Rust-Oleum Projects

DIY Shiplap Walls

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Create the look of shiplap walls for a fraction of the cost by using this easy and affordable alternative to solid wood planks.

How To

1. Preparing your boards

  • Using a table saw, cut the 4’ x 8’ hardboard handy panels lengthwise into equal-sized strips.
    • Cutting them into 8” widths will give you 6 equal panels per sheet, but don’t forget to deduct the width of your saw blade for each cut to create consistently sized boards. Many home improvement stores will cut the boards onsite, but be sure to have exact measurements with you.
  • If the boards have rough edges from cutting, give them a light sand to smooth them out.


    2. Installing the first row

  • Ensure your wall is clean and any visible holes are patched.
  • Apply a generous amount of construction adhesive to the back of your first panel, and then place it in the top left corner of your first wall.
  • The construction adhesive will hold it in place long enough for you to install pin nails using a nail gun around the perimeter of the plank. This will secure it and ensure that the board doesn’t move while the adhesive dries.
  • Repeat with the next board, using a spacer between the end of the board to create the standard “shiplap gap.”
  • When you’re ready to install your last board in the top row, measure and cut to size using a chop saw, but ensure that you’re also deducting the “spacer” amount from the cut measurement.


    3. Installing your remaining boards

  • Use the cut end piece from the last board to start your second row back under where you applied your first board, and repeat the installation process. Ensure that you’re using a spacer at the top of the board as well as end to end.


    4. Fill holes

  • Once all of the boards are attached and the construction adhesive has thoroughly dried, fill any visible nail holes with Varathane Wood Filler, but if you’re using a small gage pin nailer, the holes will likely be so tiny that the paint finish will cover them well.


    5. Painting your boards

  • When you’re ready to begin painting, place a drop cloth on the surrounding area, thoroughly stir the Zinsser Perma White paint, and pour into a tray.
    • Perma White is a paint/primer in one with built-in mildewcides, so you do not need a separate primer prior to application.
  • If applying with a brush and roller, it works best to first brush the corners and all horizontal and vertical gaps between the boards, then roll out a top coat over all surfaces.
  • Repeat with a second coat of paint and allow to dry thoroughly.
  • If spraying is preferred, use a .017 tip and high/medium pressure. If thinning is required, use only water and no more than 10% per measure of paint.


Visit Rust-Oleum Canada and Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault on Instagram for more tips and inspiration!



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