Faux Shiplap DIY for less than $80!

We all are in love with the hit home renovation series “Fixer Upper” on HGTV aren’t we? Joanna Gaines has made shiplap a must have. I’ve been dreaming about how to incorporate it into my home and finally came to a decision. I decided to create this look in my dining room to give a more casual feel to the space and a relaxed eating experience for our family. We haven’t used our dining room much because it just seemed so dark and uninviting. Instead we have eaten the majority of our meals at our breakfast bar. 

Here is a picture of our dining room before the shiplap makeover:Pretty dark, generic, and uninviting huh? I’ve kinda neglected this room for a while now, but not anymore!

 I love the look of shiplap and wanted to use it, but there were two problems.

1. Too expensive! I have a hard time forking over lots of money for my home remodeling projects and decor when I can create the same look for a fraction of the cost myself.

2. My dining room already had crown molding and a chair rail. I did not want the added work or expense of removing these in order to get the look I wanted. True shiplap is too thick and it would not have lined up properly with my existing molding. 

So here is what I did instead:
I went to my local hardware store (Lowes to be exact) and purchased 3 sheets of 5mm plywood.

I had the nice guys at Lowe’s rip the boards for me into 6 inch pieces. This is a free service and saved me tons of time.

When I got home I sanded all of the edges to make sure they were nice and smooth. 

Now I was ready to prepare my walls for installation. I wanted to be sure the boards were very secure while using as few nails as possible so I wanted to make sure I nailed into the studs. I got out my stud finder, level and pencil and got to work. I marked each of my studs like this so I could find them easily as I installed my boards. 

I used my portable nail gun to make the job easier. A good ole hammer and nails would do the trick also. I started at the bottom and worked my way up using nickels as spacers between the boards. Make sure you use some sort of spacer so that once you paint the boards the lines are not lost and you get the desired look of shiplap. 

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TIP: if your walls are painted any color other than tan, gray or white I would recommend painting the wall before installing your faux shiplap so you don’t see a bright color shining through the cracks. The dark tan color of my walls worked in my favor because it made the lines nice and prominent, just the way I wanted.

 I cut my boards to the appropriate length using a measuring tape and a miter saw. I tried being an expert craftsmen and cutting the L-shape around the window but it didn’t work quite the way I had hoped. I cut the board straight instead and installed a separate board to complete the vacant space under the window. It still looks very nice and made things easier on a DIY momma like me. 😜

 See how I used the nickels as spacers… They worked perfectly!
 When I got to this point I realized my 6 inch board was not going to fit the vacant space under my chair rail molding. I had to rip my boards down to 4.25 inches. My husband taught me how to use the table saw so I was able to do this by myself. Thanks Babe! 😘

Next up: Caulking After all of my boards were installed it was time to do some caulking in the corners and around the molding to create a seamless finish. 

TIP: Very Important! Use paintable caulking so your paint will adhere to it!! 

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As you go along smooth the caulk out with your finger so it’s even and smooth. Keep a rag with you to wipe your fingers off. ✌🏼 I had a dry one and a wet one just in case. I ended up using them both because I got a little messy. 😬 

Here it is caulked and ready for paint! 🎨 It took four coats of paint because the wood absorbed quite a bit, but I still had paint left over since I only took the shiplap halfway up the walls. 

Drum roll pleeeease……Faux shiplap complete!!!

What do you think?!?!

This project cost right under $80. About $14 per sheet of 5mm plywood and $36 for a gallon of paint and a tube of caulk. I didn’t have to remove any molding and it took just a couple of days to complete! The room is so much brighter and I see my family actually using this room for mealtime rather than stacked up on bar stools in the kitchen.

What you need for this project:

  • 5mm plywood 
  • Paintable caulk 
  • Level                                                 
  • Stud finder                                     
  • Pencil                                     
  • Measuring tape                                         
  • Nickels for spacers 
  • Nail gun and nails                        
  • Miter saw & maybe table saw                                        
  • Paint                                                       
  • Rags

Let me know if you decide to faux shiplap your home! I’d love to see how your project turns out. 😊

Before:After:Before:After:

5 thoughts on “Faux Shiplap DIY for less than $80!

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