DIY Faux Shiplap Wall

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If you haven’t noticed, shiplap walls are trending. Like, big time. It seems that everywhere I look I see shiplap. And I’ll be the first to admit that I have jumped on that bandwagon and I’ll bring whoever I can along with me. The downside is that true shiplap gets pretty pricey and if you know anything about me and this blog it’s that I like to do things as budget-friendly as possible. So this post will show you how to install a faux shiplap wall.


4X8 Masonite Sheet (Also called wall panel at some stores)

Table Saw or circular saw (Or if you purchase from Lowe’s or Home Depot they will often cut it for you)

Miter Saw

Brad Nailer and 1″ Brad Nails

Paint, Primer and a sprayer and/or cabinet roller

Silicone caulk


Installing the Shiplap

First I cut the sheet of masonite, or wall panel, into 6″ widths. I measured the length I needed and cut to the correct length using a miter saw. Starting at the bottom, I set the first board and made sure it was level. I used the brad nailer to secure the first board. If you know you don’t ever want to remove the shiplap I would recommend using some sort of adhesive before placing and nailing the board. I wanted most of the renovations we do in this bathroom to be fairly semi-permanent. Personally, I like having the option of being able to change things up.

After I installed the first board I used a spacer (eh hem…a nickel) to get the small gap between the boards and keep them even. You still want to make sure each board is level before securing it. You don’t want to end up stepping back at the end of your project and realizing that by the time you got to the top it ended up wonky.

Installation tip: It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re installing full walls and can’t make a single board span the length of your wall make sure you stagger your seems.

Once your shiplap is installed it’s time to paint. I decided to give the primer I tried when I painted my daughter’s bedroom another shot. Once again I was not impressed. I used the Valspar Multi-purpose primer. I can’t say that I would recommend it. In fact, when I painted my daughter’s room I only used it on one wall before I gave up and just used the Valspar 2000, which seemed to cover much better in less coats.

I used a sprayer to apply the paint, thinking it would be faster and smoother. The sprayer didn’t cover the cracks as well as I had hoped so I ended up having to brush the cracks and then use a foam roller to make it as smooth as I wanted it. The next time I do this (and I’ve already got plans to do it again!) I’ll most likely paint the strips with a foam cabinet roller before I even install the boards. I found that the holes from the nails were cleaner after the boards had been painted than before.

You’ll want to make sure you get all of the cracks and edges painted well. The paint is what will seal the boards against moisture, especially if you’re installing in a bathroom. Also make sure your room is well ventilated and use a mask. Our bathroom doesn’t have any windows so I kept the fan on. The fumes were still pretty bad so I donned the lovely fumigating mask.

After painting and priming you can install the trim and then caulk. I opted for filling in the the holes. Some people prefer to leave them unfilled. I honestly feel like I could have gone either way. And that’s it! I can’t wait to do it again!

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