How to Install a Vertical Shiplap Plank Wall

March 3, 2021

Our mudroom makeover is complete and I am excited to share how we installed the tongue and groove plank wall in this room. I chose this wall treatment because it worked well with the cottage architectural style of our home. This project is definitely doable for beginners and is affordable too.

If you are new to the blog, welcome! Here are a few posts you may have missed about the mudroom makeover:

Here is what it looked like before we started this project:

Add character to your home with this easy plank wall tutorial | Building Bluebird #diy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover

And here is that same view after we installed the plank wall:

Add character to your home with this easy plank wall tutorial | Building Bluebird #diy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover

Here is another view of the mudroom before this plank project:

Add character to your home with this easy plank wall tutorial | Building Bluebird #diy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover

And that same view after:

Add character to your home with this easy plank wall tutorial | Building Bluebird #diy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover

Our mudroom has lots of corners which made our project a little more complicated, but for straight walls, this project is a breeze! I have sourced & linked all of the materials and tools we used for this project at the bottom of the post.


How to Install V-Groove Planks to a Wall

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Measure For Materials

To determine the number of wood planks needed for your project, measure the walls where they will be installed. Take the total width of the walls and divide that number by the width of a single plank. This will give you an idea of how many planks you will need to use for this project.

Add character to your home with this easy plank wall tutorial | Building Bluebird #diy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover

Example: You are applying the planks on two walls. The width of one wall is 20 inches and the width of the second wall is 30 inches making the total width 50 inches. If a single plank has a width of 5 inches, you will need 10 planks (50/5=10) for the project.

We added about 10% extra planks to account for boards with defects or cutting errors. The planks we went with came in a 6 pack at Lowes and were reversible with a beadboard option on the other side.

Wall Placement

Determine how high you want the planks to go. I measured the height of the wall, divided it into thirds, and planned to create the plank wall 2/3 of the way up the wall. With a level and a pencil, I marked the height.

Add character to your home with this easy plank wall tutorial | Building Bluebird #diy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover

Before attaching the planks, we removed the baseboards and installed new ones over the planks.

Attach the Top Trim Board

We chose a 1×4 primed wood board for the trim piece on top of the planked wall.

We measured the first wall from the door trim to the outside corner and used a miter saw to make our cuts. One side of the board ran into door trim and required a simple straight cut. The other side of the board was for the outside corner of the wall and required a 90-degree angle.

Add character to your home with this easy plank wall tutorial | Building Bluebird #diy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover

Cut the 90-degree angle first, then cut the other side with the straight cut. I like to cut the board a little bit longer than the measurement and make adjustments from there. If the board needs to be shortened, make the adjustments on the side with the straight edge.

Remember that you want the length of the board to go from the straight cut on one side to the bottom part of the 90-degree angle. The top of the angle will go past the wall to connect with the board on the other wall. Once you get the board cut to length, apply liquid nails to the back of the board and secure it with a pneumatic nailer using 18 gauge nails.

Cut Wall Planks to Size

When all of the top trim boards have been attached, measure the distance from the floor to the bottom of the trim board and cut your planks.

Add character to your home with this easy plank wall tutorial | Building Bluebird #diy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover
Add character to your home with this easy plank wall tutorial | Building Bluebird #diy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover

Attach First Plank

There is a very good chance that the walls in your home are not perfectly plumb (especially if you own an older home), so it is really important to get your first plank straight. Put the first plank in place and use your level to create a perfectly straight line.

How to install vertical shiplap to achieve instant interest and character | Building Bluebird #beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover #budgetfriendly

If the corner gap is too large to conceal with caulk when the first plank is perfectly level, you will want to use a table saw to make an angled cut. The table saw is not my favorite tool to use so I rely heavily on my husband whenever I am required to use it! Fortunately for this first board, the gap was small enough to fill with caulk.

Glue & Nail the Planks in Place

Apply liquid nails to the back of each plank and place it on the wall. Before nailing the board, check one more time that it is level.

How to install vertical shiplap to achieve instant interest and character | Building Bluebird #beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover #budgetfriendly

Used the pin nailer to secure the board at the top, middle, and bottom of the board. Once the first board is attached and level, the next boards that are installed should also be level since they are connected with the tongue and groove system.

