Shiplap is one of those timeless looks that will be the star of any room. See the full tutorial in the post and learn how you can install DIY ship, the easy way! Maybe even over the weekend its that quick and easy!
I am back as promised sharing another fun DIY project that is probably my favorite so far. Shiplap – it’s all the craze right now and I don’t see it going away anytime soon…at least not in my home! It is one of those timeless looks and I get a lot of compliments on my shiplap in my entry way. I have considered shiplapping multiple rooms in my house, but for now I am sticking to the entry (just for now!)
The reaction I get from people when I tell them that I did it myself is sorta funny. Honestly, shiplap was the one of the easiest DIY projects I have done so far. This project definitely fits into the small home projects that make a huge impact series! Not only was this project easy but it was also cheap. Costing at under $150 dollars I was able to install easy DIY shiplap and completely change the look of my entryway.
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. For more information, see my full disclosures here.
All it takes is some plywood sheets, nails, and paint and you’ll have yourself some beautiful DIY shiplap!
So are you ready to get to work? I am going to show you exactly how to shiplap your walls!
How to Install DIY Shiplap
- Miter saw
- Table saw
- I had Home Depot cut my plywood strips for me
- Jigsaw (for cutting around outlets)
- 1/4 inch plywood underlayment
- Stud finder
- Measuring tape
- Brad nailer
- 2 inch finish nails
- Palm Sander
- I used paint and primer in 1
- I recommend using quarters or popsicle sticks for spacers
- 3/4 inch by 3/4 inch quarter trim (for the inside corners)
- 1-1/8 inch outside corner molding
- I didn’t need these, but if you have outside corners you will
- 1 x 3 hobby boards for your shelf
- you may choose to go all the way up the wall and you won’t need these
Here is what the entry way looked like before…I can’t wait for you to see the after!
Step 1: Rip your Plywood Into Strips
Rip you plywood into strips with your table saw or have your local home improvement store rip them for you. I kept the plywood at the full length of the plywood sheet but had them ripped into 9 inches wide. You can make these any width you want, but for the look I wanted I went with 9 inches. 6 inches is also another popular width. I had five plywood sheets ripped down and still had some left over. Measure your area before going to get your plywood so you have a good estimate of how many sheets you will need.
Step 2: Sand Down your Strips
You will want to sand down your new plywood strips. I took a palm sander and made sure to sand the edges very good. It was pretty splintery (is that a word?!) after they cut them so this took a bit of time to get them nice and smooth.
Step 3: Find/Mark your Studs
I used my stud finder to mark where all of my studs were running. I marked mine at the top, middle, and bottom and then connected the lines with my level. It is important to not skip this step. If you don’t nail your plywood into the studs, they will bow out from the wall.
Step 4: Start Installing
You have a choice here, you can either start from the top of the wall or start at the bottom. I started at the bottom since I was only going half-way up my wall. If you’re going all the way up your wall I would suggest starting at the top. However, if you’re using your current baseboards and not replacing them I think it would be easier to start at the bottom. Hope all of that made some sense!
Start by laying your first plywood strip either at the top of your wall or in my case against my baseboard. You will then want to take out your level and make sure it is level. I guarantee your wall is not level and if you skip this step you will end up with a wonky shiplapped wall!
After your first plank is set and level, take your nail gun and start nailing into the studs that the plank covers.
Sorry but I don’t have many pictures of this in progress since I was doing this project by myself! Nail gun in one hand and camera in the other probably don’t mix!
Step 5: Continue Along the Wall
Once you have your first plank nailed in you will continue along that line until you have finished that one line of shiplap.
If you get to the end and your plank is too long, measure the length of the wall you have left and cut your next strip the length you need.
Step 6: Start your Next Line
When starting the next line of shiplap make sure to use what was left over from the last plank you cut. Always use the remaining plank of the last piece you installed. This way they are staggered and not exactly the same all the way up the wall.
I made sure to level each plank out and put spacers between them to give them that gap between. Then I continued the same process I did for the first line of shiplap but adding spacers each time.
You can choose to paint between each line of shiplap the color you’re planning to paint your shiplap if you want to save some time and not have to worry about trying to get into each little gap afterwards. Trust me the gap is small but you can still see the color between them.
