Please note: I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases if you shop through links on this page. Do you feel like you are channeling Joanna Gaines’s energy and know that your world will be a better place if you could just stare at some shiplap on the walls of your own home? Keep reading to find out how to get those “easy” DIY shiplap walls installed… without getting divorced or ending up in a puddle of your own tears when it goes terribly wrong. It all started when I began searching for cool ways to update my bathroom to make it fit my evolving style.
I started by pinning bathroom ideas and inspirational photos. But… when I stumbled across this photo of a dark blue wall with a reclaimed wood headboard I fell in love.
How lovely is this navy wall mixed with the beautiful reclaimed wood headboard? Painting a room in your house super dark blue is all well and fine if you live in a mansion.
Painting a room this color without a wall full of windows would look like complete ass.
If you don’t have a lot of natural light and paint a room dark, it ends up looking and feeling like a cave.
I decided that adding white wood paneling would give me the lightness the room needs, while allowing me to have the dark navy color I wanted. Any kind of paneling is great for breaking up a space… bead board, wainscoting and of course, shiplap.
But seriously, for any normal person, this will give you the look of shiplap without a lot of heavy lifting or prep work. Just make sure they aren’t undercover shiplap police and you’ll be fine.
Here’s a quick photo overview of my DIY faux shiplap wall installation.
Bathroom, before Bathroom, after – new shower curtain Navy walls and faux shiplap antique medicine cabinet Custom mirror & new lighting Painted the vanity to match.
I’m not going to write a huge how-to tutorial on DIY faux shiplap walls. The only thing “easy” about this project is that it’s easier than reclaiming real, removing the nails, sanding and repairing it… all before you can install it in your own home.
“I’m an intelligent human being and this person with this mommy blog thinks this is easy, so if I can’t figure it out I must be a complete moron.” Here’s an easy test: If you don’t own or have access to a miter saw, pneumatic nail gun and orbital sander, I’d say wait until you do before you try to tackle this. After doing this project myself, I realized that I was so excited to actually see the shiplap on the walls, that I kind of skimped on the prep work. They sometimes aren’t happy about doing it, but they will if you ask nicely and slip them a five dollar bill (shhhh).
Well, that won’t work if the lip of your outlet lands in between the shiplap boards in one of those recessed/groove areas. And, while you are at it, measure how close you need to get the plywood to the outlet in order for the lip to catch on your wood.
Usually when getting the wood cut at the big box store, they are using a crappy, worn-out blade. I thought I wouldn’t mind this so much, but once I started putting it up I hated it. This would have saved me so much time, because after installation I was trying to get in between my little 1/8” gap with a sander to smooth out those edges.
So… I read this somewhere and I was so proud of myself for taking the time to paint the edges before installing.
Once installed it’s a huge pain in the rear to get a brush into those gaps in order to paint them. After installing the shiplap, I had to go in there with a sander, thus sanding off the pre-painted edges of my wood.
Make sure you know how you’ll handle the corners before you begin as it will change your measurements. I chose to leave a little gap and put in a nice piece of dark blue molding. You don’t want to end up cutting all your wood long, then having to re-cut it.
And it’s really easy to just kind of eyeball it and not realize that the bubble is a tiny bit off.
If you have a long stretch of wall to cover, the tiniest slant up or down is going to rear its ugly head. When you get to the bottom of the wall you’ll have to make a slanted cut in order to accommodate for your installation not being level.
It just made more sense to have those quirky pieces at the bottom rather than in the center of the wall. It’s easier to start installing your faux shiplap at the top and work your way down. My outlets and switches are also higher on the wall, so it made sense to start closer to these areas to make sure I had the spacing right. I should note that I only put the faux shiplap on the bottom half of the wall. It’s going to be a nightmare to rip adhesive off the wall.” Well… when I installed the shiplap and used the nail gun to secure it, I got some gaps. I ended up nailing the sh!t out of some of the pieces to try to close the gaps.
If I had to go back, I would have used adhesive to glue the wood to the wall… at least in the places that looked like they were bowing outward. Then, while you’re installing it you won’t have to worry so much about the imperfections because you’ll know you’re going to paint another coat at the end. Making trips to the hardware store this late in the game will suck the life out of you.
I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve read that said… oh yeah don’t worry about the corners and stuff because paintable caulk will cover all the mistakes. That 1/4” gap that you left will not just magically disappear with this paintable caulk stuff. So… spend the time making practice cuts until you have your corners as close as you can get them.
Don’t heavily rely on the “magic caulk” to fix everything. But, keeping a little bowl of water with a balled up paper towel in it to wet your fingers as you caulk is KING. Navy walls (BM Van Deusen Blue), white faux shiplap (SW Alabaster) So, today we’ve learned that blog posts reading “Easy DIY Faux Shiplap Walls” are misleading. It’s not a project to take on without a miter saw, pneumatic nail gun and an orbital sander. Just kidding… this took us 8 weeks because Clyde and I both work full time and have lives.
And the next time you watch Fixer Upper you can yell at the TV when they make all of this crap look so easy. 5 unique wood slice Christmas ornaments to DIY this weekend Handmade wood slice Christmas ornaments make an excellent gift and a fun weekend craft project.
5 unique wood slice Christmas ornaments to DIY this weekend Filing Cabinet Makeover – From Rusty Hunk to Floral Masterpiece In this filing cabinet makeover, learn how you can turn your rusty hunk of junk into a gorgeous floral garden storage masterpiece, DIY style.