cladding vertically, the height of the wall will dictate how long the battens should be; most of the times that is 8 feet. Measure the area of the wall. Divide the width of the entire wall, including the battens, by the width of the area you'll clad, and the resulting figure gives you the number of battens you will need. Round numbers up and add at least two or three extra battens to cover your needs.
Nail timber battens to the perimeter of the wall, and then nail them in horizontal or vertical lines across the walls, using masonry nails about 6 inches apart. You must attach your battens so that they are perpendicular to your cladding, so if your cladding is horizontal, install your battening vertically. If installing vertical cladding, nail the battening horizontally. Tuck trim wedges between the battens and any uneven parts of the wall so that the battens are level. The actual cladding needs to be mounted onto a flat surface, and because old walls are often rough and uneven, the battens provide that even surface you need.