I always thought they were saying “Shitlap” and believed this couldn’t be right. Right?
Finally, after numerous episodes of the show Fixer Upper, and learning the proper name, I realized Chip and Jo really had landed on something. I have been recommending it to my clients for years, and finally got around to incorporating it into my home. I have to say it is as wonderful as I expected it to be. I am still so happy to see folks using this in their homes. You see it being used from kitchens, entrance ways to living rooms. It really does provide rooms with such a great feeling and vibe to it. It can be modern; it can be farmhouse and it can coastal. So versatile.
When beginning with a fresh slate, as our stairwell was, you can really go nuts or keep it simple. I went with the latter. Simple, to me, is elegant.
We attached our trailer to our Honda Pilot and off we went to our local lumber mill, Chisholm Lumber, to buy our Shiplap. I have recognized that purchasing from a local lumber mill is far cheaper than big box stores. On our short drive there, the skies were changing, and the clouds coming in. “Hmm looks like rain is coming”, Sean says to me. A slight problem for an open trailer, and fresh wood boards. We decide to go anyways. We loaded up the boards, left the lumber mill and the skis opened up. It rained so hard it was a bit shocking. The project was on hold till boards dried. So, what is a girl to do while the boards dried? You buy accessories. I found these amazing pendant lights when poking around Homesense. I picked them up, put them down, walked away and then went back and got them. I am so glad I went back.
I really love the black cagey feel to them, with the accent of the natural wood piece at the top.
After the boards dried, I hand sanded 30 of them to scuff up the surface for the paint. My arms were sore that night for sure. It’s what you do for decor right girls?
We borrowed my neighbor Bob’s fancy ladder system to allow us to work on the stairwell with a 16-foot ceiling, we were good to go to nail these boards onto the wall.
We made a really good choice when selecting the Shiplap. We opted for 14-foot-long boards, which are the exact length of the longest wall. We did this so we wouldn’t have seams, just one continuous flow. This is much easier on the installation as well. There are several ways to install these boards. You can leave a gap between boards, which is the most popular way that people do it. We chose to keep the boards tight together. I knew that when the Shiplap started to acclimatize themselves, there would eventually be a natural split with the boards, as they dried out more. Marking first where the studs were in the wall, we nailed on the boards in with 2” 16 gauge nails with our Porter Cable - Brad Nailer. I let my Father and Sean do the nailing. I wasn’t a big fan of this ladder system.
Friends and family came over to peak at the stairwell with the fresh Shiplap installed. With bare and natural boards, they were shocked that I was going to paint them. “You’re not going to paint those are you? I answered, “Oh YEAH!!”. I have designed this space on paper and in my head, and it's white walls all the way.
3 things to know when choosing Shiplap
1). You can go with a pine board, but you do risk the knots coming through. If you do go that route use a primer sealer first, prior to painting. It helps to reduce the look of the knots coming through. You can purchase plywood boards, which are more streamlined, without the knots.
2). Sometimes less is more. If you feel the room will be heavy with a lot of Shiplap, pick an accent wall and focus on that. Nervous about trying it? Pick a small space like a fireplace or headboard to test out your skills before committing to larger spaces.
3). Shiplap does not need to be painted white. I am a white paint person, but using or other colors can look amazing as well. Have fun with it.
We are just so happy how our stairwell turned out.
It turned out exactly how I wanted it to look. A little pre planning and some talented guys (my husband and father) we made my stairwell go from Blah to Wow. A really simple DIY that gives me joy every time I walk up and down those stairs. What a great feeling.
Until next week!
Live simple, love your space