Easy DIY Shiplap Tutorial

So we finally bit the bullet and decided to try out a shiplap wall. We love the farmhouse style and have used it throughout the house but for some reason were shying away from shiplap. I don’t know what took us so long to try it, it was an easy project and I LOVE the way it turned out.

What you’ll need:

  • 4′ x 8′ wood underlayment
  • Table saw (or have your home improvement store cut your planks)
  • Level
  • Stud finder
  • Brad nailer
  • Coins
  • Desired paint color
  • Miter saw
  • Jig saw
  • Tape measure

We measured our wall to determine how many sheets of underlayment we would need. We bought one extra in case we messed up. The sheets were $13 at Home Depot. Once you have your supplies you need to determine how wide you want your planks. We decided on 8″ wide planks. Our awesome neighbors let us use their table saw and helped us cut our boards. If you don’t have access to a table saw your local home improvement store should cut the planks for you although sometimes a small fee applies.

After we cut our boards we decided to go ahead and paint them before hanging. Part of this master bedroom project included painting the rest of the walls in the room so we didn’t want to mess those up or fuss with taping.

Once we were ready to start hanging the planks, we marked all of the studs in the wall.

We started with a full 8 foot plank in the middle of the wall then measured the subsequent planks by lining them up under the existing plank and marking them. This ended up working easier than actually measuring and made the process go more quickly. We nailed the planks in on the studs using the brad nailer. We also made sure to nail in the ends of the boards otherwise they would pull away from the wall. For our spacing between plank rows we used quarters (any coin would work.) This helps keep everything level and spacing consistent.

Once we started going it went pretty quickly. Here’s a time lapse so you can get an idea of the process in motion.


As we approached the bottom of the wall Jess decided to include a secret message on the wall… typical!

Oh and say hello to our chihuahua Radio.

The trickiest part was cutting around the electrical sockets. Jess placed the panel over the socket and marked off what needed to be trimmed from the board. She cut out the piece using a jigsaw.

The bottom piece had to be cut to fit the remaining space (it wasn’t 8″) but we’d rather the bottom be off than the top so we recommend starting at the top of the wall for this project.

For the nail holes I’ve read that you can cover them with spackle. Our nails were so small that we decided to leave them for a bit of character and more farmhouse feel.

Overall this was a surprisingly simple and inexpensive project that added a lot of drama to our bedroom. If you’re on the fence about doing a shiplap wall, I say do it. I think we’ll enjoy ours for many years to come.

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