So What Is Shiplap?

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If you have recently heard the term shiplap or have heard of those horizontal boards on walls being referred to as shiplap, you may be wondering “what is shiplap….exactly?” Shiplap is the rough-sawn horizontal pine paneling that slightly overlaps the board below it. In addition, shiplap can be milled board with a rabbet joint to hold the boards together. For the most part, these boards were typically used in historic homes.

Shiplap Photos

Here are some photos of shiplap interior walls that have been revived for a wonderful rustic chic look:

shiplap walls

Muskoka Living


Because the old boards have a coat of fresh white paint, they look pretty chic!

Of course, it’s always a plus if your home already has some shiplap either behind the walls or on the walls. The shiplap can simply be painted and restored. However, even if a home doesn’t already have original shiplap, it can be added or even made inexpensively.

How To Install Shiplap Interior Siding:

1. New Shiplap Boards:

There is a fantastic tutorial from Home Depot, including all of the material needed to complete the project. In general, this project would work best on a wall with the frame exposed. Exposed framing makes this installation extra easy.

Home Depot shiplap tutorial
Home Depot

2. DIY Plywood Shiplap:

For an inexpensive option over existing walls, try making your own shiplap! As an illustration, Table and Hearth uses thin plywood underlayment cut into wide planks. Since the chosen plywood is only 1/4 inch, they didn’t even need to remove the molding! They painted the wood wall a fun gray for some extra drama. Check it out!

diy shiplap
Table and Hearth

Now, as I think about some of the white washed wood walls that we put up in our cabin, I am wondering if we should maybe shiplap those babies….

Despite having existing shiplap walls, is this a trend that you could see yourself adding to a wall or two?



I'm addicted to crafting and decorating my downtown urban loft and up north rustic cabin. Read more about me.
1 comment
  1. I love the look of shiplap as long as it’s not too dark. It certainly has a comfortable country look to it.


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