Let me just preface this post by saying I am not a shiplap virgin. This is not my first rodeo, and yet still, I royally screwed myself into spending far too many hours and wayyyy too much money on this tiny room’s one wall.
In our last house I planked the walls in our half bathroom. It was one of the first DIY projects I attempted on my own, and I failed miserably…I mean learned a lot.=) I tried the method you see everywhere for faux shiplap using flooring underlay, but for whatever reason, mine was wavy, gapping, and just a mess. I broke the toilet tank trying to squeeze shiplap behind it, and it just all around was not how I envisioned. Oh, and of course I did all of this right before my son’s birthday party, where our highly visible, highly used bathroom would not go unnoticed.
My husband bailed me out of this one, and spent the night ripping everything out and replacing it with a tongue and groove plank that gave me the look I wanted. Not exactly “shiplap”, but the same feel. Oh, and lucky for me he was able to replace just the toilet tank also, without having to replace the whole toilet.
Fast forward to this house of ours. I decide I’m going to try my hand at shiplap again. But of course I can’t just use the tried and true methods floating around pinterest, or even our tongue and groove that had worked so well. Noooooooo. I’m going to break the internet, and do something no one has done yet! It may be a bit more expensive, but the ease of installation, and the resemblance to authentic shiplap will be worth it!
I was wrong.
The gorgeous cedar planks that I bought for $20 A BOARD were long enough to have a seamless run of shiplap. I would just cut them to size, nail them up, and voila! Done. Ha! Of course not! Nothing in the DIY world could be that easy, right? The cedar boards I bought were a tongue and groove that I thought I could flip to the smooth back side and call it a day. Oh, that was after I ran EACH board through the planer 4 or 5 times, because the back surface was so rough.
The “right” side of boards.
“Wrong” side of boards before planing.
I get them all cleaned up, carry the awkward stack of nearly 10 ft long boards in to the cramped laundry room and nail my first board up when I realize I have a huge problem.
Because I had flipped the board over, the “tongue” part no longer fit snugly into the “groove”, instead leaving a nearly 1 inch gap between boards. Crap. (Ok those of you who know me, know I probably said a lot worse, but we’ll keep it PG here ok?)
So now, I get to give each board individual attention again, and cut off half of the tongue with my saw. OMG this is turning into the most difficult shiplap installation in the history of ever…
Back to the laundry room I go, and successfully install the rest of my boards, using nickels to space them. Phew. The walls and boards are surprisingly level, spacing is going well, when I run out of boards 3/4 of the way down. Oh come on!!! I had been trying to be so careful in my measurements, and did not want to buy extra when this wall was going to be expensive enough, but I was way off. And I had cleared the pile at my Home Depot, which was not restocked for the next several weeks.
After stalking our Home Depot for weeks (maybe longer, it felt like an eternity) I finally made the trip to another Home Depot across town, and my happy helper was there to support me.
For the price of a few 2×4’s for a project of his own. =) It’s the least I could do.
After repeating the loonnnnggg process with the rest of the boards, I was able to finish the wall without any other snags. But sheesh, it did not need to be so hard! I’m happy with the end product, but it was definitely not worth the effort.
Using the cedar planks made it smell sooo good in here!
Before I painted=).
Moral of the story here. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. There’s a reason so many DIY enthusiasts and bloggers have used the super thin plywood cut into strips as their faux shiplap material. Because it’s cheap, it’s easy, and it looks great!!! Next time, there’s always next time.=)