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Shiplap Wall

We... the Pickle and I, have an ever growing list of home improvement/nesting projects that we're working our way through... to really make our house OUR home... We decided to start with the shiplap wall in our living room... it was one of the easiest of the projects on our list and a great place to get started.
Time: 6.5 Hours Cost: $134.50 Difficulty: Medium
Here was our blank living room wall... we'd removed all the art that was up and patched all holes and repainted our home this past winter - Revere Pewter... and we knew we wanted to bring some warmth and character into our main living room... so we decided shiplap would be it.
We picked a good quality 3mm maple veneer ply from Home Depot - the square footage worked out that we needed 3 sheets (which would give us a few extra strips) and we had the 5" x 8' strips cut on this sweet machine at home depot - way quicker and safer than cutting them using the table saw at home as the sheet material is so flimsy.
Once we got the planks home I gave them all a quick light sanding to remove any fuzzed edges or splinters and to make sure the face of the boards was nice and smooth...
Using a stud finder we marked the edges of the studs in the walls...
...and then used the level to draw the lines up and down the walls at the edges of each of the studs... we would be nailing the planks into the studs... no glue required for this thin ply material.
Now we didn't worry about the vertical seams where two pieces of plank would but up against each other... our wall was not an even width so as we moved along cutting each piece the seams all ended up in a random pattern... We started with an 8ft plank butted up on the right wall and up to the ceiling. Using the level we ensured that the first plank was level... make sure you get this first plank level folks. Your ceiling may not be perfectly level but you will not notice any small gaps that you may have to make between plank and ceiling to ensure you are starting out level.
Once you are satisfied with the first plank put two nails in the plank starting at one end working across the plank nailing into every stud... if the end of the plank does not land on a stud thats okay... still put two nails into the ends... the wood is light and will hold into the gyproc. From here we measured across from the end of the first plank over to the wall on the left... then we took one of the 8' long planks and cut this short piece from that plank...
Have some sandpaper on hand to clean up any fuzzies on the edges of the planks that are being cut down.
To get the spacing between the horizontal rows of shiplap planks we used nickels as spacers... working back and fourth we measured and cut planks if one shorter than 8' was required and then carried on with the remainder of the plank that was just cut as our next plank used on the next row down...
We worked our way down and back and forth across the wall... spacing with nickels and nailing at every stud and at the ends of each plank..
And then we came to the electrical outlet... we pulled the cover plate off... measured down from nickel width to top of outlet, and from the perpendicular wall to the edge of outlet, and also the width of the outlet...
We then transferred these dimensions to the plank being installed over where the outlet was located and cut the notch out with a jigsaw...
The very last plank that was required to finish the wall was under 5" in width. We measured from top of the molding at the base of the wall, minus the thickness of the nickel... this was the width that our last strip of shiplap. Two planks were ripped down using the table saw and then the custom width piece nailed into place.
I created three paint wash samples using two greys and chalk white from the FAT Paint chalk paint line... The whitewashed sample really stood out for us as the look that we wanted for our shiplap wall in our home. Now if we were going to paint this wall I would fill all of the little nail head holes with a wood filler, allow it to dry and then sand away the excess... BUT because I was going for a more washy natural an weathered look I decided to leave the nail head holes.
To create a paint wash I gathered the following... FAT paint which I put into a separate container, a jar of water, one of my favourite CLING ON brushes, a mixing container (glass bowl) and some clean rags...
I begin preparing the paint wash by wetting the brush and shaking it out, then dipped the tips of the bristles into the paint, then I pounce the brush in the mixing container...
For the paint wash I work with the paint and water, but not directly from either of those containers onto the surface I want to paint... I will work the paint and water together in the mixing container at a rough ratio of 1 tip dip of paint to 1 dip of water.
...after the dip in water and some pouncing in the paint that was already put into the mixing container I dip into the paint then mix then dip water then mix again... I will do this a couple times with the paint and water into mixing container to get a bit of paint wash build up to work from... the rags are kept handy to wipe off/blot away excess paint wash that gets out of control or drips...
Work along one plank at a time being sure not to drip down onto the planks below... I started from the bottom planks and worked my way up the wall washing each plank with my paint wash... starting at the bottom allowed me to get my technique nailed down before painting an area that wasn't going to be hidden by a couch ;)
If you want to be sure how your piece will look always do a few tests planks with your extra material as the final finish will look different when it is dry from when it is wet with the wash at first.
I paint washed the planks one at a time from bottom to top - working from the bottom up allowed me some practice before I was painting planks that wouldn't be hidden behind the couch ;) Take look at the post over on my blog for additional detail about all of these steps and for waaaay more photos!
Once the wall is dry I use a 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the wall... regardless of the finish applied to the wood the grain will likely slightly lift... the light sanding will smooth that out along with the finish making it as smooth as butta!
After sanding the wall got a vacuum and a wipe down and the furniture was put back into place... for now we're leaving it the big bare beautiful shiplap wall but I've got plans for some custom artwork in the works so stay tuned for that!... because of course I'm going to share how to make it! ;)

Materials I used for this project:

  • Plywood   (Home Depot)
  • FAT Paint   (The FAT Paint Company)

To see more: http://featheringmynest.ca/2016/06/19/shiplap-wall/

Got a question about this project?

