As I mentioned in my previous post, I decided to keep it a bit simple in my master bedroom and focus on one focal shiplap wall, painted a bright white to brighten things up. The first part of my plan was to quickly draw up the wall that would be shiplapped, so that I could get my measurements straight. The wall is about 15 feet across, with 8 foot ceilings. I also had those two windows to work around and an outlet. Originally I was going to be lazy and cut the strip closest the floor to sit just over my baseboard, but I ended up removing the baseboard and using a full shiplap strip, and then reinstalling my baseboard over it. I highly recommend this option…it takes maybe an extra 10 minutes but it looks so much better. So, ultimately I decided on 6.75″ widths for my shiplap strips, which would give me 14 strips total from floor to ceiling. You can also see on my drawings below that I measured where my pictures and curtain brackets were so that I didn’t have to remove and reinstall my anchors after I hung my shiplap. Lazy or genius?
The first step was to paint the wall white so that any gaps between my shiplap would be the same color that my shiplap would ultimately be. Then, I needed to rip down my plywood sheets into my 6.75″ strips. I used the same material I used for my built-in media center…I believe it’s the cheapest plywood board that Lowe’s sells at around $14 per 8’x4′ sheet. In order to get it home, I had my store rip them in half for me lengthwise, giving me two 8’x2′ sections per board. This would allow me to get 3 shiplap strips out of each half of plywood (6.75×3=20.25″). I believe I got 7 full panels, so I had 14 half panels, enough for 42 8ft strips. I maybe could have gotten 7 strips out of a full panel of plywood if I had Lowes cut it a bit off center, but it would have been close and I didn’t want to risk having any less than 6 boards per panel. I figure I can use my scraps in the future. At home I further ripped down my half boards into my 6.75″ strips on my handy dandy table saw shown below, though if your Lowes employees are as friendly as mine are, I’m sure they’d be willing to do this part for you too!
The next step was to start nailing the strips to the wall. I found each stud on the wall and drew a pencil line on each one from floor to ceiling. This would allow me to nail right into them to get a better grip. I started at the ceiling, making sure that row was level. My ceiling, like most ceilings, was not exactly level…it dipped down a bit on each side (despite the fact that this is a brand new house). It wasn’t a huge amount so I just made sure that my top strip was level so that my remaining boards down would be as well. Since my wall was 15′ across, I had to use two strips to span the whole wall. This is not a big deal, I just made sure to stagger my seams, and butted them up right next to each other so I could spackle and sand them smooth later to make them not as noticeable.
You can see here how I use pennies to get a uniform gap between my boards. You can use anything really, as long as you have a few of them and they are all the same thickness. As long as my top board was level, I didn’t have to worry so much about the boards below it as they should all remain level as well. (Though I did check occasionally to be sure!)
My first obstacle was the windows. What I found easiest was to just nail up my strips right over the windows, putting a few extra nails right around the window opening. Then I used my multi-tool (that also came in handy on my last door casing project) to cut around the window. This left a not so clean edge, but I knew I would be covering that up with trim later, so no worries.
I continued on, measuring, walking down to my table saw in the garage, cutting, walking up, nailing and repeat repeat repeat forever until the wall was finally all shiplapped. Great workout that day.
My second obstacle was that outlet I mentioned earlier at the bottom of my wall. The paneling is less than a quarter inch thick, but it is just enough that the outlet sits back just a bit too far to sit flush with the outlet cover. In order to remedy this, I picked up some of these spacers at Lowes meant just for such a problem. After turning off the power at the breaker-box, I unscrewed the outlet cover and then the actual outlet. I put a couple spacers over the screws until my outlet would sit flush with my shiplap and then screwed them back in. Simple! The second photo below is actually of the light switches in my bathroom water closet, that I also paneled (but will blog about later), but same concept.
Now that the wall was all shiplapped, it was time to trim out those windows. I didn’t want to use a big thick craftsman trim like I used on my door trim (even though it would look awesome) because if I did it to these two windows, I would have also had to do it to the two other HUGE windows on the adjacent wall of the room which would have led to a lot of increased costs for this project that I just didn’t want to spend right now. Instead, I used some relatively cheap corner molding that costs just under $8 a strip. I needed 4 strips, so my cost was under $32. To trim all the windows with craftsman style trim would have probably cost 3-4 times that price. Plus more work. I cut all the pieces to length, making sure to have a nice 45 degree angle on my corners, and then nailed them in around the windows. Getting that angle right on a corner trim like this was an experience, let me tell you.
Another problem I came across was my window blinds. They were the perfect width for my windows, but adding that corner trim meant I lost a bit of width on the window opening . In order for my window brackets to open and close so that I could re-install my blinds, I ended up notching out a little bit of my corner trim with my multi-tool. Again, not pretty, but it wouldn’t be seen once the brackets and blinds were re-installed.
Finally, it was time to spackle all of my nail holes and seams. I also caulked along both edges of the wall and along the ceiling and baseboard. This gave me a nice, seamless transition between walls and also hid any little differences in board lengths along the edges. Once everything was dry it was time to sand, sand, sand it all smooth, and then spend the next month dusting and vacuuming my bedroom to get all the sanding dust off everything.
Even though the pink was starting to grow on me, it was finally time to paint! I started off by using my leftover ceiling paint as sort of a “primer” like I did before on my door casings.
All that was left was to paint the room and put it all back together, but this post is long enough already so I’ll save that for the next post! #cliffhanger