Home ProjectsInterior Guest Bathroom Reveal: Installing Shiplap

Guest Bathroom Reveal: Installing Shiplap

by Amber

Welcome to my favorite room in our house, for now at least; our guest bathroom.  I’m breaking my own rules by working on this project next, but once we started working upstairs in the office more, we started using this bathroom more.  Just like our master bathroom, I couldn’t handle the yellow on yellow.  I knew I wanted to paint and spice up the solid yellow wall, and what better way to do that than shiplap! Yes, I am obsessed with Fixer Upper, and I love wall treatments!  So, what better thing to do then add shiplap. Insert happy dance.  Isn’t it pretty?



These are the best before photos I have of our bathroom. Yellow walls, cream cabinets, blue linen shower curtain, and some white rugs sums it up.  Kinda boring, even Cooper is unimpressed, just look at that face!  I looked at Pinterest and binge watched Fixer Upper, then decided on the following upgrades for this bathroom:

  • Frost the window
  • Install a shiplap accent wall
  • Paint the walls grey
  • Switch out the shower curtain (this is now in Haylie’s bathroom, check out her part 1 & part 2)
  • Add decor


One of the very first things we did in this house was frost the window in this bathroom.  Our neighbor has a bedroom window almost directly across from our bathroom, you can see in the image below, that wasn’t ideal. As soon as we moved in we immediately purchased materials to frost the window.  From our local Lowe’s we purchased the GILA privacy window film and the GILA installation kit.  I followed the directions on the back of the box, and it was very easy to install.  Overall I have been extremely happy with this product and would highly recommend it. 



Next, we jumped right in with the shiplap wall.  We used the following items for the install which we either had already or purchased from Lowe’s:

  • Box cutter
  • Moulding bar
  • 1 x 8 x 6 whitewood boards
  • Nail gun/ compressor
  • Hammer
  • 2-1/2″ High Performance Trim Nails
  • Nail Punch Set
  • Screw driver
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Miter saw
  • Stud finder
  • Jigsaw
  • Ruler
  • Nickels
  • Electrical box extender
  • New screws for extender
  • 6 in 1 painters tool
  • Cove moulding
  • 1 x 3 x 6 Pine board
  • Sand paper
  • Caulk
  • Putty knife
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush

Yes, we used a lot of stuff but don’t get overwhelmed.  In case you are doing this in the farthest room from your tools like we were, I’m just trying to save you a few trips.  This was the space right before we started and this is what we did:

Removed the quarter round and baseboard.  We cut the caulk on both pieces of moulding with a box cutter, then used a moulding bar to pry it off the wall.  I highly recommend investing in this moulding bar.  For $10 you can save your moulding to reuse and yourself a headache.

Installing board one. Once the moulding was removed, we cleaned the floor and wall to make sure that we had a clean surface to start.  We measured the wall from door frame to door frame at least 4 times, and walked downstairs to cut the first board to length using our miter saw to insure we had straight cuts.  Not realizing it then, but that was the first trip up/ down the stairs of what felt like 400.  We made sure the board would fit into place, then grabbed the stud finder and a pencil.  Find all the studs across the entire wall and mark where they are all the way up the wall.  This will prevent you from finding them again each time you add a new board.

Most importantly, you want to make sure the first board is level.  This is where having a partner is nice, Daniel and I leveled it together.  I then held it into place, with a level resting on the board the entire time, while he used a hammer and 2-1/2″ trim nails to secure it to the wall.  Check after each stud to confirm that the board is still level.  He started on the far left side and continued right all the way across the wall, placing two nails into each stud.

Installing additional boards.  After triple checking our first board was still level, we added 10-12 nickels across the top for spacing.  You could use other coins depending if you wanted smaller gaps in the board.  Each board was a tiny bit warped in places, so adding extra nickels along the top helped to ensure we stayed as straight/level as possible.  Cut the next board to size after measuring, and place it on the nickels, flush with the wall.  Check the board to see if it is level.  If so, nail into place and continue the process up the wall until you get to an outlet/ switch of any kind.

If you noticed the 6 in 1 painters tool, it was used to get the nickles out.  Some of them got a little stuck.

Cutting around an outlet or light switch.  Start by measuring your board that will go over the outlet and cut to size.  Place your nickels and board on the wall.  Since we couldn’t get the board flush with the wall I drew lines on the back of the board with a pencil to show the left and right side of the light switch.  Use a ruler to measure the outlet, and the marks on the board to know exactly how much to cut. This is a bit difficult to explain, however, use a method that works for you to get the size/ shape of where to cut.

I then got to use my favorite tool, the jigsaw, to cut out the hole.  Cut small because you can always cut extra off.  We cut the hole big enough to put the board on the wall, and confirm the measurements before cutting it to the exact size.  Place the board back on the wall and draw a line on the top of the board in the exact place you want to cut around the switch. Measure from the outlet to the place the new board will end to get the base line at the bottom of the switch and cut away.

Put the board on the wall, confirm level, and nail it into place.  We completed this process twice since the outlet was in the middle of two boards, yay for us!!

