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DIY Vertical Shiplap (Cheap & Easy)

If you are looking for a cheap and easy DIY project to instantly update your home, give DIY vertical shiplap a try! The modern look of the shiplap installed vertically works perfectly with the modern farmhouse home.

Thank you to DAP Products for sponsoring this DIY Vertical Shiplap project! All opinions are entirely my own. This post also contains affiliate links, but nothing that I wouldn’t recommend wholeheartedly. Read my full disclosure here.

There’s just something about shiplap! I love how it instant upgrades a room and gives it so much character! I also love that it’s very easy & cheap to install (especially if you make your own faux shiplap).

I couldn’t wait to try my hand at faux shiplap again in our guest bathroom makeover, but this time I tried something new – VERTICAL SHIPLAP!

BEFORE PHOTOS

shows a bathroom with a cabin themed shower curtain and a light blue wall with a purple towel hanging on a towel rack with a rectangular hole cut out of the lower right corner

Here’s the wall that we’re working with…warning: it’s pretty rough! Yes, there was a hole in it (from when we installed this farmhouse sink cabinet on the other side of the wall in our laundry room).

Now I know you guys LOVE shiplap walls because I’ve done two other shiplap wall tutorials and turns out they are consistent my top trafficked blog posts!

My other shiplap tutorials:

(Click photo to see tutorial)

Materials for vertical shiplap:

Tools for vertical shiplap:

Step 1. Prep the wall.

The wall that you are installing the vertical shiplap on should be clean and flat. If there are holes, patch them and fill with spackle. You don’t necessarily need to worry about matching texture, but holes should be filled.

If you’re taking a room down to the studs or working with new construction, I would NOT recommend installing this type of faux 1/4″ shiplap directly to studs. You should have drywall behind the shiplap.

shows a teal wall painted white with primer about halfway up with a white door before shiplap is installed

Step 2. Prime or paint wall.

If you have large patched areas on the wall like I did, you can start by applying a primer to the wall. We used this primer, which is made specifically for kitchen and baths.

If your wall doesn’t have large patched areas and is already painted, you can start by painting the wall behind the shiplap the color that your shiplap will be.

Even though the gaps in between the shiplap are small, you will be able to see the color of the wall, so you definitely need to paint the wall behind before installing the shiplap.

shows a hand using a miter saw to cut sheets of ship lap on a workbench in shop

Step 3. Cut plywood down to size.

Using the table saw, rip the 1/4″ plywood sheet down into slats. The width of the shiplap is up to you, but we used 6 inches for our vertical shiplap wall.

How to cut plywood without a table saw:

If you’re only going partway up a wall (like we did), you’ll also want to cut the shiplap slats to the correct length using a miter saw. We brought our vertical shiplap wall up about 40″.

shows a woman painting the shiplap planks white in a garage

Step 4. Prime all sides of shiplap slats.

Painting shiplap is always easier before installing, so by painting it first you’ll save time and energy.

Since this shiplap is going in a bathroom, I recommend doing a solid coat of primer that’s made for bathrooms, like this one, painted on all sides and edges of the vertical shiplap before installing.

shows some hands using construction adhesive to the back of the shiplap before installing

Step 5. Attach shiplap to wall vertically.

Start at one corner and work your way across the wall. To attach the vertical shiplap to the wall, apply construction adhesive to the back of the shiplap slat and press hard into place. Making sure your first piece is level and then nail or staple into place.

We used staples instead of nails to attach our shiplap because we knew there were some water pipes in the wall and didn’t want to risk hitting one. That is one of the reasons why we added in the construction adhesive for an extra measure to secure.

With vertical shiplap you’re not able to attach every piece of shiplap to a stud (like you are with horizontal shiplap), so it’s always a good idea to add construction adhesive in for vertical shiplap.

shows a nail gun pressing into a white shiplap installing on a wall vertical with a nickel used as a spacer between the planks

In between each piece of vertical shiplap, use a nickel as a spacer. I slid the nickel up and down and used it as a spacer guide when attaching each slat to the wall.

