I added shiplap to my bathroom back wall and ceiling for under $100!
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Doing it this way definitely took more time and energy, but I saved A LOT of money by making my own shiplap boards out of 4×8 sheets! If you have a larger budget and want shiplap, I’d say tongue and groove is the way to go.
I started with 4×8 sheet of underlayment and ripped them down into 6 inch by 8 foot strips. My big mistake was using underlayment, if I did this again I’d use brown board aka eucaboard instead because it doesn’t splinter like underlayment does, it’s easier to cut, it looks better when painted and it’s cheaper. I was very new to DIY at this point and I didn’t know my way around the different materials at the hardware store like I do now.
I used my orbital sander to smooth out the edges from where the underlayment splintered.
Once everything was smooth I primed and painted the shiplap before it was installed because I didn’t want to have to try and get in between the boards to get the edges painted once it was on the wall. This way I’d only have to fill the nail holes and touch those up once it was on the walls and ceilings. The color I used is Alabaster by SW.
I started right above my sinks and made sure it was level. I was using pennies at first to keep a gap in between the boards but I gave up on that a few boards in because I realized the boards weren’t perfectly straight and all the gaps looked pretty good without the pennies. I did make sure they were level every few boards. I used 18 gauge finishing nails and gorilla glue to put them up. Looking back, I’d skip the gorilla glue in case I ever want to take this down (which I kind of do, because my design style is going in a different direction), it would be less work in the future and finishing nails hold it up just fine if you shoot them in at alternating angles.
I started laying the shiplap behind the sinks and then went all the way up over the ceiling and then made my way back down the window/bath side.
Once the shiplap was installed, I installed quarter round around the edges to give it a more finished look.
After that it was time to wood fill, sand and caulk everything. This step is very important! It will take your project from amateur to professional just by adding caulk! Then a final touch up coat of paint to cover all the wood filler and caulk.
This was before I started using a caulking gun. I was using the caulk you squeeze out of the little tube for this entire bathroom! For some reason I had it in my head that a caulk gun would be a pain but this way had my hands hurting. Don’t do that! Use a caulk gun!
I won’t lie, this project was a pain! But at the time, $100 on a wall treatment was a lot! I couldn’t imagine spending triple that (or more) on tongue and groove shiplap!
Since then I have used tongue and groove shiplap and I’m not sure I’d go back! This turned out pretty good, in an old farmhouse kind of way, rather than a nice and neat shiplap look that isn’t as rustic. But if I were to do it again, i’d probably save up and do tongue and groove shiplap, because overall this was A LOT of work!
But I’m proud of the work I did in this bathroom and what I’ve learned along the way!
Would you rather save the money and rip down your own shiplap? Or would you splurge for the tongue and groove?
All master bathroom links here.
Head to my next post where I’ll share about how I painted my bath and shower tile and how its holding up after 3 years!