home: shiplap living room fireplace solve

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The wall above our living room fireplace cracks every two years and regardless of how much effort I put into repairing it, the house is still going to settle itself and bring that crack back. After some deep Pinterest research, I found the solution to this pesky house challenge: shiplap.

My DIY guidance came from the ever fabulous Jenna Sue and her directions for creating the shiplap look on the cheap with inexpensive plywood (watch her YouTube video). Cut it down to the right size, place on wall and paint, and you have some killer shiplap treatment without the pain points. I was ready: I measured, I walked into Home Depot, I got lost twice ...

... And I saw it: a single piece of plywood siding panel that looked exactly like shiplap, and with two measured cuts, I had the exact size I needed. Now if only I could find someone ... SIR?
After the struggle to fit it into my little SUV, I spent a bit of time sanding it down to get a smoother finish. You may want a more weathered look and not need to do this, but since my mantel is more classic, I needed to put in the work.
Originally, I tried screwing the panel to the wall. Fail. Here's what worked:
  1. Identify the studs and mark them where they won't be covered with the panel (in this case: on existing mantel).
  2. Add Liquid Nails LN903 10-Ounce Heavy-Duty Liquid Nails Construction Adhesive on the back of the cut panel.
  3. Measure each side of the hanging mantel to make sure the panel is perfectly centered.
  4. Place in final location and nail the panel into the studs. 
  5. Use DAP 543 Qt Natural Plastic Wood-X w/Drydex to cover up the nails (and the holes leftover from trying to get screws in there); let dry and then sand down.

After I knew that the panel wasn't going to crash down, I added interior pine shoe trim to the left and right sides with liquid nails. I waited a day for everything to dry, and then finished off the edges with DAP INC 18152 10.1oz White Alex Plus Acrylic Latex Caulk with Silicone (make sure it's paintable!!).

Paint, paint, paint. After adding a primer coat of paint, it took an additional four coats of semi-gloss white paint to fully cover the wood. And then my mantel looked dingy so that needed another coat to blend into its new partner. And don't get me started on my crown molding ... that's a project for another weekend.

Need more shiplap inspiration? Here is a post from HGTV featuring Fixer Upper inspiration. 

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