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Timeless Vertical Shiplap and Ceiling Shiplap


Are your walls looking boring and need a little character? Learn how our contractor installed vertical shiplap walls and shiplap on the ceilings to create a beautiful and timeless design!

New vertical shiplap and ceiling shiplap installation in our nursery.

The lumber used in this post was gifted from Woodgrain. You can read more about my disclosures here.

This room has several angles and slanted walls and never felt complete. I have always thought of it as a cute little attic room but it was always missing something. Decor can only do so much, so I decided to install shiplap on the walls and ceiling, creating a quaint coastal cottage vibe.

Living in a coastal town, I have always associated planked walls with aging beach cottages. I do feel like vertical planks add a modern touch to classic shiplap design. For me, I associate horizontal shiplap with farmhouse style and vertical with coastal style. I went to Pinterest in search of inspiration and when I found the images below, I knew it was meant to be!

Vertical shiplap installation.
via: Serena & Lily

I’ve shared several beautiful vertical shiplap projects in the past for inspiration and you will find those here.

Installing Shiplap

We opted to hire professionals to install and paint our vertical shiplap and ceiling shiplap. This room belongs to my youngest son and he still naps during the day. You know how it goes, we’re only able to work on projects during his nap and there is no way we could have accomplished this project during his naps. Time is very limited around here so we decided to hire help. Also, it was complicated with various walls at angles and slanted walls. I’m so happy that we hired professionals because the end result is beautiful! I fear that our job would have screamed DIY and we would have worked on it for at least one year. That’s how long it takes to accomplish anything around here and they finished the job in three days!

Nursery makeover.

There are several different ways to install shiplap. You can use plywood and have it cut down into smaller strips of wood. Another option is using tongue and groove. For this project, we used primed pine boards supplied by Woodgrain. All of the boards arrived and were in excellent shape. Typically, it’s normal for some boards to arrive bowed but we didn’t experience this with Woodgrain. Each piece was high quality and well packaged.

Remove the trim

First, all of the trim was removed. We wanted an updated look so we opted to replace the trim with craftsman style trim. Regardless of keeping your existing trim or replacing it, it is a common mistake to not remove the baseboards before installing the shiplap (a mistake that we have made in the past). This is an important step and will often distinguish a DIY project from a professional job. You will either replace trim and baseboards in the end or reinstall your existing trim.

Removing window shutters to install new wall trim and treatments.
Removing trim and baseboards to install wall treatments.

Secure boards

Next, locate the studs on your accent wall and then secure a horizontal piece of wood into the studs. When you’re installing vertical boards, some of the boards will not secure into the studs and can rip out of the drywall with time. If you secure horizontal boards first, you can secure your vertical boards into those, and all of the boards will be secure. If you’re using tongue and groove shiplap, this step can be skipped.

Prepping walls to secure vertical shiplap.
Prepping the walls with horizontal boards into the studs, to hang vertical shiplap.

Our contractor had a difficult time with our walls because they were not level. They used several shims (pictured above) to make the structure level. They were also very clever and set up a system to bring in all of the lumber through the window. We have a lot of stairs and I applaud them at this brilliant idea!

Room makeover installing vertical shiplap.

For the ceiling, we were able to run the boards in the opposite direction of the studs so each board could be attached to a stud. All of the boards were secured using brad nails instead of liquid nails to avoid damage to the drywall.

Ceiling shiplap in the nursery.

Prep and Paint

After installing the boards, it was time to prep for paint. The painters filled the holes and caulked around the edges. Then they painted the walls using Benjamin Moore Regal in Chantilly Lace, my favorite, in a flat finish. Typically, one coat of paint would have been sufficient but due to the abundance of natural light in the room, we needed two coats of paint.

Vertical shiplap walls.

If you install shiplap using this method, I do recommend a smaller spacing between the boards. Unfortunately, I was not home when they were installed and in a few spaces you can see the horizontal boards behind the vertical shiplap. I honestly do not mind and most people will not even notice. I do plan on hanging decor in a few places where it’s obvious, so it is not a big deal.

Nursery with rocker and glider and shiplap walls.
Vertical shiplap room with changing table and hanging ship.

Working with Woodgrain to supply our lumber was a great experience. If you’re considering a new project and adding new millwork to your space, replacing doors, or simply working with lumber, I highly recommend their company!

I cannot get over how much I love this room. It is easily my favorite room in the house. Not only did the shiplap add character to the walls, it made the room so cozy. Once we start decorating, it will be unbelievable!

I can’t wait to share what’s next for this room, it’s going to be so cute! Here is a sneak peek at inspiration that I have shared. Big news!! We hope to start building a bed soon. Theo is not ready to leave his crib yet and we don’t want to interrupt his sleep. We plan to go ahead and build the bed but also leave his crib in the room until he’s ready for the transition. I’m so excited to start that project and share it with you!

Kids bed DIY
Via: Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

What do you think? Isn’t it so beautiful!? I can’t wait to decorate the room for Theo’s big boy room! I’ve read that shiplap is trending out, but I personally feel like it’s here to stay. It is timeless and has been around far longer than the trends that come and go! This lumber was truly some of the best we’ve ever used! To find a Woodgrain dealer near you, click here.

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