It’s Week 5 of the One Room Challenge, and I’ve been completely involved in actually building the Chevron Fireplace Wall that I planned out last week. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen some of the progress, but let’s jump in and break it down…
Materials for the Chevron Fireplace Wall
- Leveling Boards (3 2×4 boards, cut at 53″)
- Side Uprights (a set of 2, 2×4 boards at 84″ high, 16″ deep)
- The Face Frame (2×4 boards at 84″ high, 50″ deep)
- Support Posts (2×4 boards at 12″)
- Center Mounting Inserts (2×4 boards at custom size)
- Shiplap…So Much Shiplap (19 1x6x8 foot pieces–I probably wasted at least 2 in mistakes)
- Finishing Boards: Top & Baseboards (1×4″ boards)
- Drill + Screws (3.5″)
- Nail Gun + Nails
- Finishing Nail Gun + Nails (18 gauge, 2″)
- Paint + Paint Brush
Make It Level
The leveling boards are put in place to ensure that your build out is put up straight and level. It was helpful to have another set of hands to install the first one. Once I had the first one in place, I placed each of the other pieces on top and pre-drilled the holes in the 2×4, then started the screws in before getting into position.
Build the Framing
I’m naming the build out components as: Side Uprights, Face Frame, Support Posts & Center Mounting Posts.
Because my ceiling height is 85 inches high, I used 84 inches as the planned height for the fireplace wall, knowing that there would be a finishing board at the top to cover the gap. This allowed me to easily put the components in place without bumping the ceiling.
The Side Uprights were cut at 84″ height, built to be 16″ deep. (That meant the interior boards were cut at 13″ to let it add up to that 16″ depth.) I used a clamp to nail them together with one nail in each corner, and then once together, removed the clamp and nailed the corners a second time. The Uprights were then set flush against the leveling boards and nailed in place using the nail gun at an angle to go from the leveling board into the upright, while pressing them together.
The Face Frame was built on the floor right in front of the install area. The outer frame was nailed together, measuring the interior measurements of the uprights. For the interior horizontals, they were simply placed inside without nailing at first to ensure correct fit.
The bottom Support Posts were measured and cut at 12″ for the correct height off of the ground for the fireplace insert.
I needed to get the fireplace insert in place to ensure accuracy. I was able to nail the interior horizontals in place once the insert was dry fit. With the insert centered, I nailed the left side post in place–but not the right side. That would have to wait until the face frame was installed due to the cord.
The face frame was lifted and nailed in place inside the uprights.
*Something I would do differently if I were to do this again: After lifting in place and dry fitting the fireplace insert for the cord side, I would have removed and nailed the upright support posts in place in the top section. (It would have been easier to nail them before the entire frame was installed. See the photo below.)
If you look closely, the right side post for fireplace was installed sideways. I did that so when the fireplace insert is finally installed, the right side (with the cord) can be guided in first, clearing the post and set in place. I’m not sure what the company was thinking not having the cord come straight out the back.
Time for Shiplap
I chose a chevron pattern, pointing upward, for the pattern of the build. Who knew it would be so complicated? Actually, it’s really not–if you start the correct way. How about–instead of pointing out all the things I did wrong–I show you exactly what you should do?
Steps & Tips for Chevron Shiplap
#1 Find Center
Mark the center point from top to bottom, checking level–and making sure you have support posts in place the entire length, since that’s where the angles will meet.
#2 Start at the Bottom
The bottom chevron pattern will create the entire look. You’ll be cutting the shiplap in trapezoids at the start, since the bottom pieces are small. The left and right sides are mirror images of each other.
#3 Cut the Trapezoids
Trapezoids are shapes that have opposite angles on each side. For shiplap, they should be small on the top and bigger on the bottom. Make the 45º cut, then flip over to the backside to cut the opposite leaning angle, keeping the top and bottom in the same position.
#4 Cut the Mirror Image
For the other side, it’s a mirror image, which means the top and bottom are placed “upside down” on the saw. Do the first angle cut, then flip over, not changing the top and bottom position, to make the other 45º cut.
#5 Cut the Parallelograms
The pieces that span the rest of the bottom section of the fireplace are going to be cut as parallelograms–shapes that have matching angles on each side. They will all be cut the same lengths, so be sure to set up a stop block once you verify the cuts so you don’t have to re-measure. There’s a set of parallelograms on each side of the middle chevron–these are also mirror images of each other. (So don’t forget to flip, even though the length is the same!)
#6 Paint the Edges
Shiplap is not forgiving at all if you try to paint it after it’s installed. Especially when you’re using black paint.
#7 Repeat the Pattern
The area directly above the fireplace will need to be the exact same as the center below the fireplace. The trapezoids are in the same position. After that, you’ll be ready to start placing the long parallelograms–like the one sticking out in the above photo.
#8 The Larger Chevron Pattern
In that image above, you’ll see how the one long piece does slightly go over the corner of the fireplace opening. That piece of shiplap is only fit for the photo, to show how long it’s going to be to get to center. After I had all of the shiplap installed, I used my jig to make the custom cuts.
#8 Check Level
It’s very important to use your level against the middle angle of the first piece of shiplap at each layer. It should be up against the center line and should be checked for level. Then, install with one or two finishing nails, and add the second, mirror piece.
#9 When You Cut the Long Pieces
This is another bulk cut you can do. Again, these will be parallelograms. Verify your measurements, and use a stop block for length.
#10 How to Finish at the Ceiling
The first cut that meets the ceiling can be tricky, and it’s a long piece, so move forward with caution. You’ll cut a standard long parallelogram for the top, but after cutting, the top point will have to be cut off to go flat against the ceiling. After that, it gets easier, as the corner will get finished with trapezoids. Cut them, hold them up and mark where they need to get cut if too long. Once you have a couple of these cut, you can actually lay it all out on the floor and make the corner shape, making it easier to know where to cut and how to measure the mirror image boards for the other side.
*Don’t forget that you’ll be adding a finishing board across the top–easy to hide mistakes!
#11 Shiplap the Sides
Since the lower portion of the sides will be covered by cabinets, I only needed to shiplap the top portion of the sides. The middle pieces will be the parallelograms, all the same lengths. The sides mirror each other, so you can cut the lengths at the same time. The tops at bottoms that finish off the design will be trapezoid shapes.
This is a great spot to use some of those smaller cut pieces that were mistakes!
#12 Use the Jig
The jig is a great tool when you need to cut custom shapes. I cut off that small triangle that was jutting up into the fireplace, and I cut out the corners at the top of the fireplace.
It’s important to celebrate when you reach goals! It’s far from done, but I got as far as I was hoping this week, and for that, I’m celebrating!