How to Install Faux Shiplap

Staci Marie
by Staci Marie
4 Materials
1 Day

If you love shiplap this tutorial will show you how you can add it to your home!

We don't live in an old home, so there's no discovery of old shiplap boards brought back to life. So we have to use new products. There are a lot of different shiplap options now at the home improvement stores but, I am always looking to do my home improvements with budget in mind.

That's where faux shiplap comes in. In this tutorial I'll show you how you can get the shiplap look for less.

Please Note-

The cost of this project is for the plywood boards. The tools and paint I already had on hand.

Material List:

  • 2 - 4' x 8' 1/4" Plywood (cut into 5.5" strips)
  • Air compressor
  • Pneumatic nail gun
  • 1 1/4" nails for gun
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Stud finder
  • Pencil
  • Primer and Paint
  • Caulk gun
  • Caulk

After ripping my plywood into 5.5 inch strips on a table saw I primed all of my boards to make finishing the wall easier. I used a water based primer.

While my boards dried, I caulked the seams in my drywall with a white caulk so they wouldn't show when the shiplap was up.

I started by finding all the studs in my wall and marked them using a long level.

I always start at the ground and work my way up the wall. Always make sure your first board is level. Not all floors will be level so don't just use that as your base.

My next row had outlets to work around. These outlets will be inside my new cabinet (to be installed) I decided to not cut around them and just do the shiplap to the outlet.

I measured my boards and cut them on the miter saw. Once cut, I sanded the ends and primed them.

To add the shiplap on top of the bottom board, I use large washers instead of the normal nickels as spacers. I just find them easier to hold onto.

I pushed my board to the wall and press down to make the space between boards level. Then I nailed my piece into place with the pneumatic nail gun. I add 2 nails per stud.

Once I put a piece up, I check my boards with the level to make sure every board is good.

Here I have 3 boards up...

At this point I needed to decide how I will trim out my wall.

My wall is just over 8 foot long so I decided to add spacers to the end and use full 8 foot boards.

Having my boards primed means I'm ready to start painting.

On faux shiplap, I always use 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint.

Once the wall is dry, I can add my trim piece. This is where the small square spacers were. I start at the bottom and make sure my trim is tight to the floor and the side wall.

I then added a 1 inch board across the top to space out my top trim board. I add these spacers so my finish trim pieces sit on top of my shiplap boards. Once that's in, I added the top trim and finished the wall.

Shiplap adds a lot of texture and interest to a room and using plywood gives you the look for a lot less.

Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Geoffrey Geoffrey on Mar 24, 2022

    Looks great. I don't understand using the washer spacers though? Just start at the bottom overlapping each successive board right? Why the extra 1/8" gap? Just curious. Thx!

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