  • Sherry Fram
    Sherry Fram Charleston, AR

    Beautiful! Great job!

  • C Crow
    C Crow Arroyo Grande, CA

    That is beautiful!

  • Suzanne Spence
    Suzanne Spence Willows, CA

    Veneer is thin and would work in a Moblie RV , you could glue it have a base to work off . ? good idea......

  • Vernita Hess

    Seems like a lot of work/time involved to dip into water then into paint then into a mixing container. I have never done a white wash and was wondering why not just mix up some paint and water together to start with instead of all the dipping?

  • Martha
    Martha Grants Pass, OR

    Very pretty!

  • Lisa House
    Lisa House Vickery, OH

    Glad to see this as we are using the same wood to ship lap our walls! We plan on staining in 2-3 shades and dry brushing in a couple of colors before putting on the wall. I hadn't thought about the need to sand after so thx for mentioning that. The

    • Feathering My Nest - Lacey Haskell

      Very kind and thoughtful comment Lisa! Thank you! and have fun installing your shiplap wall! :)

  • Suzette Marie Howard-Sanborn

    Its o.k. doesn't REALLY Look like Shiplap, because its So thin! Kinda looks like you just taped and painted.

  • Vanessa Trujillo

    I think it looks GREAT... :-)

  • Debbie S
    Debbie S Fair Oaks, CA

    I think the wall is definitely improved! Wasn't sure about the white wash but finished, it looks really good. Nice work, looks great!

  • Carol Claremont
    Carol Claremont Spring Hill, TN

    I love it! It adds character to the room and is making me think...thanks for that - I am saving this to show my son. Great job on the wall and the instructions

  • Helen
    Helen Kissimmee, FL

    I missed the part about what you put in between each of the planks to fill them in. Love this idea. Wonderful job with great directions.

    • Feathering My Nest - Lacey Haskell

      Hi Helen! I left the gaps between the planks as gaps. No filling in - no other purpose than for aesthetics - to make the wall look like shiplap! :)

  • Kelleysgirl
    Kelleysgirl Friendswood, TX

    This is exactly what we plan to do on several walls in our house--including the whitewash. I think it looks great!!

  • Ken Babinec
    Ken Babinec Cleveland, OH

    Love it! My wife and I were talking about this just the other day, We figured that would use the dog-eared fence posts with the end cut off. Your way looks so much nicer (and smoother.... and less buckled) than what we were thinking. Just curious,

    • Feathering My Nest - Lacey Haskell

      typically its one dollar per cut if my memory is correct! Then because they stacked the sheets they were getting three pieces from each cut - so only a few bucks to have the pieces cut - some reason that day though they didn't feel the need to charge

  • Randy Cruz

    Natural clear or stain would have looked great.....

    • Feathering My Nest - Lacey Haskell

      There are a ton of variations on the finishing that would have looked great for sure! This is the one that worked best for our style!

  • Nancy buchanan
    Nancy buchanan Decatur, IL

    looks great and wonderful directions!! Very Chip and Joanna Gaines!!! :)

    • Feathering My Nest - Lacey Haskell

      Thanks Nancy! Very kind of you to say! I've been hearing the Gaines comment a lot - I've never seen their show! I guess I should check it out! CountryLiving.com shared my expert tips on their website and mentioned Chip and Joanna too! too funny! :)

  • Sirkku
    Sirkku Finland

    Looks great, beautiful

  • Mcgypsy9
    Mcgypsy9 Mooresville, NC

    I love it, it looks great and I can't wait to see the art work that you will make to enhance it!

  • Donald mcclane
    Donald mcclane Plano, TX

    That is a damned good looking wall. It draws attention and at the same time clean and subtle. Thanks for the inspiration. I gotta do this to a wall in our master bedroom.

  • Karen
    Karen Agawam, MA

    I absolutely LOVE your wall. We have a fireplace wall, with a cathedral ceiling. I wonder if that would be too hard for us to do (this would be a first), or should I have my carpenter do it. He would make it look gorgeous, and it wouldn't take him

  • Feathering My Nest - Lacey Haskell

    Oooo that sounds like it will be quite lovely! I can't wait to see the before and after! :)

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!