How to Make a Shiplap Wall

This super trendy look will add style and texture to your walls. The best part? You can do it yourself!

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! Read along with our instructions below on how to install shiplap for a gorgeous accent wall.

13 Shiplap Walls That Gave Us Major Home Goals

tidy up home blue and white bedroom

What You Need

  • 4x8 sheets 1/4-inch-thick plywood underlayment
  • 3/4x3/4-inch quarter-round trim (for inside corners)
  • 1-1/8-inch outside corner moulding (for outside corners)
  • 1/4x1-1/8-inch pine lattice moulding (for non 90-degree inside corners, if applicable)
  • Stud finder
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Table saw
  • Compound miter saw or miter box
  • Mini wooden crafts sticks
  • 2-inch finish nails
  • Nail gun
  • Wood filler
  • Caulk
  • Sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paint

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. 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.

Step 3: Find Studs

using stud finder and marking wall with pencil

Use a stud finder to locate studs. Mark with a pencil.

Editor's Tip: Studs typically are spaced 16 or 24 inches apart. Once you find one stud, it should be easy to find the rest. 

Step 4: Check Level

using level to measure placement of shiplap wall

Use a level to ensure planks will be installed horizontally on the wall. Mark even increments with a pencil. 

Step 5: Begin Shiplap Installation

securing shiplap with nail gun

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 popsicle sticks both work well as spacers.

Step 6: Attach Electrical Boxes

outlet on shiplap wall

Cut boards to fit around electrical outlets. Attach electrical boxes with a screwdriver. 

Step 7: Continue Adding Planks

securing shiplap wall with nail gun

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.

Step 8: Cover Corner Gaps

securing molding to edge of shiplap wall

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.

Step 9: Add Finishing Touches

using caulking to fill holes

Fill nail holes with wood filler; let dry and sand. Wipe clean. Finish seams with paintable caulk.

Step 10: Screw on Outlet Covers

securing outlet faceplate

Screw outlet covers back on to the electrical boxes. 


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