DIY Tub Skirt Makeover Using Shiplap

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Last week I posted about my plan to makeover our master bathroom’s tub skirt with shiplap.  The following day, while the kids were in school, I knocked it out!  It was such an affordable, quick update that it even surprised me.  I’ll break the project down for you including cost, but first, let’s start with the before and afters.

Tub Skirt Before

It certainly isn’t an offensive tub skirt.  However, when you look closer you can see the crummy job they did when it was built.  These are actually wonky black cabinet doors, complete with hinges, that they caulked shut painted white.  We spent $1,000 on this “upgrade” that was supposed to be a nice wood paneled skirt.  It got under my skin every time I looked at it.

Tub Skirt After

The tub now feels much more simple and clean.  This was a relatively easy and quick transformation.

How To Do It


  • Shiplap boards – I found mine at Lowes pre-primed
  • Miter saw & safety gear (optional) – If you aren’t making mitered corners you could have them cut for you at the home improvement store
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Nail gun
  • Paintable bathroom caulk
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint – I used Benjamin Moore Simply White that I had leftover from other projects
  • Paint brush and roller

I began by tearing out the cabinet doors and trim from the old skirt.

Our tub juts out a few inches on each side.  I figured out the angle I needed for the mitered corners and then measured for the boards.  I’m telling you, our compound miter saw has been the best investment.  We use this thing all the time!

Starting from the bottom, I nailed in the boards of shiplap.  To make sure I stayed on track, I used a level for the first board before nailing in place.

Now, I’m sure some of you are wondering how I’m going to have access to plumbing by going over the opening.  This isn’t going to be the answer you want to hear, but we didn’t have access to it before so I’m not too worried about having access to it now.  Should we need to cross that bridge, we can cut through the inside of the cabinet to the left of the tub.

I feel like I really lucked out on this project.  Before starting in I knew I needed a solution for where the top edge of the shiplap met up with the tile around the top of the tub.  I had a hard time finding a small enough piece of trim to make that transition.  What ended up working out perfectly was the tongue along the top of the shiplap met up to the tile perfectly, acting as its own transition piece.  I couldn’t believe it worked out so well.

Next step was running a bead of paintable bathroom caulk along the floor and top of the tub where the shiplap was placed.  I also used the caulk to cover the mitered corners and to fill the nail holes.

Paint away!  This shiplap was already primed, so I just did two coats of Benjamin Moore Simply White.

Cost Breakdown:

  • Shiplap – $7.48 for an 8′ board.  I used four boards at around $30.00
  • Paintable bathroom caulk – $5.25
  • Paint – FREE leftover from another project
  • TOTAL – Under $40 after tax

Time Invested:

This was such a quick project.  I started after dropping the kids off at school in the morning and was cleaned up and finished with dry paint before having to pick them up in the afternoon.  That’s including time spent photographing each step and a run to the hardware store for caulk.  Oh, and a shower.  Not bad for a tub makeover!

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  1. Lisa Avatar

    It looks awesome Shelley!! High five for getting it done start to finish while your kids were at school AND getting a shower in!! Impressive!

    1. Shelley Avatar

      Thanks, Lisa! I couldn’t believe it was able to get it done with enough time for a shower. That never happens 😀

  2. cassie bustamante Avatar

    oh shelley, it looks SOOOO good!

    1. Shelley Avatar

      Thank you, Cassie! No more wonky doors!!

Meet Shelley

Hi, I’m Shelley! My belief is that with a little creativity and elbow grease, you can make your home look like a million bucks without spending it.

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