Holy cow you guys, it has been a busy start to 2018 for me. If you follow my Instagram, you saw my New Year’s resolution was to be more active on my blog and social media with my home improvement projects, as well as tackle the large list of projects I had compiled for my home improvement resolution. Like any other New Year’s resolution, my follow-through has been pretty minimal, being that this is my first blog post of 2018. It’s worth noting that before I started my blog, I didn’t have an Instagram account, and while I’m making an effort to post there more often, it’s not my first instinct. Also, photography isn’t really my strong suit, so all my pictures are taken with my iPhone. I promise I’m getting better though, so bear with me guys 🙂
But besides tackling home improvement projects, making an effort to be more active on my social media accounts, and (poorly) attempting to write more blog posts, life is still crazy busy. Between hectic weeks with the girls and all their activities, Chris and I still try to have a social life, go on dates, and take fun little small trips for ourselves. And miraculously, after seeing my laundry list of home improvement projects for this year, instead of packing his bags and running for the hills, Chris got down on one knee last week and proposed! 💍 😍 😮
Seriously, I cannot believe it! 😍 😍 😍 I’m so happy!!!
But anyways, back to the project. If you’ve been anywhere on the internet lately, #shiplap is one of the hottest, most popular trends on Pinterest and in home improvement projects (all hail, Joanna Gaines). Like another one of my projects, I spent months overthinking this one and mentally trying to wrap my mind around how I was gonna pull this one off. There were tons of how-to’s and inspirations on Pinterest, but I had one very big problem: I have a weird eat in kitchen space. I’ve been eyeing up a large wall in my kitchen where my dining table is specifically for this project, and there were a few hurdles to consider:
- There is an awkward switch on the wall that turns on the backyard floodlight, and you have to walk around the table to reach it.
- The eat in kitchen section is set right next to the sliding back door, so the table has to be close enough to the wall to allow people to easily walk to the door and access it.
- The existing light switch is positioned awkwardly on the ceiling, if I center my table under the light, it blocks the sliding door and if I position the table out of the walk way, the light hangs directly above the outside chairs and Chris people constantly hit their head on it.
- The wall is a weird shape. The entry way from the hall way to the eat in kitchen area is a load bearing wall, and so part of the beam extends down in the doorway, creating a cutout shape in the top left hand corner which, naturally, is not perfectly straight or level. 🙄 😩
- And lastly, I had to consider the left edge of the wall, because that corner is the start of the hallway so I needed to decide how I was going to create a “frame” without bulking up the wall too much (I didn’t want to have to mess with the baseboards at all).
Of course none of the projects I was finding on Pinterest dealt with or addressed these problems because their shiplap walls were done on perfectly square boxed in walls. So before I could even begin nailing my wood planks to the wall, some other things had to be addressed.
First, we moved the weird switch behind the table to the wall next to the sliding door, which was wayyyyyy more convenient. Because neither Chris or I wanted to die knew how to do electrical, we called one of our friends who is an electrician to do it for us. The next step was to move the light fixture that went over the table in a spot on the ceiling that made more sense and would be out the way (so Chris wouldn’t hit his head anymore). Again, we turned to the help our electrician friend for that (and he was a total life saver). So here’s the before picture of the wall, with the light switch already moved:
And Chris, using his tall/strong skills to remove the old light fixture for me.
I also wasn’t a huge fan of the existing light fixture that was installed when I bought the house and thought it would clash with the farmhouse look of the shiplap wall and the style of my table, so I got this beautiful new light fixture from Wayfair:
It was on sale, so I able to score this beauty for $175 + tax, which for hanging light fixtures is actually a steal. The quality on this light fixture was amazing, and it was incredibly easy to put together. Another reason I loved it was that the hanging rods screwed together to be adjustable height-wise, so we were able to shorten the rods to accommodate our tiny 8ft tall ceilings. I completed the look with LED Edison light bulbs from Home Depot.
I had already made a trip to Home Depot to get all the wood and supplies for the wall, and was ready to get started. (Complete tool and supply list at the end of the post.) I had already measured the depth of my baseboard and decided on using 1/4in thick plywood so that it wouldn’t stick out farther than the baseboards. Also, the lighter weight plywood was a lot easier to hold up, nail in place, and pretty flexible to accommodate slight imperfections in the wall. Because of the odd shape of my wall, I started with the frame moulding along the sides of the wall and the ceiling. I used a miter compound saw to get neat mitered edges, and had to use Loctite Adhesive to hold the moulding in place. Once that was in place and had set, we got started on the wall. I used a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall and then marked where they were to be able to anchor the boards to the wall with the nail gun. We used a full 8ft length board for the first board, and then measured and cut from there, making sure to stagger the seams to create a more randomized look. We used nickels in between the board rows to create the “gap” that real shiplap has. Here’s how it looked when we started adding the boards:
See what I mean about the weird top left corner? I lost sleep over this lol.
The wall after the first night. We had to stop because it was bedtime for the girls.
Besides having to cut out holes in the boards to accommodate the light switch, outlet and vent, the entire wall went up pretty quickly. We sanded the edges of each board before we put them up, and after all the boards had been nailed up we went back with wood putty and filled all the nail holes and sanded them down.
The wall all complete, ready for primer and paint!
The final step was priming all the wood and then painting. I would recommend doing these as two separate steps if you don’t want too much of the wood grain to show up through the paint. It took us about one coat of primer and two coats of paint to get a nice even coat. I used a small art paint brush to run between the space of the boards to stop the paint from pooling up there and allowing for a more distinct “gap”. Here’s the finished wall:
So needless to say, I am completely in love with the results! Got a shiplap wall project of your own to share? I’d love to see it! Post it in the comments!
Wanna see the entire process? Check out our time-lapse video, featuring myself, Chris, our electrician friend, Gary, Elsie, Norah (sporting an Elsa dress), and our cat Olive with a cameo head-banging in the last 50 seconds of the video 😂
Complete Tool List:
- Compound Miter Saw, Circular Saw, or Chop Saw, whichever you are more comfortable with for cutting down the wood planks
- Ruler/Tape Measure
- Carpenter Square
- Nail Gun
- Stud Finder
- Jig Saw or Utility Knife (for cutting out spaces for outlets and light switches, if needed)
Complete Supply List:
- 1/4in x 4ft x 8ft BC Sanded Pine Plywood, cut to 6″ strips (It took just under 3 sheets of plywood to plank my wall, but you’ll need to measure your wall to determine how many sheets you’ll need. Also, I had Home Depot cut the 6″ strips for me, but since I had so many cuts they did charge me $0.25 per cut, totally worth it IMO.)
- 1/4in x 1 1/4in moulding (You could skip this entirely if you have nicely boxed in walls and don’t want a more defined “frame” around your shiplap. I used white PVC composite moulding, but in hindsight I wish I had used pine.)
- Finishing nails (for nail gun)
- Several nickels for spacing the planks
- Wood putty for filling in the nail holes
- Sand paper/Sanding blocks
- Primer (I would recommend doing this separately instead of using a paint + primer in one paint)
- Paint in whichever color you choose
- Paint brushes/rollers & paint tray
- Painters tape