Vertical Shiplap Bathroom Accent Wall

Creating a vertical shiplap bathroom accent wall in a jack and jill bathroom. 
Taking the bathroom from rustic and dated to modern and elegant with a quick, easy and fun home project.  
Shiplap is a type of wooden board that is characterized by a groove or rabbet cut into the top and bottom edges, allowing the boards to fit snugly together when installed. While shiplap can be installed horizontally or vertically, installing it vertically can offer a number of benefits.

Where it Started

The jack and jill bathroom had a large standard mirror with a rustic frame.  

  bathroom update          bathroom makeover

The cheap builder grade lights were replaced by these really nice ones that will look the good with the new design.  Here are some really nice ones similar to the ones we purchased.  

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There are also two builder grade built in medicine cabinets that were not needed.  Taking them out will give the space a modern look we were after.

Demolition Day

Calling it demolition day is a little dramatic but we did take out a couple key pieces.  To begin we removed two medicine cabinets one on each wall from the bedrooms, then the large rustic frame and builder grade mirror.  

To get the medicine cabinets out we used a knife to cut the caulking that was used to keep it in place.  After the caulk was cut the cabinet is easily removed.  Leaving a framed hole in the wall.  

bathroom update

The cabinets come out in one piece ready to be donated at the local Goodwill store.  

The medicine cabinets stuck out a little so removing them first gave us more room to remove the mirror and frame.

The frame that was added was glued on in a few places and nailed along the top.  It was built a couple inches higher than that mirror so it could be safely adhered to the wall.  

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After the frame was taken down we were ready to remove the large builder grade mirror.  There was a mirror ledge on the bottom keeping it securely in place and  glued to the wall in a few places.  After some careful prying it came off in one piece so we were able to donate it for someone else to enjoy.

bathroom update

Closing in the Medicine Cabinet Holes

Because we were closing in the medicine cabinet openings there were a couple things we needed to do to get the walls ready for paint.  

medicine cabinet update

To start we used some scrap wood to create a frame so the drywall has something to be nailed too.  Keeping it back the width of the drywall so it will leave a smooth wall. 

We added a piece to attach the new towel holder.  That was us thinking ahead to potential problems.  

medicine cabinet       medicine cabinet

After the hole was framed we are ready for drywall.  We were hoping Home Depot would have small pieces of drywall.  Unfortunately they only had the full drywall sheets or pieces that were too small so my husband went to a neighborhood that had a lot of construction and found some scraps in the dumpster that would work. 

medicine cabinet update

Mudding the Filled in Wall

 Now that the opening is filled in we are ready to start mudding.  We want a smooth wall with no sign of a previously built in medicine cabinet.  When we purchased our semi custom home we paid extra for smooth walls.  It is the look we love and is easier to patch and repair than textured walls.   

The first step is adding mesh tape around all the seams.  After the tape we are ready for mud.  For these smaller projects we like to use the premixed mud.  Use a large drywall knife to apply the mud.  

bathroom update         medicine cabinet update

Cover the seams wide and decently thickly.  Almost filling the entire space.

bathroom updateThe first application wont be smooth, you are looking for coverage.  The rough edges will be scraped off with the drywall knife before you apply the second coat of mud.

This project was done in the winter so the mud took a little longer to dry. The first coat of mud takes the longest because it goes on so thick.  After the first coat is dry, knock off the rough edges with the drywall knife then apply the second coat of mud.  While coat two dries we were ready to start the shiplap accent wall.  

Vertical Shiplap Accent Wall

If you are painting the shiplap a dark color give it a beginning coat of paint before installation.  It can be painted after installation but getting in the spaces is much easier before install than after. 

shiplap bathroom update      shiplap accent wall

Pre painting the shiplap doesn't take long and the paint will dry quickly.

We had one slip up on this project, we have installed shiplap in a few places in our home.  To figure out how may pieces we would need I measured what we had already installed.  Lucky for us it was going to work out perfectly so we started on one end and planned to work our way to the other side.  When we had installed half of the boards purchased we were not half done the wall.  I was stumped because I had measured and double checked our measurements.  When we were buying the shiplap we did think something was different but didn't realize they were a full inch narrower than what Home Depot usually has in stock.  Which was fine but we should have checked the width before we started instead of assuming it was the same as what we had previously used.  

Luckily it was going to work out, leaving a space at the end barely wider than what we planned.  

We have installed shiplap in a variety of places in our home.  This is the first time we've installed it vertically.  It is all really pretty.  You can see where we have installed shiplap here.  

Reasons to Install the Shiplap Vertically

Traditionally shiplap is installed horizontally but it looks beautiful when it is installed vertically.  

Here are 4 reasons to choose vertical installation.

  1. Visual Height: Installing shiplap vertically can create the illusion of height in a room, making it feel taller and more spacious. 

  2. Modern Aesthetic: Vertical shiplap can give a more modern and contemporary look to a space, as it is less commonly used than horizontal shiplap. This style can work particularly well in minimalist or industrial-style homes, where a clean and simple look is desired.

  3. Unique Design: By installing shiplap vertically, you can create a unique and interesting design feature that will make your home stand out. 

  4. Easy Installation: Installing shiplap vertically can be easier than installing it horizontally, as the boards can be easily cut to fit the height of the wall. 

 Adhering the Shiplap

When installing vertically you wouldn't have studs to nail too.  There will be headers along the top of the wall but nothing else for most boards.  

So use liquid nails, it is as strong if not stronger than nailing into wood.  

shiplap wall          shiplap accent wall

Start at one end and work your way across the wall.  Because we have two light fixtures we did have to cut out the opening for the lighting.  Thankfully the lights have decorative covers so you don't have to be exact.  
To keep the final gap less noticeable I painted the wall with the same color as the shiplap.   
shiplap accent wall        shiplap accent wall
My husband cut the wood on the miter saw, I was glueing and nailing the shiplap to the wall.  Then filling the nail holes with caulk.  Fill the hole then wipe off the excess with a wet cloth after it has set up for a few minutes.  If you wipe it too soon it will pull the caulk out of the nail holes.  You can use baby wipes, or wet blue shop towels.
The vertical shiplap pieces are ready for the next coat of paint.  Because it was pre painted I didn't need to get into the grooves.  Making it super easy to finish. 

Finishing the Shiplap

There isn't much natural light in the jack and jill bathroom so we needed to get the vanity lights up.  Now we are waiting for the mud to dry so we could get it sanded and the bathroom painted.  

Vertical shiplap accent wall

DIY projects are so fun.   I have a variety of DIY t-shirts that make doing projects so fun.  You can see the beautiful styles that are available at Decor to the Door.  

Supplies Need to Patch the Medicine Cabinet Holes

To get the medicine cabinet holes filled and shiplap installed.

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