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Everything you need to know before you start doing shiplap projects.

Shiplap is often associated with ocean, or farmhouse styled homes. This is largely due to the quaint and rustic charm that shiplap projects offer a home. The use of shiplap on homes was typical external, as a wind and waterproof siding on the exterior of the home. With the rise in the farmhouse style, and shows such as HGTV’s Fixer Upper, shiplap has become a major trend.

This trend has been expanded, now in use for all manor and style home. And designers and DIY’ers, crafty mom’s and handy husbands have extended the use of shiplap in the home. You can paint the boards or keep them naturale, frame them or let them frame the room, use them as wainscotting or for the entire room. Or maybe just a small piece of the room.

But before we get into all the unique projects that you can tackle, there’s some things you should know about shiplap.

shiplap projects

What is shiplap and where does it come from?

Shiplap often gets confused with many other horizontal wood sidings. There are distinct features in shiplap that help to identify it though. Long horizontal boards with distinctive channels in between each board, are what give it away. These channels are called rabbets.

Originally shiplap was used to construct boats, hence it’s name. Reason was, those distinctive channels created a watertight seal, and protected the ships against the sea and the harsh winds. This is why it because so popular for use on the exterior of homes. It also explains why it is so often associated with ocean themed, or lakeside, homes.

Remember, shiplap is just the style of the boards and how they were cut. This means that shiplap can be made of almost any type of wood.

shiplap projects

Unique projects can you do with shiplap

There are a lot of common things you can do with shiplap, such as an accent wall, powder room, laundry room, etc. Then there are one’s you’ve never thought of. While we still love shiplap wainscotting, there are other things to try. If you have some leftover shiplap from another project, you might want to consider a few of these options:

closet doors

the backing of a bookshelf (picture seen above)

sitting area

kitchen island



surrounding the fireplace

Supplies you will need for your shiplap projects:


Measuring tape

Stud finder

Hammer & nails

sanding block

Table saw

These are just some of the basic things you will need if you are installing the shiplap yourself.

Things to do before you install:

1.) Paint the walls the same color that you plan to paint the shiplap. Then let this dry before you install the boards.

2.) Paint the shiplap. You can do this before-hand, and this is preferred if you have the space or table saws to set them up outside.

3.) Have everything you need immediately available and within reach.

4.) Find a partner to help you install the boards. They are typically too long to install alone.

You will also want to consider whether or not you want molding to frame the shiplap. This is something generally recommended.

The internet is filled with dozens of examples of each of these ideas, you just have to choose which one suits you. Finally, you can get started.

To talk with a siding or shiplap specialist, you can contact us or visit our website, right now.