DIY, Home

DIY Shiplap Wall

Shiplap. We've all heard of it by now. This style has absolutely taken off, but how could it not? It's awesome!

In this DIY post, I am going to walk you through the steps to get the shiplap look at a lower cost. It looks the same, but you save a lot of money in the end.

The room that I will be putting a shiplap wall in is a half bath. My sister and soon to be brother-in-law bought a house and wanted more of a farmhouse style. I suggested starting small (like the bathroom).



Here is the current bathroom. The shiplap wall will go on the wall behind the vanity and toilet.

(I took these pictures at the same time, I’m not sure how I ended up with a picture of the toilet seat up and a picture of the toilet seat down. 😕)



Plywood Underlayment – 4′ x 8′ sheets (Amount will depend on the area you are doing) Thickness is 7/32″
Stud Finder

Nail Gun – I use a 16-Gauge
Nails – I use 2-1/4″
Air Compressor
Saws – for cutting boards to width and length – I use a table saw and miter saw
Spacers – I have used nickels before, or actual spacers – the gap size is up to you.
Trim pieces
– if desired


Sheets of underlayment are available at Home Depot for $13.49 per sheet. In this bathroom I used two sheets, but had a lot of decent sized pieces left over that I will make signs out of. My total cost for wood is $28.87 when you factor in taxes.

Then there is the cost of paint – I got mine at Menards and paid about $16 – after painting 2 coats on all of the walls, I still have half of the can left.

Fortunately, I already had everything else that I needed, so my total investment in this project was $44.87. 

Now that you have everything you need…let’s get started!

First step, is clear the area you are working in. If you are just adding the shiplap wall, your room will look like this…


However if you are doing a total demolition like we are (new floor, vanity, etc) – It might look something like this…

Let’s Prep The Materials:

Measure the area you are going to be working in and determine the size you want to rip the shiplap to. I personally prefer the look of wider pieces.

For this project the height of the wall was 96″, so I chose to rip my boards to 7-7/8″ and I used 1/8″ spacers. Therefore I needed 12 boards ripped to 7-7/8″

Here they are…


Now it’s time to cut the boards to length. You will start at the top because we know that our trim will end up covering part of the bottom piece. I use a miter saw to cut my boards, but you can use whatever you are comfortable with or whatever you have to work with. I cut all my boards at the same time, but I know that I might end up having to adjust one or two if the wall is not perfectly square. But I will also be using trim pieces along the edges so any small imperfections will not be noticeable. Plus, that’s why we call these things “rustic” 😉

I also gave my boards a quick sanding – I used an orbital sander, but a sanding block works fine too. For the most part you are just cleaning up small areas.


Use a stud finder to locate your wall studs, I use a pencil or pen to mark the spot on the wall in a few different areas. (Top, middle and bottom)

It’s time to fire up the air compressor and load the nail gun.

When I place the first board on the wall, I use a level to make sure that the first piece is straight. I put 3 nails (top, middle and bottom) through each stud piece.

When you place the next board, you will insert your spacers to get the gap you want. Again for this wall, I used 1/8″ spacers. I have also used nickels before when I did not have spacers available. When you need to work around fixtures and lights, I found that a jigsaw is most helpful for me.

Here are a few progress shots and the completed wall.

How’s it looking so far?

The hardest part is done!

Next step is to fill the nail holes – and if you did a larger wall and had to connect pieces, you will want to fill those gaps in as well. I didn’t have to do that in this bathroom with the exception of the pieces that went around the piping.

I left my putty knife at home, so I used my trowel – works the same, right?

Yes I changed my hat…this is day 2 🙂

After the putty has some time to dry, lightly sand over any spots that need it. Clean up your sanding mess and you are READY TO PAINT!

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you to cover the floor and tape the door frame, but I’ll mention it anyway 😉

We did Crisp White in this bathroom. And what a difference it made! The old color had a yellow tint to it, I was not a fan. The white makes it seem so fresh and bright. As you can see, the tile was installed after the putty was done.


What a HUGE difference this made! I love it!

Next up is the trim and installing the new vanity and the toilet.

For this small bathroom, we used inside corner trim. For bigger rooms you can just use a 1x to frame the wall. Or you can leave it as is. I love the look either way.

The type of trim you decide to use will determine how long to cut it. For the inside corner trim, we want to put in our floor trim first. Then measure from the top of the floor trim to the ceiling to get your corner trim measurement. Cut, nail and you are done! If you don’t like the look of the nail holes you can fill them in and paint over them.

I forgot to take a picture before we started installing the toilet and vanity, but here is a sneak peek of the bathroom with the corner trim installed.

Stay tuned for the reveal of the rest of this bathroom to see how this project turned out!

2 thoughts on “DIY Shiplap Wall

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *