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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 used for this project:

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

Ask the creator about this project

  • William
    William Burbank, IL
    on Jun 19, 2016

    OOOO! Love it. Came out beautiful! Great Job!

  • Mary Beth
    Mary Beth
    on Jun 20, 2016

    This is absolutely awesome!

  • Matty watts
    Matty watts Gracemont, OK
    on Jun 20, 2016

    I'm doing this on my backsplash

    • Nice! That's going to look awesome! Be sure to apply a clear coat finish to the wood to seal it so that you can wipe it clean as necessary! :)

  • Aima Watt Chen Yu
    Aima Watt Chen Yu
    on Jun 20, 2016

    I would think if you are going to put up some kind of wood to make an accent wall, wouldn't you use a darker wood? That looks kinda washed out.. Great job tho ;)

    • Ann Howell-Wilson
      Ann Howell-Wilson Pascagoula, MS
      on Feb 8, 2018

      WHY do people insist on negative comments?? If it doesn't suit THEIR taste, why not simply MOVE ON and realize that, thank God, we are all different!! Sorry, I had to vent a little....I see so much negativity in comments about people's PROUD CREATIONS! BTW, I LOVE your wall! And the "washed out" look! LOL. I THINK that is what the shiplap look is supposed to look like....my grandmother's walls in her 150+ year old home! Beautiful!

  • Carol Mitchell
    Carol Mitchell Independence, MO
    on Jun 20, 2016

    Love shiplap. And I love your idea, but the dip, pounce etc. to do the wash, is confusing.

    • I wasn't sure the best way to explain that - basically I dip in the paint and smush that in the mixing container, then I pickup some water and smush that into the paint that is in the mixing container... then I pick up more paint and add it to the mixing container, and then I pick up more water and add it to the mixing container - that creates enough paint wash to get started... I just don't like to pickup too much paint or too much water at once... doing it this way (a little bit of each at a time and mixing them together in a separate container) gives me a good feel for the consistency and I'm able to replicate it over and over as I work my way over the full wall.

  • Chalky-Cheek
    on Jun 20, 2016

    Best idea ever! Thinking of doing this too in the bedroom. So pretty!

  • Hannah V
    Hannah V Brooklyn, NY
    on Jun 20, 2016

    It's absolutely perfect! #moreshiplap!

  • Dorothy F
    Dorothy F Little Egg Harbor, NJ
    on Jun 21, 2016

    looks great,

  • Matty watts
    Matty watts Gracemont, OK
    on Jun 21, 2016

    Thanks for the heads up. Will do it

  • Jeanette S
    Jeanette S Atlanta, GA
    on Jun 23, 2016

    Beautiful! Great idea to enjoy it blank for a while before you start putting nails into it!

  • Amanda Howell Eber
    Amanda Howell Eber Fayetteville, GA
    on Jun 23, 2016

    I've been wanting to attempt shiplap on a wall in my house but just wasn't sure of the best way to do it. I really enjoyed your step by step tutorial. It seems to be something my husband and I could do together. Thanks for sharing your project.

    • You totally could crush this project together! We did and we had a pile of fun while doing it! I can't wait to see! Please come on over to the Feathering My Nest Facebook page and share a photo when you guys get to work on it! :)

  • Leisa Hart
    Leisa Hart Silver Spring, MD
    on Jun 23, 2016

    This looks terrific!

  • Joni Duppstadt
    Joni Duppstadt Central City, PA
    on Jun 23, 2016

    Love the ship lap,but I love the warmth of wood. A traditional stain would have been nice also.

  • Sophia,M.,McConnery
    Sophia,M.,McConnery Canada
    on Jun 23, 2016

    Love this but I live in a rental townhouse!

  • Buddy
    Buddy Quincy, MA
    on Jun 23, 2016

    The cutout shown for the electrical outlet is too large. The cutout should be the same dimentions as the electrical box. Shut off the power -remove the screws holding the outlet and pull the outlet out and bend so that the cut out in the wood plank goes flush against the wall. Reinstall the outlet using longer screws if needed. The "ears" on the outlet will overlap the wood, allowing a snug and sucure fit for the outlet.

  • UpState
    UpState Poughkeepsie, NY
    on Jun 23, 2016

    Isn't there 70's style paneling that can do this much easier & less expensive ? That's all this is - mini-panelized paneling. Looks great !

  • Judith A Poteat
    Judith A Poteat Orange City, FL
    on Jun 23, 2016

    Come to My HOUSE!!!!! ...... we are really close to Disney!!!

  • Karen Rockow
    Karen Rockow
    on Jun 23, 2016

    Very nice and a great deal of work. "Shiplap" seems to really be a misnomer. It refers to a particular type of groove at the horizontal edge of the lumber, similar to tongue and groove without the second tongue, which you can't do with thin plywood. It looks very nice, but I'm a huge fan of pre-staining such wood before nailing it up. Much easier that way.

  • Lynne
    Lynne Detroit, MI
    on Jun 23, 2016

    beautiful job

  • Anita K
    Anita K
    on Jun 23, 2016

    Thanks for such a detailed, step by step guide! Very popular trend that many folks can implement by following your guide. Looks great, too!

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