The perfect beginner DIY project to install wood vertical shiplap wainscoting in a bathroom to add character on a small budget. This vertical shiplap wainscoting project and paint alone made the most massive difference in this little bathroom we’re creating for a very sweet friend of ours. If your style leans more modern, vertical shiplap lends itself to the more contemporary look. We’re no strangers to installing shiplap since we started this blog 6+ years ago, but it has been a hot minute since we tackled this project.
Flip that shiplap vertical and all of a sudden, it has a more modern vibe and lends itself to lots of different decorating styles… which is exactly what we were going for with the California Casual powder room. Measure the entire perimeter of your room and calculate how many boards you will need for your project.
Using a miter saw, we cut our 8′ boards at 4′ just because it was the simplest measurement that would save us money and reduce waste. (Make sure to place the boards a couple of inches above any outlets or light switches to avoid any awkward cuts later.)
Check the placement of your first board before attaching to make sure it is level (be aware not to trust corners since they’re not always completely square 90 degree angles).
Step 5 – Apply Construction Adhesive and Finish Nails to Secure Boards
With vertical shiplap, it’s not possible to nail into studs, so the adhesive is necessary to keep boards in place.) At outlets and light switches, use a tape measure and pencil to mark where to cut out the board.
(We used the smaller outlet covers as a template to make the process easier.) Step 9 – Use a Drill to Make Starting Point Holes at Corners of Wall Obstacles
Drill a hole at the 4 corners of the traced outlet cover on the board to make a starting point for your jigsaw blade. Attach the board on the wall as usual with adhesive and finish nails.
Satin and semigloss paint sheens are most recommended by pro painters on shiplap wainscoting in a bathroom, specifically waterborne alkyd paint formulas like Benjamin Moore Advance or Sherwin Williams Pro Classic. UPDATE: See the finished product of the powder room makeover reveal here!