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You Had Us At Shiplap! Revamp Your Fireplace in 2 Days

Posted by Lana and Laura on

Shiplap. "What the heck is shiplap?" We get that a lot from our clients. Shiplap as we now know it, is as synonymous with farmhouse style as it is with designer Joanna Gaines who launched its popularity.


We LOVE using shiplap - just think of it as modern day wall panelling (but don't let your mind wander to that 80's basement in your memory bank). Not only is it an affordable way to elevate a space, it's versatile. Don't be afraid to use shiplap vertically or horizontally to emphasize features of a room. When redesigning Laura's living room fireplace, she knew she wanted to add some character, depth, and a little drama. That meant the builder-grade tile surround and mantle had to go. By taking the shiplap from floor to ceiling, it draws attention to 9 foot wall height, while the dark paint colour grounds the space (more about that in a minute). 

Here's a step-by-step how-to guide to create your own shiplap fireplace with floating storage mantle!

1. Our first trick of the trade is choosing the right material. We like using pine or poplar veneer boards. You can get them at any local lumber store - usually in a 3' x 8' sheet. Choose the type of veneer for the look you want (i.e.: pine is knotty and will show lots of grain if you are staining).

2. Cutting can be tricky. These boards have to be cut perfectly straight, or they just won't work. If you have a table saw, you can cut them at home but make sure you have extra veneer, just in case. Most hardware stores, such as Home Depot or Lowes, have on-site horizontal planers that get the job done fast. We cut this shiplap into 10" x 68" planks.

3.Prep your wall! We were lucky the tile surround and mantle came off very easily and there wasn't an abundance of swearing. In this case, we were able to sand and chip away any remaining glue, mortar, or grout. 

4. Next, we painted the shiplap boards (3 coats) and the wall behind the shiplap a bold, dark green. Yes, it looks black in photos, but the colour is Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green,  and we love that it brings a depth and richness to the room.

*FUNNY SIDEBAR* - Choosing the right paint colour can be tough - but it's even more difficult when the paint store mixes up your test samples. In this case, the tester pot had the wrong code, so when Laura purchased the gallon, it was a very different green! Benjamin Moore was able to correct the problem - but, these kind of things happen to the best of us.

5. Affix the shiplap boards using finishing nails or a brad nailer. The boards are spaced .25" apart (HINT: Be sure to do the math ahead of time!) 

6. The floating mantle was designed to house the sound bar, video game controllers, and remotes. It's made from pine and stained with Early American gel stain and sealed with one coat of semi-gloss. It measures 10" x 60" and features a hinged front that drops down. (Scroll down for photo!)


So, there you have it! It's important to note we also painted the walls a warm white to really make the room "pop". We hope we've inspired you to create your own farmhouse look with shiplap. If you have lower ceilings, you'll want to consider adjusting the width of your shiplap planks. 


Shiplap can add texture to a room simply by using it on a feature wall, then painting the boards the same colour as the rest of the room. You can also add a rustic feel by staining the planks. Do you have a DIY shiplap success? Share it with us by tagging @prairiebeachhouse on instagram. Your design could be featured! 


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