Ladies & gentlemen. We need to talk about the DIY faux shiplap fad going around on blogs & Pinterest. To be frank, it is not as simple as “peel and stick”. Even if you peel, stick then add nails, it’s still going to fail.
How do I know Faux Shiplap with Peel and Stick Floor Planks fails?
I built my own shiplap wall with peel and stick vinyl planks & it epically failed within the week. That’s right. Vinyl planks popping off the wall barely attached with finishing nails. It looked DIY and fakity, fake, fake, fake. Learn from my mistakes.
Peel and stick vinyl planks are for floors
Vinyl planks are manufactured to be installed on smooth, flat, horizontal surfaces, i.e. a floor. Feel your walls. They are highly textured. How well does tape stick to a brick wall? Not well. The same goes for vinyl flooring on sheetrock walls.
You have to use construction adhesive
Slapping peel and stick vinyl planks on the wall without construction adhesive is asking for trouble. “But I am going to nail it after!” Bahahaha! Go ahead. Do it. Then come back when they start popping off the wall and I’ll do my “told ya so” dance for you. Construction adhesive does not even guarantee it will stay on the wall.
Exhibit A. Construction adhesive + peel & stick shiplap failure
It’s going to be a b!tch to take down later
You used construction adhesive like I told you to but like all things, trends fade & now you want to put wallpaper up. Guess what you get to do? Repair sheetrock!!! Ya! If you had installed real shiplap, all you would have to do is pop the nails out of the studs and fill in nail holes. It may have been cheaper to use peel and stick vinyl planks in the beginning, but in the long run it’s going to cost you more.
Karma is nice like that.
Nails & vinyl do not play well together
Vinyl flooring planks are not made to be nailed, stapled or tacked. That’s what wood & laminate flooring is made for.
- Nail too close to the edge, the plank will chip.
- Place a finishing nail too deep, it goes right through.
- Too shallow, have fun nailing it in without damaging the plank.
Not kidding, it is advised to place 10 nails per plank! That’s 10 chances per plank to screw up. 10 holes to file with caulk. 10 chances to think to yourself “this was a stupid idea.” To give you perspective, the same length shiplap board would require 6 nails at most to hold it to the wall (2 nails in each stud, usually found 16″ on center) but some advise only nailing every other stud so the total could be as low as 4.
Vinyl = plastic
What does paint not like sticking to? That’s right, plastic!!! Vinyl is too slick for paint to grab onto so the slightest bump/scrape is going to peel the paint right off.
What will stick to vinyl? B-I-N Shellac-Based Primer and Sealer
What will get you as high as a kite while painting a wall? B-I-N Shellac-Based Primer and Sealer
The other option is roughing the surface up really well with sandpaper but be careful. Plastic is much less forgiving than wood. Deep scratches will show through the paint.
You still want to use peel and stick planks for a shiplap wall?
Fine. Be that way but numbers don’t lie. Follow along as I calculate the cost of faux shiplap & real shiplap for an average wall, 12′ x 8′.
Prices accurate for in-store Home Depot purchases as of Feb 2017
Shiplap – 16′ boards with 7″ face
10 boards: ~$120
1 Box 2.5″ Nails (1000 count): $13
Clear Shellac spray paint (for covering knots): $7.50
Latex Primer(gallon): $17
Behr Paint,Eggshell (gallon): $32
Roller cover for primer & paint: $4.50
Vinyl – 6″ x 36″ planks – 24 planks per box
3 boxes: ~$100
Vinyl Cutter: $50
1 Box 5/8″ nails for stapler: $4
Construction Adhesive (2 tubes): $3.50
Caulk Gun for Construction Adhesive & caulk: $2.77
Shellac Primer (gallon): $42
Denatured Alcohol to clean up shellac: $7.30
Behr Paint, Eggshell (gallon): $32
Roller cover for shellac: $4.50
Roller cover for paint: $4.50
Paint Brush: $6
Doesn’t look like the cheap option anymore does it?
What is it like to install real shiplap?
A dream! I made 2 rolling walls for my product photography in a weekend but it was exactly like putting them on an interior wall. I just added the step of building walls on casters. They are pretty fancy.
Putting the boards up on the wall took less than 30 minutes, followed by applying shellac primer to the knots to prevent tannin bleed, latex primer, and finally a coat of white paint. I did it all by myself & the only help I needed from my husband was flipping the 10 foot stud wall on the casters.
But I don’t have all those power tools…
Rent them for the weekend or start your own power tool collection.
Power tools you need for installing the shiplap:
I seriously use every one of these tools once a month. They are worth the investment & husbands LOVE giving them to you for Christmas.
You can spend money doing it right or spend time doing it cheap. Either way you are going to pay for it.
Do you have a DIY shiplap fail story?
We want to hear about it!
It’s more fun to laugh over our failures together than read yet another humblebrag.
Spread the word!
Do you love shiplap? Then you need to see my shiplap headboard.