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How to Paint Shiplap Walls: 7 Steps [DIY]

How to Paint Shiplap Walls

Last Updated on September 16, 2023

Shiplap walls have a timeless, versatile look that adds character and depth to any room, but painting them can be tricky, especially if you don’t know where to start. You must take some steps for a shiplap wall to look as desired.

Paint your shiplap walls by ensuring they are clean and free of dust or debris. Next, fill and sand any imperfections in the walls to create a smooth surface for painting. Once the walls are prepped, choose the paint color and sheen that best suits your desired look.

This article guides you through the DIY process of painting shiplap walls. With our step-by-step instructions and helpful tips, you’ll be able to transform any room with ease. Let’s get started on creating the perfect shiplap accent in your home.

How to Paint Shiplap Walls: A Detailed Guide

How to Paint Shiplap Walls: A Detailed Guide

Before you begin painting your shiplap walls, there are a few important steps to follow:

  • Step 1: Prep your shiplap walls
  • Step 2: Fill and sand imperfections in the walls
  • Step 3: Choose your paint and sheen
  • Step 4: Apply primer (if needed)
  • Step 5: Painting cutting in edges and cracks
  • Step 6: Roll your shiplap walls
  • Step 7: Final Touch-ups and detailing

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Spackle or Wood Filler
  • Sandpaper (80 grit and 120 grit)
  • Paint of your choice
  • Primer (if needed)
  • High-Quality Paintbrush
  • Paint Roller and Roller Frame
  • Paint Roller Extension Pole
  • Paint Roller Tray

Step 1: Prep Your Shiplap Walls

To prep your shiplap walls, sand the surface with 80-grit sandpaper to smooth out rough spots. Begin by running the sandpaper along the length of each board, applying gentle pressure to remove any imperfections or splinters.

Pay close attention to areas where the boards meet, as these can be particularly rough. Once you have sanded the entire surface, use a cloth or brush to remove any dust or debris.

Step 2: Fill and Sand Imperfections in the Walls

You should now pay close attention to the holes and cracks in the walls that need to be filled. Apply spackle or wood filler to fill these nail holes and imperfections, and sand the filled areas with 120-grit sandpaper for a smooth surface.

Continue sanding until the filled areas are flush with the rest of the wall and smooth. Once complete, wipe away dust with a damp cloth before priming your shiplap walls.

Step 3: Choose Your Paint and Sheen

When selecting your paint color, consider whether a matte or eggshell sheen would best enhance the texture of the shiplap. Both options provide a smooth and wipeable finish but differ in their shine level.

A matte sheen has a flat finish with no gloss, making it perfect for hiding imperfections on the walls. It creates a more rustic and natural look that complements the charm of shiplap.

Conversely, an eggshell sheen offers a slight hint of shine without being too glossy. This sheen is great for providing durability while still showcasing the texture of the shiplap.

Step 4: Apply Primer (If Needed)

If your shiplap is raw wood or not pre-primed, apply a coat of primer for even paint coverage. Primer is a base layer that helps the paint adhere better and creates a smoother finish. Allow the primer to dry completely before painting your shiplap walls with your chosen color and sheen.

Step 5: Painting Cutting-In Edges and Cracks

Painting Cutting-In Edges and Cracks

To create clean paint lines and ensure consistent wall color, use a high-quality paintbrush to paint the gaps between shiplap boards and their edges.

Dip your paintbrush into the paint and tap off any excess. Then, carefully apply the paint along each board’s edges, ensuring it gets into all the nooks and crannies. Use long, even strokes to achieve even coverage.

Next, focus on filling gaps or cracks between the boards using a paintable spackle or wood filler. Apply a generous amount of paint to these areas, using your brush to push it deep into the crevices. Take time with this step to ensure that every gap is completely covered.

Step 6: Roll Your Shiplap Walls

Once you have finished cutting in, you can paint the rest of the shiplap walls using a roller or sprayer for larger areas.

Start by applying the first coats of paint using a foam roller, maintaining even pressure and coverage as you work down the boards. Begin at the top of the shiplap walls and move downward. The key is to ensure that each section is evenly coated with paint.

Use long, smooth strokes to achieve a consistent finish. Pay attention to any gaps between the boards, covering them thoroughly with paint.

Be careful not to overload the roller with too much paint, resulting in drips or uneven application. Take your time and work systematically across the wall, overlapping each stroke slightly for seamless coverage.

Step 7: Final Touch-Ups and Detailing

Once you have rolled your shiplap walls and allowed them to dry, it’s time for the final touches. Pay attention to areas where the paint may have been missed or not evenly covered.

Also, pay attention to the grooves of the shiplap boards, as excess paint can accumulate there. 

Once the final coat is dry and you’re satisfied with the coverage, remove any excessive paint carefully.

What are the most popular shiplap wall paint colors?

If you want the perfect shiplap paint color, consider colors such as Simply White, White Dove, Alabaster, Mindful Gray, Blue Note, Tricorn Black, and Swiss Coffee.

These colors offer a range of styles and aesthetics to suit your preferences. However, simply white is a classic choice that provides a clean and bright backdrop for any room.

What type of paint do you use on shiplap walls?

What type of paint do you use on shiplap walls

Using a water-based paint-and-primer in one on wood shiplap is recommended for the best results. Combining the qualities of primer and paint, it is convenient and cost-effective, and only needs one coat instead of two.

Water-based paints are ideal for shiplap because they dry quickly, have low odor, and are easy to clean up with water. They also provide excellent adhesion to wood surfaces and offer good coverage.

Transform Your Space: Paint Your Shiplap Walls Like a Pro

Painting shiplap walls is a simple and effective way to update your home’s interior. A paint sprayer is the best method for an even application when painting a shiplap. 

But you must follow the DIY steps mentioned above to achieve professional-looking results. Remember to choose from the popular shiplap board paint colors that suit your style and preferences. 

Also, opt for high-quality latex paint that provides durability and easy maintenance. So transform your space with a fresh coat of paint on your shiplap walls.

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