I think of myself of more of a doer than a researcher. I would rather plunge in and start painting, sanding and gluing rather than spend any time on Pinterest or watching decorating shows. That being said, I recently plunged into the online world to investigate how to finish the wall in my new She Shed.
We built the studio under the sundeck so one side was formerly the stucco outside wall of the house. It’s certainly not attractive and not conducive to hanging pictures because you can’t hammer a nail into it. I wanted a wall that would create a nice environment to be in while functional for displaying signs and wall art.
I sat in front of the computer to do some research. What I saw and heard over and over again was Joanna Gaines and Shiplap Walls. I thought, “Can and will we ever have enough of that look?” According to Joanna fans the answer is no. As the product life cycle goes, however, marketers know that you need to tweak things to maintain consumers’ interest and I suppose the land of Joanna and Shiplap is no different. Her recent twist is Skinnylap. She suggests that the more narrow strips of wood are best for small spaces and the wider boards may overwhelm a space.
So, instead of the standard 6” boards that many of the YouTube How-to Guides are suggesting, i.e. plywood from Home Depot cut into 6” strips and then sand all the edges smooth – Skinnylap is only 1.25” wood strips. The online experts recommend trellis wood called lath, usually made out of cedar strips. The thing is, cedar can have quite a rough finish and be hard to get that clean white finish. So, it is an individual choice.
The key for the look with any sized board is to space them out evening using some kind of shim – like a square (ruler) or a quarter (coin). This give the effect of the waterproof walls built on ships that were once interlocking. By leaving a space rather than buying the interlocking wood, we all save lot of money for a similar look.
I noticed almost all of my new online friends finish their Shiplap walls in a white semi-gloss or satin. I thought a more weathered look would be so much more interesting. E.g. stained grey with a white wash over top then sanded back. But, that sparkling, clean white is so desired right now. The online tutorials go so far as to fill in all nail holes and joins between boards.
What to do? If I am painting for others I think I would do the sparkly clean semi-gloss, 6” Shiplap with no joins or nail marks. For me, in my She Shed paint studio, I like the idea that the wall is interesting and unique and not so perfect. I don’t want to fret over an errant splash of paint or an extra couple of nail holes in the wall. I want to embrace paint and the wonderful effects we can achieve. (After all, this whole shabby chic adventure I have been into with ReLoving has been about creativity and embracing the perfect in the imperfect).
The final verdict? I am choosing to ‘weather’ my Shiplap and embrace my own style and domain. I will start with a grey stain to penetrate the wood then wash with our Homestead Milk Paint in white or watered down Fusion Casement.
Now as for the width of the board, I just don’t see that fussy with narrow boards that may have a rough surface. My hour of research has helped me to decide to keep with 6” boards. Further, to save sanding all the sides down after cutting the plywood, we are going to purchase 6” wide pine boards that we use for our height charts. They already have smooth sides so we won’t have to sand. But (horrors) they are full of knots and imperfections, not likely the sparkly Shiplap finish Joanna would demonstrate. This Canadian Girl is gonna embrace ‘the weathered’.
Stay tuned and follow along on our Building of the She Shed Facebook Page!
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