Learn how to install shiplap with this tutorial. This super trendy look will add style and texture to your walls.
Read step by step instructions after the video.

The shiplap wall has proven that it's here to stay. Starting as a trendy wall treatment for farmhouse-style homes, interior shiplap has found a way to fit in almost any design style. Getting this gorgeous statement is easier than you might think. In the video above, we show you how to install shiplap for attainable farmhouse style. After you see this, you may be inspired to start a complete room makeover! Make one gorgeous shiplap accent wall or tackle all four. Read along with our instructions below on installing shiplap walls to understand the process.

13 Shiplap Interior Walls That Gave Us Major Home Goals

  • Working time 1 day
  • Start to finish 3 days
  • Difficulty Kind of Hard
  • Involves Measuring, Power Tools, Drilling

What you need


How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Plan Wall

Measure your shiplap accent wall to determine how long to make your pieces and where to best start. Like installing a floor, you don't want an awkward 3-inch piece at the end of a wall, and you want to avoid having a sliver of a piece as your last horizontal piece. Before shiplap installation, prep your wall, removing any obstructions such as nails and switchplates. Then paint and prime wall desired shade, let dry. We used white. 

Step 2

Cut and Paint Planks

Cut 4x8-foot plywood pieces into 6-inch-wide strips. Use a table saw, or ask your local hardware store rip them for you. Sand edges smooth with sandpaper. Be sure to wipe dust with a clean cloth. Paint planks desired shade. Let dry.

Get tips on how to use a table saw.

Editor's Tip
Pre-Paint the Walls

Although you can paint the entire wall once it's installed, pre-painting prevents paint from pooling in the gaps between planks.

using stud finder and marking wall with pencil
Step 3

Find Studs

When attaching your planks, you want to nail them into wall studs. This will better reinforce the planks, making sure they don't pull or damage your drywall. To do this, use a stud finder to locate studs. They are typically placed 16 or 24 inches apart. Mark with a pencil along each stud in the wall. 

how to use a stud finder
Play Video
How to Use a Stud Finder

We'll show you how to use this vital tool correctly. 

using level to measure placement of shiplap wall
Step 4

Check Level

Use a level to ensure planks will be installed horizontally on the wall. Mark even increments with a pencil along the wall stud marks. This line will also make it easy for you to know exactly where to nail as you move up the wall.  

securing shiplap with nail gun
Step 5

Begin Shiplap Installation

Place your first plank on the wall, starting at the baseboard and working your way up to the ceiling. Use a level to ensure planks are installed horizontally on wall, making sure to secure planks to wall studs. Mini crafts sticks and wooden ice pop sticks both work well as spacers.

outlet on shiplap wall
Step 6

Attach Electrical Boxes

You may run into issues as you move up the wall, such as light switches or electrical outlets. When this happens, measure and cut boards to fit around electrical outlets. Once installed, attach electrical boxes with a screwdriver, followed by the outlet plate in later steps. 

securing shiplap wall with nail gun
Step 7

Continue Adding Planks

Continue adding planks until you reach the ceiling. Check for level every few planks to make sure you're staying on track. You can choose to align your boards, or opt for different lengths for a staggered look.

How to Use a Nail Gun
Play Video
How to Use a Nail Gun

A nail gun doesn't have to be a scary tool! We'll show you how to use it. 

securing molding to edge of shiplap wall
Step 8

Cover Corner Gaps

Even with all the planks filled up to the top, you're wall won't look complete. To conceal corner gaps, measure and cut corner molding pieces; secure to walls with nails. You may need to trim molding pieces to fit your baseboard as well.

How to Use a Miter Saw
Play Video
How to Use a Miter Saw

Miter saws help you trim corner pieces.

using caulking to fill holes
securing outlet faceplate
Step 9

Add Finishing Touches

Fill nail holes with wood filler; let dry and sand. Wipe clean. Finish seams with paintable caulk. Screw outlet covers back on to the electrical boxes.

See more DIY accent wall ideas.


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