How to Paint Shiplap

Shiplap is a type of flat wooden planks that is traditionally used in constructing sheds, barns, and ceilings. But in recent years, it has become extremely popular in all areas of the house. 

This trendy wall option creates a chic rustic look with an interesting texture. Though it is typically white, it can be painted any color to fit the style of the room. 

If you are planning on painting shiplap, follow these steps to get it done right:

Choose the Right Paint

The first step is to choose the right paint. Shiplap is typically painted a neutral tone, such as white, gray, navy, or tan, but any color is sure to look great on this material. 

We recommend a paint-and-primer-in-one for the best results. This will save you time and money, while providing the best coverage. 

You should also consider the amount of shine you want for the shiplap wall. A matte finish looks great on shiplap, but it can be difficult to clean. If you are painting a wall in a high-traffic area, such as the kitchen or entryway, a semi-gloss finish would be easier to clean. 

Prep the Area

Prepare the area to avoid getting paint where it’s not supposed to be. 

Move any nearby furniture out of the way, or cover it with a tarp if it is too heavy to move. Tape around the trim, outlets, light fixtures, and any other nearby features. Use a tarp or old blanket to protect the ground. 

Fix Any Imperfections & Sand

Before you begin painting, fix any imperfections in the shiplap. 

Holes caused by nails can be filled with paintable caulk or spackle. Then, sand down the imperfections for a smooth finish. 

Most shiplap comes pre-sanded and ready to paint. However, if the wood you’re using is rough and riddled with imperfections, a quick sanding might be necessary. This will help the paint grip better to the wood and make for easier cleaning. 

Using steel wool on the shiplap can give it a more rustic look, if that’s what you’re going for. 

Prime If Necessary

If the shiplap is made of engineered hardwood or medium density fiberboard, it will need to be sealed with an oil-based primer first. This will protect it from water-based paint and humidity. 

Paint in Between the Grooves

Next, use a small brush to fit in between the grooves. This is laborious and time-consuming work, so set aside a bit of time for this step.

It’s okay if it doesn’t look perfect, because the planks will be painted over in the next step. Just make sure there are no gaps of paint in the grooves. 

Use a Roller

Wait for the paint in the grooves to dry completely before moving on. 

Then, use a roller to paint the shiplap, just like you would a regular wall. Be careful that there are no drips or excess paint settling in between the grooves. Use a rag to clean between the grooves to prevent this.

After the first layer dries, go over it again with a second layer. If you are painting with a very light color, or painting over shiplap with large discolorations, a third layer might be necessary. 

Perform Touch Ups 

Finally, go over with a small brush and touch up any areas that need it. Pay special attention to the corners of the walls and the grooves between the planks.

Clean up the tarps and painters tape, and voila! You have a beautiful, freshly painted shiplap wall. 

Residential Painting Services in Metro Detroit

If you’re not confident in your painting abilities, or simply have a better way to spend your weekend, call the professionals to help. Call Armor Tough Coatings!

We are a locally owned business based in metro Detroit. We provide high-quality residential painting services for both interior and exterior walls. Our team of painting experts get the job done, quickly and correctly, with as little disruption to your life as possible.

Give us a call today to learn more!

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