We are currently living in a 1950s rental home while we build our house. We own this rental, so we can decorate and DIY things while we're here. There is a built in bookcase next to our kitchen and I wanted to give it a facelift. I have wanted to do shiplap built ins for SO long. At our previous house, we didn't have built ins, so my dream is coming true.
I have seen vertical skinny shiplap trending and I decided to jump on the trend and do dark green vertical shiplap in our built in. This project is budget friendly and good for you if you are starting your DIY journey. We used pre-primed white moulding as our shiplap. This means you can skip the priming step AND the width is the exact size needed! It saves so much time. I completed my built in within a few days, so it doesn't take long.
Also, if you want to get some fresh inspo, check out our newly complete playspace! Okay, lets get into it!
Supply List for Shiplap Built ins
- Tack cloth: Before you start, make sure you clean your builtins with tack cloth.
- Primed moulding boards: These are the boards you will use as shiplap for your builtins. DIY hack- these boards are already vertical and the perfect width.
- Dewalt Circular Saw: This is a staple in our DIY tool kit. You will be using this to cut your boards. This is just the saw, you will need a battery and charger if you don't own one already.
- Loctite: You will be using this to glue your shiplap onto your builtins.
- Painter's tape: This will be your best friend while you are painting.
- Paint: We used Vine Leaf by Behr. It is the perfect shade of green, with a hint of emerald color jumping through.
- Paint brush: We always recommend a GOOD quality paint brush. Do not skimp and get a cheap one. You can tell the difference, believe us.
- Skinny paint brush: To get the paint in between the shiplap boards, you will need a skinny brush.
- Dewalt Measure Tape: You will be using a measure tape to measure each built in.
- Caulk: We used caulk to fill in any gaps or holes after applying our boards.
Shiplap Built in: Step By Step Guide
The first thing you need to do is go to Home Depot and grab your supplies to get started on your shiplap built ins. This project is a great one to do if you are a beginner at DIY. It is really straightforward and only uses a few tools.
FIRST STEP: You need to clean out your builtins and get them prepped and ready. Give them a good wipe down with tack cloth or an old wash cloth.
Optional step: I decided to give the back of my builtins one coat of paint before I applied the shiplap so nothing showed through the cracks. I don't know if you can really tell when it was all said it done, but I wanted to make sure. This is totally up to you.
STEP TWO: Measure your built ins and start cutting! Measure the height and width of each shelf and write them down so you have something to reference while you're cutting. If your built ins are older, each shelf may have slight differences, so measuring each one individually is really important.
After you get your measurements, grab your moulding and circular saw and starting cutting! When you are cutting your moulding, use your measure tape and mark your height measurement (ours was 12 inches) down on your board. Make sure you account for the width of the blade on your saw while cutting.
After you cut your boards, line them up and measure the width to make sure it matches your measurements. If your width comes up short (like ours did), you can just cut one of your boards to fit the last inches on your built in.
STEP THREE: It's time to glue down your shiplap to your built ins (YAY). Before you start gluing, test each board to make sure it fits properly in your built in shelf. You may have to go through and shave off a little length on a few boards.
After you've tested your boards, start gluing them down. Grab your loctite and your boards and get to work. When you are applying your boards, it is important to push them all to the top or the bottom of your shelf. For example, on the top shelf, push the boards to the top of the shelf because you wont see the bottom from far away if there are any shorter boards.
Grab a shiplap board and apply your loctite. A little loctite goes a long way, so just squirt a little on the top and bottom of each board. After you apply your loctite, place your board on the back of your built in and apply pressure for 5-7 seconds.
When you apply the next board, make sure you place it as close to the previous board as possible so there aren't any gaps. Let your boards dry for 30 minutes and then you can start painting!
One last tip while applying your shiplap- make sure you apply your shiplap at the same starting point (left or right) on each shelf so it looks cohesive.
STEP FOUR: After applying your shiplap boards, you will have gaps at the top or bottom of a few boards. Go through and apply caulk in those gaps. This will fill them in and you can paint directly over the caulk.
STEP FIVE: Now you paint! After your shiplap is applied to your built ins, you can start painting! We chose to use Vine Leaf by Behr and it is perfect. I swear, I found the perfect shade of green. It is beautiful!!! You can use any color you like.
Before you start painting, make sure you use painter's tape to line the builtins so you don't have paint bleed everywhere.
After your shelves are lined, grab your paint and paint brush and get to work. Give your shiplap a coat of paint and then let it dry for a few hours. After it dries, give it another coat of paint. Two coats should be enough since the boards are already primed.
Once you're shiplap is painted, you may see some white peaking through in between each board. I grabbed a skinny paint brush and went through and painted those areas so they were fully coated.
YOU DID IT!!! You are a true DIYer. You created ship lap built ins!!!
We hope you love your built ins as much as we do!!!
Styling Your Shiplap Built Ins
Once you're finished creating your shiplap built ins, you get to style them! This is one of my favorite things about DIY. I love created a styled look after I'm finished building.
When you are styling builtins, the biggest thing you have to keep in mind is height variation. You need short and tall pieces to give variation. Our current home gives more of a cottage feel, so I wanted to tie in traditional pieces with a few modern touches.
Always start with a few books as a base when you styling your built ins. If you don't own books that fit with the style you're going for, head to your nearest thrift store and grab a few. Stack your books or leave them standing to add dimension.
I always LOVE adding a floral element to any built in. I love small glass vases, especially when they vary in size. You can add fake flowers/greenery to your vases or you can add fresh/dried flowers. I went out to my backyard and picked dried flowers and they look perfect.
Most of this decor I already owned but I purchased a few things from Target, of course. I did find similar things for y'all on the pieces I already owned prior.
- THREE PACK GLASS VASES
- WOOD PICTURE FRAME
- MAGNOLIA TABLE COOKBOOK
- BLACK WOOD BOWL
- WOOD CUTTING BOARD
- SMALL WREATH
- WHITE PICTURE FRAME
DIY Built Ins Tips and Tricks
Here is a quick overview of the entire project!
After you gather your supplies, you need to clean your shelves. After they're clean, you can start cutting!
Measure the height and width of your built ins and grab boards. Cut each board to fit the height of your built ins.
Once you have cut each board and tested the fit, glue each board to the built in with locktite. Let the locktite dry before painting.
Once your boards are glued on, grab your paint brush and start painting. Do two coats on your shiplap. After its dry, you're done!
Lastly, STYLE! Style your shiplap built ins and enjoy!!
We hope you love your shiplap built ins!
Come say hi to us on instagram- @conleyadventures
Adventure starts now,
Mas & Liz