We’ve jumped on the shiplap bandwagon. Let us tell you more.

We mentioned in our last post that one of our goals for this unexpected four week school closure was to “fix the damn trim,” which referred specifically to our dining room trim. When we first moved in, we had an entire week of snow days (do I ever go to work??), and we jumped on the opportunity to paint our main living area (and we’re still finding bits of white dust from all that drywall patching and sanding). When it came to our dining room, I decided to DIY our own trim…I think I followed a tutorial online to make your own farmhouse trim from regular pine boards. And to be honest, I didn’t know that primed MDF trim was actually a thing!

And after hours of cutting, sanding, painting, patching, and so on – we put up our beloved trim; the fruits of our labor handcrafted with our own blood, sweat, and tears.

And we hated it.

And it sat in our dining room for an entire year until a few days ago.

We tried. We really did. I mean, the trim itself wasn’t awful but it had some flaws. First, I measured wrong in a few spots (if you look to the right of the door in the image above you’ll see what I mean).

Second, the ceiling in here is slightly sloped because of our flat roof, and the big bulky top of the window and door trim only accentuate how crooked the ceiling is. And finally, see those tan dots all over the trim? That’s wood filler that ya boy never got around to sanding and painting. We knew since the moment we put this trim up that this shit had to go.

And earlier this week, we ripped off that crappy trim, kicked it to the curb (on trash day), and then it sat like this for a hot sec.

Fast forwarding to a few days ago, the day before our governor’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order went into effect, the stars all aligned. AKA everything was 11% off at Menard’s and we had Menards rebates to burn. A big thanks to Laryssa’s dad for picking up and delivering the shiplap boards using his cattle trailer…our shiplap isn’t the first DIY materials to be hauled with it, right, Ky?

We decided to go with vertical shiplap in this room as we think it will help hide that the ceiling is extremely crooked, and we went with 6″ and 8″ Nickel Gap Tongue and Groove Primed MDF boards for this project. We mostly used 6″ for most of the walls and bought a few 8″ pieces for corners and edges. We talked about making our own shiplap like our friends at For Richard or Poorer did, but opted for primed, already-cut boards, mostly because we’re not sure our itty bitty table saw could handle big sheets of plywood and we don’t have the right saw blades either.

Here’s a list of everything we’ve used for this project up until this point:

Our first step was to remove the barn wood panelling from underneath the windows, which also included removing the metal surround parts of the baseboard heaters, which was an absolute b**** to do. After we pried off the barn wood, we used 1″ thick pieces of pine board to serve as spacers. Basically the shiplap is sitting on top of the drywall, and it needed some support so it was sit even all the way down. If you were hanging shiplap on a normal wall, you wouldn’t have to worry about this. Most people would have hung even strips all the way across, but not us, man. Because we’re not normal. Far, far from normal.

And then we reattached the metal surrounds to the baseboard heaters, which was again nothing short of a pain in the a** to do.

Ah, onto the fun part: hanging the shiplap. And crap, I feel like I should have more to write here, but I don’t cause it’s so darn easy.

To take up as much space possible, you just have to:

  1. Measure the wall where the board will go.
  2. Cut the board using the miter saw. For the pieces around the windows and doors, we over cut and will trim those pieces later.
  3. Put the board in place, cuss a few times because it’s too long or too short, recut, and then use the brad nailer to attach it to the wall, making sure the spacing is even and everything’s gucci (my students hate it when I say that).
  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3, inserting the tongue into the groove of the previous piece.

Here’s a shot of where we ended on Day #1, about half way done with the room. God, that light from the late 1980’s needs to go.

When it came to the electrical outlets and switches, we just used the metal gangable boxes (yes, that’s their technical name!) to trace where the opening needed to go, and then we used our jigsaw to cut accordingly. And then we wired new outlets, turned on the breaker, and said a quick, non-denominational prayer that we didn’t wire something wrong and come upstairs to a blown up outlet. Anyway…

We just wrapped up Day #2 of shiplap-ing, and we have the two walls of the dining room complete, with just a few more boards to put up around the doors that lead to our basement and library.

We’re still not ready to cross this room off the list quite yet. Once the last few boards are up, we still have to cut and trim around the windows and door, paint the baseboard heaters, install baseboards, fill the nail holes (which we’re dreading, maybe we’ll take six months to get to that), paint, caulk, and lots of others things we’re forgetting. Oh, and other things like change out that awful light, and probably sand and refinish the exterior door (our four-legged girl decided to leave her mark on it a few months back.) And a new dining room table and chairs someday too – these one’s are all wobbly as hell. They were cheap thrift store finds from our first apartment together, so they’ve served their purpose.

We’re heading into a rainy and cloudy weekend, locked in the house with no where to go. Which really isn’t that different than any other weekend for us. Our goal is to completely finish the shiplap in here along with a few other projects that we’ve been working on. What’s everyone else been up to lately?




Hey look! Another thing on your newsfeed related to COVID-19. Our hope is that this will hopefully be a little bit more fun to read, and maybe lighten the mood a ‘lil bit.

