How to Make a Beautiful Vertical Shiplap Half Wall

22 Materials
$215
4 Days
Easy

This week I took on a vertical shiplap half wall in my bathroom.


I wanted to make sure that it lasted a long time so I did something crazy and didn’t use wood for it. Wait. What?? Yup, you read that right. I didn’t use wood for a vertical shiplap half wall. Keep reading to find out what I used instead!


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How to Make a Vertical Shiplap Half Wall in a Bathroom


First off, let’s talk about shiplap in a bathroom. Bathrooms with showers naturally have a lot of moisture in them. Therefore, wood doesn’t tend to work well long-term in bathrooms. Therefore, I decided to opt for a more durable material – I used PVC boards instead!


You can find these boards by all the other lumber at your local home or lumber store. These boards are often used for exterior work since they hold up well against the elements.

Step 1: Cut your Boards


First cut your 8′ 1 x 6 boards in half using a miter saw. Then cut your 1 x 4 and 1 x 2 boards to the appropriate length to fit on your wall horizontally.

Step 2: Prime your Boards


Prime the boards with Sherwin-Williams Extreme Bond Primer. I used a combination of a mini roller with a White Dove 1/4 nap roller cover and a Purdy Nylox paint brush to get full coverage on the boards. These applicators helped me get a nice smooth finish on my boards.

Step 3: Paint your boards


Apply Sherwin-Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel using the same type of roller and brush.

It’s important to paint your boards before putting them up on the wall because it will be very difficult to paint between the boards once they are installed. I applied two coats of paint to them.

Step 4: Remove the Trim & Paint it


Remove the trim from the wall if you haven’t already. You will want your trim to go on the outside of your shiplap. Therefore, carefully remove your trim using a crowbar and putty knife.

Remove any nails and fill the holes with wood filler. Once the wood filler is dry, sand it down smooth, remove any dust with a tack cloth and paint the trim to match the color of the shiplap.

Step 5: Attach the Horizontal 1 x 4 to your Wall


Begin attaching boards to your wall by first attaching the horizontal 1 x 4. You will want to ensure that this board is perfectly level and that it allows for the right amount of space under it to fit your vertical boards. Make sure to find the studs and nail it into the studs with a nail gun.

Step 6: Attach the Vertical Shiplap Boards

Starting in the middle of the wall, attach the 1 x 6 boards to your wall. First place a board directly in the center. This will make sure that both your ends are even. We used construction adhesive and a nail gun since many of the boards wouldn’t be secured to studs.

Since we had tile spacers handy, we used 1/8″ tile spacers to create the gap between the boards (since these are just standard boards, not real shiplap).


(We also added 1×2 wood boards to the bottom of ours simply to raise up the half wall a bit. This isn’t necessary. I just wanted it to be a bit taller.)

Step 7: Cut the Boards for the Ends as Needed


Chances are that you won’t get so lucky that your end boards will fit perfectly as is. If they don’t, you will want to cut them down with a table saw or jigsaw.


Mine fit almost perfectly. Therefore, I used a jigsaw since I only had to cut a little off and I needed to cut it at an angle (because walls are never exactly straight!).

Step 8: Attach the 1×2 Board to the Top of the Half Wall

Using a nail gun and construction adhesive, attach the 1×2 board above the 1×4 board to create a narrow shelf. This gives the half wall a nice finished look

Step 9: Caulk and Use Wood Filler on any Gaps or Nail Holes


My general rule is that I use wood filler on small holes or places I want to be able to sand down after it dries. I use caulk for long lines that I want perfectly smooth.

Therefore, I used wood filler to fill nail holes and gaps between boards in this shiplap wall.


After the wood filler dries, sand it down smooth and remove any dust with tack cloths.


Apply caulk to seams like on the top of the 1×2.

Use your finger to smooth out the caulk line so it’s nice and smooth.

Step 10: Apply Another Coat of Paint


This coat will cover up the wood filler and caulk.

Step 11: Attach Trim & Towel Hooks


Don’t forget to add the trim back on, using a nail gun to attach it to the bottom of the boards.


This next step is optional but I chose to add towel hooks for my kids to put their towels on. This was simple. I just followed the instructions for how to install them, making sure they were level and centered on the boards.

Your Beautiful Vertical Shiplap Half Wall is Done!

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Want to check out an art deco color block wall? Head  here to see that beauty!

Suggested materials:

  • 1 x 6 PVC Boards (Select as many as your half wall will need. I used 7   (Menards)
  • 1 x 4 PVC Board (Select as many as your half wall will need. I used on   (Menards)
  • 1 x 2 PVC Board (Select as many as your half wall will need. I used on   (Menards)
See all materials

Mary @ The Handcrafted Haven
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Frequently asked questions

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  2 questions
  • Karen Karen on Sep 08, 2021

    When you reattached the floor trim, was the horizontal gap a concern, and how did you resolve it? Looks great! I may attempt this myself!

  • Nancy Polka Nancy Polka on Sep 08, 2021

    This looks great! I'm going to do this in my guest bath. Question: where did you get the shower curtain?

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 2 comments
  • Catherine  Hays Catherine Hays on Sep 08, 2021

    Great Job, it looks gorgeous. I really like your colors. ...Its so funny that everything old comes back in style again. Lot's of People are doing "shiplap" vertical now, I'm starting to see this in a lot of homes. ( Realtor, designer) There wasn't a home in the 60's or 70's that didn't have this but we called it paneling. Everything 70's is back.. the clothes, the brass and now the paneling! LOL.

  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Sep 08, 2021

    Fabulous job! I love shiplap and this presents a new option. Thanks for sharing your great project and all the tips.

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