As mentioned in my original post on Bob’s House, the shiplap walls for the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom proved to be quite a challenge! I needed beadboard for the bathroom and shiplap for Bob’s room and the kitchen. I ordered several different types of wood shiplap and beadboard sheeting for the walls. The prices ranged from very reasonable to very costly. Sadly, nothing I ordered gave the look of real shiplap or beadboard. The scoring on every model was so shallow that paint completely filled the tiny grooves and after it was painted it resembled plain, flat wallboard. It looked as if it had not been scored at all! I purchased and returned several different styles before I realized I would have to make the shiplap myself with individual strips of wood for it to look real. There are shiplap style wallpapers out there, but I wanted authenticity for my special project.
I purchased strip wood in two different widths. I used the wider boards in the kitchen and little Bob’s room and the narrow boards in the bathroom. I cut all the boards to approximately 2/3 of the height of the room and built the shiplap paneling one strip at a time. This method took much longer to install than sheeting would have, but the realistic results would have made Dad proud… he never cut corners!
Before installation I wallpapered the top third of the walls in the kitchen and bathroom. I meant to do the same for little Bob’s room but I was tired that evening and accidentally papered the entire wall. Oops!
Decide how tall you want your shiplap to be and using a mini level and an L-square or ruler, draw lines on the wall below the wallpaper with a pencil. Use this as a guide to keep your shiplap level and even during installation. Do not use the floor as your guide as no dollhouse is ever perfectly square and once you attach a board using Quick Grip it cannot easily be removed (aside from a few moments when you first apply the glue).
Needing to space the boards evenly apart, I appropriated an old, thin 6″ metal ruler for the job and used it as a spacer. I put blue tape on one long side to use as a handle and that made the job much easier. Using my homemade spacer, I glued each board directly onto the walls using Quick Grip one at a time. I attached a board, let the glue set for about a minute, put the spacer into place along the long side of the board and glued the next board into place alongside the spacer. Some boards were trimmed to accommodate the electrical outlets previously pounded into the tape wire. It was tedious but at long last I had the results I wanted, perfectly spaced, real shiplap!
Next I made the Shaker peg rails. If you do not want pegs, simply use strip wood in a width of your choice and apply it horizontally on top of the boards. Paint (or stain) it first, then adhere to the wall with Quick Grip.
Stay tuned to this blog for exciting information on the upcoming tutorial for Shaker peg rails! Hint: some of the best tutorials appear in dollhouse magazines!
I painted the Shaker peg rails and the baseboard molding before installation to avoid any risk of getting paint on my wallpaper and floors. I then covered the floors with protective wax paper (not shown), painted the shiplap and installed the baseboard molding and Shaker peg rails. In the case of the kitchen, I also used a satin (soap and water cleanup) sealer to give the paint that old fashioned shine. In the case of Bob’s room I stained the baseboard to match the floor.
If I had to do it again, I would have painted the shiplap boards individually before installation. Painting the walls afterward, I found myself dry brushing the grooves to keep the paint out and the definition between the boards intact. Lesson learned and isn’t that what DIY is all about?
Installing the shiplap individually seemed to take forever but I know Dad would be proud that I didn’t cut corners and it looks wonderful.
Next up, making a special crochet afghan for Little Bob’s bedroom!
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IGMA Artisan Robin Brady-Boxwell