Wednesday, May 6, 2015


I know you guys may be tired of seeing pictures and posts about this little room. I really want to share with you one last DIY tutorial of the thing that made the most impact in the room. It's on how to actually install your own shiplap, of course!

For those of you who are interested in creating the shiplap look in your home, go for it, it really isn't that difficult. I feel like it changed the look of this room, dramatically. It is an inexpensive way to add architectural detail and charm to any room. All it takes is some patience and rolling up your sleeves to put in a little elbow grease. 

Here are some reminder photos in case you are reading here for the first time!

Room before in MLS listing.
Room after
Room before in MLS listing.

Room after

To begin with you need to measure how many square feet your room is. I used a thin utility plywood that was ready for paint. It comes in 4x8 sheets and our room required 12 sheets, in total. It should cost between $12.00 and $15.00 a sheet, depending on where you buy it.

As you head to your hardware store, armed with your shopping list and measurements, you might want to consider getting the store's cutting service to cut down your sheets into strips that are 6" wide. It saves a lot of time and mess at home for a minimal fee. It was well worth it! 

You should also count the corners in your room, where the planks will meet, and buy corner moulding accordingly.


  • Sheets of thin plywood cut into 6" wide strips (planks)
  • Corner moulding
  • Air compressor
  • Mitre or circular saw
  • Nail gun and plenty of nails
  • Measuring tape
  • Corner moulding
  • Wood filler
  • Level
  • Nickels (yes, Nickels!)
  • Caulking
  • Sanding blocks
When you get home the boring part of prep work begins. This is the stuff I dread because I want fast results. However, I've come to accept that these steps are necessary in order to get good results! 

If your walls are anything but neutral or white you should prime them. We used old taupe paint to touch up our walls. You do not want blue or pink peeking through your cracks once complete.

Next, pull out your sanding blocks and start sanding the edges of each plank. This is a necessary step and will make all the difference to your finished look. I also suggest sorting the planks with the best side facing up so that you make sure to have a nice smooth surface for painting. 

To start attaching your planks you need to find the least obvious corner in your room and begin there. This is similar to how you wallpaper a room. That way if the pattern does not line up as you would hope at the end, it is not as noticeable. Ours was over the door when you enter the room.

If there are inside corners, be sure to attach the corner moulding ensuring that it is level to get you off to a good start. 

I started my first plank at the bottom of the wall measuring the length (twice) and putting it up, holding the level on top, before nailing, thus getting a good baseline to go by. 

We found nickels to be the perfect thing to use as spacers between the planks. 

Place several nickels between the planks and make a quick level check, then nail planks into place. Continue doing this until you reach the top of your wall. Basically you do this right around the room, always trying your best to keep each plank level and seams matching as closely as possible. If your house is old and quirky like mine, these corner pieces will save you!

 Here the inside corner is attached and we haven't yet secured the outside corner. 

This highlights how the corner pieces help hide when the seams don't lineup perfectly.

We added a crown moulding to finish of the look at the ceiling. This also looks great with a simple board at maybe 3" wide as a topper.

Painting this properly is also a very important step to creating a professional looking finish. Filling your nail holes with wood filler and giving them each a light sanding is the first step. Using a good primer is crucial, as well.

This is what one coat of primer looks like!

The top here is one coat of primer and the bottom is two coats!

You finish all this off with two more coats of paint. I used a brush for the primer and a foam roller for the paint. To help keep the paint out of the cracks I used a small tool for applying drywall compound and plenty of paper towels to wipe it clean.

Here is one last picture of the shiplap.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask! Let me know if you decide to try it, I'd love to see some pictures! 



1 comment

Joni said...

Hi! This is exactly what I want to do in our (much smaller area) powder room. Great instructions, I just have a few questions.
1. The crown molding looks great. If I wind up being less energetic than that, can you explain in a little more detail about the "simple board at maybe 3" wide as a topper"? How would that work?
2. The "small tool for applying drywall compound" that you used to keep the paint out of the cracks - could you post a picture? I'm not sure I know what you are referring to. How did you use it to keep the paint out of the cracks?

Thank you!

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