How to Make a Beautiful Vertical Shiplap Half Wall

22 Materials
4 Days

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!

Want More Home DIY Ideas?

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)
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Mary @ The Handcrafted Haven
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 4 questions
  • Nancy O'Connell Nancy O'Connell 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?

  • Kayla Kayla on Mar 01, 2022

    Where is your shower curtain from!? I need that!!! ❤️

  • LPHS89=48 LPHS89=48 on Sep 25, 2022

    Would you know what paint color is used on the piece of cabinetry (I think) that's in the lower foreground in the final picture?

Join the conversation
3 of 6 comments
  • Karen aa Karen aa on Aug 31, 2023

    Great job! Where did you get your shower curtain?

    • S.n10230010 S.n10230010 on Aug 31, 2023

      I googled the photo and found it on eBay. Search for 490641830690 on the home page

  • Edy Watkins Edy Watkins on Aug 31, 2023

    Great job Mary. I love the colors you selected and your use of PVC boards rather than wood.

    Target has the shower curtain: Floral Wave. Research the buyer on eBay (as always) before you buy there!