Install DIY Shiplap: The Easy Way


I’m Holly
My mission is to help you create a timeless home that you love through interior design, DIY, and organization!
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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 shiplap, the easy way! Maybe even over the weekend its that quick and easy!

Cheap and Easy Shiplap Wall

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. For more info, please see my full disclosures here

I am back as promised sharing another fun DIY project that is probably my favorite so far. DIY 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.

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

Materials Needed:

  • 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
  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Brad nailer
  • 2 inch finish nails
  • Palm Sander
  • Paint
    • I used paint and primer in 1
  • Spacers
    • I recommend using quarters or popsicle sticks for spacers
  • Caulk
  • 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


Tools to plank a wall

Here is what the entry way looked like before…I can’t wait for you to see the after!

Shiplap Wall Before

How to Plank a Wall

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.

Using spacers on DIY shiplap wall

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.

Cheap and Easy DIY Shiplap Wall

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!

This post contained some affiliate links for your convenience. For more info, please see my full disclosures here

Looking for More DIY Posts & Guides:

If you’re looking for more FREE home decor tips and tricks, the Creating a Timeless Home Guide will help you create a home you love that will never go out of style! Also check out a couple of helpful cheat-sheets to help you out along the way. The Decorator’s Cheat Sheet has all the home decorator’s measurements you need to design a room you love and the Guide to Picking Perfect Paint Colors will ensure you always choose the best paint color for your space!


Easy Shiplap Wall

Cheap and Easy DIY Shiplap





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  1. Jillynn says:

    This is WONDERFUL!!! I am planning on shiplapping my entry as well (just one small wall) and have the ORIGINAL shiplap to do it… just haven’t gotten it done! You have inspired me to though… maybe after baby;-) lol Thanks for sharing!


    • Holly @ Life on Southpointe Drive says:

      Thank you, Jillynn! I can’t wait to see how yours turns out! I wish I would have come across some original shiplap! I’m gonna be on the lookout now!

  2. Ashley says:

    Wow, you’re a total rockstar! You did an amazing job and you did it all by yourself! If that doesn’t encourage women everywhere I don’t know what will. The finished look is amazing! We were thinking of doing our fireplace but have been on the fence about doing shiplap or german smear, but you just pushed me over the shiplap edge. 🙂

    • Holly @ Life on Southpointe Drive says:

      Thanks! If you decide to do your fireplace, I may have to get some inspiration from you! I have been wanting to do the fireplace as well but haven’t decided yet. German Smear would be awesome too!

  3. Amanda says:

    This looks amazing! I have wanted to add shiplap to my kitchen island and your tutorial will help me get the job done! Thanks!

    • Holly @ Life on Southpointe Drive says:

      Thanks, Amanda! Can’t wait to see how the kitchen island turns out if you decide to do it!

  4. Lynn Woods says:

    This looks great! I want to add a faux shiplap accent wall in my laundry room. My husband keeps giving me the side eye every time I mention it so I may have to wait a little bit! lol

    • Holly @ Life on Southpointe Drive says:

      Thanks, Lynn! You’ll love it! Tell him it’s not as hard as it sounds! 🙂

  5. Vanessa says:

    Now that wall looks amazing. I love it and adds so much charm to the room. Thank you for sharing at Dishing it and Digging it link party. We love having you.

    • Holly @ Life on Southpointe Drive says:

      Thank you so much Vanessa!I also love linking up! 🙂

  6. Very good job with your shiplap! I want the real shiplap on a wall in our bathroom, but the Mr. is getting tired of all MY projects that pull him in. I know one way or another I always get my way!

    • Holly @ Life on Southpointe Drive says:

      Thank you! Hopefully you can talk him into it…you’ll love it! 🙂

  7. Mary says:

    Shiplap has been really hot for a while now and it shows no signs of wanning. And I certainly can see why, your project turned out so beautiful.

  8. Sarah Fuller says:

    Thanks for the step-by-step guide. So helpful!

  9. Emily says:

    I’ve been wanting to install shiplap in my home, thanks for the tips. Thanks for sharing at the Monday Funday Party. – Emily

    • Holly @ Life on Southpointe Drive says:

      It really has made a huge impact on my entry…hope you give it a try! Have a great Monday!

  10. Melissa says:

    Looks amazing! I’m in love with shiplap and want to do my whole house! You did a great job!!

    • Holly @ Life on Southpointe Drive says:

      Thank you Melissa! Its hard for me to not shiplap my whole house!

  11. Colleen Bijl says:

    Looks great, shiplap really adds character to a room.

  12. Theresa says:

    Looking so good. I want to do this on a feature wall. Thanks for sharing at the #InspirationSpotlight party @DearCreatives Pinned & shared.

    • Holly @ Life on Southpointe Drive says:

      Thank you! You should, it was a fun project! Have a great night!

  13. Beautiful! We are between shiplap and board and batton for our dining room since it will end up being a part of our kitchen renovation soon. Thanks for linking up to #HomeMattersParty

    • Holly @ Life on Southpointe Drive says:

      Thank you! Either one of those would be beautiful!

  14. EMILY says:

    Wow! This looks so amazing! I love the nautical feel that it gives the room!

  15. Gina Marie says:

    I’m not a DIYer at all but this looks amazing and looks like something I can attempt on my own.

    • Holly @ Life on Southpointe Drive says:

      Yes, it really wasn’t hard, just took a little time but so worth it!

  16. Amber Myers says:

    Wow, this looks great! We might have to try it out down the line. Although I’m not sure if any of us is good enough to do something like this on our own. I’m terrible with DIY and my husband is only slightly better.

    • Holly @ Life on Southpointe Drive says:

      It really wasn’t too bad…I keep saying if I can do it anyone can! 😉

  17. Natasha says:

    Shiplap…thanks to Jo Jo Gaines from Fixer Upper, I’m such a fan lol! You have done an amazing job here! Great job!

    • Holly @ Life on Southpointe Drive says:

      Thank you! I know, thanks to Fixer Upper for me wanting to put this all over my house!

  18. Amrita Basu (Misra) says:

    I loved the tutorial.It’s perfect for my entryway too.Thanks go makingnit so quickly

  19. SHANNON says:

    I am impressed!!! I have to say I don’t know if this would be as easy as you made it look for me. But I love a good DIY project so I’ll add this to the list. Thank you!

    • Holly @ Life on Southpointe Drive says:

      Thank you Shannon! I was surprised too at how easy it was. Have a great week!

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