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How to shiplap a wall–the Do’s and DON’Ts!

how to shiplap a wall the dos and the don'ts

Thanks to Fixer Upper I am a HUGE fan of shiplap.  fixer-upper

How to shiplap a wall

I really love Joanna Gaines style. Clean. Modern yet Country. A little funky. Love her obsession with letters (I have an obsession too) and NOW I’m riding the shiplap train! Shiplap is adding white boards to the wall! Check out some of Mrs. Gaines designs:

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fixer upper photos from HERE!

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It adds so much–while still keeping it clean!

(except I wonder if in 20 years when people are ripping it off they will be wondering why everyone added wood to their walls…much like the wood paneling I grew up with.)

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classy!

Regardless…I still wanted to add some to make my bedroom wall pop!

Here is the before….(and during)

ship-wall-before

Here is the after!

Love this master bedroom

I was hesitant about it…because A. Husband is zero help. anti help actually. He would prefer if I hung a picture on the wall and leave the house alone. And I want to wallpaper, shiplap, paint and hang EVERYTHING.  So I knew I would be doing it all myself..and let me be real, the windows scare me.

But I decided to press on. I read lots of pinterest tutorials on what wood was the best to buy for faux shiplap.

After many articles I landed on underlayment. I headed to Home Depot and walked around to find the underlayment and when I finally did.. the thickness I wanted was all out!.

I am not a patient person. at all. So I wasn’t about to scrap it. I walked around and finally decided to take a chance on these tempered sheets. I actually have not clue what they are really for. They are really smooth to the touch and remind me of the wood you find in the bottom of the cheap dressers. But it was cheap (cheaper than the underlayment would have been)

wood-boards-to-buy-for-shiplap-wall I bought 3 boards of it. So $24 for the wall (plus paint and supplies of course!)

I had the guy at Home Depot cut it into 6 inch strips–even if you have a table saw at home…it just so nice to have them cut it right out at the store.  home-depot-cut-lumber

The two super important tools you need to finish this at home is a chop saw and a nail gun. (although you might find ways around it if you are resourceful!)

You can check out this post to see what kind I like!

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Started by marking the whole wall with a stud finder. I just drew a big line down where the studs were.

I decided to start at the top–since more people will see the top them the bottom since our bed is in the way. At this point I realized how nice it would be to have an extra hand to help you hold the board up. The main pieces are long and totally hard to hold in place. I ended up grabbing my 13 year old daughter to pinch hit for me!

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So I did a big board and then cut the next board down to size to fit.

Then alternated so the big board was on the opposite as the one above it.

shiplap wood layout

The reason I did this was because I WANTED to see the seams. I was going for a more distressed look…some people prefer for a more finished look. They add wood putty to all the nail marks and seams so it looks like one board on each level. If you are going for that look…It doesn’t really matter how you stagger the boards.

And just work your way down. The only part about the windows was the top and bottom. I had to trim a board smaller right above the window and right below. Kind of like a jigsaw puzzle. I added nails to each stud on each board three times. One in the middle, one on top, one on bottom.
wood planked wall

And finally…paint! (I did this all in ONE day by the way!)  paint wall

When it’s all said and done…I LOVED the look of it! It brightened up my room and just added exactly what it needed!

bedroom wall shiplap fixer upper

BUT here are some of my mistakes I made that I don’t want you to repeat!

#1 DON’t Forget those studs! : Mark the whole wall with a stud finder. I just drew a big line down where the studs were BEFORE starting. The studs are important.  BECAUSE: I missed one stud on one board. I woke up to it bowing pretttttty badly. I was able to push it back down and add nails to hold it in place but it was tricky.

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#2: DON’T think you can do it yourself. You want a little space in between each board (I used pennies to keep them apart.) So imagine trying to hold up a  6 foot long board, adding pennies in between each board and then while holding that all in place, grabbing the nail gun and nailing it into place. TWO sets of hands is so much better than one!

#3 DON’T skip on the sandpaper. I lightly sanded. The boards are really smooth and if you run your hand along the edge it’s not a rough edge. But as I painted I noticed that the paint was grabbing all the rough edges. and I just kept going thinking I could sand it after the paint dried. WRONG. The paint made it hard and impossible to sand.

So. A. sand really well each board before putting it on the wall.

B. after you nail it up on the wall, sand the nail holes.  sand-before-you-paint sand-sand

I just pretend to my husband that I was going for a “real distressed” look and I did it on purpose.

#4 DON’T forget to measure measure measure. I didn’t know how to finish off the edges of window…so I just left it as is. I tried to make the wood as matched up as possible…You have to remember to take in account of the blade width. It will knock you off a hair and up on the wall that “hair” is pretty noticeable.

shiplap-corners

And you can see the cedar chest I painted here! before-and-after-of-chalk-paint-cedar-chest-900x727

(I love getting white duvets…I can change up my room as much as I want and the white just goes with everything! )
bedroom ideas

I need to buy a bigger rug (and I would love to replace the carpet for hard wood.) I also want to funkify my light fixture a little bit too. cheap way to shiplap a wall

If you want to see more of my house you can head HERE!

About Kimbo

Kimbo blogs at A girl and a glue gun--where she puts her hot glue gun to good use (as well as her vinyl cutter and sewing machine) She loves all crafts and is thrifty (the nice way to say she's cheap) So she is constantly trying to come up with fast and easy projects that won't break the bank! She lives in Idaho with her hot husband and 3 kiddos.