How can i whitewash shiplap that has been installed without caulking?

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We have shiplapped our entire 1939 Colonial on Galveston Island. We painted the kitchen ones beforehand, but had to repaint and caulk and I'm still not happy. I've had the ceilings sealed and will not paint them. I want all crown molding and baseboards painted white. How can I whitewash the walls without caulking?

q how can i whitewash shiplap that has been installed without caulking

This is the living room with the original white oak floors in process of being refinished. I will paint the fireplace and that hunk of old wood will be the mantle.

  6 answers
  • Cindy Hagemann Cindy Hagemann on Aug 23, 2018

    You don't have to caulk shiplap, the gaps are supposed to be there in between the boards. You can use primer (Kilz is my favorite) and then paint. If you want the whitewash look, do a dry brushing (very little primer and paint on your brush). And sanding it with a palm sander will give you a rustic look.

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Aug 23, 2018

    Using water based wall paint, thinned slightly, apply to the shiplap using a wide brush, then wipe with a clean rag removing paint until your desired look is achieved. Work in manageable sections trying not to overlap the dry edges. Keep in mind that the walls will look different when completely dry and it's always easier to apply a second coat than trying to fix an over painted section. You can do this! Best of luck.

  • Barb Barb on Aug 24, 2018

    The gaps between the planks of shiplap are not meant to be caulked. I put mine up and left a gap the thickness of a nickel. I used a sash brush to do the gaps first. Then the surface. I did mine in white because I wanted that beachy look.

    Good luck, Barb

  • Jody Price Jody Price on Aug 24, 2018

    Sash brush?

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Apr 06, 2021

    Hello Jody,

    White Emulsion Paint watered down should give you a white washed look or you could use an Exterior "Shades" Paint for wood. Best wishes

  • CJ CJ on Jul 19, 2021

    Hi Jody, I used a 2" chip brush to paint between our shiplap planks, after installation. I would have painted before we installed but my better half wanted to install first. I used the chip brush in the space between planks then a small roller to paint the planks, but we wanted fully painted planks. I think the cup brush will work well for white wash, use a smaller one for the spaces and a larger one for the plank surface.


    Best wishes to you!

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