What is Shiplap?

When you think of shiplap, you probably think of wooden sheds, outbuildings or barns. However, there are now plenty of ways to jazz up your home using shiplap. Although shiplap walls are commonly associated with a rustic look, our top pick from Christen at Keys to Inspiration demonstrates how modern looks are also possible. In fact, as you'll see from the rest of our top picks, the world of shiplap can be as varied and attractive as you want to make it Get tutorial here

The Best Shiplap Look on a Budget

Despite expectations, you can design and fit a shiplap wall on a budget. As Hometalker Stephanie Coon explains, all she needed was some nails and a few sheets of PureBond plywood to give her 11x8 wall a rustic look. As you can see above, Coon's project is accessible and effective. Similarly, Hoosier Homemade created a feature wall in her guest bedroom for under $40. Using 1/4-inch Luan Plywood, some 1+1/4-inch finishing nails and tile spacers, she transformed her room in just a few hours. Get tutorial here

DIY Shiplap Walls

When you know how to shiplap a wall, the only limit to what you can do is your imagination. With the average cost per wall around $50, it’s worth taking inspiration from some of our top picks. As we’ve said, the most popular way to add a wood effect to your home is a DIY shiplap wall. Like Wendy's DIY project, you can create an imposing look in your living room. Indeed, by complementing her walls and floor but contrasting them with colour, Wendy has achieved a bold, rust look. Get tutorial here

The Best DIY Shiplap Bathroom Wall

Bathrooms aren’t excluded from the faux shiplap wall treatment. Acting as a replacement for traditional tiles, a shiplap bathroom wall can be as functional as it is attractive. As Casey FitzGerald has shown, the natural rustic look is fantastic and the right plywood ensures the wood doesn't perish due to humid conditions. Using moisture-resistant plywood is the best way to avoid warping and mold. As well as PureBond, Marine Grade Pressure-Treated Fir Plywood is approved for saltwater applications, which makes it great for bathrooms. Get tutorial here

The Best Shiplap Interior Walls

According to Hometalker CribbsStyle, shiplap doesn’t have to cover an entire wall. Even the smallest spaces can be transformed with some wood and your imagination. One of the most interesting DIY trends in recent years is broken designs. What we mean by this is that you can use shiplap to break up larger walls. Essentially, this is a patchwork technique as it contrasts sections of shiplap with other materials on a single wall. CribbsStyle nailed this look with her interior wall project by finding the perfect way to update her hallway. Get tutorial here

The Best Shiplap Siding Interior Walls

The perception with shiplap wall designs is that the wooden slats always have to run horizontally. As Hometalker Lindsey has shown, that’s not true. When you’re looking to refresh shiplap siding interior walls, orienting the slats vertically is not only practical but a break from the norm. Much like turning standard wall tiles in a different direction, a vertical shiplap wall allows you to cover smaller or more awkward spaces in a simple but effective way. Angled walls are served particularly well by this design, as are columns like Lindsey's. Get tutorial here

The Best Alternative to Shiplap Walls

The scope of shiplap paneling is only limited by your imagination. Despite what you might think, this look is not only easy to master but also highly flexible. The obvious starting point for many is the DIY shiplap wall. Whether you’re looking to create a focal point or you want to board up an entire room, the possibilities are numerous. However, as you can see above, doors can also be transformed with shiplap. By nailing larger wooden slates over their existing louvre door designs, Shabby Paints was able to create an entirely new look. Get tutorial here

The Best Shiplap Fireplace Wall

When you want to bring the heat to your living room, a shiplap fireplace wall is perfect. Adding a touch of difference to the smooth, glossy finish of marble or tiles surrounding the fireplace itself, shiplap will provide some extra pop for the focal point of your lounge. As you can see from Celebrate & Decorate’s project, the panels themselves sit above the shelving of your fireplace. However, as a precaution, we’d suggest using heat-resistant ply. The average sheet will cost slightly more than standard plywood but safety is paramount when dealing with shiplap fireplace walls. (Celebrate & Decorate Get tutorial here

