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Painted Shiplap in the Bathroom

by - Monday, October 24, 2016

Do you have any shiplap in your house? Whether you're using real shiplap boards, or DIYing a faux shiplap look, the popularity of this wall treatment style doesn't show any signs of waning. We were so thrilled with the natural shiplap in our cottage living room that we decided to put it in the main bathroom as well.

You might be hesitant to consider shiplap in the bathroom because of moisture but like other materials in the bathroom, such as drywall or cabinets made of MDF, just take the right precautions and you won't have any issues. Before you embark on any shiplap project though, you'll want to check out this post on What You Need to Know Before You DIY Shiplap.

grey painted shiplap in the bathroom, round wood mirror, milk glass sconce | shiplap bathroom accent wall

Can shiplap be used in a bathroom?

As with any material, you'll want to consider the suitability of the material for the environment. For this project, we created faux shiplap for the bathroom. We followed the same steps as in our living room shiplap and made our shiplap out of 1/4" plywood cut into planks. This video shows the same kind of material and plank method we used. Whether made of wood or MDF, you can use shiplap in a bathroom provided you take steps to protect the material.

How to protect shiplap in a bathroom?

Bathrooms are wet environments and any building material can be damaged if water is able to penetrate the surface. Shiplap will have 'exposed' surfaces on the face of the material and at the cut ends. You need to protect both of these areas. For the face of the shiplap, ensure that your material is properly sealed with sealants or suitable paint (we used bathroom paint). For any cut edges, cover gaps with paintable silicone. As well, you want to ensure that your shiplap does not come into direct contact with wet surfaces. For instance, if your shiplap butts up against tile, ensure there is a plastic trim on the edge of the tile. You don't want an exposed cut end to be sitting against a wet surface.

What width is shiplap? 

If you're creating your own DIY shiplap, the answer is it depends! You'll want your shiplap width proportional to the size of the room. In this bathroom, we used 6" wide planks. It prevents this walls from looking too busy and creates that country look suitable for the cottage. If the room was bigger or had taller ceilings, we might have considered wider planks.

What is the shiplap gap size?

If you are using real shiplap boards, the gap will be pre determined by how the boards sit together. If you are using faux shiplap, the gap size is up to you. I love how the horizontal gaps are really pronounced in our shiplap bathroom. We spaced the planks out with a 1/4" gap in between.

Pro tip: We used a scrap piece of our 1/4" plywood laid on its thin edge as a spacer between shiplap boards.


grey painted shiplap in the bathroom, round wood mirror, milk glass sconce | Ramblingrenovators.ca

We decided to paint the shiplap in Sing Time P5221-34D by PARA Paints in a satin finish using bathroom paint. The colour is a mid-tone grey with a hint of green. This bathroom has no natural light so there's a bit of a yellow cast in these photos. The paint provides an unexpected hit of colour in our mostly all-white cottage.

The large wood mirror (STABEKK from Ikea) warms up the grey scheme. It also repeats the wood tone found in other elements around the cottage, like the railing.

grey painted shiplap in the bathroom, woods shower curtain | Ramblingrenovators.ca

Speaking of woods, our shower curtain (Nordic Forest from Simons) is reminiscent of the famous Cole And Son Woods wallpaper. Our cottage is surrounded by trees so it was a fitting choice.

grey painted shiplap in the bathroom, industrial bathroom hardware | Ramblingrenovators.ca

The bathroom hardware has an industrial feel. You could totally DIY something similar out of plumbing parts. You can see that the 6" wide planks have pleasing proportions. They don't make this wall look too 'cluttered' and provide a nice backdrop to the bathroom elements.

grey painted shiplap in the bathroom, round wood mirror, milk glass double sconce | Ramblingrenovators.ca

My favourite element though is the double sconce light fixture. I love the mix of milk glass, brass, and aged steel. I first tried these with Edison bulbs but they didn't give off enough light. So I switched them with the globe bulbs that came from the strip lighting that the builder had originally installed in this bathroom. They're pretty cute.

We were glad to have this bathroom finished because the cottage is all closed up for the season now. We didn't get to everything we planned to but I'm not too disappointed. It was an awesome first summer at the cottage!

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Looking for more shiplap and wall treatments? Check out these posts:



What You Need To Know Before You DIY Shiplap

A Modern Coastal Craft Room

A Cottage Bathroom Redone

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