Wall treatments, like vertical shiplap, are one of the best ways to add personality and interest to any space. This tutorial will show you just how easy it is to install pre-primed vertical shiplap to any wall.
To say I’m excited about this post is an understatement. I’m exhausted and all my DIY muscles are sore, but phase 1 of Hannah’s room is done! This was a monster project, and one that only happened as fast as it did because of quarantine. Not being able to go anywhere really freed up my schedule to be able to fully focus on Hannah’s room every day (after home school of course). When I shared the full plans for this space HERE, I explained that this is the last room I’ll ever design for Hannah while she’s under our roof, so I’m pouring myself into it. I know I’ll be sad when this project is over because I’m loving it so much, but for now, I’m just ecstatic that the building phase is complete. Now, let’s talk shiplap.
I’ve used this pre-primed shiplap product in three other areas of our home, including my office niche, our unfinished loft, and the reading nook I recently finished. Needless to say, I feel comfortable with my process, and I’m happy to finally be sharing it with you.
These pre-primed shiplap planks come in 6, 8, and 12-foot lengths and 6-inch and 8-inch widths. For Hannah’s room, I used 8-foot long x 8-inch wide planks. They are designed to leave a space in between each plank that is the thickness of a nickel, but you can space them out a bit more (like I did in my office niche) for a different look or to take up more wall space and save on the number of planks you use.
Installing Pre-Primed Vertical Shiplap
Step 1 | Measure – The first step for installing these planks is to measure your wall and figure out how many boards you need.
Step 2 | Find Studs – Once you’ve determined that, you can decide if you want to find your studs. I skip this step because I use Liquid Nails on the back of each plank, and then I attach them to the wall with my nail gun. If you do not want to use a liquid adhesive, finding your studs is an important step.
Step 3 | Trim Planks – These go up super fast if the height of your wall matches the length of the planks. Hannah’s walls are exactly 8 feet high, so two of the walls went up in a few hours. The window wall was the tricky part because I had a lot of cutting to do, but it still went faster than if I had to trim down each plank. If you need to trim your planks, do them all before you start attaching them to the wall.
Step 4 | Attach Vertical Shiplap Planks to Wall – Like I mentioned above, I use Liquid Nails and my nail gun to attach the boards. You can choose to only use nails as long as you locate the studs and feel confident they will be attached securely without adhesive.
Step 5 | Fill Holes and Sand – I use wood filler to over-fill all my nail holes, and then I go back and sand them down flush before painting. You can also use spackle, but don’t use caulk because it shrinks and will make your nail holes visible even after painting.
This is how it should look when you over-fill with wood filler:
I like this sanding tool because it helps me sand flat instead of at an angle:
This is how each hole should look when sanded flat:
Painting Pre-Primed Shiplap
Painting the grooves between each plank can be tricky. I’ve tried a lot of different ways of doing this and think I’ve finally nailed down the most effective method. I use a brush and sort of angle it sideways to get paint into the groove where the right plank overlaps the left plank. I do this all the way down between two planks and then use a 6-inch foam roller to roll the flat part of both planks on either side of the groove. Here are some pictures of the process to help you see exactly how to do it.
The goal is to fill these gaps with paint. The brush strokes disappear once you roll each plank with a foam roller.
Using this technique to paint shiplap planks really does make a big difference. Below is a side-by-side picture of painted and unpainted shiplap.
I always use satin finish paint on this pre-primed vertical shiplap, as it is easier to clean than flat paint, and has no sheen. Each plank gets two coats of paint on the flat parts and one coat in the groove (unless it’s colored paint).
I used this same technique and paint finish in the reading nook I recently finished. With a more pronounced color, you have to make sure to really fill in the grooves between planks because it shows up more if you miss spots.
Other Phase One DIYs
In addition to shiplapping Hannah’s entire room, I also skim coated her ceiling and one wall (where the closet is), added crown molding, changed out the fan, hardwired picture lights, and added window grids from New Panes. Here are a few pictures of the room after all that work:
And here’s a look back at where we started with Hannah’s room:
I would say I cannot believe the transformation, but I totally can. I did all the work after all, so it would be highly disappointing if the transformation was any less dramatic. Nevertheless, I’m still in awe and so proud of this space. I sat on the floor and just stared at everything last night, basking in the happy glow of finishing. It feels so good to see a thing through, and now I’m excited to move on to building Hannah’s desk and making her headboard.
Make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss any posts on this project!
Other Blog Posts About Hannah’s Room:
Thanks for being here,
*Affiliate links are used throughout this post. They do not affect the cost of products to you, but they do provide a small compensation for my time and willingness to share links. Thank you!
Materials and Sources:
- Pre-primed shiplap (60 planks for three walls)
- Liquid Nails
- Nail gun
- Wood filler
- Hand sander
- Wall Color – Satin finish Valspar Infinity paint in the color Swiss Coffee by Sherwin Williams
- Trim Color – Satin finish Valspar Infinity paint in the color Accessible Beige by Sherwin Williams
- Paint brush
- 6″ foam roller
- Roller handle
- Crown molding
- Picture lights
- Joint compound
- Large tape knife
- New fan
- Mirror – vintage/thrifted
- Window grids from New Panes