Shiplap Love

For the love of lime green. Someone previously living in this house apparently LOVED it so much they painted multiple rooms with it. I did not appreciate feeling the need to wear sunglasses in my house, so this was the first thing to go. Aside from painting, I decided my guest room needed a fun touch. Something more than paint, but less than ripping down walls.

Shiplap. Anyone with a little Joanna Gains in ya can appreciate my love of it! But sadly this is not Waco and I can assure you I have no shiplap hiding behind my 90’s walls. I looked up real shiplap and very quickly decided my husband would not appreciate eating ramen noodles to make room for it in the budget. A few pinterest searches later, and I had my decision. Faux shiplap. It was happening. And it had to happen now.

Now, meaning in the middle of the ONLY snow (ok, it was really ice) storm we had in Atlanta this past winter. “I need to go to home depot.” A phrase that so easily rolls off the tongue following a house purchase. We go a lot. Multiple times a day. (In case you are wondering, you can bring your dog. That’s my favorite part.) But I digress, Tyler is such a trooper. We suited up, slid down our super steep driveway and took the jeep to home depot to get supplies.

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Speaking of supplies:

  • 1/4 in plywood underlaymentΒ ripped down into 6 in planks
  • suppliesSandpaper (fine grit)
  • Stud FinderΒ (we LOVE this one!)
  • Level
  • Nail gun with 1 or 1.5 in finishing nails (and safety gear!!)
  • Jigsaw (This was the only type of saw we had at this time. I’m sure others would get you straighter cuts…but ya make it work!)
  • Quarters (for spacers)
  • Primer
  • Paint color of your choice
  • Tunes to get down to while you make an awesome shiplap wall

This project seemed intimating. A nail gun? Sounds dangerous. I promise, once you get going you’ll want to shiplap the whole house.

Ok, ready? Lets go!

Step 1:

I chose 1/4 in plywood underlayment so the boards were nice and thin. This made it easy to nail to the wall and I did not have to remove my baseboards. Calculate how many plywood boards you will need to cover your wall. I made sure I had extra for mess ups. I calculated that I needed 3 total boards. (At around $12 a board you can’t beat how budget friendly this project is!) Unless you have a table saw (and I’m jealous if you do), have home depot cut your plywood underlayment into 6 inch planks. (You may have to sweet talk someone into doing it for you-and they do charge a very small cutting fee!) You will end up with one funky board on the end that doesn’t quite measure 6 inches. Bring everything home and sand ALL the edges. I hate sanding, but they will splinter you. I hate splinters more than I hate sanding.

Step 2:

Prime or paint the wall where your boards are going to be. I ALMOST skipped this step thinking you wouldn’t notice, but boy am I SO glad I did it. You can totally see the wall between the planks and it is HARD to get paint in that tiny little space. So don’t be lazy and just paint it! Draco loves it:)draco

Step 3:

Use your stud finder across your wall to mark where all your studs are located. I made marks with a pencil and then drew vertical lines from the ceiling to the floor so I had a template of where my nails should aim.

Step 4:


I started on the TOP LEFT for my first board. This was definitely a TWO person job. I held the board flush with the ceiling and flush with the left wall, but had Tyler use the level to make sure it was truly level. Many times, ceilings are not perfectly straight so MAKE SURE you use the level before you nail it. Once we thought it was good, we used the nail gun to nail the board to the wall. Watch for where you marked your studs to aim for those areas. These boards are so thin and light that I am not sure how much it actually mattered, but let’s just say, they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon! Always use your eye gear while using the nail gun and keep your eyes open. I had this urge to shut my eyes. #dangerous

Step 5:

secondcutMeasure from the right side of the first nailed board to the right wall and cut the next plank to fit. Like I said, we used a jig saw and it worked just fine. I undershot the measurement by just a tad to leave room for my spacers. Hold the second board against the wall and use the quarters as spacers between the two ends of the planks. Use the level again and nail this piece into your studs. Now that the first row is done, you know the rest of your boards will be level so you won’t have to keep using it for subsequent rows.

Stand back and get excited that one row is done!


Step 6:

spacers2Using the excess board from your last cut, nail it under your first board. This time, you’ll want to use the spacers between the top and bottom board. Using the spacers keeps your wall from looking like one giant piece of plywood smooshed together. For some reason, I never got a picture of using the spacers mid-project, so I had to take one AFTER the wall was complete and painted. Sorry! Again, measure from the end of board to the wall, make a cut, use the spacer and nail it in.



See the pattern we are making?

Step 7:

Follow this pattern all the way down the wall. Make sure as you go, your cut pieces are staggered. The boards directly one on top of the other shouldn’t be the same length. The picture below has my cuts circled in pink. See how none of them are right on top of each other?


Once we got to an outlet, I held the board up and drew roughly where the outlet would be on my board. We used the jigsaw to cut out a hole for the outlet. Remember, you’ll have an outlet cover on so if it isn’t perfect, it will be covered! Just get it close.


Step 8:

My LAST row was not quite 6 inches tall. I had to use a table saw (thanks dad!) to cut it. You can take your piece back to home depot and have it cut to size or VERY carefully and with a steady hand, cut it free style with your jigsaw. Because the plywood is so thin, it sat flush to my baseboard, so I didn’t have to remove it. Score!

I thought I might use trim on both sides of my shiplap wall to “finish” the look, but all my edges looked pretty good without it! You could frame it out, or add some fancy trim. Get crazy!

Step 9:

Prime and PAINT PAINT PAINT. Lord. This took A LOT of paint. This wood soaked it up, so I think did about 4 coats to really get good coverage. I used a flat paint and primer in one by Behr. I just kept it pure white to match the trim in the rest of the room. I used a brush instead of a roller for the whole wall. The roller was making a mess and causing paint goo between the boards. Not pretty. Β Even Draco needed a nap from all the painting.paint

Now…stand back and get super excited about your finished product! I think I sat on the floor in our room for like an hour just amazed at how pretty it turned out! (well, to be fair, this was the FIRST room actually put together and not a total mess after moving in…so maybe I was trying to block out the rest of the craziness!)







I LOVE it!! The wall just adds a really light but very cozy feel to the room. I’m a sucker for a little texture too.


If you decide to tackle this project, I wanna see it! Send me a pic or tag me on instagram! (@_makingitours_)


Happy Shiplappin’!




12 thoughts on “Shiplap Love

  1. Thank you so much for posting this tutorial! Your shiplap looks AMAZING!!! I’m sending it to my hubby to hopefully convince him that we CAN do this without killing each other or our budget! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜‰


    1. You are SO WELCOME!! Once you get the hang of it, it was super easy! Now I am looking in every room and saying “oh we could shiplap that!” πŸ˜‚ Once you are done, please send me a picture!! I would love to see it! And feel free to reach out if you come across any troubles-I’d be happy to help!πŸ’•


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