The Best Shiplap Wall Alternatives

Shiplap isn’t exclusively for walls. As our community of DIYers has shown, you can achieve some fantastic looks on almost anything in your home. Just as imposing and impactful as walls, floors can also be covered in shiplap. Using tongue and groove planks, Lynn Fern was able to cover her office floor with ease. Firstly, she secured the planks with adhesive and a Ryobi Airstrike nail gun. Once laid, the wood was distressed with a Ryobi orbital sander and topped with three coats of paint to achieve a natural-looking finish. If floors are a little too much for you, check out these shiplap placemats by Handmade Haven. Get tutorial here

The Best Tip for Making Your Own Shiplap

To drive down the cost of constructing a shiplap wall, you can make your own using a table saw and some attachments. If you don’t have a table saw, the upfront cost of making your own shiplap will be higher. A compact saw such as the DeWalt DW745 will work, as will the Hitachi C10RJ. In addition to a table saw, you’ll need a rabbet bit to router the joints. Get tutorial here

The Best Wood for Shiplap Walls

Before you embark on your next shiplap wall project, it’s important to select the right materials for your needs and budget. One of the most popular materials for a DIY shiplap wall is Luan underlayment. As well as being inexpensive, these strips are robust and offer great coverage. What’s more, Luan underlayment is lightweight and comes in various patterns and wood effects. Alternatively, Hometalker Tricia recommends plywood as it offers a woodier look when painted (see image above). Moreover, it’s humidity resistant, which makes it a viable option for any shiplap bathroom wall project. Get tutorial here

The Best Way to Work: How to Shiplap a Wall

You don’t have to be a master carpenter to get the shiplap look. Because you’re working with softwoods and making minimal cuts, almost any design is achievable with a bit of careful planning. In many respects, shiplap is easier to work with than ceramic tiles. As demonstrated, Hometalker Chelsea and her husband made their bathroom pop with shiplap. Firstly, they measured the height and width of her wall. Next, a thin coat of white paint was applied. Finally, strips of wood were cut to the appropriate length and nailed to the wall from the top down. A top tip is to use a nickel to give you even spaces between slats. Get tutorial here

The Best Tip for Decorating Your Shiplap Wall

It’s important to remember that a shiplap wall doesn’t need to be boring. Your design is only limited by how creative you want to be. For many Hometalkers, a faux shiplap wall is all about creating the rustic barn look indoors. For others, a few coats of high gloss white paint are an easy to way to achieve a modern style. However, there are plenty of alternatives. As Abbey D has shown, different colored Folkart paints can help you achieve a coastal look. Because it’s so easy to paint wood, you can choose any color scheme you like. In fact, the beauty of a shiplap wall is that you can repaint it and continually refresh your living space. Get tutorial here

The Best Way to Shiplap Walls Without Any Wood

Love the shiplap look but don’t want to work with wood? Not a problem...Hometalker Susanna used black and white paint along with some tape to achieve a 3D paneling effect in her bathroom. Matching the rustic look of her sink unit, the painted panels give the illusion of wooden panels without the effort. Another alternative is peel and stick wallpaper. By cutting wood-effect wallpaper into strips, you can hang the paper in the same way you’d apply wooden panels. Finally, Hometalker Elizabeth has shown us you only need a ruler and a pencil to achieve a shiplap look. Her top tip is to apply paint sealer over your lines so that they can’t be rubbed off. Get tutorial here

Making Shiplap Walls Work for You

When all is said and done, a shiplap wall can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. Regardless of the space, your budget and the materials you use, it’s possible to completely transform your home with a small amount of effort. Hopefully, our shiplap wall guide has given you some inspiration and, more importantly, demonstrated that achieving this look isn’t difficult at all. With a few basic skills and the patience to measure twice and cut once, anyone can do a DIY shiplap wall - or indeed anything else in the home that needs updating. Get tutorial here