Installing outlet extender.  Now you are to the fun part, by that I mean, we went to and from Lowe’s 4 times during this process to do it the right way.  Making sure we installed wood around the outlet properly was very important to us.  May this information save you from making so many trips to your local hardware store.

Cue the electrical part of the job, this was the most nerve racking part for me.  First, turn off the power! Next, confirm that the power is in fact, off.

Next, unscrew the outlet from the wall with a screwdriver.  It will still mostly stay in place, but don’t try to pull it out of the box.  You will need an electrical box extender, this is the one we purchased.  While at your local hardware store also purchase longer screws.  We got home and went to install the box extender, and the screws that come with it were too short.  Back to the store we go.

Now slide the extender over the outlet/ switch.  The photo above was taken at this point, you can see it hanging out from the wall.  The four blue tabs at the top and bottom will sit flush against the boards.  Line the holes on the outlet/switch up with the holes at the top and bottom of the extender, and screw them both into the original electrical box.  Without power it is nice to have someone hold a flashlight to help out with this part.  It is very hard to find the original hole since it is so far back at this point.  Photo below was taken after it was painted but this is what it should look like. Installing moulding.  Nothing finishes a project like adding a little detail with moulding.  We used a 1x3x6 pine board and a piece of cove moulding for our finishing touch at the top of the shiplap.  Since we didn’t go all the way up the wall, we thought it seemed weird to just stop without adding moulding to the top.  Using the same nails and a hammer we installed the square edge piece of moulding flush to the top of the shiplap.  Once installed we placed the 1×3 on top and nailed it into the shiplap from the top. This is what it looked like before we prepped to paint.

Making the nails flush with the wall.  We used a punch hole set to make sure all nails were far enough in the wall to caulk.  You place the nail punch directly onto the nail, and hammer the punch lightly until the nail is flush/ slightly into the wood.  This allows you to put a tiny bit of caulk over them so they can’t be seen once you paint.

Reinstall the quarter round.  We used the same piece that I removed before we got started.  Start by scrapping off the old caulk.  Place the clean moulding directly on the floor against the wall.  Using a nail gun with finishing nails we attached it to the wall.

Caulking the wall.  You are to my least favorite part, and I’m not even sure why, but I really hate caulking.  First, I caulked all the holes in the boards, moulding, and quarter round.  We then used a putty knife to smooth it.  Next, I caulked the top moulding connected to the wall, down both the left and right sides of the boards connected to the walls, the quarter round connected to the shiplap, and lastly the trim boards.  The image below better shows what I’m trying to explain.I mainly used my fingers or paper towels to smooth out these spaces.  I also put painters tape down the sides of the walls to keep excess caulk off the trim.  It was not a fun process and I’m not sure I did it the best way, however, it got the job done.  This is definitely a process that I can improve my skills in.  Lastly, let it dry, and do a light sanding to make sure all areas are smooth.

Painting the shiplap.  You are almost done at this point, stay strong!!  We primed the wood twice with killz so we didn’t have to worry about moisture and painted one additional coat with Valspar white paint in a satin finish.  This part wasn’t actually as easy as you would think.  It is very hard to get in between the gaps in the shiplap.  If I were to do this project again I would highly recommend painting the sides of the boards before installing them so you only had to paint the front. At this point the wall is done!!  Happy dance!!


After looking at the two very similar grey spots on the wall (you can see them above), I decided on one and started painting.  I used Valspar interior satin finish in a custom color done by the Lowe’s paint counter.  I couldn’t get the right gray so the very sweet lady offered to do a random mix of two colors I had in mind and it was perfect!  This is the tag if you wanted this color.  I removed all outlet covers, towel holders, rugs, shower curtain and rod, mirror, and pictures from all walls.  I painted the shower area first, then moved to the larger part of the bathroom with the vanity.  It took a while since I had so much to trim.

After it was dry, and mostly put back together, I decided to replace the grey linen shower curtain (now in Haylie’s bathroom) with the white waffle curtain.  The white was just so clean and made the tiny space feel a little bigger.  I framed a new print from The Animal Print Shop (I love this site), and put the remaining decor back in the room.  Ta Da!!  This bathroom makeover is finished!!


We still have small plans for this bathroom but for now this room is done!  We eventually plan to add framing to the mirror and license tags to hang them on the wall.  These were actually my grandparents tags from a long time ago, I’m such a sucker for family antiques.


The wall has been installed for a year now.  The only issue that we have is the wood bleeding through the paint.  In the places with knots, the white has discolored a little to brown.  You can see what I’m talking about in the last photo on the right side.  Not sure the cause of this, or how to fix it permanently.  I don’t plan to put another coat of white paint on the wall because it doesn’t bother me, but I just wanted to be honest with you.  Hope this info helps.


Colleen Gentry May 22, 2017 - 2:44 pm

So pretty. Totally changed the feel of the space in a great way!

Amber May 22, 2017 - 7:55 pm

Thank you so much, it is still one of my favorite places in our house. 🙂


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