Ever since Joanna Gaines made her shiplap debut on fixer upper I have been obsessed with it. I love everything about it. In February we purchased our first home and I knew I HAD to incorporate shiplap into my house. I was so excited when we closed on our house and I was finally able to get in there and do my first shiplap project. That excitement quickly wore off when I realized that shiplap is actually pretty expensive, and it wasn’t in the budget at the time for me to do. I decided to do some research. I realized I could get creative and do a faux shiplap, it would still look great and cost me only a fraction of the price. In fact, to do my whole dining room accent wall it only cost me about $50!! When I posted photos on my personal social media pages I had a lot of people ask me questions on how I did it. So today I am going to share with you how I did it, and also show you a few different shiplap projects I did in my house. I really love how they turned out.
When I started doing my research I realized an alternative would be to take plywood and cut it into 6 inch strips and use that instead of real shiplap. Once painted white, you really couldn’t even tell the difference. I decided to take it a frugal step further. While I was at Lowe’s one day noticed that they had something called underlayment. It’s 4 x 8 sheets that are typically used to lay on top of your floors before you would lay flooring down. It was only $13 for a 4 x 8 sheet and I was totally down for the $10 per sheet savings over traditional plywood.
The cool thing about Lowes is that they will cut your wood for you. It’s saved me a ton of time by bringing my sheets of underlayment to the cutting department and having them cut it down and 6 inch strips for me. Once I got home I had the strips of underlayment that look like this picture. I wasn’t originally planning on making this a blog post so I’m sorry for not having more picture details. I think I can help you guys get the idea with what I do have though.
I decided to start first on my dining room wall. I’ve done 4 different projects with shiplap now and with each of them I’ve done it a little bit differently. With one I started at the top and the other started at the bottom. I don’t think that part technically matters as long as you make sure your first piece is level. At the bottom I put a quick video of me doing one of my walls so you can get an idea of how I did it. With my dining room however you can see I started at the bottom. Because my wall was too long for just one strip I off-set my strips back-and-forth so that they were staggered all the way down. When I had my long pieces in, I then went back to fill in all of my short pieces. Doing around the outlets was a little bit tricky but you can measure where your outlets are and cut it out pretty quickly with a saw.
One of the things that makes shiplap unique is the spaces in between each strip. To get that effect, I took a nickel and put it between each strip so that when it was painted you could visibly see the spacing between each board. You don’t want to lay them flush against each other or it won’t give you that same effect. I just used two nickels and slipped them in on each end of my board so that I knew that they were spaced apart.
This is what my wall looked like when I was finished and it was painted. I had pretty cute help also! The cool thing about shiplap is that its supposed to look “not perfect”. So if you end up with some gaps that aren’t perfectly the same size it really just adds to the character of the wall. As long as you make sure your shiplap is level and straight I don’t think you can really mess it up. I hope this is helpful and that you guys give it a try! It was actually quite simple and added such a fun dynamic to the room!
Here are a few pictures of my finished dining room wall and some other projects I have done!! Enjoy!