If your own home doesn’t have much character and you love the classic shiplap look, this easy tutorial just might save your life! So, let me lead you every step of the way to create your own DIY shiplap wall.
Joanna Gaines set the world on fire in 2013 when her and Chip Gaines’ show Fixer Upper aired and we all fell in love with the old-world charm of beautiful shiplap walls.
Originally shiplap was used on ships, then used inside homes to give stability to walls so plaster could be applied on top. I have seen some beautiful shiplap walls installed with smaller pieces (3-5″) in vertical lines. There are several great choices that are inexpensive options for creating an easy DIY shiplap wall.
Real shiplap planks are made of solid wood, typically pine, but creating faux shiplap can be created using another kind of plywood sheets as well as other options that aren’t wood at all. Real Shiplap Wood planks can be purchased in varying thicknesses and colors. There are many beautiful and classic wall treatments that make great alternative options to shiplap if you’re looking for more choices. But I will warn you if you’re indecisive you may find yourself in serious historic love.
Though you can make a shiplap wall in different ways with wood or stick-on wallpaper the least expensive version of a DIY shiplap wall is actually made by painting a black line. You can use a ruler to help you maintain your straight line as you go if your hand is not very steady.
The first step and best way to start all DIY tutorials are by gathering all your supplies. Additionally, it helps you avoid frustration and saves you so much time!
I love that Home Depot offers the service of ripping plywood sheets into 12″ strips.
But it also makes it easier for me to rip those strips in half by myself on a table saw. If you choose to use a cheaper material you may end up with rough edges that require sanding. In that case, take your orbital sander and 120-grit sandpaper to the pieces before installation.
There are many ways to install shiplap on a wall, but too many involve unnecessary waste. The easiest way to save a little bit on your total cost is to use every piece of wood wisely.
Wall-to-wall, carry the row all the way to the end each time.
First things first, you can choose to do complicated math and try to account for the uneven walls you probably have, or you can just roll with the flow as I do and cut each piece of wood as you go. If this is your first time installing a DIY shiplap wall, I recommend taking the easy way. Always install your first board starting at the top of the wall versus the bottom.
I’m going to give directions assuming you’re starting on your right-side corner. Install your first piece starting in the furthest part of the right corner. If it’s a partial piece, cut your second board using your miter saw, chop saw, or circular saw.
The best way to assure accuracy is to measure twice before making any additional cuts.
That small gap at the top is the reason you want to start your shiplap at the ceiling and not at the floor. You can go full-on fancy with crown molding which can elevate your space from rustic to chic.
However, the easiest way to finish out this beautiful DIY shiplap wall is to install floor trim and caulk the sides so there are no gaps between the adjoining walls. Notes: I use Behr Paint+Primer in one and have an entire post dedicated to the best painting techniques and tools to use to get a professional finish.
Painting in the cracks of shiplap can be a bit tricky, but luckily I’ve got you covered with all the easy-to-follow tips and tricks.
However, if you’re hoping to hire out the work the installation is less labor-intensive for shiplap than drywall and may surprise you.
Other options for a less permanent and more inexpensive approach would be to use stick-on wallpaper or draw horizontal black lines spaced 6-8″ apart to appear as shiplap boards on the wall. I hope I have given you some inspiration, ideas for creativity, and maybe a push to start creating your own wonderland one piece or project at a time.