DIY Simple Shiplap


Finally – some more shiplap in our house! Oh, the things Tom does for me. But what a difference this makes in an otherwise plain space. I can’t wrap my head around large blank walls- adding shiplap is just a simple feature that totally customizes a room.



Sometimes I still wonder what we were thinking buying a house that looked like this!
But then I see our after photos and remember that we saw past the dated 70’s horror and we’ve been able to make this house everything we want it to be. Every room (even the smallest rooms, like a bathroom!) has some sort of unique feature that is a personal touch from us. I love that about our house.



Our vision for this bathroom was simplistic, basic, neutral. But of course I can never make it that easy! Halfway through our renovation we decided to add shiplap to this bathroom. There are so many ways to do shiplap, and after lots of research we ended up pretty much winging it and it turned out amazing!



We took the measurements of our bathroom and bought a few 4′ x 8′ 3/8″thick plywood sheets. We had Lowes cut them down for us to approximately 8″ wide each, and strapped them together when we got home to start priming and painting the edges. Painting these edges prior to installing the boards is going to save a TON of time – I don’t think you’d be able to easily paint between the gaps once they’re up! And we didn’t want to risk being able to see the wood grain through the gaps.

We chose to use this plywood because we wanted authentic textured wood for our walls. Another option seems to be using sheets of paneling if you’d like a flat smooth surface.


Using a nail gun and nickels as spacers, we began installing the boards.
Because of the size of our walls, it turned out that there was never a point where we’d have to split up boards in the middle of the wall so we have zero seams!



To finish off the top of the shiplap we used backband trim as a chair rail, and outter corners for those joints where there are jogs in our wall.




Because we used wood that has knots in it, this step is SO important!
We used an oil based primer and spot primed any of those spots before putting on our top coat of paint. This is a bit time consuming, but if you don’t cover those spots in a thick coat of primer they will bleed through your paint and show over time.







Our wall colour is Classic Gray and the shiplap white is Steam from Benjamin Moore.
Quite the improvement from the original, I’d say.

Let me know what you think or, even better, if you’ve installed shiplap yourself! We’ve already decided that our next project is to add a feature wall to our master bedroom and I’d love to hear of other techniques that may have worked for you!


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