I love the look of shiplap. However, every time I see Joanna Gaines, and so many designers, transform some magical, old home the color choice always seems to be white or light grey. Although both would have looked fine in my space, it just wasn’t quite the vibe I was going for. Especially after staring at beige walls all winter.
My remedy for walls that are so beige? Make them BLACK. Or any color really.
I chose black for this project because the wall is directly opposite the kitchen, which has black appliances. That, paired with the darker wood tones in the flooring and counter tops, felt like an easy way to bring contrast to a part of the room that felt a bit out of place.
The main concern plenty of people had when I shared my brilliant design choice was that the room would end up feeling too small or dark. However, I was confident that wouldn’t be a problem — it’s very open and there’s plenty of natural light.
- Plywood – cut into 8″ boards (this wall required 3 sheets of plywood)
- Brads and brad nailer
- Saw – We used a jigsaw
- Sander/Sand paper – may not be necessary, but we had a weird, tiny gap about the door it came in handy for getting just the right size boards for
- Nickels, quarters, or tile spacers
- Paint of your choice
- Painting supplies – roller and 2-3″ brush should work
We had the lumberyard cut our sheets into the 8-inch boards for us before bringing them home.
Because my home is a manufactured home, the walls are VOG panels. I hate them, and have been planning to paint, cover, or otherwise replace them since Day 1. Therefore, these instructions omit finding and marking where your studs are because they’re easily denoted.
- Remove battens from your wall. This will serve as demarcation for where your studs are. If you have drywall, use a stud finder to locate and mark studs for hanging.
- Paint your wall — or at least paint strips, 8 inches apart on your wall and let dry before installing the plywood boards. (I promise it will make life 10,000 times easier because we didn’t do this and it’s tedious to go back and try to paint all the cracks. Doable but time-consuming!)
- Prime your boards with one coat of paint, making sure to cover the edges well, and let dry.
- While paint is drying, measure your wall from the corner to any door/window frame you’ll be working around. Note: We did not remove any trim or molding before installation.
- Hang your first board by placing brads at the top, center, and bottom at each stud. If there’s some give or bounce between these, simply add a brad or two to make it more flush with the wall. We experienced this most on the longer boards, so most of them got an extra fastening between each section.
- Hang next board. Place spacer of choice — we used quarters — between your first board and the top of the next one to create the shiplap look. Push bottom board up to hold spacer in place tightly and fasten to the wall with brads.
- Continue hanging boards, using spacers and brads.
You can purchase shiplap at most home improvement stores, like Menard’s or Home Depot, but it can get kind of pricey…especially if you’re covering a large wall, like I was. So rather than spend hundreds of dollars to revamp this space, we only spent about $100 on plywood, brads, paint, and painting supplies.
I don’t yet own any tools beyond pliers, screwdrivers, and a hammer, so borrowed a sander (which we barely used), saw, and brad nailer from my parents. And enlisted them for a little help! Long boards definitely require more than two hands to hold them up steadily to keep the spacers in place, and having someone around just usually makes the process more enjoyable.
I love how it turned out and, for about a week afterward, found myself just staring into the dining area dreamily. Everyone who was skeptical has come through with this review: It looks good, and I like it a lot more than I thought I would!
So, that means my first DIY home project goes in the books as a success.