How to Get the Best Shiplap Look for Your Home

Ensure your shiplap dreams come true! Get the best reclaimed wood results with the help of a professional.

No rustic home is complete without at least a little shiplap. There are many ways to incorporate reclaimed wood around the house, in bathrooms and bedrooms alike. A single shiplap feature can blend in flawlessly with a farmhouse design, while bringing warmth to even the most modern environments. Here are just a few of the ways a carpenter can safely and stylishly fit this look into your home.

Rustic Shiplap Wall

Make shiplap the star of your living space with wood paneling on every wall — or, for a more subtle effect, use it on just one wall for a rustic accent. Whether your home is filled with country charm or is a more contemporary space in need of a homey touch, shiplap walls can work for you. Wood paneling can be the perfect backdrop for antique furniture or a neutral element to balance out dark walls or floors, depending on your personal style. And when painted white, shiplap walls are the ultimate addition to complete a modern farmhouse.

Before installing a permanent shiplap fixture, consider how ruffed up you want your wood panels to look. For a more refined rustic wall, choose the soft side of the board or have the outward-facing side sanded to your desired smoothness. If you're going for a raw, reclaimed feel, show the unsanded side of the shiplap plank to bring a woodsy ambiance to your bathroom, bedroom, or living room. Once your shiplap is prepped for installation, it's ready to go on the wall. Installing shiplap requires cutting, sanding, and painting the boards, prepping the walls, and attaching and spacing the refined boards. A professional installation can make sure your shiplap has the right finish and fit for a beautiful, wood-clad wall.

Now come the finishing touches. Depending on the look you're trying to achieve, consider having your carpenter fill in some of the nail holes, caulk the edges, do another round of sanding, or touch up chipped paint once your shiplap wall is installed. These final touches, if done with care, can give a clean and refined finish to your shiplap walls.

Weathered Wainscoting

If you don't want to commit to a full-paneled wall, try wainscoting. Have fun with complementary but contrasting looks, such as pairing weather-worn shiplap wainscoting with pretty wallpaper or a bold-colored wall. Used to embellish mostly public spaces, shiplap wainscoting would work wonderfully in a kitchen, hallway, or dining room. Keep in mind that because wainscoting only covers a portion of a wall, you'll need to add trim to cover the rough edges to protect yourself from straggling splinters.

Accent Your Walls with Shiplap

Reclaimed Wood Ceiling

Shiplap isn't just for walls. This reclaimed wood wonder can be used to spruce up ceilings as well. A planked ceiling with horizontal boards can  create the illusion of a larger space. It's also a stylish way to do away with aged popcorn ceilings while introducing an interesting textural element.

Thin, lightweight boards are a great choice for shiplap ceilings. However, you want to pay close attention to any bowing or imperfections in the wood, which can make shiplap installation an unnecessary nightmare. Any project involving ladders can be dangerous, especially when you throw a hammer in the mix, so we suggest hiring a carpenter to help. A professional is also more likely to give you perfectly spaced planks and a family-safe shiplap ceiling.

Don't Stop at Wood-Planked Walls

Fireplace Focal Point

If you're looking for an easy, budget-friendly way to incorporate shiplap into your home, your fireplace is a good place to start. With just a few wooden planks, a carpenter can transform your fireplace into a major focal point. Typically, shiplap is installed horizontally, extending the fireplace mantel to the ceiling and creating a dramatic look. White shiplap boards can also be applied to your fireplace facing for a complete coastal or cottage look.

The size and shape of your fireplace will determine how much and what size shiplap you'll need. Surrounding your fireplace with shiplap requires some special carpentry skills to make the corners match up evenly and prevent sharp edges from sticking out. It may also require removing and reinstalling your mantel if you decide to extend the shiplap wood to the floor, offering a more finished appearance.

Surprising Places to Use Shiplap

Sometimes a splash of shiplap is all you need to elevate your home's interior. Don't be afraid to experiment with shiplap in smaller places to add a bit of character to your space. With the help of a carpenter, you can get customized shiplap features that properly highlight your home's style.

Wooden Window Valance

If you don't want shiplap to steal the spotlight, try adding smaller rustic details for extra character. Reclaimed wood window treatments are a subtle way to bring an earthy aesthetic to your home without overpowering your space with wood grain. A wooden box valance is a cozy-chic approach to dressing up plain windows or covering up ugly curtain hardware and shades. It can also add depth and visual interest to a simple room.

Distressed Headboard

Give your bedroom a luxurious upgrade with a weathered wood headboard. This finishing touch will guarantee your bed is the shining star of your bedroom. Be prepared to make decisions regarding the style, size, and finish of your new headboard. The right shiplap finish can elevate your bedroom's current decor. Some of our favorite shiplap finishes include a natural wood stain for a rustic style, a whitewashed effect for a little country charm, and a fresh coat of paint for a contemporary update.

Beautiful Shiplap Backsplash

Trade in your brick or tile for a farmhouse-style shiplap backsplash. The wood can be set vertically or horizontally, depending on personal preference. Shiplap boards can also be placed behind open shelving for a subtle detail that can tie together a country-inspired kitchen. Whether you want a white or rugged backsplash, ensure your shiplap fits snuggly in between your counters and cabinets with custom-cut planks courtesy of a local carpenter.

Better Homes & Gardens Tip: Enhance the underlying character of your shiplap by applying a natural wood stain or sanding whitewashed boards. Or try adding a wash of color to give your shiplap modern appeal. With a combination of staining, painting, and sanding, you can create a reclaimed wood finish that seamlessly matches your existing interior, no matter how trendy or traditional.

Sprinkle in a Little Shiplap


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