How To Use Shiplap For a Quick And Easy Home or Sunroom Update

A beautiful foyer entrance with a light hanging above the dark hardwood floors, a bench in front of a shiplap wall, and a dark door with windows.

Using shiplap in your home for easy remodeling can be a great way to add a rustic, cozy, or coastal feel to your space. Shiplap is a type of wooden wall siding characterized by its horizontal overlapping boards. It’s relatively simple to install and can transform the look of a room. We use it a lot in sunrooms because it is a great alternative to drywall but you can also use it as accent pieces throughout your home such as entryways, bathrooms, bedroom accent walls.

A farmhouse entryway with a blue bench and coat hooks, welcome sign, and a glass door

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use shiplap in your home for easy remodeling:

Choose the right type of shiplap: Shiplap boards come in different materials, such as wood or MDF (medium-density fiberboard). Wood provides an authentic look, while MDF is more budget-friendly and resistant to moisture. In a bathroom you always want to go with the MDF version due to the moisture. A Sunroom may also be a good idea to get the MDF version if you live in a humid area and like to leave your windows open. Select the type that suits your budget and preferences.

Measure the wall: Measure the height and width of the wall where you want to install the shiplap. Calculate the square footage to determine how much shiplap you need to purchase. It’s always a good idea to buy a little extra to account for waste and mistakes during installation.

Prepare the wall: Ensure the wall surface is clean, dry, and free of any obstacles. Remove any existing trim or baseboards. If the wall has imperfections or holes, consider patching and sanding them before starting. If installing the shiplap inside a sunroom an an exterior house wall, remove all the siding first.

Gather the necessary tools and materials: You’ll need a tape measure, level, pencil, circular saw or miter saw, nail gun or hammer, shiplap boards, and finishing nails or brad nails.

Cut the shiplap boards: Measure the height of the wall and cut the shiplap boards to fit. You may need to cut boards for the end pieces to ensure they fit properly along the edges of the wall.

Install the shiplap: Start at the bottom of the wall and work your way up. Apply construction adhesive to the back of the first board and press it firmly onto the wall. Use a level to ensure it’s straight. Nail the board into place using a nail gun or hammer and finishing nails. Repeat this process for the rest of the boards, leaving a small gap between each board for expansion.

Continue with the next rows: For the second row and onward, use a nickel or another small spacer to maintain the consistent gap between the boards. This will give the characteristic shiplap look.

Trim and finish: Once all the boards are installed, trim the edges as needed. Reinstall the baseboards and any other trim you removed earlier. You can choose to leave the shiplap as is for a natural look or paint it in a color that complements your decor.

Light blues and green decorating this bedroom

Using shiplap for remodeling is a versatile way to enhance the aesthetics of your home. It can be applied to entire walls, partial walls, ceilings, or even as an accent in specific areas like kitchen islands or fireplace surrounds. With a little effort and some basic tools, you can achieve a stunning and timeless transformation.

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