Our governor likes to yell “fix the damn roads!” a lot, but we’ve been yelling “fix (or finish) the damn…” a lot lately. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but we do have quite a few projects and things we’re hoping to get done around here. And now seems like a perfect time to get these things done.

It’s been a helluva week. What started as a normal week back to school turned into figuring out how to teach remotely from home after our governor ordered all schools to close until April 6. Even though we have a list of things we’d like to get done in this time, we are still trying to do our best to practice social distancing — but if the price of flights to Maui drops low enough, see ya later.) And let’s be honest, nothing tests a fresh marriage like being quarantined in a house together for three weeks (and the potential for even longer.) I can see Laryssa having to reminder herself “I am happy he is home. I am happy he is home.” after a few days. I can be overbearing. So, we’ll see how this goes.

So while we’re working from home these next few weeks, we’re making a giant list of shit to get done around here. We can’t lie; we’re the king and queen of unfinished DYI projects. So without further ado, here’s what we’ll (hopefully) be crossing off our honey-do to-do list in the next few weeks.


If you’re new here, we decided to rip apart our office two weeks before our wedding. We just celebrated our six month anniversary, and, well, it’s still not done. We’ve made a ton of progress, but there’s still a lot more to do, so here’s the short list of what we still needs to get done before we can cross this one off:

  • Finish patching and sanding the white accent wall.
  • Install extra thick crown molding and baseboards (don’t you just love the gap in between the accent wall and the ceiling? Sucks for the next guy who hates what we did in here.)
  • Trim out the double window, closet doorway, doors, etc.
  • Put a final coat of poly on our hardwood floors.
  • Build a giant desk big enough for both of us.
  • Bring in and build other furniture pieces, like a chair, a table for plants in front of the double window, something for the closet, etc.
  • Buy a rug.
  • Potentially see about having the set of french doors we scored on Facebook Marketplace last year installed leading into the living room (but we’re not about to attempt that ourselves.)

As a refresher, here’s where this room started when we moved in last year:


We’d like to think this is a very specific statement about a very specific spot in our house, but, well, not quite. We’ve got a lot of trim problems here at the Beck Street House. First, let’s start in the dining room.

We installed this tried-and-failed trim about a month after we moved in. Let’s not sugarcoat this; we hated it the moment we put it up, and we’ve been staring at it’s uneven cuts and it’s wood filler patches ever since. The ceiling in here is also slightly angled (it’s a flat roof), and the bulky trim around the door and windows only accentuate it. This shit’s gotta go. Instead of replacing it with different window trim, we’re hoping for a more minimal look by covering the walls with vertical shiplap (something like this) with minimal trim around the windows and door. This project will also include covering or removing the barn wood wainscoting and painting the floorboard heaters in here as well. And someday, we’re hoping to build a new dining room table and matching benches for this room so we can say goodbye to our first-apartment grade piece of crap we found at thrift stores. And then that light… and then the floors…

Moving onto the living room…

Our to do list for the living room trim should be a lot easier than the dining room trim. We need to finish filling holes, sanding, caulking, and painting the baseboards and crown molding in here. Okay, maybe it won’t be easier. And we’ll probably cuss a bit too. We’re by no means finish carpenters, and, well, our first shot at crown molding has a few blemishes.


‘Tis the season to order things online that you could normally buy in store, including paint! I saw an ad on Facebook a few days ago (perfect timing there, Behr) about ordering paint online and having it shipped directly to you. We’ve looked at these services before, but the prices are usually pretty high. However, a gallon of paint through Behr Express is only a few dollars more than buying a gallon in store, so we’re hoping to try it out during our three week sabbatical. Wanna take a guess at which nasty wallpaper is coming down next?


Okay, this makes us sound like we’re pigs around here; we promise we’re not. Our house is generally pretty clean (minus the white dog hairs – sorry.) While we’re working remotely, we want to tackle some of a spring cleaning tasks like going through our closets and dressers, deep cleaning our garage and woodshop, and start working on outside chores like cleaning out our gutters and garden beds. We actually spent a good amount of time yesterday going through our clothes and making a box of things to donate. Also, we tried the Marie Kondo folding method the last time we went through our dressers. For Laryssa, it’s going really well. For Alan? Not so much.

And if somehow everything on our list gets done, we’d really like to sneak in a quick project related to our linen closet on our main floor. Right now, it’s a disaster. It only has a few shelves and a few hooks, but we have a million towels, craft supplies, and other things we store in there. So it’s more like a linen-ish closet. We’re hoping to follow Young House Love’s tutorial to build more shelves to get the most out of this itty bitty closet.


Not only are we hoping to write more content and publish on our blog more, but we’re also hoping to upgrade our WordPress plan, look at potentially changing to a new WordPress theme, and updating our tabs at the top of our website as well. Which, we just realized, probably means nothing to you.

So circling back, just like our girl Gretch is gonna fix this damn roads, we’re gonna fix the damn things around here. We’ll report back.

Stay safe out there.