How to install vertical shiplap to achieve instant interest and character | Building Bluebird #beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover #budgetfriendly

I prefer to start a vertical shiplap wall at an inside corner and work my way over to an outside corner. This is because the outside angle will have a corner trim piece attached to the top of the two planks that meet at that corner.

How to install vertical shiplap to achieve instant interest and character | Building Bluebird #beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover #budgetfriendly

We worked our way across the room attaching the wood boards. At the end of each wall, we had to use the table saw (straight cuts) or the circular saw (angled cuts) to get the final board to fit. The mudroom has lots of corners which made the plank installation a little more tedious.

Measure & Cut the Last Corner Wall Plank

For the final plank, Chris measured the distance from the previous plank to the corner of the wall. He took the measurement at the top and bottom because our walls are not perfectly straight.

How to install vertical shiplap to achieve instant interest and character | Building Bluebird #beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover #budgetfriendly

When the final board needed to be cut at an angle, we used the circular saw to achieve this cut. Honestly, there is probably a better tool or easier way to make this cut, but this was our process! We marked the plank with a pencil, secured the plank with clamps, and cut the board with the circular saw.

Making these more challenging cuts in the inside corner of the room helped to hide any mistakes. Another option is to add an inside corner trim piece to conceal any uneven cuts in the corner.

How to install vertical shiplap to achieve instant interest and character | Building Bluebird #beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover #budgetfriendly
How to install vertical shiplap to achieve instant interest and character | Building Bluebird #beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover #budgetfriendly

When one of the boards needed a straight cut vertically, we were able to use the table saw which was a bit easier than our janky circular saw contraption.

Cutting Around Outlets & Switches

To cut around switches, outlets and vents, mark the cut-out portion of the board. Be careful to check that the switch or outlet cover will conceal the section you are removing. You will use the miter saw to make this cut.

How to install vertical shiplap to achieve instant interest and character | Building Bluebird #beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover #budgetfriendly

Instead of placing the plank flat on the saw, you will turn it to the side and make cuts down to the line you marked out around the outlet. Make small notches from one side of the cut-out to the other. The wood slivers should break off during this process. Use a chisel to break off any remaining slivers.

Create an accent wall with vertical shiplap with this budget-friendly and simple DIY | Building Bluebird 
#beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover

Attach the Baseboards

Once the boards are attached, attach your baseboards. We purchased new baseboards and attached them using liquid nails and 18 gauge nails with the pneumatic nailer.

Attach the Outside Corner Trim Pieces

Measure the distance from the bottom of the trim board and the top of the baseboard and cut the corner trim piece. Attach the corner piece with liquid nails and a pin nail & the pneumatic nailer.

Fill the Nail Holes & Sand

Use plastic wood filler to fill all of the nail holes, which was a lot! Once the filler dries, sand the board smooth.

Create an accent wall with vertical shiplap with this budget-friendly and simple DIY | Building Bluebird 
#beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover

Caulk the Seams

Next, caulk the seams. This includes above and below the top trim board, all corners, and the top of the baseboards.

Create an accent wall with vertical shiplap with this budget-friendly and simple DIY | Building Bluebird 
#beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover
Create an accent wall with vertical shiplap with this budget-friendly and simple DIY | Building Bluebird 
#beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover

Prime & Paint

I applied two coats of Kilz primer to prep for paint and the wood soaked it right up!

Create an accent wall with vertical shiplap with this budget-friendly and simple DIY | Building Bluebird 
#beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover
Create an accent wall with vertical shiplap with this budget-friendly and simple DIY | Building Bluebird 
#beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover

After much debate, I chose Svelte Sage by Sherwin Williams for the vertical shiplap wall.

Create an accent wall with vertical shiplap with this budget-friendly and simple DIY | Building Bluebird 
#beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover

And here is the finished product after painting and wallpapering the rest of the mudroom!

Create an accent wall with vertical shiplap with this budget-friendly and simple DIY | Building Bluebird 
#beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover
Create an accent wall with vertical shiplap with this budget-friendly and simple DIY | Building Bluebird 
#beginnerdiy #cottagecore #grandmillenial #shiplap #beadboard #sveltesage #mudroommakeover

Materials List

Tools Used

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Save this post on your DIY board to easily reference the tutorial whenever you want to get started.

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