DIY Faux Shiplap for First Timers – this project wasn’t even 40 Dollars. Easy steps how to add faux shiplap to a wall in an afternoon all by yourself. No heavy tools needed.
I Love this project!
It took me exactly 3 years until I finally got motivated to update the basement bathroom. I just couldn’t get started because I never use this bathroom. This is why it didn’t really bother me.
But I love shiplap and I was always trying to find a spot in my house to add it to a wall. And now, finally, I found the perfect spot for a faux shiplap wall in the basement bathroom.
I did this project all by myself to prove to you, that you can do it too. If I can do it, you can do it too.
And now I can present to you ‘How to add faux shiplap for first timers‘. It is actually pretty easy to do, no sweat or tears.
How to start with adding faux shiplap
I primed the wall a similar color than the actual paint color I chose.
This is just a precaution, if you don’t want to see a different color shine thru the little gaps between the boards. But it can also be a nice accent if you have a darker color shine thru the gaps.
As with every project that involves color, decide on your wall color first. And actually not only on the wall color, but on the whole room you are updating.
- Do you want the room to look light and airy?
- Do you update this room for boys or girls?
- Or do you want it to look very neutral because you are thinking of selling your house soon?
After you have decided on your color scheme, get your material.
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How to add faux shiplap to a wall for under 40 Dollars:
And this is the first time I actually show you a short ‘How to do’ video one step after the other:
How to add faux shiplap to a wall
DIY faux shiplap for first timers:
I used Plywood. One board of plywood cost $ 15 at Home Depot and I needed 2 boards.
The friendly guy at Home Depot cut the boards to stripes of 8 inches width and 7 feet length for my wall. I needed exactly 16 stripes for this one wall.
Plywood is really light and easy to handle and of course cheap.
Because my wall looked pretty bad due to all the holes from the former decorative pins in the wallpaper, I needed to cover this up.
If your wall looks bad and you need to cover it up, add faux shiplap.
The “Shiplap Wall’ was the best idea to do that, fast, easy and cheap.
Material List to start with the Shiplap Wall:
- Nails (1 1/2″ nails)
- stud finder
- Plywood boards cut to the size you need
- Primer and wall paint
- paint roller, paint tray, brush.
If you have a nail gun, great, if not use a hammer and nails. Worked pretty good for me.
FIRST, start by drawing a straight line with a level. I started at the bottom of the wall.
The line is important in order to have your first board completely leveled.
SECOND, use your stud finder and mark the studs with a pencil line from top to bottom of the wall.
You need to know where to nail the boards into the wall.
THIRD, get your first Plywood board, line it up and nail it into the wall.
Hammer 2 nails in every stud in an exact straight row at the top and bottom of the plywood board.
FOURTH, now add the next board. Lay it over the first one and add spacers in between both boards.
You add spacers because you want a little gap in between the boards.
Why? First of all it looks good and second the wood needs a little space.
I used quarters as spacers. Clamp them in between the boards, hammer the lower nails in first – along the whole row – and then the upper row of nails. Always check with the level if the boards are positioned straight.
Get the second board and the quarters. Clamp the quarters in between the boards every 20 inches or so. This is how you create an even gap. If you want a bigger gap you can tape two quarters together. Or just use spacers. Depends on what you like and what you have available.
FIFTH, go on like this to the top of the wall. It goes pretty fast. First of all it is not very hard to hammer the nails through the Plywood and into the studs and second the stripes are 8 inches wide. Of course you can make the Plywood strips smaller, depends on your taste.
So within about an hour you should be done, if your wall is not huge.
What to do when you are done adding all the Plywood boards:
If you like the wall to be completely smooth, sand the boards with sandpaper. I didn’t do that step because I like the uneven, rustic feel of the plywood.
Before painting, check if the nails are hammered all the way into the boards and the wall looks even.
If you are not sure which is the best technique to paint a wall, check my easy tips here
Now prime the wall, let it dry and then add the paint color you have selected.
Unfortunately I selected Behr paint and not Sherwin Williams which I normally use and boy, this is such a difference.
It took me at least 2 coats with Behr paint. Depending on the paint and the wood, it often only takes one coat to get great results. Sometimes you have to add two or three coats in order to look good.
It would have only taken one coat with Sherwin Williams paint. So if you have the chance, buy Sherwin Williams.
This is how it looks finished, done with painting!
Here is the before picture of the basement bathroom. The wallpaper had decorative pins on every triangle. To be able to paint the walls, I had to remove about 200 pins (and cover holes) before I could do anything else. I decided to leave the wallpaper and paint over it because I wasn’t sure how the wall would look without the wallpaper.
Fast steps how to add Faux Shiplap for Beginners
I installed the shiplap on the right wall first and then decided to add more shiplap on the left wall.
This is how to start:
- Measure the wall. Decide on the width of the boards, (I went with 8 inches width), and calculate how much material you will need. Good idea to measure the height of the wall and then decide on the width of the boards.That insures that you don’t have little gaps on top of the wall.
- Get the Plywood boards. They are 4 x 8 ft. Have them cut the width and length you need. Calculate all the boards you need and have them cut precisely. This is important, especially if you don’t have a saw to cut the top board to fit exactly.
- Get Finishing Nails 1 1/2, a hammer, a level, a stud finder, a pencil and spacers.
This is how to start adding faux shiplap to a wall:
I started at the bottom. Make a straight line with a level so your first board is completely straight.
- Find the studs and make lines from top to bottom so you know where to hammer your nails.
- Install your first board. Add 2 to 3 nails on every stud in an exact straight line.
- Add quarters or spacers in between the next board and work your way up to the top.
- Prime the boards and then paint the wall in your favorite color.
Final thoughts on a Faux Shiplap Wall:
Why use heavy shiplap if you can use Plywood?
This project was super easy to do, I didn’t need any help and I was done in a couple of hours. I expected it would take so much longer.
So if you have a wall with lots of holes or an uneven surface, just add faux shiplap. I am sure you are going to love it!
Of course I didn’t stop here. I added another shiplap wall on the opposite side of the bathroom.
Then painted the rest of the bathroom walls and added a new floor.
To make the look of the bathroom complete, I added some colorful accessories. Like a very happy shower curtain and a new mirror.
Don’t stop now with your bathroom remodel:
I will be finished with the whole bathroom remodel next week. The floor will be updated with vinyl floor planks. I am considering painting the vanity, but I will decide when everything is installed.
This bathroom will look really pretty and I am so excited that I am actually remodeling this basement bathroom.
Here is a picture of the finishes basement bathroom with faux shiplap wall, a new vinyl floor, new mirror and a new shower curtain. All in all the complete remodel was under $ 150. What do you think? It is really worth the time and the money. I love looking at this bathroom now.
Hopefully I gave you some inspiration if you have a similar project in your home.
I get it, it can take a long time until you finally get the push to start with a project. But when you are done, it is such a great feeling.
If you have any questions, write it in the comments and I will answer you.
So, I will see you next week with the end result,
Love, Conny xoxo
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