Affordable do it yourself Shiplap

Affordable do it yourself Shiplap

When we bought our house a few months ago, our kitchen was definitelyyy one of the first things that we needed to tackle to even be able to move in. This home has been one big project after another and we are far from being done, but it’s been fun to watch it come together, slowly but surely.

The kitchen had old, extremely textured wallpaper. It was baddddd. It was so textured that it was actually impossible to even strip off and ultimately just made our walls even more hairy feeling hah! Here is a before picture so you can kinddd of get the idea.

*Cue praise hands for that incredible wall phone 😉

summer inspiration

We stayed at a cottage this summer with family just after buying our new home and before we had started renovating. I was totally inspired by this little vintage abode and that was when I really starting dreaming up ways to incorporate this old “cottage” type feel to our new little house because I fell in love with it.

I needed to come up with a (cheap!) solution essentially just cover all of the walls and pretend like these hairy walls didn’t even exist.

Ship lap was one of the first things that came to my mind. I have always loved the look of these big, worn, white panel walls. Nowadays you can basically go into any home improvement store near you and find pieces of “shiplap” already cut into pieces and ready to hang on your walls. I am sure these work great however for us they were a little more than I was wanting to spend on the project we were tackling. I needed two things: CHEAP and easy enough for me to basically do it on my own.

getting started

My mom and I went off to our local hardware store and came across a kind of wood called “acx plywood.” This is essentially plywood that has just one side sanded and the other side is just left un-sanded. Which basically works perfect for shiplap because you will never see the un-sanded side anyways. You can find these at any home improvement store over in their lumber sections.

I ended up purchasing pieces that were 2 ft x 6 ft, and enough to cover what I thought I needed for our whole kitchen.

I used my Mama’s Dremel Hand Saw to cut the sheets of plywood into panels that were 8 in. x 6 ft. This measurement allows the whole plywood sheet to be used up in exact measurements of (3) 8 in. wide boards. You can cut them to whatever width of your liking, but I went with the bigger width of 8 inches, and loved the turn out. After cutting these, it’s a good idea to take a little sand paper to the edges of your boards and smooth them down a bit to get them looking nice and clean.


Now that you have your panels start sticking those babies onto your walls. I went the good old fashion way of a trusty hammer and nails, however a nail gun would have come in very handy if you have access to one. Also easy to rent one for a couple of hours at your local hardware stores for decently cheap. I personally love a more “rustic” look so I chose finish nails that were almost black in color and didn’t bother covering them with putty before painting.

So on our walls you can very slightly see some of the nail heads, which is totally a preference thing. If you are more of a clean cut design type, you can easily cover up any traces of nails with a little putty and sanding before painting and no one will ever know they are there.

Now that we have all of our boards up, it’s time to slap some paint on these beauties. I used a very simple primer to put on the boards first. Since they are wood, your boards will soak up a bit more paint, so a simple primer before hand will save you some paint when applying that top coat.

As far as paint goes when you are wanting something to be white I always try and go with paint along the names of “Simply White” or “Extra White”, “Pure White,” you get what I’m saying. There are so many color varieties of white these days and it’s honestly kind of overwhelming when trying to pick the perfect one. Two colors I KNOW look beautiful no matter what are “Extra White” in Sherwin William’s line and “Simply White” from Benjamin Moore. Again if you’re using a different line just stick with color names that are pretty self explanatory instead of like ‘Mountain Air’ and trying to visualize what that will look like on your walls 😉

A simple roller here is going to work great and maybe a small angled brush just to clean things up and get into corners and edges as you are finishing up.

I really was surprised how easy these were to get up after the initial figuring everything out. Once you get going it goes pretty fast and really doesn’t take an extended amount of time, unless you have tons of things to cut around, etc.

I promise if I can figure this out, you can too!







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