I’m so excited to finally share this! (and plan to share the nursery final reveal next week). It’s been done for a while but taking and editing pictures and getting them all blogged takes quite a process with a busy baby nowadays. If you are new to my blog, we bought a fixer upper house and had a baby 3 weeks later… so the nursery has gotten gradually worked on during her first year of life and I’m so glad it’s finally finished.
Here’s where it was before this latest project – walls were painted Classic Silver by Behr, chandelier is my favorite $10 yard sale find of all time. But the plan all along was to do an accent wall behind the crib to break up the gray crib and gray walls. Believe it or not, my husband was the one who suggested this when we were planning out the nursery/picking out the crib before we even bought the house – he actually said maybe we should do a shiplap wall? I think he’s watched too much Fixer Upper with me. But I was totally on board with that plan!
So here’s how I did it. I picked up 3 4×8 foot sheets of underlayment plywood at Home Depot. They were kind enough to cut it for me and I got it cut in 8 inch strips so each strip was 8 inches wide and 8 foot long.
Then I needed to prepare the wall. Depending on the color of your wall and the gap you intend to leave between the planks you may need to paint your wall first. Since I planned on leaving a pretty narrow gap and my wall was already light gray, which is what the shadow of the gap between planks would look like anyways, I didn’t paint my walls. I also didn’t paint or prime the strips of plywood – which you could do if you wanted. I am just inpatient and want to get a project done now so opted to do paint once they were installed. I didn’t want to glue the planks to the wall just in case we or a future owner wants to take them down one day. So I needed to find the studs so that I could nail nails into the plywood and into the studs. I found and marked them down the wall.
Then you start nailing the strips of plywood to the wall! The first one you will want to make sure you get level ignoring if it is completely level with the ceiling. Make sure the board itself is level and straight – you can always fill in any uneven gap between the board and ceiling with caulk. But all the rest of your boards will be based upon the levelness of the first board so take time to get that one level.
If you have ever installed tile or wood floor or done any kind of wall treatment like beadboard then this method is somewhat the same. I started with one whole 8 inch by 8 foot strip and nailed it up. Then held another board up touching the opposite wall and marked where I needed to cut to fit in the empty space No measuring – just let your boards be the guide. Nail up that piece to complete the first row and take the leftover piece off that board and start your next row.
I used pennies as spacers between each board but you can use nickels, dimes, actual tile spacers – whatever you wish.
I only had one outlet to cut around and fortunately it ended up in only 1 row of boards. I just used a jigsaw to cut it out and since the plywood is so thin the outlet could just rest on top of it with no additional spacers or anything needed.
You should be able to see all the planks and how they vary as they go down the wall. Eventually on the 5th row the boards pretty much end up repeating where you start with an entire 8 foot strip and finish up with a smaller strip at the end.
I had the best little helper too! This was actually a few months ago – she has already grown so much since that picture! ;(
At this point the wall was almost done except for one last row where I actually had to rip the 8 inch piece of board down to 2-3 inches to fill in that last space. Of course all of this will vary depending on the height of your wall, width of your strips, width of your gaps, etc. My wall is 8 foot high by about 10 foot wide.
Once I was completely done nailing all the boards to the wall, I filled the nail holes with spackle, and sanded the entire wall lightly just to get any of the roughness of the edges knocked down.
Where the strips of wood meet the wall on the sides you can do one of two things. If your cuts are clean and as straight as possible you can just caulk and paint. Or you can use a small piece of flat molding or even a piece of quarter round and put along that edge.
Mine weren’t perfect but ended up pretty clean and straight so that is what I did. Caulk covers a multitude of things!
Here’s the caulk and spackling that I used.
Then it was time to paint! I didn’t prime but I did use Behr Premium paint + primer in one in Polar Bear (a soft white) which is the paint I am using for all my trim and doors in our new home. You do want to be careful to not get too much paint in the gaps – I used a roller which helped with that vs. using a brush. Keep a scraper or something on hand to get paint out of the gaps if you do get some in.
So here’s the before…
And here’s the after with the new shiplap white wall!
I just love how it turned out.
It adds enough interest and contrast without “stealing the show” and I also love how it gives character to the room as well.
Here’s a closeup of how the gaps look. Again I opted to fill in the nail holes but if you wanted more of a rustic look you could leave them and just paint or stain the strips of wood.
This wall can grow and change with her room too – this wall will probably always be where the bed will be placed due to windows/closet doors on other walls so it will always be an accent wall behind her bed. And if I scoot the crib out of the way it makes a great photo backdrop too!