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The Easiest Way to Get a Faux Shiplap Wall

5 Materials
1 Hours

Low on funds and want to try something different in your home? This is the perfect little project to give any accent wall in your house a facelift without breaking the bank!
faux shiplap wall
BEFORE: We have a little alcove in our bedroom that needed some attention. Once Rob gets some down time, he wants to make us a headboard (and possibly a bed frame...he made Bo's toddler bed and it's so amazing!) but for now, I felt this little wall could use a character.
faux shiplap wall
SUPPLIES: -pencil -level -paint roller -paint pan -clear paint sealer
faux shiplap wall
STEP 1: Measure the Lines I decided not to create a trim for my wall, so I started my lines by measuring from the ceiling. I measured every 6 inches as most things I read stated that shiplap is usually 6 or 8" wide.
faux shiplap wall
STEP 2: Draw Lines Next, using my level, I drew the lines that would become my shiplap slats. You can choose to do shorter slates that are off set (not sure of the word to use to describe this, but basically like a brick effect, much how the side of a brick house or building looks when they are laid--does this make sense?). My wall is roughly 7' wide whereas shiplap slats come 12' long (I looked this info up before drawing my lines), so I figured continuous slats would be fine.
faux shiplap wall
STEP 3: Darken and Shade Lines After all of my lines were drawn out, I went back and darkened them, then shaded them. I used the side of my sharpened pencil, adding slight pressure on the line, then lightening my pressure a little to create a shade. Because one of the previous owners of our house must have used wallpaper at some point on this wall (our house was built in the 60's), it's not totally smooth which messed up my shading, but I tried to work with it anyway.
faux shiplap wall
Here is a close up of me darkening my lines.
faux shiplap wall
As I darkened my lines, I went back with my finger and smudged the lines so they weren't so granulated and looked a little more natural (as natural as I could get with a pencil, that is!).
faux shiplap wall
I continued step 3 until my entire wall was finished.
faux shiplap wall
STEP 4: Apply Sealer Finally, I applied one coat of paint sealer, so that I didn't experience any unwanted smudging or smearing of my pencil lines. I couldn't find a non-glossy paint sealer for walls ANYWHERE, so I just went with this clear gloss sealant. You can't tell much of a difference in the finish with the rest of my light grey walls, so I'm not too worried about the gloss after all.
faux shiplap wall
I'll admit I wasn't crazy about it at first, but once I backed away and saw the whole look, I could see the full effect, and I started to warm up to this little experiment. I feel like the faux shiplap completes the blank wall behind our bed and gives our little alcove a cozy feel.
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Connie Christianson
    on Feb 7, 2018

    We tore down our barn and my husband covered our wall in the living room with it. But, my question is, where did you get your wall lamps? They are beautiful!

  • Lynn
    on Feb 7, 2018

    I Really like it, does the room appear smaller ? Thank you.

  • Paula K. Varble
    on Feb 9, 2018

    Did you not do vertical lines alternating in the "boards"?

    • Susan Witten Conaway
      on Aug 5, 2018

      When installing shiplap it entirely depends on the length of the wall you are covering. Yes, in a living room for example, you would have shiplap that you deliberately installed in an alternating pattern --just like a wood floor.

      This small nook would have looked narrower and the look would have been busy, so boards going from end to end made it appear a bit wider. It's like the old fashion advice for girls/women ---> if you are a bit wider than you like, do not wear horizontal stripes, go vertical :) So, in the case of this room the owner WANTED a wider look, therefore horizontal stripes un-interrupted by different length boards.

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