The Easy Way to Shiplap

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Shiplap lovers unite! If you are like me you LOVE the look, texture and character that shiplap brings to a room. However, have you priced actual shiplap? It’s not cheap. We did our first shiplap project in my office in January 2018. I looked at ALL KINDS of blog post how-to’s and tricks to get make all my Joanna loving, Fixer Upper dreams come true.

I approached it a little like I approach looking up recipes, I scan a few that look kind of what I’m wanting to make, get the gist, pick out a few key things and then just go for it.

This method works if you are covering an existing wall. It’s good for covering up a bad plaster job or something like that, BUT if you are taking a wall down to the studs, you will need to use legit “shiplap”, carsiding or put up new sheetrock, prep it and then add your planks.


  • 4x8 sheets of primed underlayment ply wood like this HERE

  • Air Brad Nailer + Air Compressor (pancake one works great)

  • Hole filler for wood (paintable)

  • Palm sander or good ol’ sandpaper

  • Trim pieces for edged (quarter round is a good option) optional

  • Nickels for spacers

    TIP: When you buy your sheets of plywood, most stores can rip these down into strips. You can also do it yourself if you are more on the woodworking/handy side. It takes longer BUT we have found that the saw they use at Lowe’s doesn’t always cut a level line straight across. It’s not really noticeable, but it’s still a thing.



We started at the top and worked our way down. Depending on the measurements of the wall, you will want to pay attention to where your seams for the short ends are ending up. Stagger them how you like, for the most part, once we got started and just alternated starting on the right and left sides, the boards were fitting nicely back and forth and giving the look that I wanted.

Once you have your first full strip across, use your nickels to space in between the next row. You just brad nail your boards up, I used a “zig zag” pattern, which didn’t really matter haha.

Fill your holes with hole filler and sand when dry. Then slap on some paint and you are done.

It’s a super simple process, and an inexpensive way to add some depth and character to a room. OR, if you are like me and live in an old house, it’s also a great way to add a treatment to walls that have terrible plaster jobs or just look rough in general.


We added trim pieces around the wall in my office but not in the rooms pictured above. Truth? I was just done and I didn’t mind the raw edge look. These rooms are upstairs and I think that it gives a rustic attic-room look. I may go back later and add it, but for now I like it!

That’s all! It’s really simple. I wrote a post about my office redo HERE, where I give some of the tips I found made things a little easier if you want to check it out.

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