Step 6. Add trim.

If you’re taking your vertical shiplap partway up the wall like, attach a piece of trim to the top of the shiplap slats with construction adhesive and staples to finish things off.

shows a metal scrapper against a white shiplap wall filling nail holes with spackle
shows a hand wiping down the shiplap with a sanding sponge
shows the white vertical shiplap wall in progress with top half of the wall a dark teal and white door


Step 7. Fill holes.

Next you want to fill all nail or staples holes with spackle and a putty knife. Wait to dry and sand smooth. We love this spackling because it’s ready to paint in just 15 minutes and you only need to do one coat.

As a last step, I usually put primer over the nail hole areas to make sure there is no “flashing” when the shiplap is painted. Flashing is when the finish of the paint looks different on the patched areas and can be prevented by priming over the spackled areas before painting.

Filling nail holes is actually optional. For a more rustic look, you can leave them exposed like we did on this plywood shiplap wall in our old living room.

shows a hand squeezing out caulk on the base of the white shiplap wall where it meets the baseboards

Step 8. Caulk corners and edges of shiplap.

Lastly apply a thin bead of Alex Flex caulk with a caulking gun to any corners or edges of the shiplap wall, including where the shiplap meets the baseboards and where the baseboards meet the floor if flooring is a hard surface.

Smooth (or “tool”) the caulk immediately with your finger or a caulking tool. If you find the caulk is sticking, you can slightly dampen your finger or add some soap to your finger to prevent this. This caulk is paintable within 30 minutes!

Step 9. Paint vertical shiplap.

Now it’s time to paint your wall. I did two coats of this color in a semigloss finish, which is the same paint that we use on all baseboards, trim and doors in our home.

shows an angled view of white vertical shiplap wall in a small bathroom with top half being dark teal with a white door and shower curtain, wood towel hooks and gray floors with white stripes

All done!

Doesn’t the vertical shiplap look great??? It looks great with our newly painted tile floors too, don’t you think? Check out the full tutorial for how to paint tile floor here!

show white vertical shiplap half wall with top half painted dark green with a white door and shower curtain, wood hooks for towels, and gray painted tile floors with white stripes

Not only is this shiplap super easy to install, it’s SO easy on the budget! We’re talking $12ish dollars for the wood to make the shiplap and roughly $20-30 dollars in materials (assuming you have most of the tools needed). Nothing beats a DIY project that comes in under $50, right?

shows an angled view form the tub of the white vertical shiplap all with top half painted dark green and white door with gray floors with white stripes

Even if you’re a beginner something like vertical shiplap is a great project to start on!! You can follow along with this simple step by step tutorial for all of the in’s and out’s.

shows a before and after picture of the shiplap wall and below a picture of the construction adhesive being put on the back of the shiplap with overlay text that says how to install vertical shiplap for less than $50

Where would you install vertical shiplap in your home??

Let us know in the comments below!

How To Install DIY Vertical Shiplap

How To Install DIY Vertical Shiplap

Active Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day
Difficulty: Intermediate
Estimated Cost: $40
If you are looking for a cheap and easy DIY project to instantly update your home, give DIY vertical shiplap a try! The modern look of the shiplap installed vertically works perfectly with the modern farmhouse home.

Tools

Instructions

  1. Prep the wall. Fill holes and clean if necessary.
  2. Prime or paint the wall. It should be the same color that your shiplap will be.
  3. Cut plywood down to size. We ripped to 6 inch wide slats.
  4. Prime all sides of shiplap slats
  5. Attach shiplap to wall vertical with construction adhesive and secure with nail or staples. Use nickels as spacers.
  6. Add trim to top.
  7. Fill holes with spackle and sand smooth. Add primer over spackled aress to prevent flashing.
  8. Caulk corners and edges of shiplap with Alex Flex caulk.
  9. Paint vertical shiplap.

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