While I try not to give into all the fads and trends, shiplap is not one I could stay away from. I love the texture it brings to a space and it makes it look more decorated without just putting more decor everywhere. I attempted my first wall 2 years ago and was hooked. It's so easy and inexpensive (the faux version at least)! I've had quite a few requests for this blog post and I'm excited to share with you all the simple steps of adding faux shiplap to your home!
Here is a fair wanring: I wing stuff. A LOT. I try not to but sometimes you just have to when you don't own a ton of tools!
- Ply wood. I've included a picture of the type I use. You want something thin. 1/8" works well. To thin isn't a good thing (made that mistake in Kynlee's room)
- Miter saw (or some type of saw to make small cuts to your wood)
- Nail gun and nails. I use what is pictured and haven't had any issues!
- Electric sander
- Measuring tape
- Multipurpose caulk
- White paint (or whatever color you want!)
- Painting supplies (roller, brush, tray, etc)
- Tooth Picks
Find your wood at Lowes or Home Depot, then find someone to cut it into strips for you (as pictured). This will save you a TON of time and frustration. I will say that my boards at never completely even, but in the end it has always turned out ok! I have them cut me 6" strips. Make sure you measure your wall so you get enough sheets of wood.
Sand your pile of boards. The wood I got from Home Depot was already sanded on the top, so I just had to sand around the edges. Sounds easy, and it is, but you will find yourself getting tired of this very quickly. But DO NOT SKIMP on this. You do not want little painted wood particles on your wall between the slats. It does not look good. Learn from my mistakes.
Determine how long you want each board. This will differ for each wall and project you do. For my large wall, I nailed up a full length piece and measured the left over wall to see how long my next piece would need to be. The less cuts I have to make the better! But this is totally preference! Some like more smaller boards up. That just makes for more work so I avoid that haha.
After you make more cuts, re-sand as needed.
Time to start nailing! Before nailing your first board, make sure that you use your level to make sure you're nailing the board straight. Even if you use your ceiling or molding as a guide, it can be crooked. Don't be scared of little gaps- once you paint they really aren't as noticable as you think. None of my walls are perfect up close but from a distance they look good!
For spacing between each I use nickels. Each time I nail a new board, I put nickels beside and on top to keep my spacing even. Again, don't be afraid if there are smaller and bigger gaps due to the wood being uneven. IT'S OK!
I'd say find a stud for the nails, but I don't even bother doing that. I just put the board up and start nailing! How many nails you want to do is up to you. I do qutie a bit because I don't want the board to bow out in any place. You might notice when you start painting that there are some spots that could use another nail. I add nails all the time, so that's not a problem!
The dreaded light switch and outlet holes. These are doable without a jig saw, but a jig saw would be helpful. If you don't have one like me, I'm going to explain how I use my miter saw. But be VERY careful when doing this. It sucked a small piece of wood from me and I'm thankful to still have my finger.
I literally just hold the board up over the switch (make sure you take off the plates) and trace a line. Use your measuring tape if you need to.
I then use my miter saw to cut the longest end of the wood off at the pencil mark. So now you should have two separate pieces of wood as pictured. After I cut off one side, I CAREFULLY use my miter saw to make cut the other lines that I marked with my pencil.
Put your wood against the wall. Mine isn't perfect, but it'll do. If it really bothers you, you can use wood filler to fill the cracks, or caulk. But here I accident cut on the wrong spot. Sometimes once you put the pieces of wood back together you can hardly tell they were even cut (thats the goal haha)!
For smaller cuts like this (below) I just used my miter saw for the little cuts, and then literally took a flat head screwdriver and pressed super hard on the top line, front and back, and broke off the other piece. If you can figure out a better way, do it! This way isn't idea lol but I wing a lot of stuff in my DIY projects and they usually turn out ok haha.
You might need to get longer screws for your light switch plates because they will stick out further because of the wood. These are very inexpensive.
Once you've cut around all your outlet and light switches, you should be pretty close to having a fully wooded wall! And remember, it's ok if it doesn't look perfect!! The bottom piece will be another obstical. There are several ways to do this:
- If you have the appropriate saw you can just strip the piece down to the correct height.
- Take off your baseboard, nail the shiplap on the wall, and then re-apply your baseboard.
- The most non-ideal way, but what I did, is just let it over lap your baseboard lol. This won't work for all sizes but the board I had left only needed an inch or two cut off and I was exhausted at this point and wanted to be done. I'll probably take care of it later, but for now, it is what it is!
Caulking. This isn't required, but it does make it look more professional. I picked up a cheap tube of caulk under the windows and trim section. It was paintable in 20 minutes! Woo! I'd also recommend getting this inexpensive tool (pictured below) to smooth it out. Makes it a lot easier!!
I just went along the sides of my wall. I could have done the top and bottom also but decided not to. That's up to you! The picture below is after I smoothed it out with my tool.
Painting! You are SO close to being done! Paint color is totally up to you. For my shiplap I just grab a can of white paint. I think I normally get semi-gloss finish, but you can get whatever you want. You'll get your own little technique down when painting these, but I don't reccmend to glob on the paint or it will get stuck between the cracks. Roll or paint each panel to get paint off the brush or roller and then you can roller over the cracks. If you do get paint in the cracks you can take a tooth pick and pick it out real quick 🙂
Warning: This stuff absorbs paint like no other. I had to do 3 coats of paint, and touch ups in some areas. Kynlee was a big help, obviously!
After you paint, you are DONE! YAY! It's such a great feeling. Once your paint dries hang up your decor and stand back in awe of all your hard work 🙂 Hopefully the paint helped with some of the imperfections you were seeing before!
Thanks for following along with me! I hope you found this blog post helpful 🙂