One of the major aspects of my bath refresh (check that out here!) was the faux shiplap. This was my third time installing this, and each time I’ve gotten better. If you didn’t see part 1 of these tips, check that out here.
- Chisel it, just a little bit!
Don’t be afraid to go old school with some of your detailed cuts. Maybe you’re an expert with a jigsaw, but frankly, I’m just not. Making those detailed, small cuts can be tricky, and the jigsaw can get away from me if I’m not careful. When I just needed to shave off a bit more, or the piece was really small, I grabbed a small chisel and hammer. It really helped when cutting around the window sill.
- Grab a brush!
So in part 1, I advised painting the planks before installing them. Seriously, this is the way to go. Painting beforehand gives you clean straight gaps free of paint, thereby pulling off the shiplap feel in a much more convincing fashion. It wasn’t always easy to get the sides fully covered when I was painting. So while installing, I kept a brush handy, and painted the top edge of the plywood, as well as the wall behind it, before installing the next piece above it. This can also save you time and paint by not having to paint the entire wall behind the planks. You can just paint the little gap as you go.
- Hold the trim.
If you’ve been around for a while or have seen any of the curtains in my house, you know I’m a huge fan of command strips. Of course I found a way to use them here! If you are butting the end of the planks up against a piece of trim and not planking the full height of the wall, it will be difficult to cut the trim to the exact height. You don’t want to cut the trim until all of the planks are installed and you can cut the exact length. However, this makes it difficult to accurately cut and install the planks to butt up against the trim. So grab a command strip to hold the piece in place. Once your planks are installed, you can pull off the command strip and cut the trim to fit.
- Check your plank widths.
This starts in the store if you are having your store cut the planks. I had a heck of a time getting my planks cut for my first go-round. If you don’t believe me, check out this saga. But this time I got extremely lucky! There were 4 employees helping me. They clearly knew what they were doing, and they did it graciously. The cuts were clean, straight, and even. This meant that 7 of the 8 planks in the 4 foot tall piece of plywood were all 6″ wide, with the last plank being slightly smaller due to the saw cuts. If needed, ask to have the planks cut like this: the saw blade should be set 6″ from the bottom. The plywood should then be slid horizontally across the saw table, creating a 6″ plank from the bottom. The saw doesn’t move, and the plywood should continue to be run across the table until all of the planks are cut. I was able to use my 5 3/4″ planks, I just kept them in the same row on the two perpendicular walls to keep the pieces lined up. You may also want to put them at the bottom where the width difference will be less noticable, if at all.
- Sand from behind. Once you’ve gotten your boards home, take a look at the edges. One side will be a little more chewed up than the other. Choose that side to be the back. Then, sand perpendicular to the edge in front. This keeps the edge crisp and clean. You can then sand at an angle to clean up the back, more jagged, edge.
And don’t miss part 1!
I hope these tips help you achieve a professional look!