DIY Shiplap Wall Project On A Budget

What You Will Need

  • Table Saw
  • Miter Saw
  • Skillsaw (or equivalent to rip plywood and make crosscuts)
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Square
  • Drill (Also this entire project can be done with a hammer and nails, or stapler.)
  • Palm sander
  • Plywood (We chose 11/32″)
  • Paint
  • Screws (or nails or staples if you choose to go either of those routes.)
  • Spacers (I had 1/4″ spacers from tile project, A PENNY also works.)

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  • Black+Decker Mouse Sander https://amzn.to/2LwCZTg
  • Builder Merchant Plywood Various Sizes https://amzn.to/2ZHFk7M
  • Paint Brush https://amzn.to/2Q39G0a
  • Hillman Fasteners Deck Screws Grey https://amzn.to/2ZICy1O

The Prep Work

The first thing we are going to do is take our plywood and we’re going to want to rip them down into 7 and 7/8 inch boards. Keep in mind we are starting with a 4′ x 8′ piece of plywood. The reason we have it at 7 and 7/8 is to account for the loss that we have from the cuts. Honestly you can get away with 7 and 15/16 inch. It all depends on how much you like to live life on the edge.

Always use blade guard and safety glasses!

Next thing we will do is to take the palm sander and sand these boards down. I typically sand each side that way I have room to flip it if need be. Sometimes they’re not perfectly square so flipping them is the best option. The sanding will allow for them to take the paint much better and give them a smooth finish.

For this project we decided to use screws to fasten them to the wall. Other options are nails and staples. So we just need to mark the studs that way we’re not just screwing into sheetrock.

Putting It All Together

Its the best idea to start from the bottom. Make sure that first piece you put down is level. Very important. It doesn’t matter if its not even on the floor b/c the trim will cover the bottom that may appear uneven once its leveled. Once you screw it to the wall, then make sure you put some kind of spacer on top that way you can stack the next one above that one. A penny does the trick.


Before you move on and stack the next piece on, you will want to paint the top and on the wall of the first piece. Because it will be a very difficult project trying to paint in between these cracks later on! Also sometimes the end of the board does not always fall on a stud. So in this event we use some kind of construction adhesive.

The Mountain To Climb

We simply duplicate this process until we reach the ceiling. For our project I had pre measured it all out and placed the bottom piece in the perfect position at the bottom so that the top piece would not have to be cut down. No matter how much you prepare, sometimes this will be impossible.

The Final Product

All that’s left is paint and trim! We’re happy how well this turned out. Contact us for the exact color we used if you’re interested.

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