Our version of Shiplap Wall (DIY) in our c. 1900 home. When we purchased it 3 years ago we waited almost a year to remodel the kitchen. This little corner of the kitchen was the only part that we felt just wasn’t quite “done.” When we purchased the home there was a large built in desk where the table sits now. I had it removed before even seeing the house. I always need a place for our Saarinen table. I think it has been in six or seven homes since we bought it. The rest of the kitchen has white subway tile, chalkboard paint, original brick painted white and cabinets. This little corner had boring walls above the built-in bench. After seeing shiplap everywhere, we decided we needed to give it a try. I showed my husband the post from Jen at City Farmhouse and Studio McGee’s Guide to Shiplap Walls for inspiration. The project took just two days over the holiday break.
Pine or MDF 1 x 6 boards
2.5″ wood screws
spackle or wood filler
sand paper (180 grit)
Measure the space to determine the number of linear feet of wood or MDF boards
We prefer natural wood, so we selected a high quality pine that was already primed. If you want to save money, using MDF would cut your material expenses in half. Since our space was small, we went with natural wood (pine).
We have a table saw, but you could have your builder’s store cut the wood to your specific lengths required. However our home was built in 1900 so from top to bottom the length of boards varied by almost an inch from top to bottom. Using primed wood or MDF makes painting a lot easier because you do not have to paint inside the nickel or double nickel gap.
To get started we found and marked the wood beams behind the drywall to know where to secure the wood to the wall.
We started at the top so that the odd size board is at the bottom and mostly out of sight.
If you don’t have a table saw, you’ll need to have them rip the last board to the proper width of the space at the bottom.
We used 2.5″ screws to secure the boards. We pre-drilled a hole the size of the head so that it would be recessed inside the board. Then we came back and filled each screw hole with painter’s spackle. After it dried, we sanded it smooth and flush with the board disappearing once you paint over it.
To space each board we placed 4 to 5 nickels across the board and pushed the board up flush against the nickels leaving a “nickel gap” and then secured it. Once all the boards were secured, we used a caulking gun with a tube of painters caulk and filled all the rough edges around the top and sides being careful not to let the caulk spread into the ‘nickel gaps.”
We used a jigsaw to cut around the light switch and light socket. Any imperfections will be hidden behind the covers.
Since the wood was primed, we painted two coats using a brush. We did not use a roller because it would have been harder to avoid filling in the “nickel gap” with paint.
The entire project took a weekend including a couple of trips for supplies.
Here’s a before and after of the same space today and from the real estate listing sheet.