entertainment center project phase 2 - shiplap!

Shiplapping this gloriousness was phase 2 in our "entertainment center/fireplace/mantle" area project since 2014. We originally freshened up the old, very depressing oak to a pretty white in tandem with our extensive kitchen project, but I was never quite satisfied. The whole area just seemed so busy to me - it wasn't bad by any means, but it just wasn't relaxing to the eye, ya know?

So here was the area from the very beginning (for us) in October of 2014 when we closed on the ol' home (built in 1995 - not exactly old!) and right after the original paint job:
*HORRIFIC photography - if you could call it that ;)

^^^Again, those were taken at the end of 2014. It was just BUSY up there! Not exactly relaxing. So after we had our first go at shiplapping another room of ours and OBSESSING over it (posting on that asap), Chad and I decided to "fix" this area too while we were at it!
 Thus began phase 2 of the entertainment center/fireplace/mantle rehab!

OUR PROCESS (beginning AFTER we painted the oak to white. Pictures taken by my cell phone - apparently I was too lazy to bust our the DSLR - ha!):
1. First we had to figure out a way to substantially support the out-dated TV hole thing since we knew we would be mounting our 62" flat screen to the finished product. I had just watched something on HGTV about a designer (probably Chip and/or Jo, my homies) building a temporary frame out of 2x4's to support an entire house, so I figured it would be good enough for our little ol' TV ;) We got a few 2x4's from the Depot, and got to cuttin' in the garage the correct dimensions. This was also necessary because we needed to move the electrical outlets from the back of the TV hole to the front so we could plug the boob tube in. ALSO, we needed to add light to the family room, so wiring new electrical was paramount.

2. Next it was time to get shiplappin'! This was a two person job, so we were lucky the kiddos were spending the night at my parents' house for a little summer fun when we decided to tackle this project ;) Chad would heave the (light) board up into position, I would hold it in place, he would grab the leveler to make sure all was well, then he would go down the board with the nail gun, hitting each stud with two nails. It was very important to get that bottom board very straight - one would think the mantle would be a natural straight thing to rest it on, but the mantle was actually slightly sloped, so we had to raise the board just a bit in order to get the rest of the project straight. We also had to hand saw the electrical ports into the shiplap. We did this before mounting the boards, so a bit of measuring was required here.

3. Next it was time to fill in those nail holes! We got SO LUCKY that from mantle to crown molding, EXACTLY 6 boards were needed. This made the whole thing go so fast and had Chad and I happy-dancing-it-up once everything was nailed up there. If it hadn't have turned out to be a perfect fit, we would have had to circle saw the length of the top board by hand, which wouldn't have been too bad, but hey - it was a nice step to not have to do. Based on our past experience with shiplap (again, I'll be posting on this very soon!), nail holes and painting over those nail holes, we used some filler for a smooth, finished look.

4. Onto painting! We used the same white from the kitchen and the rest of the mantle/entertainment center which was nice because I actually did a ton of touching up on the existing white - woo! I did this while Chad was at work and with the help of my little munchkins. I was surprised that it ended up taking 3 coats! Without those additional coats the paint looked very transparent.

5. After it was nicely painted, Chad installed the TV mount. This part got me so excited because I was secretly smug given my awesome idea to implement the 2x4 frame behind the shiplap - win!

6. Then it was onto the part of the project we felt would be most challenging given that we've never done something like this before - INSTALLING THE MUCH NEEDED LIGHTING! We got these amazing lantern-like sconces from Home Depot - they're actually meant for the outdoors but hey, we are wild. We simply left off the grid feature because it casted a strong shadow and seemed to add too much detail to the space what with the new shiplap horizontal lines. THIS was the part of the project I was most pumped about - that added light was a necessity! I legitimately felt like we were adding real value to our home - permanent light sources!

^^^I MEAN! Obsessed - outrageously obsessed with this DIY gone RIGHT! Such a major win for Chad and I - two humans who used to be annoyed with painting just a single wall in our past rentals! What a life!


Linking up here as well: Chic on a Shoestring & Remodelaholics

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