Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Homemade Shiplap Walls and Ceiling

Since we are "close" to completing the house we are building for Odie to live in, it is time to flesh out some of the details on a few of the projects. You will find other posts about the house construction HERE.

Today's post concerns the shiplap ceiling and walls in the kitchen and living room.

This is the finished product. Click on any of our pictures to make them bigger.

Plywood into shiplap
Most of you know that Odie wanted the house to have a beach cottage look and feel. That was going to be difficult to accomplish with plain drywall ceilings every where so my little mind went to work. The tedious extra work I created proves my mind was a little feverish but we all agree the end result was worth it.

A old beach cottage will sometimes have 1x8's or 1x10's nailed on the topside, outside, of the rafters and then the roofing material fastened to those boards. The bottom side of those 1x8's or 1x10's and the rafters were often exposed to view inside the house. The 1x material was both the ceiling and the base for the roofing.

These two images are from the internet.

That is the look I was shooting for on the ceiling.
Shiplap walls and ceilings
The trusses in our application are different. The rafters on most beech cottages were probably built on site and they were only the thickness of what ever board was used, such as a 2x8, 2x10 or 2x12.

In this house application I ordered trusses. The topside of the truss and the bottom side of the truss have a few feet between them. We must have that for insulation in the north country.

So I was planning to recess the boards between the bottom part of the trusses and hopefully make it look the same. I had no idea if it would work. I had never seen it done.

My first thought was to use pine tongue and groove between the trusses. But my father in law helped me see the light on that. Pine tongue and groove would work perfectly, install quickly but it has knots. 

He told me that the knots can be painted but they Will show through eventually. Instead of the knots looking pretty they would look like water spots. He has made his living as a painter and he said it might take 2-3 years for the knots to show through but they would over and over again.

Plan B
What about shiplap siding? That would definitely work and would look great. I was all excited about that until I priced shiplap. Wow! I had a lot of area to cover and shiplap was going to break the bank.

Plan B V.2.0
I wondered if homemade shiplap would work. I figured out how to do it and realized it was going to make a labor intensive job even more labor intensive. However, considering the fact that there is nothing cheaper on this job than my labor, I decided to go for it.

The first step was Home Depot for 38 sheets of 15/32 BC Plywood. 15/32 is basically 1/2 but what is 1/32 among friends. I brought them to the house and Kelly Jo helped me unload them and carry them in.

The next step was making four rips on each sheet on the table saw ending up with 5 equal size pieces from each sheet. 38 sheets equals 190 pieces 8' long and 9+" each. 

My brother Steve helped me with that and we made pretty quick work of it.

Next I set up the saw horses outside and prepared to rout a 3/8 notch on each edge of each board. One edge was routed facing up and the other edge was routed facing down. This allowed the plywood planks to lap, making my own shiplap.

190 pieces times 2 routed edges times 8' equals 3040' of routing. I made a big pile of saw dust and my hands vibrated for quite a while.
routing shiplap

Then I nailed cleats to the trusses so I would have a place to nail the shiplap. I left a 3 1/2" reveal on the edge of the truss.

The next step was rolling primer onto each board. I used water based Kills. Kelly Jo swept the sawdust off and I painted. We set up areas so the planks could dry. Once dry, we stacked them. We had to do it inside because we painted on a humid, rainy day in July.

I started installing the home made shiplap on the two high walls in the big room. I left a small gap between each row (about the thickness of a dime) and I fastened the shiplap by using an air nail gun.

During the install I had help sanding, cutting, running, fetching and handing from Dad, Mom, Kelly Jo, Bro. Wade Hicks, Bro. Dan Bragg and Lisa. It was tedious but over all, it went well.

This is about the place it began to take shape. It was still hard to determine if it would work at this point but I was a little more hopeful.

Installing shipl

We did all of this on a few very hot and humid days. I thought my Dad and Mom were going to melt down! It was a little cooler where Odie was but still very hot and humid.

I appreciate all of the good help from family and friends. The work that week was time critical because of insulation coming. I could not have done it without them.
Home shiplap
Now it was time for the moment of truth. Would reality match my bright idea? The paint would tell the story. Once the drywall was up, my father in law began to work his magic.

My bright idea created a bunch of work for him. First there was of caulking to do. Then there was more caulking to do.

Then he primed the trusses that were showing.

There was a whole lot of sanding going on along the way.

Then he sprayed two finish coats on the walls and ceilings.

The more Danny painted the more "right" it looked. We wanted to capture the "beach cottage" look and I think we hit the nail on the head. 

So far there are four things that people comment on when they see the inside of the house; the shower, the safe room, the cabinets and the living room/kitchen walls and ceiling.

The ceiling turned out exactly how I imagined and we are all very pleased with it. The result was worth all of the work.

Would I do it again? I might have to think about that. 

All of the material was around $1000 and the labor was free. I would have been hard pressed to put anything else on the ceiling any cheaper.

However, I created three days of prep and painting work for my father in law. 

My Dad, Mom, Kelly Jo, Bro. Hicks, Bro. Bragg, Lisa and others worked a bunch of hours. 

I worked 87 hours on it, not counting all the hours of thinking through the process and fretting the outcome. I "might" do it again for a personal project but I do not think I would do it for anyone else. I do not know anyone that could afford it!

Odie is very pleased and that is most important.
Making homemade shiplap
Thank you for joining us today. If you have any specific questions about the process, leave a comment below or send us a message.


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