DIY Shiplap Island


Y’all already know the craze for shiplap is out of control thanks to a certain power couple on HGTV (looking at you Chip and Jo).

We are currently renting and can’t really add shiplap to every wall like I want to. Our kitchen and living room are combined in an open floor plan. We have an older home that was remodeled, so the “laundry room” is behind two doors off of the kitchen. Inconveniently enough, that’s where a kitchen table should go as well. If we were to put a table there, it would block the laundry room AND the back door. House-1 Contractor-0.

The kitchen is L-shaped with a huge awkward area to be filled. With no place for a kitchen table, we opted for an island with seating. Lucky for us, we got an island from family for FREE! Countertop and all! Only problem, it was cherry oak and our cabinets are white with shaker doors. 🙈 I knew we could never match the color or finish on our cabinets. So, shiplap it was!

Measuring is SO important if you don’t plan on cutting the wood yourself. We didn’t have the tools necessary to make any extra cuts if needed and Lowe’s is 40 minutes from our house. We couldn’t really just run and get another piece cut if needed. So with that said… measure, measure, and measure AGAIN. Our numbers were dead on and the guy at Lowe’s was nice enough to make way over their 10 cut maximum. 🤷🏼‍♀️

We went with 2 sheets of the 1/4″ Oak Plywood (4’x4′). It is already a nice smooth surface ready for paint. We had them cut into 6″ planks. Our island is 34.5″ tall, so that is 5 total boards with 4.5″ left over. We chose to do a 4″ board on the bottom of each side. So that left us with a 0.5″ to spare! I wanted the 0.5″ because we would need room to put small spaces in between each plank.

If you have a nailgun, I AM JEALOUS. Honestly, placing the boards on was SO easy. It would’ve went by even faster if we (hubby) didn’t have to hammer every single nail in. When your countetop is off, make sure you measure the thickness of the sides + the thickness of the wood you choose. Whatever you get is what nail length you need! The 18G-1″ steel wire nails are great.  They lay flat against the wood and are hardly visible when painted! We chose to use 4 nails for the front and 3 for the sides. Put them where needed, but that’s what worked for us!

For the spaces, we used 3 nickels. I would hold the board down to level the nickels and Mack would nail it into place. The spacing was perfect!

Here is what it looked like after we finished nailing all the boards in place! Our island already had trim already so we obviously just painted it white as well. Still need to add some at the bottom where the floor meets. More on the trim work  down below.

From there, it is just repetitive! When it is time to paint, it’ll make it so much easier to trim in each board! When paint starts to fill the cracks, make sure and take a toothpick or nail to clean it up for a sharp line. We primed with 1 coat of paint and I went in with white caulk for the sides around the trim once dry. I’ll place a comparison down below of one side caulked and the other isn’t. Total preference but it makes it look seamless.

It took a couple coats of white paint to get it covered to the bright white I envisioned, but we did it!

Our countertop has a 11″ overhang so I chose to add some decorative corbels underneath! I picked these up at Lowe’s for less than $8 a piece! (LOL at the white paint I got on the floor) Nailed those in place and that was it! We had our own custom shiplap island in less than 4 hours for around $65! (We had primer, paint and brushes already.)

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