The DIY Process of Installing Shiplap on Your Walls and the Tools You’ll Need

Brad Burns Uncategorized

Something a lot of people often overlook when giving their house a new look is the ceiling. Shiplap is made of wide boards, so when you install it as your ceiling, it makes the room feel even more spacious. Shiplap is a very versatile option that you can customize with paint choices from subtle wood tones to fun pops of color. This post will show you the tools and steps for installing shiplap on your walls.

Tools required

Measuring tape

To get started, you’ll need a measuring tape. Not only will you need it to measure your space, but you’ll also use it to make sure each piece of shiplap is cut to the right length.

Dust mask

This will help protect you from breathing in dust and particles.

Safety glasses

These are there to protect your eyes from dust, nails, or wood flying into them (even if you’re wearing safety goggles) and even from the nail gun recoil.

Circular Saw or Miter Saw

To cut your shiplap planks, you can use either a circular saw or a miter saw. For large areas of shiplap, it’s best to use a miter saw.

Hearing protection

A good pair of earplugs or earmuffs will help keep your ears safe while using power tools.

Chalk line

A chalk line is a small container of powdered chalk attached by a string to a metal reel. When you pull the string tight and snap it, the chalk marks a straight line on the wall or floor. You’ll use it for marking where to place your first row of boards.

Table Saw

A table saw is the primary tool used to cut down your planking and trim it once it&#x2019s on the wall. While you can use a circular saw or hand saw to cut down your wood planks, the precision of a table saw will ensure that your cuts are straight, even, and consistent from plank to plank.

Chop saw

Depending on the width of your shiplap, you will probably use a chop saw to cut it. Make sure you have a 12-inch chop saw with a carbide blade that can cut through both hardwood and softwood.

80-grit sanding sponge

Sanding sponges are flexible, making them easy to maneuver around tight corners. They’ll get into the grooves of your shiplap and help smooth out any rough edges.

Interior paint

Interior paint is a type of paint that is used on the interior walls of homes. It can be made of several different ingredients, but primarily water and some sort of pigment. There are many different types of interior paint, each with its own specific properties.


You&#x2019ll need a paintbrush to get the job done. If you aren&#x2019t using a paint sprayer and plan on a painting by hand, be sure to invest in a quality paintbrush. The bristles should be firm, and they should feel comfortable in your hand.

Paint roller

You’ll need a paint roller to apply the primer and paint to your shiplap. You can use a high-quality thick nap roller for both. Or you can use a thinner nap (1/2 inch) for the primer, then switch to a thicker nap (3/4 inch) for the finish coat.

Paint roller pan

Paint rollers are usually used for walls and ceilings. The roller pan is the flat, rectangular tray that holds the paint you’ll be applying to your room. A typical paint roller pan is made of lightweight metal or heavy plastic.

Putty knife with metal blade

A putty knife is all you need to apply the adhesive, and a metal-blade putty knife is best for scraping the walls clean. If your walls are in particularly bad shape, use a larger putty knife for the first scraping and then switch to a smaller one for applying the adhesive.

Nails and nail gun

You’ll be using nails to attach your shiplap planks to the wall, so either hammer in a nail by hand or use a nail gun. A nail gun is a quick, easy way to install a shiplap. If you’re tackling a small space, you could get away with nailing the boards on by hand. But if you’re covering a large area, using a nail gun will save you time and energy.

1/8-inch spacers

You can use these between each board to create a perfectly even space between each board. The gap between boards is both decorative and serves a purpose in allowing room for expansion and contraction of the wood.

Process of Installing Shiplap

Step 1

Measure the length of the wall you want to install shiplap on. Measure the height of the wall from the floor to the ceiling, which will determine how many rows you will need.

Step 2

Cut a piece of shiplap using your circular saw. Cut each piece about 1/4 inch longer than your measurements for the height and width of your wall.

Step 3

Place a level on top of one end of the first board and mark with a pencil where you need to cut off any excess wood. Cut the wood off with your circular saw before installing it on your wall.

Step 4

Nail a piece of shiplap directly on top of your subflooring with a hammer and finishing nails. Make sure the nail heads are not visible after you install each board by hammering them slightly below the surface level of each board so they are hidden when you install another board over them at the height of your walls (this will allow for space at the top). Cut each board using a saw for a precise cut.

Shiplap installation may be a relatively simple DIY job, but it will undoubtedly require careful attention to detail and patience. Following these steps will help save you time, money, and effort. But don&#x2019t forget that the most important tool for any of your DIY projects is not your hammer or the screwdriver; it is dedication.