What Is Shiplap? It Can Help You Channel Your Inner Home Renovator

Last updated on October 17, 2019 | Written by | Home

If you have ever watched an HGTV show where they rehab a home and add some fancy new wood paneling to a wall, then chances are, you have seen shiplap in use. And you likely wondered what it is and why, in recent years, it has become so popular to use in houses that are fixed up and updated.

But what is shiplap, exactly? It used to be used to construct some barns and sheds, but these days, it is the perfect addition to the inside of your home if you have a shabby chic or farmhouse aesthetic. Honestly, shiplap is one of the easiest ways to add something extra to your home without necessarily spending an arm and a leg. You can typically paint it any color you want, or purchase it in colors that already suit your home decor.

Shiplap is essentially plank panels of wood which are installs on any interior wall in a horizontal pattern. You can do it in uniform all the way across a wall or break it up into smaller patches for a different kind of pattern. Either way, you are left with an impressive new spot inside your home.

How To Install Shiplap

Installing shiplap on your own might seem intimidating at first, but if you have the patience and time to do it right, it’s one of those home DIY projects you can potentially tackle on your own. The key to getting it done right is measuring. Measure your shiplap, measure the wall you want to hang it on, and then do it all again. Locate and mark the wall where your studs are so you know where to drill into to secure your shiplap and plan out how and where the shiplap will hang. If the shiplap is shorter in length then the sides of the wall, you will need to stagger it in a different design than straight across.

Use an adhesive paste on the back of the shiplap boards and then secure them in place with a nail gun or a drill and screws. While it might seem like using the adhesive alone will do the job, you are best to do with both steps to ensure none of the piece fall off over time. When all of the shiplap is nailed or screwed into place, you can then use caulk to fill in the gaps and small spaces in between them.

Where To Buy Shiplap

Not surprisingly, it’s easy to find shiplap in a variety of sizes and styles at different hardware stores. You can find boxes of it at Lowe’s and Home Depot and even Amazon has a supply of shiplap that might suit your needs. You can also visit a lumber yard, where you might find a better deal on larger quantities of shiplap.

When picking out shiplap, however, make sure you find boards which are free from nicks and holes and aren’t warps. Straight shiplap boards are key for getting them to perfectly fit where you need them. In some cases, you might be able to find peel and stick shiplap, but as it isn’t the same thing, it might cost more and sometimes doesn’t look as sleek as the real thing.

Ideas For Using Shiplap

Shiplap with Round Décor

Via HGTV

Once you’ve seen shiplap on TV or on a friend’s wall in their home, you’ll probably want to try it out for yourself. And, as to be expected, there are a number of ideas for shiplap in your home that you can try out yourself. You can use it as an easy backdrop for the mirrors above your sink. It can totally transform your bathroom into a modern but welcoming area of your home. Or, use it for an accent wall in your living room. You can then hang other artwork or picture frames on that same wall or keep it bare.

Another option is to use shiplap to cover a wall next to a staircase. You can even use smaller pieces as the backboards on each step to either match or offset the wall design. In some cases, it will also look good on all four walls in a bedroom, depending on the room’s decor. Use it for the interior of a closet that doesn’t have doors or use it as much as you want. There is almost no going wrong with where you put your shiplap as long as it is installed properly and evenly.

Shiplap is essentially the perfect decorative tool if you are tired of hanging more framed photo so friends and family or you just aren’t into artwork. Shiplap isn’t the easiest to work with, especially if you don’t know your way around power tools, but it can offer a different way to upgrade an area of your home without hiring a contractor.