As you can see from the pictures I actually changed my mind on the color during the process so I ended up having to paint into the gaps anyway!
I used spacers for my gaps and I am happy with the way it turned out, but I think next time I will use popsicle sticks to get a slightly smaller gap.
Step 7: Cutting out your Outlets
I have this as step 7, but you will do this whenever you come to an outlet or light fixture that needs to be cut around. To do this measure the hole that you need and use a jigsaw to cut into the plywood to make your cut-out.
As you can see in the photo, my jigsaw cut wasn’t perfect but it was ok since the outlet facing would cover it.
Step 8: Finish Off the Plywood
If you’re going all the way to the top: When you hit the top you will then want to measure how much space you have left and cut accordingly to what you need.
If you’re stopping in the middle of the wall: This is what I choose to do. I decided to go up my wall until I liked the height. I ended up going up my wall 7 planks at 9 inches wide each. You will then want to add a small shelf to finish off the look. I will talk more about that below. First you will need to add your corner moldings.
If you’re working your way down: You will do the same thing as you would going up but would need to shiplap down until you got to where you wanted to add your baseboards. If you’re making your own baseboards I recommend cutting 3/4 inch thick plywood into 5-1/2 inch boards and nail them on as your baseboards and cut at 45 degree angles on the corners. You would then finish it off with shoe trim. I love this look. If it wouldn’t have been that I would have had to replace all the baseboards in my living area I would have done this.
Step 9: Add your Trim
Now that you have all of your shiplap up you will need to hide all the corners with trim.
If you have outside corners you will use your corner molding. Measure from ceiling to top of baseboard, cut, and nail with your nail gun.
For your inside corners you will measure from the top of your ceiling to the baseboard (or in my case top of baseboards to top of shiplap) cut your quarter round trim, and nail in place.
Step 10: Add your Shelf
This step is only for those that are only going halfway up their wall. If you’re installing shiplap only half of the way up a wall it would look kinda funny if you just left it as-is. To fix this problem you will add a small floating shelf to the top of the ship lap. I used 1×3 hobby boards to do this.
I pre-painted the boards and then cut where the corners would meet at a 45 degree angle and then used my nail gun to nail them into the studs at an angle. After all the caulking and painting this will give the shiplap wall a more finished professional look!
I also used some of these 1 x 3 boards to trim out my edges. This covered up where the panels met the door trim and completed the look.
Step 11: Caulk & Paint
After all of your shiplap, trim, and shelves are in place it’s time to bring out that caulk gun and caulk every little nook and cranny. Where the trim meets the shiplap, where the shelf meets the trim/shiplap, and where the shiplap meets the baseboards. I did not caulk the gaps between the shiplap! You’re going for that look so make sure to leave that alone.
When it comes to your finisher nail holes, you have 2 choices. You can either fill them in with wood filler or you can just paint over them. I choose to paint over then since I liked the rustic look that the nails added, but if you don’t like that look you can always fill them in.
After everything was caulked and dried I then painted the shiplap Alabaster by Sherwin Williams. I made sure to give the trim and shelf several coats of paint. All together it took three coats of paint.
After I was finished with my shiplap, then painted the wall above the shiplap to completely finish the look. You can either do this or use the color that you have.
I worked on this project over the span of a week since I wasn’t able to do it all on a weekend. I found myself working on it at night, but you could definitely knock this out over a weekend!
This project was so much fun and I am going crazy over the shiplap look! This won’t be the last time you see shiplap in my home. I am having to restrain myself from putting it in every room!
Make sure to check out all the other posts in this series if you’re looking for small ways to make an impact in your home!
The Beginner’s Guide to Painting (Week 1)
How to Stain a Door the Easy Way (Week 2)
Updating Door Hardware (Week 3)
Beautiful Area Rugs (Week 4)
7 Affordable Landscaping Tips (Week 5)
Install DIY Shiplap: The Easy Way (Week 6) You’re Here!
How to Choose the Perfect Curtains (Week 7)
4 Steps for a Clutter Free Space (Week 8)
This post contained affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.