DIY Shiplap Kitchen Back splash

11 November
I finished my kitchen backsplash last weekend, woot! I'm so excited about how it turned out and it was pretty easy too!

So today I'm going to show you how... don't worry, you got this!!😊

How to make your own inexpensive shiplap backsplash

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When I removed the old tile backsplash it really tore up the wall so I needed to start this project by patching the wall. You may not need to do this part (crossing my fingers for you!)

I covered my new counters with an old towel and taped it down along the edge to protect them and then I used spackling compound and a trowel and just spread out a thin layer over the part that needed patching.

Try and make it as smooth as possible in the beginning and you'll eliminate a bunch of sanding once it's dry! 

Once you have a thin layer over all the needed areas let it dry overnight then sand it to remove any high spots.

Here is what it looked like before patching.

And here is what it looks like after patching (it wasn't dry yet in this picture).

I found a very thin wood at Home Depot called utility board (or common board), it's only 1/8" thick, so great for creating a shiplap look! I had them cut it into 4" strips for me. I only needed one 4' x 8' sheet for my kitchen and I even had two strips left over!

Measure your area, cut the strips to the length you need, and lightly sand all the edges.

Use paneling adhesive (I used 3 tubes for my kitchen) to adhere the wood strips to the wall.

Spread a bead of adhesive around the edges and zig-zagged through the center of each board. The directions say that you stick the panel to the wall then remove it and let it sit for 1 minute and then it should "quick grab" to the wall when you put it back on...

😒um... no... it didn't work like that for me, the ends of each board kept popping up! I'll explain my fix in a moment.

You'll start at the bottom, leaving a space between the counter and your first board for caulking. Make sure that first board is level (sometimes counters aren't level)!

Use tile spacers (or pennies or nickels depending on how much of a gap you want) in between each board.

My fix for the ends popping up before the glue could dry was to tack the ends down with small finishing nails. Originally I was planning to pull them out after the adhesive had dried but I changed my mind mid-way through and decided to pound them in all the way and leave them.

I mean a real shiplap wall would probably be held up with nails so I thought it was perfectly fine for my faux shiplap to have nails. It remedied the ends popping up before the adhesive could grab and leaving the nails eliminated the need to fill all the nail holes!

Continue adding your boards with spacers in between until you have filled in the area. You can see in the picture above that my boards did not go all the way to the top but I was planning to paint them white so I figured the gap would just blend in.

You will need to cut your boards to fit around any electrical outlets as you go.

Now that you have added more thickness to the wall with your boards, the electrical outlets will need to be pulled forward a little bit so the covers will fit properly.

I made a bit of a mistake when I was adding my boards and I went right over the screw on the bottom of the outlet with the boards, DOH!

Easy fix though, I just used a little tool called a multi-function power tool to cut the area covering the screws and remove it.

Just cut along the bottom and both sides...

... and remove the piece.

To make the outlets stick out a little more I used rubber washers.

The washers will fit over the end of the screw between the wall and outlet (arrows below).

See how it's protruding out a little bit? Now the cover will fit nicely!

Now it's time for paint! I put two coats on at this point.

I chose to caulk in between each board but you could eliminate this step if you like this look. 

So once the paint dried, I ran a bead of caulk in between each board then ran my finger over it to ensure that you can still see the gap between each board but it's a little less dramatic looking. 

Caulk along the bottom edge and sides and in the corners for a nice, finished look.

After the caulking has dried, paint the final coat and then...

Stand back and admire your new, beautiful shiplap backsplash!!

You can see how to tile behind your stove in this post: How to Tile a Backsplash.

What's left to do:

  • New Lighting
  • Curtain (I have something really cool in mind for this)
  • Decorating!

You can check out the other kitchen remodel posts below:

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  1. Another awesome job Tania! You amaze me with the stuff you tackle....looks just like a pro job.

  2. Aww, thanks Florence! I really enjoy doing these kinds of home improvements... not too big that I can't challenge myself a little and get it done. I would love to find a tiny little house and totally redo it from top to bottom. There are some little houses in a neighboring town that are about 400 square feet, I would love to buy one and do all the projects myself and NOT have to live in it at the same time! lol!


  3. Nancy CarrollNovember 11, 2017

    Looks so clean and pretty! Great job!

  4. It looks fabulous Tania! Great job..

  5. That looks great! I even like it unpainted too. You so Clever!! (....and I just love your sink!)

  6. Thanks Vikki! I know, I really liked it unpainted too... I went back and forth for awhile about painting it but my house is a little dark feeling sometimes so I wanted the white to lighten things up a bit.


  7. Thank you Linzey!!


  8. Thrifty Mom In BoiseNovember 11, 2017

    This turned out fantastic!! Love it, love it, love it!!!

  9. Thank you so much!!


  10. Melissa StanleyNovember 13, 2017

    This turned out fantastic!! :)


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