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Today I’m excited to share our reclaimed wood fencing for shiplap project with you! It’s a project that has been a long time in coming, and we finally made it happen!
Why use reclaimed wood fencing for shiplap?
With the cost of wood skyrocketing at the time of this post, I knew that buying the wood from the big box stores was not an option for me. Besides the fact that I really like using reclaimed wood as much as possible. So when I decided that shiplap was my next project I knew we had to use our old wood fencing, even if it meant a lot more work.
The other reason I love using reclaimed wood for shiplap is that I love the character it adds to my home. I know I can very easily buy everything brand new and perfect, but there’s something about reused items that I love. You can read more about my farmhouse style here. It’s no different with my shiplap. It’s old and imperfect wood, but I love the story it tells in my kitchen!
Also, to tell the truth, my walls are very imperfect! Quite ugly in fact. So covering them with shiplap seems to be my best option at this point.
Check out this link for a very interesting read on the history of shiplap. It was not originally meant for a wall treatment, but over time has become quite popular.
Before we installed shiplap in our kitchen
I knew I wanted subway tile in my kitchen. It’s timeless, cheap, and easy to install. But, you can see that it still needs something. And that something is shiplap! The corner is still a work in progress. We will instal subway tile there soon, but we haven’t gotten around to that yet.
I just love the subway tile with shiplap look! They are just meant to go together, in my humble opinion!
Reclaiming old fence wood in 5 steps
So about 3 years ago we purchased a HUGE load of old wood fencing for $300. When I say huge, I mean semi truck load huge! At the time we had no idea what we would do with it, but figured it would come in handy eventually. And, it has more than payed for itself with all the projects we’ve been able to use it for.
For this project, we scoured the piles of wood looking for the best pieces, which wasn’t easy considering it was over 100 degrees in the sun! Many of the boards are warped, so we had to pick through to find the straight boards.
Since this wood is taken from old fences, much of the piles are still in complete sections of fence, so my husband cut the ends off that were still attached to the 2×4’s. Then my son and I removed all the nails.
Our goal is to find 50 straight boards, which took some digging around.
Next we ran the wood through the plainer in the barn. So thankful for the protection from the sun that the barn gave us! We ran the wood through the plainer about 8 times, so 4 times on each side.
While we worked on that, my dad generously donated some time to true up the sides of the boards so that they were all the same width. Then we trimmed up the top and bottom of the boards to a uniform length, roughly 48 inches for our wall.
When we finished plaining a stack of boards, my dad then took them to give them the notch on his table saw. On each side he cut them so they would have the authentic shiplap groove.
Preparing the shiplap for installation
First, we painted the grooved sides of each board. This is very important to do ahead of time! once it’s on the wall it will be challenging to paint in those grooves. So we decided to pre paint them.
Since I wanted vertical shiplap, my husband had to measure the space and cut each board down a bit to fit the space between the subway tile and the ceiling.
Why vertical shiplap?
I have a couple of reasons why I chose to instal the shiplap vertically.
- First of all, I really love the look of vertical shiplap. With all the horizontal lines of the subway tile, I love how the vertical adds a different dimension.
- Second, the ceiling in our kitchen isn’t perfectly level. It slopes quite noticeably. So if we had installed the shiplap horizontally, the discrepancy would have been quite obvious. Now, it has almost disappeared!
Why leave the holes in the reclaimed wood fencing for shiplap
At first I had planned to fill all the holes, but once it was up on my walls and painted, I knew I had to leave it just as it was.
So my style isn’t exactly rustic, but I love some elements of rustic style. I think the holes in the shiplap add the perfect amount of imperfection. The wood has been sanded down, so it isn’t too rough, and then painting the shiplap a beautiful warm white took it up a couple of sophistication notches. The holes tell the story that it is repurposed wood, and has a passed life.
Installing reclaimed wood fencing for shiplap
If you have a big flat wall with no windows or doors, then start on either end of the wall and work towards the other end, but in my case, since I have two windows right in the middle of the wall that’s where we started and then worked our way towards the corners. It’s important to me to have those two boards in the middle of the window centered.
This part is pretty fast once you get the hang of it. A quick zigzag line of liquid nails applied to each board. Then stick them to the wall in the appropriate place. Next tack the shiplap in with a nail gun, and DONE! Continue this pattern across the wall.
If you have a nickel handy it works really well as a spacer between the boards. You do want some gapping. If you don’t have a nickel, then anything that is roughly 1/16 of an inch thick will do just fine.
Now, let the liquid nails dry. If you feel it’s necessary, screw a board across the shiplap to be sure the boards stay in place. Once the liquid nails are dry, remove the board and it’s now time for the fun part!! Painting!
Choosing a white paint
I chose white for my whole house, although now I’m thinking to change it up some. Now that we have lived in it for over a year, I have a pretty good feel for our home and how I want it to look. And my style has changed a bit since we first moved in.
I chose a Behr paint base from Home depot, and chose Simply White. It’s originally a Benjamin Moore paint color, but Home depot was able to match it. It has the perfect amount of warmth, without looking too yellow, yet it’s white without looking too stark and cold.
The paint I have on my walls is a combination primer and paint. So I don’t need to prime the wood! I highly recommend this paint! The wood only needs two layers of paint and it’s done!
As you can see, this project is far from done, but we are well on our way! So stay tuned for the big kitchen reveal!