September 26, 2017

DIY Shiplap Look-Alike

Hey everyone!  My name is Amanda and I am so excited to be part of the Jubilettes this semester as an intern!  As a recent graduate from the University of Arizona, I am exploring my options up in the Phoenix area and am in the midst of a big move into a beautiful Tempe home.  With a new home comes a few options for updates with both the home and decor, so I have decided that some DIY projects would be perfect to share with all of you!

I have seen many DIY shiplap walls and I decided that this is the perfect look for one of the walls in the new home.  It’s simple, beautiful, and when done right, pretty inexpensive.









First things first, supplies.  I got lucky because the house is being renovated so there were a few things that we already had on hand, but these are the basics:

  • 1/4 inch thick plywood
  • Nail gun (a hammer and nail will work fine too)
  • Spackle and spackling knife
  • Saw
  • Tape measurer
  • Level
  • Nickels!
  • Paint, paint brush, paint roller and tape if you want to paint it!

We bought a few 1/4 inch thick pieces of plywood for $14 from the local Home Depot.  It’s nice there because they typically will cut the pieces for you for little to no cost!  We had them cut it in 8 inch strips horizontally, but that was a personal preference, I’ve seen a lot of people cut it them to 6 inches or even 4 inches thick!

To start the project you will want to find the studs in the wall.  These are the wood planks behind the drywall that frame out the house.  You can find the studs by knocking on wall until it sounds solid instead of hollow.  This is your stud!  Mark it with a pencil and using a level, pencil a line from this spot to the floor and to the ceiling.  Continue knocking and marking all of the studs so you can use this as a map to nail the boards to the wall.  Studs are typically spaced evenly, so once you have found a few, you can easily start marking them with a tape measurer to save time.

Next step, planks! Using the level and a few hands we put up the first plank starting from the corner of the ceiling.  We used the level to ensure the plank was straight since most ceilings aren’t! Once it was in place, we nailed the plank in each corner and then again where the pencil marked studs aligned with it.  We continued this all the way across until we reached the edge where we marked the spot the wall ended so we could saw the plank to the correct length.  For the next plank we put it directly under the first, but this time we used nickels to leave a small space between them giving them that shiplap look. We continued doing this all the way to the floor and when we hit the outlets we used a small saw to cut out the rectangle! Side note: if you are planning to paint you planks, it is easiest to paint the bottom of each board as you go!









Once all of the planks were up, we used spackle to fill in the nail holes and the seems between neighboring planks in order to smooth it all out before painting. We gently sanded and wiped down the remaining spackle and then it was time for our first coat of paint!

We used painter’s tape to keep the paint off the walls and knowing my messy self, I did a few pieces to make it extra thick! The trick to painting the planks is to move the brushes and rollers horizontally in the direction of the planks to ensure paint does not clog the gaps between them. A few coats later and it was covered and perfect. After painting, it was helpful to run a clean spackle knife in the gaps to ensure it was not clogged with paint or spackle, this makes the entire wall look nice and neat.

The finished wall was absolutely beautiful! I am still in shock as to how great it turned out and I am so excited to finally move in to decorate it with more personal touches.  I will have to keep you updated!  For now I will move on to the next DIY, one I am equally excited for!  We would love to hear about your favorite DIY projects so send them our way!






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