DIY Shiplap Wall | How to DIY Wood Plank a Wall for Less
DIY wood planks are such a great way to give your favorite space a fresh new look. There is always the option to buy and install ready-made shiplap, but we went with the good old DIY version and saved ourselves about $350. It was well worth the work on our end and I think it turned out just as amazing, if not better, than if we chose traditional shiplap. Depending on the size of your wall, this could be a super simple way to add character and texture to your walls! Even for us, it ended up being more difficult with the complexity of the wall, but definitely a doable project for any DIY lover.
To read more about the entire transformation, click here.
Our family room is our main gathering space. Its large and warm and we really enjoy being in there. The one downfall is that it had some really cute wood paneling, probably from when the house was built in the 1960’s. It never really bothered me that much because it definitely worked in that space….just a little out-dated.
We’ve had this project on our list since we moved in 4 years ago, and I’m so excited we finally got to it! The main motivator for getting it done was truly to make the space safer for P and baby #2. We had a few hazards with the TV, TV stand, and all of the wires that made us nervous so we finally decided to get the work done.
As always, the project was more labor intensive than originally planned, but ended up taking us about 5 weeks to complete (would have been 4 but we had to re-paint the rest of the room because the color no longer looked good).
Wood Planks or Shiplap?
We originally were going to just go with the regular shiplap because it would take way less time and effort. However, once we got into the project and had some help from family, we decided to just go with the wood plank route. It looks great IMO and saved us like $350 dollars which was WELL WORTH the extra day it took to cut all of the pieces. We also had to paint the original wall white because of the space between each plank, with shiplap, you wouldn’t have to do that.
If you’re trying to decide between the two, my advice is that you are either spending your time or your money with this one and you have to decide what is more valuable in your current moment.
Things you need to consider:
How much money will you save by cutting your own planks?
Do they sell shiplap in the size you want? We couldn’t get it in the store at the right size, we wanted 8 inch pieces and they only sell 5 inch ones near us.
Do you have a table saw? Roller? You need those to cut the wood! What about all of the other expensive tools for the project?
Cutting the wood was a 3 man job, do you have people that can help you?
Are you on a time crunch?
I’m very happy with our decision to plank our own wall - it saved a ton of money and ended up looking amazing!
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4x8 plywood (get one with a nice sanded finish so you don’t have to sand yourself)
Table Saw & Roller
Primer (We used Kilz Brand Latex)
Paint (We used Valspar - Dove White)
Deal with any electrical movement. The whole point of this project was so we could move the TV off of the very not baby-safe stand and mount it on the wall. That means running cables and wires and doing all sorts of things that I do not know how to do... that is what the hubs is for :)
Paint the original wall the same color you paint your planks. Since there will be space in between each plank, you want the wall behind the planks to be the same color. We left up the original planking and painted with Valspar Dove White.
Cut the wood into the proper size. We cut each piece into about 8 inches and left them at their 8 foot length which would allow for minimal waste. We wanted to utilize each piece and not have all this scrap plywood we couldn’t use for anything. You can really make the planks whatever size makes you happy. They sell shiplap in different sizes, so research and see what you like best!
We had some intricate cuts to do because of our wood beams, so we started at the top and worked our way down. We knew the top pieces would be the most challenging so we started there. We used the hand saw to cut out notches so the planks would fit, but if you’re lucky, you just have a regular wall, with no beams, and wont have to worry about this!
We applied adhesive (liquid nails) to each of the boards before we nailed them into place. Make sure to use the spacers every time!
Prime the wood, we used Kilz Brand Primer.
Paint the wood, we used Valspar Dove White.
We ended up having to paint the other walls of the room because it looked terrible after we changed the planking. We chose a lovely gray that we have in like 4 other rooms in the house :)
And that’s it! The longest part is cutting all of the wood, but our wall was VERY LARGE so it took us about 3 full days to get the wall done. It could be done in a day or two with a small space, for sure!