The truth about faux shiplap / $100 Room Challenge / Week 4

Want to install faux shiplap at no cost? You’ve seen people draw pencil lines on their wall and getting awesome results? Here’s the truth.

The original plan

In the first week of the $100 Room Challenge, I planned to cover the back wall with shiplap. I thought I’d find a clever solution between real shiplap and the faux shiplap made with plywood strips that can be seen everywhere lately.

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5

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The goal was to hang the TV on the wall and the shiplap would have provided a solid backing. Since my family room is in the basement it’s a foundation wall so there’s no stud behind the wall, but 1 “x 3” strips.

Once the room was picked-up (see week 2 ), I found a major obstacle for my project:  winter!

Yes, we have a lot of snow here in Quebec. Even if the store cut the plywood into strips for me, I would have to cut it to the right length. In other words, I should have done a series of:

  • Take the measure,
  • Go up the stairs to the ground floor,
  • Put on my boots and coat,
  • Go outside (hoping the patio door is not frozen !!)
  • Go down from the balcony,
  • Get to the shed where is my table saw. (in my previously shuffled path),
  • Come back and
  • Install the shiplap hoping my measure was right!

And that, for EVERY strip !!! Uh NO!



The modifications

Not abandoning, I began to wonder what I might do to enhance this space. And that’s when it hit me!

$ 100 Room Challenge, family room makeover, decor budget, DIY, tutorial, home decor, renovations, family room update, budget, economic, challenge, home decor

I already have a beautiful stone fireplace. Do I really want to divert attention to the TV? Put a white shiplap wall behind the TV of it would only bring it out more.

It is always important to ask yourself what you want the focal point of the room to be.

So I did the opposite and decided to paint the top of the wall white and the bottom a dark gray. It’s actually the Sico colour of the year 2018: Cast Iron (6173-83).

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And voilà, the television is suddenly way less important!

I also decided to install two large shelves in the white part (coming next week) telling myself that I could put shiplap in this section. After a few calculations $$, I quickly came to the conclusion that I had to say goodbye to shiplap!

The truth about faux shiplap

If you do a quick search on Pinterest, you will see that some people have made faux shiplap at $0 simply by drawing pencil lines on the wall.

I thought, great! I’ll try!!

Good thing I did not have a big surface to cover because it’s the worst idea I’ve ever had!

If, like me, you are just a bit perfectionist, don’t even think of doing this!

I started to draw with a pencil, telling myself that I could erase if I made a mistake. Obviously, only a little millimeter of offset and I wanted to erase! Big mistake! It made a “beautiful” smudge! Maybe it’s just because my painting was freshly applied, I can’t say for sure.

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And I worked with a level, so for sure it also left traces, even if it only slightly rubbed the wall. 🙁

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The final look is not at all live up to my expectations. I asked my 9-year-old son: “Look at the beautiful planks Mommy installed!” Even he saw it was traced lines. As they say here, it’s beautiful from afar, but far from beautiful !!!

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I thought to trace back with a black pencil, but I did not have the courage. I was afraid to do more damage to the wall. Maybe I’ll try my luck once the shelves are installed … to be continued!

** UPDATE: Check out my take 2 on faux pencil shiplap

Come back to see the reveal next week

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Here are again all the post on this challenge

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5

And don’t forget to pin and share!

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See at which Link Party I like to participate here


Now let’s see what the other participants are doing

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30 thoughts on “The truth about faux shiplap / $100 Room Challenge / Week 4

  1. Oh, man! Your experience is exactly my thought on those ‘faux’ shiplap with pencil lines tutorials. Easily turned into beautiful photos (with plenty of post-processing), but, not pretty in real life. At least you didn’t have to brave the cold every few minutes to give that one a go! Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

  2. What a bummer! I love that you share the ups and downs! 🙂 I’ve “seen” it in blog world with a sharpie. I wonder if that would make a difference? Can’t wait to see the finished project!

    1. Hi Lori,
      Just posted a blog post late yesterday about what I did with ink to correct it 🙂

  3. I wondered about faux shiplap. I think I would be like you and not be happy with a pencil line on my wall. After all the beauty of shiplap is the texture.

  4. Bummer Natalie! I’m so sorry it didn’t work out but I don’t blame you one little bit for not taking a million trips in the freezing cold to the shed! Nope. I love the paint colors you chose and can’t wait to see the shelves. I would be awful at the pencil lines, you were brave to try!

    1. Thanks Melissa! 🙂 We just had another snow storm and I’m so glad I didn’t tackle this shiplap wall!!

  5. Well… I gotta say, the picture really didn’t look bad at all, BUT I have wondered about the pencil line trick, and most people haven’t reported good luck with it… I know Sara (Twelve on Main) did a “reverse shiplap” after trying the pencil trick (that also didn’t work for her), but it would still require cutting wood, which I think you are trying to avoid… and I would too with all that effort 🙂 I hope you end up loving the space, even without the shiplap. Can’t wait to see that reveal next week!

    1. Thanks Erin! I surely will go take a look at Sara’s reverse shiplap. You picked my curiosity!!

  6. I give you a ton of credit. I have so much trouble drawing a straight line but I do think your faux shiplap looks great and I can’t wait to see it all come together next week.

  7. I really love your idea for the dark wall behind the television– such a creative idea! It’s funny how DIY projects turn out and how they work sometimes and sometimes they don’t. I can’t do an IKEA hack to save my life but it’s the bread and butter of thousands of other bloggers 😉

  8. I’ve been wondering about this, thank you for sharing your experience! The color behind the TV looks great and you make a really good point about finding your focal point. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  9. Oh Shoot! I know I would never be able to do this just because I don’t have the patience to draw perfectly straight lines!

  10. What a bummer! I think the problem with the smudging was your eraser, not the paint. A white eraser or a kneaded putty eraser makes less mess. I hope you figure your wall out. I know it will be gorgeous!

    1. Thanks Emy! I had a Staedtler white eraser. Supposed to work pretty well. Anyway, I’ll probably find something to do in the end

  11. Sometimes it’s just not meant to be! I love what you decided to do with the white and dark gray with the shelves. I thank that’s going to look amazing and not take anything away from the fireplace. Can’t wait to see it next week!

    1. haha! That is quite funny. No, I hadn’t seen (they’re so many of us, I didn’t have time to check them all) Now I feel bad, but her method seems better! Maybe I’ll try it!

  12. I’ve wondered about faux shiplap too! You are so much braver than me! It looks neat in the picture with the TV. Can’t wait to see the reveal and what you decide to do!

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