Lockwood Renovation Part 10 - How to Paint Lockwood Shiplap Walls

If you saw my Master Bedroom reveal you will have noticed that we painted our Lockwood shiplap walls.  There are quite a few tips and tricks that I’ve learned while painting the interior of my entire house, so today, I thought I’d share those with you.

First, a word of warning!

Painting a Lockwood is a labour of love!

It’s not like painting plaster walls.  These two things are completely different.

When we first moved into our Lockwood, I knew I wanted to paint the walls but I was terrified…

What if I messed it up?

What if I made it look terrible?

What if the paint didn’t stick?

What if the paint wouldn’t cover the stain?

Ok, ok, enough of that!

So, to quell these terrifying thoughts, I sought the help of my BFF, Paul from Davis Painters. Paul has been a painter for many years so when I asked him really nicely if he would come and set me on the right track, of course, he agreed.  He even helped me paint my first room.

I’m so pleased I had the advice of an expert.

I had read online that you needed to use really nasty chemical based sealer to stop the stain coming through.

Paul blew this theory out of the water by introducing me to …

Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s start at the beginning.


Like all painting jobs, preparation is key to getting a great finish. It's really worth taking the time to do a good job with this. In fact, with a Lockwood, you need to do the preparation, otherwise the colour of the wood will show through.


The first thing you need to do is a light sand.

A word of caution here, DO NOT bring out the sander and sand it to within an inch of its life.  If you do this, the colour of the wood will show through the paint.

What we are looking for here is a light touch to rough up the surface. You're not removing anything.

I use a sanding block and 120 grit sandpaper and go with the grain. Try not to go in circles or up and down as this will show when you paint.

Ensure you sand all the surfaces, including in the spaces between each piece of timber.  I do this by folding my sandpaper and running it along the lines, first with it angled up, then down so I get all the surfaces.


Once your wall is nicely sanded you need to clean it.

Start at the top and work across, then down.

You could use a dry paintbrush for this, ora soft broom if it’s high up.  I generally use this trusty old brush (you can see it’s got paint on it from a previous endeavour). If it’s particularly sticky, I will use a damp (not wet)cloth and let it dry well before moving to the next step.

Ensure you get the dust out of all the spaces between the timber.  Take your time with this, otherwise there will be dust in your paint.


It’s important to protect carpet, windows, etc. so before you paint anything you need to tape off any areas that you don’t want to paint.

When it comes to carpet, I lay the tape so that it’s about 2mm up the skirting.  Then I use my fingertips to push the tape down between the skirting and the carpet.

I usually lay two lines of tape, just because I’m renowned for pushing my drop cloths out of the way.

Now lay your drop cloths down to cover the carpet.

Seal and Prime

If you’ve ever painted anything, you’re probably thinking that I missed a step!

Filling the gaps.

Don’t worry, I’ll get to that.

To seal the walls and stop the stains coming through, use Dulux 1-Step Prep.

This product is amazing. It covers everything.

The first step to sealing and primer the walls is to use a brush to get into all the spaces between the timber, and any knot holes, etc.  If your Lockwood is like mine, there will be plenty of those.

Use a brush to get into all the cracks and crannies.

You’ll need to apply this reasonably thickly.  It dries really quickly so you can go back over it, even before it’s completely dry, if you need to touch up.

You don’t need to be too precious about this stage, honestly, I just slap it on, but you do want to make sure you don’t have any runs.

Next take your roller and roll the rest of the timber. I like to use these mini extendable rollers with these smooth sleeves.

Basically, here you are just filling in the gaps.  By the time you complete this step, your wall should be completely white.

Gap Filling

The next step is filling the gaps.  What you’re looking for here is to fill any cracks, do not remove the indentations altogether.

Lockwood houses move a lot, so the gap filler to choose should be ultra-flexible.  There are several good ones on the market, just look on the pack for the word ‘flexible’.

Here’s the steps:

Run a bead of the filler along the space between the boards.

Take a damp cloth and run the tip of your finger along the line of filler. You are basically pushing the filler into the cracks and wiping off any excess all in on movement. You’ll need to wash your cloth frequently.

This stage is really messy, believe me!

Luckily, it washes off your hands pretty easily.

I keep a bucket of warm water close by so I can rinse out the cloth frequently and repeat.  

Take your time with this step.

In the corners, there will be dark spaces, ensure you fill these, as well as any dark spaces by door frames, etc.

You will need a lot of filler.

Now take your regular wood filler and fill any holes, knot holes, etc. that need to be filled.

I know you thought I was mad priming before I filled the holes! The reason I do this is simply that you can’t see the holes until the wall is white. Priming first, makes them nice and easy to spot.


When all this is dry, you can choose to spot sand any places where the filler has been applied and it’s still rough.  Run your hand over the wall to make sure it’s lovely and smooth.


After all this prepping, you finally get to paint! Yay!

Painting is the fun part.

Basically,you repeat the process.

Paint the spaces between the boards with your brush first, then use your roller to do the rest.

You will need two coats of paint. I used Resene Zylone Low Sheen in a quarter rice cake colour.


Now you have a wonderful, bright room. Sit back and enjoy it.

If you have any questions or want to comment, please do so below. I'd love to hear about your experiences of painting a Lockwood or shiplap walls.

UPDATE: If you would like to see the finished kitchen click here. For more updates on the renovation, check out the Renovate section of my blog.

September 29, 2020