How to use shiplap or other material on a 12' x 9' bathroom wall?


My bathroom has sheetrock on 2 walls & vinyl covered paneling on the other 2. One of the vinyl paneled walls is behind the vanity and toilet, and I want to put shiplap on that wall. I can't remove the paneling, as I'm not sure what's behind it. (have a 100 year old house so there could even be wall paper behind the paneling as it was EVERY WHERE upstairs) I would like to ship lap over the paneling, then use primer and then latex paint on the ship lap. I don't have a ventilation system in the bathroom, just heat for the winter, and I use a fan during the summer. Will painting using a primer then latex paint, prevent the ship lap from warping? I need something that is "thin" as there is not much room behind the brand new toilet and the wall, & figured that a thin ship lap would fit.

  6 answers
  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Dec 07, 2018

    Is the paneling behind toilet in bad shape? Just paint that. You really should use oil based paint in a bathroom, especially one without ventilation . If you paint your existing paneling, Use a primer called Sitck It sold at Home Depot (latex), then paint with an oil based finish paint.

    Ship lap is at least 1/2". You should only use oil based products on wood. If fearful or warping you can back prime it, then glue and nail on ship lap, prime with oil based primer, sand, then paint with oil based paint, 2 coats .

    • Mary Mary on Dec 07, 2018

      Hi Keli.. yes, I did paint the vinyl paneling about 20 years ago using latex paint, and it has held up fantastically. (looks like it was just painted) When I had a new toilet installed last month, the new toilet is much smaller than the old one that was replaced, so now behind the toilet, you can see the old original vinyl paneling. (it is ivory colored with yellow flowers and green leaves, and my new colors are blues and browns) I also have several wood shelves my son made in shop class that are painted with latex paint, and they are about 28 years old and look brand new. That leads me to believe I don't need an oil based paint. I've seen ship lap advertised at Menards that is less than 1/2" thick. I did plan on nailing the ship lap but not gluing it. I also am not sure if I should get the ship lap that is the locking type, or just get regular ship lap and then leave a small space between them.

  • Virginia Virginia on Dec 07, 2018

    if you have a 1oo yr old house you might have shiplap underneath the stuff you are looking it. Where is the house? Diff places have diff building codes, rules. If not, you can just float a wall over an existing wall. Lowes and home depot sell light weight " ship lap" wall kits.

    • Mary Mary on Dec 07, 2018

      When I torn off layers of wall paper in my dining room so that I could sheet rock it, I found lath and cheese cloth! In the closets and bedrooms, I found tongue and groove! Under the linoleum in my 10" x 12' back entry that was added in the 1950's I found beautiful tongue and groove also for the flooring. My house is in Minnesota. We don't have a Lowes (bummer) but we do have a Home Depot and 2 Menards, and I've seen the light weight ship lap at Menards in their advertisements, but have not seen it in person. I think that's probably the best way to go. Thank you for the information!

  • Virginia Virginia on Dec 07, 2018

    Best this is just use tongue and grove pine and paint it white. easy to install and wont break the budget. try tutorial on you tube for diy ship lap using tongue and grove.

    • Mary Mary on Dec 07, 2018

      That's what I was thinking. I'm not sure which to use... the tongue and groove or the type where you leave a small space between the boards. My new color theme is 2 different colors of blue, and brown. (brown because I have $50 worth of new brown towels) The vanity is in great shape, but it was so dark in color it was almost black, so I've got a coat of Kiltz on it now, and it will need a couple of more coats. I was going to paint it white, because I have a HUGE 4 door 2 drawer cabinet that is white laminate and I'm terrified to try to paint it... I want to, but am a chicken. So if that cabinet stays white, then the vanity should be painted white also. I will have to get new tops for the vanity and the cabinet because they are yellow and white now. Thanks for the info on watching youtube videos. I watch lots of those and I don't know why I didn't think of watching them for my bathroom remodel.

  • We did a faux ship lap using underlayment to give the look of shiplap. It's less heavy and easier to work with.

  • Mary Mary on Dec 07, 2018

    If it wasn't 18 degrees outside, I'd be buying a sheet of plywood and cutting it down to ship lap size. I live in Minnesota and I do have a basement where I "used" to cut wood, but the mess of sawdust caused me to stop cutting down there. My dad and I built me a shed with a work bench and electricity running to the shed, so that's where I do my cutting now. (or I use 2 saw horses with a sheet of plywood on top of them as my table and I set them on my sidewalk)... but it's too cold out to cut wood now. I love your ship lap that you cut... very nice! I might look into that Rip-Cut Jig for future projects, it sounds very interesting. They need a smiley face holding a saw LOL

  • I used shiplap in our bathroom. I caulked every single seam so that water can't get behind the wood. Tongue and groove worked well because it's harder for water to get into it as well.

    If you use underlayment, you can have the store cut it into strips so you only have to make short cuts with a miter saw.

    Good luck!