Entry way makeover

Posted by Carrie Roske on

Happy Sunday! 

A few Sundays back, Nick & I decided to tackle the entry way. Well, let's first backup here.This has been a project I've wanted to do for almost 2 years, but have been scared to tackle it myself. I went back & forth trying to decide if I could do it or if I should just hire someone. I honestly didn't want to do this project because two years ago, I would've been doing it alone, so it would just be easier to hire someone. Easier, yes, more expensive? DEFINITELY.

Now, fast forward 2 years later. So many changes have happened in my life & without going into all of the details on this particular post, I now have someone in my life who wants to help me with projects. 

So, here we are NOW! I have this super sweet guy in my life (sappy, I know) & we decided to tackle this project ourselves! And you know what? I’m so stinkin happy we did! 

SUPPLIES. I decided to use primed MDF board from Menards. It was a bit more expensive than pine ship lap, but after weighing out options, we went with the MDF. My reasons were that I wanted a "pretty" ship lap wall. Not necessarily a rustic look. We have a pine ship lap wall in the mudroom & even though it was primed & painted, after two years the pine wood is almost yellowing & bleeding threw. It also has visible knots & imperfections that all wood has. I later found out, I didn't use the correct primer, which I plan to re-do someday! But for the entry way I wanted a clean, “no knots or imperfections” look! So I paid a little more to achieve that. Along with getting that look for a higher price, I had a few less steps. With the MDF it was ready to cut & go as soon as we got it home. After getting it on the wall, I lightly sanded it & then did a layer of primer & paint. With pine ship lap, you would need to sand to your look, fill knots, cut, attach to the wall, prime, & paint. So a little less sanding & prep work! So that is why and how I chose! Again- it's completely the look YOU want!


Don’t mind my messy shop! Needs a good cleaning & makeover SOON! 

First- measure your wall to figure out how much ship lap you need. Our wall measured roughly 61 3/4" X 105 1/2". The ship lap was 1" X 6" boards so we got 23 boards. (We wanted a few extra just in case there were any mistakes!) 

Next, we prepped the actual wall. For us, that just meant finding the studs. I forgot to take a picture of this, but you can see the lines in this picture behind the ship lap! We made small tick marks & then used a level to draw the lines along the entirety of the wall. 

Cutting the boards. So even though we measured the wall, we went back to double check. & guess what? The wall was totally crooked! The bottom measured about 61 3/4" & the top 61 1/8"! Which when your doing a wall, is a BIG difference. So we cut a few boards & then as we went up, measured & cut, measured & cut... 

Attaching. We used a brad nail gun to attach the ship lap to the wall. Starting at the bottom of the wall & following the stud lines, we nailed 2" brad nails into the center of the ship lap pieces. 

Outlets & light switches. We have one outlet & one light switch on this wall that we decided to cut around/notch out using a jigsaw. This step was the only somewhat time consuming step we had. We laid the ship lap on the wall where it would be & the used a square to measure where we needed to notch out for the outlets. In the future, we may pull the light switch panel out so it is flush with the wall, but for now, I’m happy! 

The last piece!!! EEK! This was so exciting to see! The last piece we had to splice down to fit. Measuring from the inside of the groove of the second to last piece (because the next tongue will set inside of it) we figured out where to cut. We put that last piece up and.... Wah-lah!! 

Sanding. After getting all the ship lap up, I used my sander with a 120 grit pad on it to lightly sand the wall. After sanding I wiped the wall down with a rag & some water. 

Finishing touch. The last thing we added was a corner round. This gives your wall a nice clean & finished look. We used the brad nailer & attached the piece. 

Priming & painting. After reading up on MDF I realized you can't just paint this stuff. You need a water based primer & then an oil based, acrylic, or latex paint. Below is a picture of the primer & paint I used. I also used a brush instead of a roller. The foam roller I used seemed to leave almost a textured look, so I quickly switched over to a brush!

TaDa!!! An easy ship lap wall done! The cutting, attaching, & sanding only took about 2 hours. Then priming & painting was all we had a left to do! 


Bench- antique find

Sign- made by me & for sale! 

Bag- Target 

Wood welcome cut out- CarpenterFarmhouse on Etsy  

Hooks- Amazon  

A few side notes & tips I wish I had before we did this wall. The corner round- we should've added more nails to really attach it to the wall. I only did a few brad nails, enough to know it would hold. My thinking was, the less nails, the less holes etc. BUT then when I started priming & painting, the paint leaked threw and dripped etc. Easy fix, we are going to add some caulking! BUT if I added more nails so the corner round “hugged” the wall better, this would not have happened. 

That was our DIY ship lap wall! Now that we have tackled one, I am almost positive that we will be doing a few more throughout the house!

Thank you so much for reading! I’ve never done a “step by step” for others to follow, so please drop any questions you have & I’d be more than willing to help! 

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