How to Make a Faux Shiplap Wall

Add a touch of farmhouse style with this easy & inexpensive way to make a DIY faux shiplap wall. 

DIY Shiplap Wall | Add some Joanna Gaines' farmhouse style to a space by adding this simple and budget friendly shiplap wall feature. Learn the simple step by step process with this easy to follow tutorial. #diy #farmhouse #shiplap

How to Make a DIY Faux Farmhouse Shiplap Wall from Plywood

I’ve been admiring shiplap walls ever since Joanna Gaines taught me what they were on an episode of Fixer Upper.

I’ve been pinning them on my Pinterest boards and wondering if one day I could somehow do one myself.

That day finally arrived last week.

After plotting and pondering for months on end, the project actually took less than 30 minutes to complete .Go figure!:)

There are tons of shiplap tutorials out in web land.  I know, because I’ve read a ton of them myself.

I combined everything I learned from them, and modified the process to fit into our particular scenario.

Supplies Needed:

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.

The Step by step Process

Measure the  wall space you’d like to cover in shiplap. Determine the width & length of the boards you’ll need. Head to the store and buy the plywood.

Billy Bookcase system in living room

We knew that we wanted to shiplap only the portion of wall in between the 2 tall portions of our Ikea Billy Bookcase system. After doing all the calculations, we decided to make our boards 5 1/2 inches wide.

We then drew the cuts out on a sheet of paper and went to our local Windsor Plywood store to get the wood.

Plywood boards that will be used for DIY Shiplap Wall

We discovered that the 1/4 inch plywood underlay that many other bloggers recommend wasn’t available here. So, we chose this 1/4 inch mahogany veneer plywood. In actuality, it is thinner than 1/4 inch, but it ended up working just fine.

Since we don’t have a saw that can rip down a sheet of plywood, we discussed the dimensions of the boards we needed and had the staff at Windsor Plywood cut them for us. (That’s when the jotted down cut lines on paper comes in very handy in the communication department!)

Plywood boards cut in strips that will be used for DIY Shiplap Wall

We have found the staff there to be super helpful when we need to have plywood cut. They do a wonderful, precise job, and it doesn’t cost a fortune.

Paint the edges and fronts of the boards

Plywood boards that will be used for DIY Shiplap Wall laid out to be painted.

I’ve learned the hard way that there is no way you can get the edges painted well once the shiplap is attached to the wall. (See our closet door project here.)

But, here’s where I made a big mistake…

Painting plywood boards that will be used as shiplap

I spent time carefully priming and painting each board, and couldn’t understand why the wood grain kept showing through…

My husband informed me I had painted the WRONG side!

So, don’t do what I did and try to paint the “mahogany” side. Paint 2 coats on the other side (no primer needed), and you’re good to go.

Using a stud finder, mark out with a pencil and straight edge where the studs are on the wall you are covering.

Finding the wall stud in preparation for installing a DIY Shiplap Wall Treatment

This is where you’ll nail the boards on.

Once the paint is dry on the boards, place the first board at the top portion of the wall. Nail it on with a pneumatic nail gun using the pencil lines as guides as to where the studs are.

Nailing on the first board of a DIY Shiplap Wall

Place pennies between the boards as spacers, and work your way down the wall.

Penny Spacers in  Farmhouse Shiplap Wall
first two boards on the wall for a farmhouse shiplap look

Once all the boards are attached, fill in the nail holes with Dap drywall filler.

DIY Shiplap Walls using pennies as spacers

Don’t worry about trying to use a special tool to apply the Dap. Just use your finger.

Putting dap on the nail holes with a finger as part of the process of a DIY shiplap wall

Once the Dap has dried (about 20 minutes) paint a final coat of paint over the boards.

And then stand back and admire the new look!

We just can’t believe what a difference a few boards make in the look and feel of our space.  Here’s where it started:

Billy Bookcase System in Living Room before the DIY shiplap wall

And here it is now:

Farmhouse Style Billy Bookcases with Shiplap Wall Treatment

We love it!

DIY Shiplap Walls

To read more about the style evolution of this space, check out this post.

How to install DIY shiplap walls

To see more ideas for farmhouse shiplap walls, check out these posts:

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One Comment

  1. Ooooo. I love the ship lap on entertainment wall. That looks beautiful and well put together. That area flows really well. Great job!

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