top of page

How-to: create a shiplap wall

A few years ago I started to see stores like Home Depot and Lowe's carry shiplap kits to create a shiplap wall in your house. I loved them so much and every time we went to the hardware store I would show them to Duke. Duke liked the idea of shiplap too and while the kits were convenient, the cost was crazy. We then had the idea to create our own shiplap wall at a much more affordable price. In this post we'll show you how to create a shiplap wall for a little over $100!

We installed the first shiplap wall in our living room a couple years ago and have loved it. Recently we talked about adding a second shiplap wall. Check out the video below to see why we wanted to extend the shiplap into our Willow Ridge Market room.

Below are all the materials, tools and steps to create your own shiplap wall:


-Plywood underlayment ripped into 8 inch sections (you could also rip them into 6 inch sections if you like a skinnier shiplap look)

-Nail hole filler

-Brad nails

-Paint (we used Sherwin Williams Marshmallow in an Eggshell finish)



-Brad nailer

-Table saw

-Miter saw

-Jigsaw (if you need to go around any outlets)

-Stud finder


-Paint Roller and Brush

-Tape measure

-Spacers (we used nickels for this)

-Caulk gun


1. Go to your local hardware store to get your materials. We got 4 sheets of 4x8 feet underlayment. Our wall is 12.5 feet by 8 feet and we had some underlayment left over when all was said and done. We had Home Depot rip our sheets in half long ways so they'd fit in my jeep. I'm a visual person so I took some pictures to give you a better idea.

Sometimes they put it on the highest shelf...

Four sheets of 4x8 plywood

Ripped in half for 8 pieces total

2. Once we got home, the first thing we did was rip the 8 boards into 8 inch pieces. You will need a table saw for this. When we first started doing DIY projects we didn't own a table saw and would have to borrow one. Find your handy friends and see if they'll let you borrow their table saw. Ripping such a long piece of plywood is definitely a two person job. I would stand at the end and feed the board through while Duke stood at the table saw to ensure it stayed aligned properly. We are much better at working the table saw than we were when we first started so I'd suggest practicing a few times before you start to rip your plywood. Also always remember - patience is a virtue...

Set your table saw to 8 inches

You should end up with something like this

3. Next, back inside, Duke used a stud finder to find where the studs were. We drew a line down the entire wall where the studs were because that is where you'll want to brad nail the plywood to the wall. We would also brad nail any spot we felt the board needed a little more securing. I tend to go crazy with the brad nailer - to me, the more secure the better.

Stud marking studs

4. Now that the wall was prepped, it was time for us to start nailing up some boards. We started at the bottom (Drake voice) and used 8 foot sections first. We chose to do a random pattern up the wall so we cut the boards into different size sections. (Ex. our first row includes an 8 foot board and then a 4.5 foot board. Our second row has three pieces and includes a 5.5 foot board and two 3.5 foot boards). We did not have any set pattern we just alternated lengths as we worked up the wall. Use your brad nailer to put three nails in the board at each stud. Also put nails at the end of each board to make sure they're secured in place. To create the tongue and groove look that shiplap has, we spaced out each row by putting nickels in between the boards. You can see the nickels in the video below.

***We had two outlets to go around so Duke had to measure those out and use a jigsaw to cut out the outlet shape in the boards.

***We used a level to ensure the boards were straight when we installed them.

5. Once you get to the top, you'll have to rip your last row of boards to fit whatever gap you have left. For us, there was about 4.5 inches at the top. At this stage of the project you'll get really excited because installing the boards is the most tedious part of the whole thing.

6. This next step is optional but we chose to do it. After the boards were installed, we patched the brad nail holes with spackling. After each hole was filled, we took a piece of sandpaper and sanded each patch down so it was smooth. Duke likes a cleaner looking shiplap so that is why we filled the holes. If you want a more rustic look (Joanna Gaines style) you could leave the holes as is and when you paint the wall you'd be able to see them. Totally your call for whatever look you're trying to achieve.

The holes on the left have been sanded, holes on the right have not

7. Duke also decided to caulk the wall on the sides and the top. This is a good idea if your boards aren't perfectly lined up on the edges or at the top. It's a quick an easy step to ensure your wall looks like it's part of the original house.

8. Final step is my favorite...PAINTING. This is where you really start to see it come together. We used Sherwin Williams Marshmallow in an eggshell finish. We ended up doing three coats of paint (I thought two was fine but I got overruled). I was in charge of rolling and Duke used a brush to do the edges.

They see me rolling

Before I show you final pictures, I wanted to put some helpful tips that we discovered along the way.

Helpful tips:

-Spacing: because the plywood underlayment is so thin, there's a good chance some of your pieces aren't going to be perfectly straight. If you find the spacing in between each row of boards isn't perfect, don't stress. That was the hardest part for me because I like perfection. We had several rows were the gap was bigger than the nickel but once the wall is painted you can't notice those small details.

-Painting: make sure you're light handed when painting. Another thing that's difficult for me because I'm heavy handed when it comes to painting, pouring drinks and applying makeup. It's important to be light handed because you don't want globs of paint getting in between the row spacing that you worked so hard on. I would put my roller in the middle of the board to get off excess paint and then GENTLY roll it out. If you do get paint in spaces don't worry. Use the edge of a piece of cardboard and slide it through the space to remove the paint.

-Have fun! This is definitely a two person job so get your significant other, your friend, your sibling, your parent or anyone you want to help you. Get out some snacks and beverages and have a good time putting up a shiplap wall. ***Safety first though, do not drink alcoholic beverages while using power tools.

And that's it! We hope you've enjoyed this how-to blog post. Shiplap walls are such a fun way to brighten up a space and this is a great way to incorporate it into your home without breaking the bank. If you have any questions on material, tools or steps feel free to send us an email: Also, let us know what you think below! Do you like shiplap walls? Would you want one in your home? Does this how-to seem easy enough to try?

All our love,

The Dukes

26 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page