Vertical Shiplap Accent Wall |Easy Tutorial


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I did a fun reveal of my Son’s Vintage Baseball Themed room last week and got a few questions about the vertical shiplap wall treatment we did. It was so easy and added the texture and warmth this room truly needed to come into its own. It’s something almost anyone could do over a weekend or if you had a few evenings to spare throughout a week.

For me, shiplap will never go out of style, whether it be vertical shiplap or horizontal. Dressing up plain, boring walls is such a great way to elevate any space. I read once that if a room isn’t beautiful to start with, no amount of decorating will fix that. That little statement impacted me so much. Trying to decorate a boring room simply looks like clutter. It’s when you can bring in decor to accentuate an already beautiful space, that a room or home truly looks whole and complete.

To me, the bones of a room that make it pretty are wall treatments, good flooring, moldings, and lighting. If any/some/all of that is in place, the room is well on its way to being beautiful.

Tyrion’s room before:

The easy process on how to secure vertical shiplap to a wall. #vetricalshiplap #shiplap

And this is his room after:

The easy process on how to secure vertical shiplap to a wall. #vetricalshiplap #shiplap

Sometimes less truly is more. I would rather spend my money on a few, higher-quality items than purchasing lots of “good deals” that ended up cluttering a space. These two different approaches give two very different decor outcomes.

See the full baseball room reveal

That got a little off course! Sorry! I’m passionate about starting out with good bones in any room. It makes the whole design and decor process so much easier when you begin with a great foundation.

Moving on now . . .

Vertical Shiplap pre-painting

Do as I say and not as I did in this instance. Paint the wall behind the shiplap before installing it.

Please, don’t skip this step.

Silly me, I figured what a waste of paint, painting the whole wall that would mostly be covered in boards. I’ll just paint inside the spaces between the boards after we install them, and it will all be fine.

No friends. No.

The easy process on how to secure vertical shiplap to a wall. #vetricalshiplap #shiplap

See, no board is straight. They all sway and bend a bit. So some portions of the spaces were easier to fit my tiny paintbrush in than others. And painting cracks? It takes hours and hours. Such a waste of time. Paint the wall first, and then, prepaint the boards as well. It’s next to impossible to paint the sides of the boards once they have adhered to the wall. I wasted three days painting cracks and sides, and my time is worth more than that. So is my back. Pre-paint as much as possible, and touch it up again once it’s all on the wall.

Vertical shiplap Wood Options

We used 1X4X8 pine boards for the shiplap and they fit perfectly in this 8-foot tall room. To keep the same space between boards, we used a few nickels between them when nailing in place. We had to cut around the window and narrow a board for the left-hand end of the wall, but besides that, the boards fit snug as a bug in a rug. (We all know this saying right?)

If you’ve been here for a bit, then you know my style: I’m all about imperfections. I don’t like many things exact in my decor. I enjoy the personality and warmth of knots in the wood, uneven sides, how grain shows through the paint, and on and on.

However, if you like a more clean, streamlined look, you can also use shiplap siding for your verticle shiplap. Just make sure to put a nickel in it for spacing. Otherwise, if you puzzle set them in tight, you won’t have that beautiful space between boards that adds that something special we’re all after.

Types of board options:

The easy process on how to secure vertical shiplap to a wall. #vetricalshiplap #shiplap

Shiplap around the window

The window was in the center of the wall, and I wanted it to continue to look center. To do that, instead of starting at one end of the wall and working our way towards the other end, I “framed” the window by starting with the shiplap on each side of it, and working our way outward. This meant there were no boards that had to be cut to fit around the window, which could have given it the appearance of being offset in the wall.

The easy process on how to secure vertical shiplap to a wall. #vetricalshiplap #shiplap

When we started this project, I wanted to keep the original wood trim around the window, and shiplap around that. But, once I set the shiplap up against the trim, the original trim looked very dated, too small, and it made the wall look messy. We decided to remove it and run the shiplap right up to the window ledge, and I love it so much more this way. It looks clean and doesn’t ruin or interfere with the vertical shiplap lines we have going.

Securing the shiplap to the wall

Because the shiplap was vertical, we were running the same direction as the studs, which you usually try to hit when securing items to the walls. We were able to hit the 4×4 runners on the top and bottom of the wall with the nail gun, but to prevent the center of the wood from bowing away from the wall, we glued the crap out of them.

That’s a technical term, right?

We went through almost two bottles of Gorilla Wood Glue. We also nailed the boards at the center of the wall, more to make sure it was flush against the wall so the glue had a good chance to work, knowing that if we hadn’t added the glue, the nails would have worked their way out and not supported the board in the long run. If a board still bowed a bit after we glued and nailed it to the wall, we used painter’s tape to tape it to the boards beside it, holding it against the wall until it dried and then removed the tape.

Then I painted. Which we all know at this point was a bad idea, and to do it first thing next time.

The easy process on how to secure vertical shiplap to a wall. #vetricalshiplap #shiplap

And that was it! Truly very easy, looks amazing, and was the perfect feature wall to bring my son’s room refresh together.

Have more questions about shiplap? Make sure to check out my other posts:

How to paint shiplap, all your questions answered

How not to shiplap a wall, all your questions answered

$5 Faux shiplap | How to draw a Sharpier shiplap wall

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