How to Make a Shiplap Wall

Learn how to install shiplap with this tutorial. This super trendy look will add style and texture to your walls.

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 day
  • Total Time: 3 days
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

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.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Stud finder
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Table saw
  • Compound miter saw or miter box
  • Nail gun
  • Paintbrush
  • Screwdriver


  • 4x8 sheets ¼-inch-thick plywood underlayment
  • ¾x¾-inch quarter-round trim, for inside corners
  • 1⅛-inch outside corner moulding, for outside corners
  • ¼x1⅛-inch pine lattice moulding, for non 90-degree inside corners, if applicable
  • Mini wooden crafts sticks
  • 2-inch finish nails
  • Wood filler
  • Caulk
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint


  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 the wall desired shade, let dry. We used white.

  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 to rip them for you. Sand edges smooth with sandpaper. Be sure to wipe dust with a clean cloth. Paint planks desired shade. Let dry.

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

  3. using stud finder and marking wall with pencil

    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.

  4. using level to measure placement of shiplap wall

    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.

  5. securing shiplap with nail gun

    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.

  6. outlet on shiplap wall

    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.

  7. securing shiplap wall with nail gun

    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.

  8. securing molding to edge of shiplap wall

    Cover Corner Gaps

    Even with all the planks filled up to the top, your 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.

  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 onto the electrical boxes.

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