How to DIY a SHIPLAP wall
I don’t think I could call myself a true DIY’er or profess my love for industrial farmhouse without having a SHIPLAP wall somewhere in our home. Welcome to baby Nico’s nursery! I got so much inspiration from many different people and places when I dreamed up my first child’s nursery. So this would be a great place to give praise to the one and only Joanna Gains from the all inspiring Fixer Upper for her love of shiplap. The first thing I knew that had to happen in this space was a giant shiplap wall. So let’s take a dive into how we created this 10’x9′ Shiplap wall.
Shiplap Wall Supplies
- Pine boards 1″x12″x10″
- Primer White trim boards
- Stud Finder and pencil
- Nail Gun
- Air compressor
- Finished Nails
- Milwaukee Multi Tool or Hand Saw (for electrical cut outs)
- Circular Saw (you can use a Miter Saw or Table Saw if your DIY garage doesn’t include these fancy tools or a Hand Saw will do just fine when trimming boards to size)
- Sherwin Williams Alabaster White paint
- Construction Paper
- Quarters for Spacing
- Medium Grit Sandpaper
- Wood Putty
- Putty Knife
- Silicone Caulking
- Cloth for Wiping
- Painters Tape
- Paint Brush
- Tape Measure
- Safety Goggles and headphones (the air compressor is LOUD!)
- Square (yellow triangle) for pencil markings
Prep the Space for Shiplap
When starting any project clear the space and always measure TWICE. The wall we are working with here is 10′ wide by 9′ high. We decided on 12″ wide boards, shiplap is typically 8″ wide but we wanted a bold look. Measure your ceiling height to see how many boards you will need and decide on the width of the boards you prefer. Also account for space for trim. We used a 5″ wide board for the top and bottom and 3.25″ wide board for the sides. So let’s prep the room.
- Gather your supplies and get comfy!
- Measure your space and cut the boards to size. We didn’t need to cut the shiplap boards because it so happened that the 1″x12″x10″ were perfect for our space. Should you need to cut/trim boards; do so with your preferred saw. Leave about 3/4″ space on each side if you have a small space. This will help with not scraping your joining walls.
- Use a stud finder to find the studs and a triangle (or any straight edge will work) and pencil to mark them the entire length of the wall. Studs by code should be every 16″ on center. So rule of thumb is find one stud and measure from there. If you don’t have a stud finder use a thin nail to search for one and measure from there.
- Remove the base board with a chisel and hammer carefully.
- Remove face plates from outlets or light switches
Let the Shiplap begin
Now we are ready and prepped to get this SHIPLAP party started.
- Start at the ceiling and make sure its level. Use your handy dandy level. If your ceiling is not level draw a level line with your triangle and pencil and follow that line for your first board.
- Get your first board up! You will need a side kick here; in this case, the side kick is me! Whoo! Your ladder and side kick will be of definite use. The role of the side kick is to hold supplies, hand over supplies, get supplies and make a beer run here and there lol.
- Use your nail gun and air compressor to fix the boards to the wall (anytime you are using your nail gun and air compressor wear your safety goggles!). Be sure to nail into the studs, every 16″ on center. We nailed the finished nails to the upper and lower quarter of each board.
- Paint between the boards as you install each one. You will want to paint the top and bottoms of each one because getting between the boards once they are all up is difficult. We didn’t do this and if you are a perfectionist it will be bothersome in the future. cough cough…husband 😉
- For the next board you will use quarters in between to space them evenly.
- Repeat until you get to the bottom or run into electrical.
- When you run into electrical, measure and mark with a pencil where you need to cut the boards. You can use an electrical wall box extender to bridge the gap that occurs when adding the shiplap. You can use a hand saw or multi tool to cut the holes. Disclaimer: check your local code.
Let’s Trim this Masterpiece
Once your Shiplap boards are up, it’s time to get your pretty trim pieces up. We used primer white 5″ wide boards for the top and bottom and 3.25″ wide boards for the sides. Again we were lucky enough to use one long piece for each side. If your space is larger, you will have a joint in the trim and you can fill it with caulking.
The top and bottom board were left as the entire length of the wall. To install them we had to slightly bend them like they were bowed to refrain from scraping the side walls. We installed the top board first and nailed it into the shiplap boards. You will nail all trim boards into the shiplap boards.
Before installing the bottom board, we used construction paper to line the carpet joining the wall. If you don’t have carpet you can skip this step. This is so we would not get paint on the carpet when painting the trim.
To install the bottom board, we used a lot of weight and pushed down with force while attaching to the wall with our nail gun and air compressor for aesthetics. Doing so will make it look like your carpet was installed after the fact rather than the base board lying on top of the carpet.
The side boards were measured to fit in between the top and bottom boards perfectly and a circular saw made a perfect straight cut.
Shiplap Home Stretch
The SHIPLAP vision is coming to life! We are now in the home stretch. All that’s left is to sand, fill, dust and paint.
- Sand the trim joints with a medium grit sandpaper to make them flush.
- Fill nail holes with wood putty and use your putty knife to clean off the excess. Let dry and repeat one more time. When you are satisfied do a quick sand over the dried wood putty.
- Fill the joints of the trim boards with paintable silicone caulking . Let dry and do a quick sand.
- Use a damp cloth to wipe off dust and excess putty and caulking. Let dry and move to paint!
- Tape off side walls and ceiling with painters tape. The bottom trim board has the construction paper already prepared.
- Use a paint brush to paint the borders and about an inch onto the shiplap boards.
- Use the same paint brush to paint the ship lap boards. I picked Sherwin Williams in Alabaster (2016 paint color of the year) with an egg shell finish. We loved the look of 1 coat on the shiplap boards; so we could appreciate the texture of the natural wood behind.
- When the paint is dry screw on the electrical face plates and light switches on to the shiplap boards.
- That’s all folks!
Stay tuned for Nico’s Nursery Reveal…coming next! But first, Sneak peak… Update: See Nico’s Nursery reveal here.
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