Posted in design, weekend projects

How To DIY Shiplap

Out with the new, in with the old. Yes, you read that right! It seems that old fads are now all the rage. From fringe to flair and bold and flashy, current home improvement trends are taking a note from fashion and being influenced by the revival of all things vintage.

Shiplap is no exception. Originally, these long panels were utilized in the construction of homes because of their resistance to harsh weather conditions. Oftentimes hidden behind wallpaper and sheetrock, shiplap is considered the equivalent to discovering hardwood flooring underneath carpet. Those who enjoy rustic and farmhouse styling have fallen in love with shiplap. But for the homeowners who aren’t so lucky enough to discover shiplap in their own renovation, it’s easy to replicate the look!

Witty With Wood

There are so many types of material you can use to create a planked wall: fresh cut wood, reclaimed wood and ripped down panels are just a few that stay true to the classic wood look. Depending upon the length and width, wood panels range from $8 to $15 per plank.


Keep in mind that installing planks may require you to remove and reinstall molding, baseboards, outlets etc. so be sure you’re equipped with the following:

  • Your planks of choice
  • Sander with medium-grit paper
  • Miter saw, table saw, circular saw or jigsaw
  • Nail gun and 2 inch brad nails
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Spacers
  • Spackle
  • Painting supplies

Whether your wood was precut or you measured and cut them yourself, give a quick sanding to the edges to smooth out any sharpness. Mark your studs, load up the nail gun, secure some spacers to the wall, level up your first board and get busy!


After the boards are up, you can start spackling, sanding and priming. Be careful to only cover the nail holes and avoid filing in the natural knots in the wood if you want a classic look. When you’re ready to paint, consider going old school and using a brush instead of a roller. There will be many seams, nooks and crannies – which happen to be a brush’s specialty. While you can certainly use a roller, it will leave you with gaps that will have to be filled in with a brush anyway.


Adhesive? Absolutely

If you adore the expression of shiplap but are skeptical of your DIY cred, you can still achieve a wood wall appearance with a stick-and-peel paneling project. Most materials like this cost around $10 to $14 per square foot. This method is equally as pricey, so consider utilizing the panels on an accent wall, mudroom, along a staircase or in the bathroom if you’re looking for a small, but impact touch to make your walls more interesting.


While you don’t need any power equipment, you do need a game plan. Before placing any panels on the wall, arrange them on the floor to be sure the pattern is what you envisioned and the angles are correct. Don’t be afraid to get a little funky and try different designs like chevron or herringbone.


If you want to add a touch of country, try a whitewash effect. You can even paint and then lightly sand certain areas to look more antiquated.

What’s your take on shiplap? Where would you install in in your own home? Or have you just completed the project yourself? Share with us in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s