Thursday, April 11, 2019

Mr. Plywood Sells Ship Lap!? Paneling Installation - Part 1

Ship lap has been around for a looooong time....

When we were building My Tiny Empty Nest in 2015, Mark and I tore down an old cottage that had been built on his parent's property in the late 1800's. We carefully "harvested" the ship lap that was used for the walls and then used it on my loft walls.

However, it wasn't until Joanna Gains started featuring ship lap in most of her remodels, that the rest of the decor world caught on to the unique look and easy installation of ship lap.

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For each of my tiny house builds I try to use different materials so I become familiar with the installation and attributes of each type. To make a long story short, if I ever install dry wall again it'll be too soon.

And, at the risk of preempting the conclusion of this article: I LOVE SHIPLAP!!!

Step 1: Decide on a finish or paint color or stain. Whitewashing or painting ship lap all white is a trend that doesn't appear to be waning any time soon. And, while this does cause the space to feel open and bright, I wanted to do something entirely different than everyone else. So, I chose Navy Minwax Stain from Sherwin Williams.  I tried it on a sample piece and although I was nervous it would be too dark, decided to just go for it.  

My Tiny Hideout will be a masculine space, cozy, with flannel curtains, and black floors.  So I knew the look would blend well with the overall theme.

Step 2: Install the ceiling first. I chose plywood for my ceiling and maybe I'll write another blog post someday about why that install was pretty easy and I love the results!  The short story is, if you have Mr. Plywood cut them to size length wise, set the ceiling joists 16 inches on center, and have help to life them into place; there's only a few pieces to the entire project. (not including trim of course)  

Installing the ceiling took my son and I only 2 hours.  Painting, on the other hand, took 4 days due to the very wet weather and the number of coats it took to get the dark paint to cover properly.

To say I am in LOVE with my ceiling would be a gross understatement!

I used my neighbor's garage to paint them BEFORE I installed the ceiling panels.

Step 3: Find a reputable source that can help you measure and estimate your material requirements. For this step I also used Mr. Plywood. I approached Bret with an idea and he ran with it. Not only did he do all the estimating and arranged for delivery, but he also gave me some install tips.

As a side note, using pieces that are 12 - 16 feet long means you'll get much better utilization of materials. So, with that in mind I decided to have the material delivered. The $100 delivery fee was well worth it!  I totally avoided the hassle of loading, strapping the load, sweating on the freeway and hoping something doesn't fall off, and then unloading.

Delivery via Mr. Plywood's fancy new truck!!

Step 4: The first piece is the most important one and will set the tone for the rest of the wall.  So, start at the bottom, and set the first piece on a flat piece of material to ensure proper spacing from the floor. Also, when cutting the boards to length, always cut a hair long to ensure VERY tight seams and work clockwise around the room, finishing one wall entirely from bottom to top, before starting the adjacent / next wall.

You can see here that doing this will also ensure the corner pieces match PERFECTLY!

The first wall was installed and stained before I installed the 2nd wall.
 I REALLY wanted to see the final look before I went too far into the installation process.

Installation of the ship lap in My Tiny Hideout went faster than I thought it would (another reason why I really love it) but this step still took over 2 weeks to complete.

Step 5: You certainly don't have to do it this was but Bret recommended this spacing method to me and I really do like the look.

Use a paint stick between the pieces, on each end of the piece, to add some dimension to the wall. Installing them without a spacer is an option but will yield a wall that is merely flat with horizontal seam lines. It will totally be easier to paint or stain but the look is defiantly more traditional than I would prefer.

Using a paint stick will also, again, help with the corner plank matching and spacing.

Step 6: Paint or stain prior to trim installation. Since I used a gel based stain, I worked in 3 foot x 3 foot sections to stain, wait, then wipe off the excess.  It was pretty hard to control the saturation of the color since it seemed to act differently depending on the weather, humidity, and temperature. And, I also worked on this step for several days so doing small sections at once was really my only option.

Here's a pic of one of the loft walls once the stain was dry.

Next: Installation Part 2 - Paint Touch Up, Window and Door Trim, and Cedar Bathroom Walls Installation

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