A Beginner's Guide to Shiplap in 5 Steps!

A Beginner's Guide to Shiplap in 5 Steps!

PUBLISHED ON: September 08, 2017

Do you want to add some character to your new house, but don’t want to just paint or add wallpaper? Then Shiplap might be for you!

Shiplap is a simple to install wood wall covering that adds a rough or rustic look to your house, making your new Hopewell home truly unique! There are faux-shiplap wallpapers and stickers that you can add, but for a truly upscale feel, we love to stick to the real deal. This is our how-to guide to installing your own shiplap walls.

1)      Choose the right shiplap for you

Traditional shiplap is made of woods like pine. Many people choose to use 1/4” thick plywood underlayment (which you can cut to size yourself, or ask the staff at your hardware store to do it for you), but to get a truly rustic look, consider finding some reclaimed wood. Shiplap can be primed and painted (try glossy white for a truly high-class look), or stained for a more rustic-cabin type of feel. It can also be installed using relatively narrow 3” strips of wood, up to wide 10” strips.

Shiplap doesn’t always need to be done horizontally, either. You can create an angled pattern, or a criss-cross design to make your project truly unique. Take a look at these ideas on pinterest to see how you can make your shiplap reflect your style!

2)      Measure the area you want to cover, and buy at least an additional 10%

If you need to cover 100 sq. ft of wall-space, purchase at least 110 sq. ft of material. There will always be scraps that you cut along the corners and around outlets and doorways, and depending on the pattern you choose, you may have a lot of little corners to trim! If you have a pattern in mind, carefully draw up your pattern to see how much wood you’ll truly need.

3)      Gather your supplies

You’ll need:

  • Personal protective equipment like goggles and construction-duty gloves
  • A tape measure and a pencil
  • A level
  • A ladder or step stool
  • A hammer and 2” nails, or a nail gun with 2” brad nails
  • 1/4 inch thick plywood underlayment (or whatever type of wood you’ve chosen)
  • A sander with medium grit sandpaper (or just the paper)
  • A stud finder
  • Paintable spackle or wood filler
  • A miter saw, table saw, circular saw, or jigsaw
  • A speedsquare, used to measure angles
  • Primer and paint (or stain), plus additional painting supplies like tarps and brushes

4)      Install your shiplap!

After marking out your pattern (if you’ve chosen not to go the basic horizontal route), you are now ready to install your shiplap! Start by marking out the studs in your wall using your stud finder and a pencil.

Next, cut your underlayment into the desired width, or have the staff at your neighbourhood hardware store do it for you, and sand the edges to prevent splinters.

Using pennies or popsicle sticks as spacers, start nailing the planks of wood to the walls starting at the floor (or the baseboard). Continuing to use your spacers, keep working your way up the wall until you reach the ceiling. If you’ve decided to add a finishing touch, such as trim, now is the time to install it.

5)    Paint or stain the shiplap

If you want a clean finish, it’s time to spackle! Fill in any nail holes and imperfections in the wood, then sand the spackle down to a smooth finish. If you’ve chosen a more rustic route, leave the holes and imperfections.

Making sure you’ve covered your new flooring with a tarp or a dropcloth, prime and paint, or stain your shiplap however you prefer! This finishing step is truly up to you, and makes your project truly yours.

Share Your Projects!

If you’re looking for a more in-depth tutorial on how to install shiplap, visit tableandheart.com for their post Easy DIY Shiplap. Have you recently completed a shiplap project in your Hopewell home? Share your photos on Facebook and tag @HopewellCommunities or @HopewellResidentialEdmonton, and we might feature your project on our pages!

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