February 20, 2017


For the past year or so, my awesome hubby has been really into doing his own building projects.

And can I just say how much I love this?! It's so much cheaper doing your own stuff and you can make it exactly the way you want it!

Anyway, one of his most recent projects is our new shiplap wall we have in our entry room. Definitely one of my faves so far!

I don't know if many of you saw what the room looked like before, but pretty quickly after moving into our home, we painted that wall a turquoise/teal color. We wanted it to be an accent wall. I loved the color and it went with much of the decor in our home. 

But it was SO dark. I didn't love how people were greeted by a dark room when they entered our home. So we tried painting it a lighter, aqua color. Again, pretty shade but just too much on the eyes, ya know? We didn't love it. 
The wall with the lighter, aqua color. Just a bit too much!

So we got to talking about doing an accent/textured wall. Something bright and different. Something more rustic and farmhouse style. But everything out there seemed SO expensive and impossible to do. After some searching, Cam suggested doing a shiplap wall. I wasn't too familiar with it, but after looking at more ideas on Pinterest, I fell in love with the idea! 

And the best part was we could do it it on our own and it was very inexpensive and simple! 

Since Cam was the mastermind behind this project, I'm going to let him take over this post and talk about how he did this step by step! Happy reading.


This was a very enjoyable project for me and I was able to put it together in one Saturday. I only used a couple tools, but even if you don't have all these tools there are work arounds. My full list of tools, not including the paint supplies (brushes, rollers, etc.) are as follows:

1. Miter Saw
2. Brad Nailer
3. Mini Hack Saw (Could also use a coping saw, jab saw, or something equivalent)
4. Level
5. Tape Measure
6. Stud Finder
7. Sand Paper (Grit doesn't really matter in this case, any will work)
8. 1/4 inch tile spacers

Numbers 3-6 are inexpensive and if you don't have any of them already they are very affordable. The others, miter saw and brad nailer, are fairly expensive and if you don't have them and can't borrow them from someone you know there are a couple work arounds. The first is at home depot, lowes, etc. they have tool rentals where you could rent them for the day.

The other option in replacement of  the brad nailer is to use the old hammer and nail method which works perfectly, but is just more time consuming and you get a better workout. For the miter saw replacement, if you measure out all the cuts you need home depot or Lowes will make those cuts for you in store, possibly for a small free, but they've done it for free before for me as well. Home Depot has never charged me, although they haven't always had the most straight cuts in some of my experiences. Lowes has charged me 25 cents per cut which is very affordable. More on this in a moment.

If this is one project that you want to do, but aren't planning on doing many more diy projects it wouldn't be worth it to buy the expensive tools, but for me I knew that I would be doing many more projects when I bought these tools and they have definitely paid off. I've been able to build a playhouse and ballpit for Roxy, an entertainment center, trash and recycle boxes, install baseboard trim, and have many more plans in mind for the future. I've used these tools for every project and they have paid for themselves already.

Now on to the actual project details.

First you will want to measure your space depending if it is one wall, two walls, or a whole room, you will need to know the square footage so that you can buy the right amount of plywood. The wall which we were doing was just about 8 ft from floor to ceiling and 12 ft from side to side which ended up being perfect for buying the plywood.

We bought 3 sheets of 1/4 in. thick plywood from Lowes ($15 per sheet). Since the sheets are 4 ft. by 8 ft, 3 sheets fit our wall perfectly. We also decided that we wanted our boards to be 8 inches in width which would give us six 8ft long boards per plywood sheet.

I wanted to save myself time and energy so I had them cut my boards every 8 inches for me. Their cuts were perfect. The first few cuts are free and then they charge, as I mentioned above, 25 cents for the other cuts. I ended up being charged for 10 cuts which came out to $2.50. Definitely worth it.

Once you get home with your boards you'll want to sand the edges a bit just to take off any of the splinters and smooth the boards out.

After sanding I was one step away from being ready to nail up the boards. Before you put up the boards you will need to find out where all your studs are so that you will know where to nail your boards to the wall. I used my stud finder and drew lines vertically down the wall so I could easily see where the studs were and where I needed to nail.

Now I was ready to start putting up the boards. I started at the top left corner of the wall at the ceiling with the thought that the last row's boards will be a bit less than 8 inches wide after spacing between boards after installation and the bottom row is less noticeable than the top row, especially with the baseboard trim.

It would be easier to install if you had another person helping you hold the board, but it is doable by yourself if you have a nail gun. If you're using a hammer and a nail you will definitely need a helping hand. Hopefully your ceiling is level, but just to make sure I used a level for the first row so that I knew it was perfect. I put two nails in the board at each stud, one towards the top of the board and one closer to the bottom. After I got the first board up I measured from the end of the first board to the wall so I could cut the next board to fit the space exactly. Cut it with the miter saw and nailed. Top row done!

We needed to stagger the boards every row to improve the look. The first row was an 8 ft board followed by a 4 ft board, so the next row would by a 4 ft board then an 8 ft board. Also, to get a uniform spacing between each row of boards I used 1/4 inch tile spacers. I put a handful of tile spacers between the first row and second row before nailing the second row in place. This same process was followed all the way down to the floor.

We did have one outlet in that wall that we had to cut around so that the board would fit. I used the mini hack saw to cut out the section where the outlet was.

At this point all the boards were up and we were ready for paint, but the space between rows was still the aqua color. Before starting the project I decided that it would be easier to paint just the spaces white instead of painting the whole wall white. To make it quicker I used spray paint to paint the spaces so that all the aqua was gone. It's recommended to have the wall behind the boards (or at least the spaces that are showing between rows of boards) to be the same color as the shiplap. After this was done we rolled on two coats of white paint.

For anyone who has ever looked for white paint, you know what a dilemma it actually is. There are whites with a slight blue hint or tan hint or gray hint etc. and they all look white on their own until you put them up against each other and then they suddenly look drastically different. Since our walls are tan and our floors are a lighter weathered barnwood color we went with a white that went well with them. The color we chose was Valspar Four Winds which ended up being perfect. Benjamin Moore Simply White is also a great option. We used that color on our kitchen cabinets and it is great, hence why it was the 2016 color of the year. The closest store didn't carry Benjamin Moore which is why we went with the Valspar, but we love it as well.

After it was all painted, we put quarter round trim vertically down the sides to clean up the look of the wall.

We loved the finished result!


  1. Thank you for posting this! I've read so many tutorials but its nice to read one that you really know you can trust. I want to do this in my master bedroom!

    1. You bet! Oh awesome, that would look amazing! I'd love to do it in ours too. Makes such a difference!


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