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Fireplace Shiplap Feature Wall

Posted 1/6/2021

When we bought our house over three years ago, we knew that we would be painting every room. The previous owner had painted vibrant colors on every wall, and we were wanting a subtler look. I tried to create a fairly neutral palette throughout the house but looked for ways to add interest to our home. The wall that housed the fireplace in the bonus room was an ideal place to incorporate a bit of charm.


During a week that T was gone for work, I rolled up my sleeves and built this feature wall to surprise him. I wanted the look of shiplap but not the cost, so I created a faux shiplap with pine boards. This project was easy to do and inexpensive. I completed it with no help, over the course of a couple of days.



The bonus room had been painted a dark burnt orange which I wanted to change to a light blue grey, so before I started on this project, I primed the walls around the fireplace. Even though I was covering the feature area with boards, I painted the wall behind it white in case the wall was seen between the gaps. The walls bordering the shiplap were painted the light blue grey.



After the area was painted and I was waiting for it to dry, I started getting the project boards ready. The border was made from 1x4 boards, so the actual width of the border is 3 1/2”. The remaining boards were made from 1x6 boards, so the width of each shiplap is 5 1/2”. All boards were measured and cut. Then, I sanded and painted each board white. I painted the front and all edges of every board to prevent any natural wood from showing through the gaps.



Back to the wall, I located and marked the studs, drawing lines from the top of the wall to the bottom. The first boards that I attached were the four border boards. When T is home, we use fancier tools, and the boards could have been put up with a brad nailer. I tend to be a bit old school, and each board was attached by predrilling the nail holes, and then hammering nails in. All nails were sunk with a nail set. The holes were filled with wood filler, as well as the joins in the border. I wanted the entire border to look like one piece.



The shiplap boards were positioned using loonies to create the signature shiplap gaps. The boards were measured to leave a gap on both sides as well as between boards. It was a bit tricky to hold each board in place using the loonie spacers and predrilling the holes before nailing, but because the area was less than six feet across, I was still able to do this myself.



When the last board was secured, and the last nail hole filled, I left the project to allow the wood filler to dry. When that was done, I sanded all the filler and reapplied where necessary. After another drying period, the wall was resanded, wiped down with a dry cloth, and then given a final coat of white paint.



This feature wall is a perfect place to show off my beautiful painting from Bali. (Note: I have never been to Bali; I purchased the painting from someone who has been.) It would be a wonderful place to display any treasured wall hanging. I am not sure if we will put up any more shiplap, but we have done a few interesting projects since then, and I do expect more feature walls to come!


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