DIY Faux Shiplap Tutorial

If I could, I would definitely put shiplap throughout my entire home. However, right now we only have it in our bathroom. My bathroom pictures have been getting tons of love over on Instagram though, so I’d say my followers would also like to see shiplap throughout my entire home! Before Christmas I put a poll up in my stories to see if people wanted to see a tutorial on how we did our shiplap, and it was an overwhelming “yes!” So, today I bring you a the super easy way we installed faux shiplap in our bathroom.

I gave a true before and after in my original bathroom reveal post, but let’s bring you back there real quick.

It’s hard to tell from this picture, but the first thing I had to do was paint over those horrible baby blue walls. Even if you’re doing shiplap from floor to ceiling, it is a good idea to paint your walls ahead of time. This ensures that you won’t see any of the old color between the boards, especially if your old color is bold.

Now to the fun part of actually working on the shiplap! We practically live across the street from Menards, so most of our projects are done with products from there. My husband and I joke around that if my blog got sponsored by anyone, we would want it to be Menards 🙂 As far as supplies, here is what we used.

The first thing we needed to do was get the boards ripped to size. The size is totally up to your preference. If you want skinny shiplap, rip your boards down to 4 inches or so. If you want thicker boards, go with 8 inch cuts. Larger home improvement stores will often do this for you, but Menards does not, so we had my dad do it.

For our faux shiplap we went with this 1/4″ thick, 4’x8′ sanded panel. In our space, we only needed 3 sheets, so at $18 a piece this option was WAY cheaper than buying real tongue and groove shiplap. Because my dad is pretty amazing at woodworking, he helped us calculate the exact width our boards needed to be to not waste any of the board. Our boards ended up being 7 7/8″ inches wide.

The next thing I did was line all of the boards up in the garage and put a first coat of paint on them. I did do a quick, light sand on these before I painted them. Also, because we were doing this in our garage (which is not the cleanest) I took the air compressor to the boards to make sure they were free of dust and grass.

Although I am smiling in this picture, my biggest tip for you on this part is to USE SAW HORSES! My back was absolutely killing me after I painted all of those boards. I had been bending over to roll them all on the ground. If we had had room to elevate them, this whole process would have gone much smoother.

I let these dry overnight and we began measuring the next morning. Because we knew we were only doing chair rail height, we started our first row at the bottom, right above the trim. If you are going from floor to ceiling, I would recommend starting at the ceiling. That way the board at the very bottom will be the one that is potentially a different size than the others.

We started on the easiest wall – the one where we needed no extra cuts besides one vent. After we measured the wall, my husband David made all of the cuts.

We used nickels as spacers between the trim and then between boards. I can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure every board is level. You can see in the picture above that we had our level right next to us through the whole process. Our home was built in the 1950s, so it has had quite a few years to shift and tilt. If you start off your first board not completely level, your entire wall will look uneven.

For our initial nails, we used a regular old hammer to put one nail on each side of the board; one to the right and one to the left. Once we had all of the boards in place, we added extra security with the nail gun.

The other side of the bathroom gave us quite a few challenges, including outlets, small cuts, plumbing and lighting. The easiest way we found to make cuts was to hold the board up to the wall and use a pencil to mark where to cut. The good news is that for outlets, the cover will hide any cut mistakes. Same goes for plumbing and lighting.

My husband was extremely proud of these cuts for the sink plumbing. Didn’t he do amazing?

Once we had all of our boards up we added our top trim. We just used Engineered Composite Trim Board that we found at Menards and I love how it just adds a simple finish. We attached the trim using the nail gun. For the corners we used MDF inside and outside corner moulding. If you wanted, you could just caulk the corners, but we liked this look for our room.

At this point in the day we decided to call it quits. Although it was not a hard process at all, it did take quite a bit of time. After a good night’s sleep I used putty to fill in the nail holes, let that dry, and then sanded it down. I love the rustic vibe shiplap gives off, so I wasn’t too concerned with making it completely smooth. If you look closely, you can still see some of the nails. I did do one more coat of paint to cover the putty.

With the painting complete, all there was left to do was sit back and enjoy. We are so happy with how it turned out. And, just as a reminder from my original post, we only spent about $343 on this remodel. Doing the faux shiplap gave us all of the elements we wanted, but for a fraction of the price!

If you have any questions about how we did this, please click on the “Contact Me” page up at the top! I would love to help you out. We love how our bathroom turned out, and it was so easy! I would love to hear what you think!

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