top of page
  • Writer's pictureShelby Payne

Achieving a Cottage Vibe with Vertical Shiplap

Let me take you through a bit of a primary bedroom ride - Oh, and are we all aware that the term"master bedroom" should now be called the "primary bedroom" due to the term 'master' having negative connotations? I only learned this recently. Anyway... primary. vertical shiplap. got it.

I knew this room needed an accent wall but I couldn't decide between wallpaper and vertical shiplap to achieve the cottage vibe I was looking for. Before we moved in the entire house was painted white, but I felt like I wanted character. I want our house to feel like a cottage/cabin from way back without trying too hard (like it was always like that, ya know?).. so after a little research on installing wallpaper and not being able to find one I loved, the answer was fairly simple.

Vertical shiplap. But why vertical?

Typically when it comes to the shiplap trend, most homes are done in the horizontal style. The consensus is that this route tends to be a little more of a modern farmhouse vibe that lends length and wideness to a space, where vertical boards will draw the eye up, giving a taller ceiling effect and tends to give more of a vintage cottage feel. I honestly love both looks, but our house is pretty tiny and with the fan in the centre of the room I wanted the ceiling to feel taller.

There are many ways to do shiplap - you can do it for real with tongue and groove boards, this would be the most expensive option, but something you would do instead of drywall as a functional wall (no gaps) when doing a new build. But for the average DIY'er who wants to spruce up a space on a budget, cutting thin strips of plywood gives the same effect.


  1. 1/4" Birch Plywood

  2. Table Saw

  3. Brad Nailer

  4. Jigsaw

  5. PL Premium Construction Adhesive

  6. LePage Wood Filler

  7. Sandpaper

  8. Paint + Paint Supplies (I used BM Simply White OC-117)

  9. DAP Apex Plus Latex Caulking

The Process:

1. Start by figuring out how many sheets of plywood you need based on a sheet of plywood being 4x8.

2. Cut your plywood into 6" strips (or however wide you prefer!) using a table saw. The plywood is SUPER floppy so this is a two person job for sure. A little sketchy but after the first few strips come off it is less floppy and more stable.

3. Because the strips will hang vertical, you're going to be missing a ton of studs to secure to, so this is where the adhesive comes in handy. If you skip the adhesive, the nails may or may not start to lift in places. I wouldn't skip it.

4. After you have your shiplap in place, and hopefully haven't had to use the jigsaw for too many electrical outlets (ugh!) you can fill the nail holes with wood filler, allow to dry and give a quick sand.

5. Painty, paint , paint! I hate priming so I just did 3 coats and called it a day.

6. Caulk along any window trim, the ceiling and the corners. It's a little messy, but it makes a MASSIVE difference and totally completes the look. If your wall isn't white, you'd caulk before your last coat of paint.


Shiplap is super easy and adds a lot of charm to a space. Just for fun though, I will show you the rest of our bedroom transformation and a couple pics of where it started! Also peep the side tables that my hubby and I re-did together... I'm obsessed.

It's been such a fun series of projects to transform the space. Don't forget that little projects make a big difference over time.

In this space, I painted the old dresser, upgraded our side tables with these re-vamped Marketplace finds, accomplished a DIY bed skirt + headboard covering for under $40, and switched out the ceiling fan to something a little sleeker. I definitely walk by a few times a day to check it out and am super happy with the result!

Curious about the DIY drop cloth bedskirt and headboard cover? Head over to this blog post to learn how I did it and watch out for a quick tutorial on the side tables in the coming days.

Let me know what you think! Feel free to comment below if you have questions, aren't sure about something, or just need some encouragement! Until next time...

1 Comment

Apr 10, 2022

What a fabulous job Shelb it looks so good!👌🖤 Great job👍🏽


Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm Shelby. I started this blog to document our family of five as we make the move to our forever home on the lake (from what we thought was our forever home). I'm a Mom of three spunky littles and have been married to the dude I've been with since I was 14. I've got opinions on lots of things from parenthood, to home decor & DIY's, to beauty products. Follow along, will ya?

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
bottom of page