Well. It has been a minute since I posted, but 2020, am I right? I'm excited to be able to come back to this space and update you on recent projects, and I've got a doozy for you this time. Last week, we transformed our builder grade master bathroom into a beautiful master oasis, and I have all the details on our new shiplap wall for you. I promise that I won't wait another 3 months to update you on the rest, either, so keep your eyes peeled for a new post on that soon.
This shiplap project was not for the faint of heart, and I mean that literally. We have 12 feet ceilings in our bathroom, and reaching the top often required a lot of balance and a little bit of guts (can you say "step ladder on the counter").
The first thing we had to do was take down our builder grade mirrors. BEFORE YOU GO ANY FURTHER- go grab some work gloves and safety glasses. I like my eyeballs too much to skip this step. This is actually a lot easier than you might think, but patience is key. The first thing you will want to do here is tape the mirror off, just in case the glass does break. Wooden shims are the key to this project, and you will want to SLOWLY slide the shims along the outside of the mirror, gently tapping them in further and further until you feel the mirror start to loosen from the wall.
Eventually, you will hear the adhesive on the back pop off, and you will be able to carefully take the mirror down.
Now that the mirror is down, we need to address this mess of a wall. And what better way to fix a wall than to apply shiplap?! I didn't have to worry about repairing the drywall damage, and the beauty of a shiplap wall just goes without saying.
I used 8 ft MDF shiplap boards for this project that were 5 1/4 inches wide. The board width is completely personal preference, but the nice thing about the tongue and groove shiplap boards is that they easily snap into place, leaving you with a small nickel sized gap between the boards. Your first board is the most important, and in our case, I wanted to make sure that there was a board completely flush with the top of the counter, so that's where I started. If you make sure that your first few boards are level, the other boards should be level as well. You clip the boards into one another, and push down gently to ensure that the boards are snug, and that the gap is as small as it can possibly be.
Before nailing the boards into the wall, you will want to mark your studs on the wall so that you don't need to worry about finding them throughout your process. A nail gun is pretty much essential for this project, and since the boards aren't too thick, we used 1 1/4 inch finish nails into studs, which worked perfectly. Placing the nose of the nail gun right on top of the lip of the board and angling down will ensure that the nail is hidden by the next board, so you won't have to fill those holes- SCORE!
The next step is CRUCIAL to you keeping your sanity for this project. If you are planning on painting these boards, you will want to paint the lip BEFORE you attach the next board. This will save you the time and energy of having to paint the tiny gap between the boards. If you are leaving them white, then you won't need to worry about this step.
Once that is done, have at it! Place those boards, one by one, until your wall is filled! We staggered our lengths so that we wouldn't have a lot of joint lines lining up with each other. These lines will be filled with wood filler, which you can use on MDF, and you can go ahead and sand and paint like normal. I prefer "Plastic Wood" but the filler of your choice will work fine, as long as it is paintable. Once everything is filled, sanded, and wiped down, you can go ahead and paint. Rolling like a normal wall works perfectly fine, and as always, two coats is highly recommended!
This isn't a small project by any means, but I can assure you that if I can do this- you can too! As always, feel free to follow along on social media for more tips and tricks, and never hesitate to reach out with questions!