Ever wish you could have the look of shiplap without the hassle? Here’s how I gave my laundry room the look with my DIY Faux Shiplap technique.
When I moved in here with my husband, the house had not been updated since probably the 1970s. Remember when wallpaper was the “in” thing? Yeah. I hate that stuff. It can be pretty, but the idea of layers and layers of wallpaper that I have to strip off? I’m not hanging wallpaper ANYWHERE.
First things first…
Strip that doggone wallpaper. The only saving grace that I had was that it was the older, thicker wallpaper and that the paste had started breaking down over the years. I started peeling up the loose areas by hand and then broke out the scoring tool and the wallpaper remover.
It’s still not an easy (or clean) job, but it came down relatively easy with my handy dandy scraper. After all the scraping, I washed down the walls to remove the rest of the glue residue, patched my holes and cracks and broke out the primer.
Holy Tinted Primer, Batman!
Apparently I need to get out more. Because I’m working toward more of an Industrial Farmhouse look in our home, I’m choosing a lot of greys in my plans. I went and got primer at the local hardware store and they make GREY PRIMER! I’m absolutely in love with the stuff now.
I’ll admit I’ve been a little lazy since this discovery. I have been using just the primer as a base coat without the added top coat of “real” paint. When you are doing a faux look, no one is even going to realize that it’s a primer. It doesn’t have any sheen to it as a semi-gloss would, but that’s exactly what I’m going for with a lot of my projects.
I Love Paint
Just getting the patterned wallpaper down and that coat of primer on the wall changed the look and feel of the room so much. It just felt cleaner and brighter without all the busyness of the wallpaper. Honestly, part of me just wanted to leave it the flat grey, but I already had a vision in my head so I just kept going.
Measure & Level For Shiplap Planks
Ok, now here is where it gets a little tedious and slow going…. but after all the wallpaper stripping it’s actually a little fun.
Determine how wide you want the “shiplap” to be. It took me a while because of how high the ceilings are to come up with good measurements. But hey, I’d rather have 12′ ceilings than 6′ ones. I ended up with 8″ planks, just because that’s what I thought would work best.
Now that you know how many planks you will have, you can start the process of painting.
Faux Wood Grain: The Cheaters Way
I know we have all seen that cute little graining tool that they sell in the paint aisle. I actually had one for a while, and while it does a good job, it’s just too time-consuming for me. And with the fact that I knew I was going to be up and down the ladder a lot, I wanted a way quicker way.
Enter my love of chalk paint.
Simply choose your colors of chalk paint at the store (I used two brown hues and a light blue). Starting with the darkest color, water it down by an eyeballed half and half ratio. Mix it up really well.
Make sure you have a very wide chip brush and that it will fit into your container to dip.
Now dip your brush into the watered-down paint, then tap off as much as you can against the side of your paint pail. I even used a rag to blot it to make sure it was very very lightly coated.
Holding a paper towel in your other hand, lightly drag the brush horizontally across your primed and painted wall. Try to stay as level as possible, but don’t try to be too perfect. Now gently smudge your paint with the paper towel along the same horizontal line you just drug the brush across.
Mistakes are Character
Repeat this process on all of the walls. I like to start at the top and work down, checking for level every once in a while. Repeat again with the other two colors of chalk paint. You should have walls that remind you of horizontal wood grain at this point. Don’t try to be perfect. Even real wood is imperfect. And we want authenticity, right?
Adding in the DIY Faux Shiplap “Planks”
Remember earlier when you decided on the width of your planks? Here is where the DIY Faux Shiplap is going to start showing itself. Now you get to draw and paint your negative space in. Measure up the wall and mark each point that you have a plank ending and beginning. (Remember, you are working with the width, which is on the vertical plane.)
Now with a yardstick or long level, draw on your “planks”. I started with a pencil and then just used a black paint marker. I wanted to visually see the planks before I fully committed to the paint. (Yes, I’m picky that way.)
You may or may not choose to draw in the board ends to break up the wood grain and stagger the look, making it (in my opinion) more realistic. But you do what YOU like. I added these, just eyeballing where I thought that they would look best.