• Michelle Gowdy

DIY Faux Shiplap Wall for Under $50!

Updated: Apr 29, 2020

I think we all just might owe our introduction, love, and inspiration for shiplap walls to the talented Joanna Gaines. Personally, watching Fixer Upper opened a new world of creativity and design style that I had not considered before. That's a good thing, because design is a constant and evolving process that draws in inspiration from everywhere and tailored to fit your individual wants and needs.

When we first moved into our home, the previous homeowners set this upstairs bedroom as their home office, a purple home office that is. For us, we transformed it into our son's bedroom. (Check out "Boy's Edition Room Makeover" in the latest Southern Sweets summer issue to read up on my design transformation process for the entire room and leading up to this DIY project.) Fast forward, almost 3 years later, it was time for a full refresh and an intentional design space. Time to get something new and open his space up through color and opt for an upgraded look for a growing little boy.

Since I was going for a more clean, bright, and simplistic look in his space, I did want to create a unique accent wall, something unexpected and it aligns with my modern farmhouse theme also found throughout our house.

I will say that this, by far, has been one of the easiest, fastest, and cheapest DIY projects we've done in our home. Mostly, because we were able to use existing leftover materials from our other DIY projects. However, even if we had to buy everything full price, it would still fall under $50.

First step, is to paint the wall whichever two-tone color palette you wish and you can decide how much of one color will be the dominant tone. Since my son's new bed has a high headboard, I wanted both colors to be visible above it and I wanted your eyes to draw up. I didn't want any accent details to compete with the headboard or be below it that it's hard to see.

My son's room is painted in Benjamin Moore's Hale Navy and Acadia White, so I just carried those same colors to the accent wall - top light and bottom heavy. Those two colors are also found elsewhere throughout our house, creating a cohesive flow from room to room. Since it is just one accent wall, you don't need a lot of paint. You can easily get away with a quart size for the top part and 1-2 quart sizes for the bottom. Again, how much paint you'll need is determined by how large you make each section and/or how wide you make the wood panel middle section. Our top white section is only 15" inches high. Good news is that there is no right or wrong method or sizing to this project! It's free to be as creative as you are.

Next, my husband nailed extra leftover pieces of our peel-and-stick vinyl hardwood flooring onto the wall, just slightly above the headboard. I wasn't home at the time he did this part, nor was I even aware he was planning to do it, so I couldn't direct how many strips to use, how high or how low, but I think he did a great job on his own (insert sigh of relief) :). He nailed two evenly planked row wood boards right above each other that measures 1ft in height. Simple enough, right?!

Lastly, I measured the distance from one wall end to the other to mark my freelance vertical shiplap panels. They are marked at 8 inches apart. At each 8" setting, I marked it and used a long piece of leftover wood board (from our foyer's board and batten DIY project) to draw the lines down. That long wood board piece was simply used as a straight edge guideline, but any other item can be used or perhaps, an actual T-square ruler (I'd recommend). I just improvised using what we already had, but used a level to ensure straight lines.

Above the vinyl wood plank border, I did a free-hand drawing design to replicate my favorite herringbone pattern. I literally just eyed the distance between each lines to create my design without the use of any rulers. I used the same wood piece as my line edge to draw the lines slanting up and down. In my first attempt, the lines were uneven and crooked from afar. So I had to repaint over them, let it dry overnight, then try again the following day.

Fun Fact: My favorite and cheapest tool of all I used to create my faux shiplap panels and herringbone design for both top and bottom was a black sharpie marker!! Yep, you read that right! Tip: Make sure to use a brand new one so you can avoid dull marking tones. That should set you back a full $1.00 buying it at the Dollar Tree.


  • Black sharpie marker (brand new) (Oil-based black sharpie preferred)

  • Level

  • Tape Measure

  • Recommended: T-edge ruler

  • 4-in x 36-in Safari Peel and Stick Vinyl Plank Flooring (Lowe's)

  • Can buy individual pieces at $0.99 per panel or purchase the entire wood plank carton

  • 1 quart Benjamin Moore Acadia White

  • 1 quart Benjamin Moore Hale Navy

Goes to show that you don't always have to spend tons and tons of money to create unique and creative looks in your home. There are work arounds if you're looking for low-cost techniques to enhance a space that can easily turn out just as beautiful as those spent at a higher cost.


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