DIY Shiplap School- Materials


Welcome to 2 days of “Shiplap School”. By popular demand I’m blogging everything I know about shiplap.  I hope after 2 long (yet informational) blogs you know everything by the weekend.  Today you will learn what it is, how to make your own shiplap and what tools you need.  You will be able to navigate the hardware store like a pro to get everything you need to get started!

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I must start off with a disclaimer.  I’m not a professional contractor (or professional anything for that matter). I’m a girl who loves a DIY and does 99.9% of my projects solo.  I am speaking from my own trial and error of experiences and will do my best to explain the logic behind my reasoning.  There are always more than one way to do things and I’m sharing my way.

What Is Shiplap?

Made famous by Fixer Upper it’s actually been around for a long time.  The real deal is made of up horizontal boards which are notched similarly to tongue and groove and they overlap.  In fact, they form a watertight wall ergo the name “ship lap”.

Can You Buy Ready Made Shiplap?

Yes, you can buy shiplap boards at Home Depot and Lowes.  The cost is $12.97 per board and they measure 5-1/2 inches wide x 8 feet long.  Depending on your area that’s gonna be an expensive wall.  These planks come in a variety of colors/finishes and are a great choice for a ready to go project.  See

Want To Make Your Own Shiplap For Less?

This is the long winded part of the blog post where I will explain logic and reasoning….and save you lots and lots of money.  Like anything else you can knock off the look for a fraction of the price.  I love to knock off projects and save money to do more projects!!!

So, head over to the lumber department.  I’ll refer to Lowes mainly because I’m a long time Lowes girl from a Lowes-preferred-lineage but I’m sure you can find the same exact items at Home Depot.  Hardware stores are my happiest place on Earth.

Back to the point. Go to the lumber section and if you are a female you may be the only female in sight.  Don’t worry- you’ve got this!  Get a blue cart with a flat bed and dividers made to transport sheets of wood.  Saunter around until you spy the sheets of plywood.  I use a 4 foot X 8 foot sheet of pine which is 1/4 inch thick. The link below is for the exact board so pull up the link and screen shot it.  You are in the right spot!!!!

This wood is already sanded and an ideal candidate for a project like this.  Note the price….$23.42.  If you are military you can get a discount off this as well.  For $23.82 you can get 6 boards that are 8 inches wide at $3.90 each or 8 boards that are 6 inches wide for $2.98 each. HELLO?!?! This is much more affordable than $12.97 per board (which are more narrow) but a bit more work.  It’s worth it I promise.  You now have more money for more projects….or shoes ….or whatever your vice is.

Just recently the Lowe’s machine was down so a neighbor and I went to Home Depot. Found gorgeous underlayment for $13 and change per 4×8 and they didn’t charge for cutting fees.

Let ‘Em “Rip”

The plywood boards will be located over your head-it just always seems to be that way. Go look for an employee to help you get a board down.  Choose a board that is NOT warped or wavy.  Take a second to lay it on the floor and if it is not flat your boards won’t be flat either.  Don’t be shy- pass and ask for another board.  *This is important*

Do you know how many boards you need?  Measure before you go and consider that the boards are 4 feet by 8 feet long. Picture 4′ x 8′ sections and estimate how many boards you need.  You may need several boards and/or several trips.

29214002_1769190903101033_186682639011282944_nDon’t let your Lowes helper leave you just yet. Let him (or her) know that you will need the board ripped.  This is a fancy way of saying cut but I always feel a little bad ass throwing out proper terms.  The cutting area is usually in the very back of the lumber department and if you find it and you are alone ring the bell/push the button for service.

Ask for your board to be ripped horizontally.  As I mentioned earlier I typically ask them to rip the board every 6 inches which yields 8 boards OR ask them to cut every 8 inches for 6 boards.  There is no right or wrong here just personal preference.  I’ve done projects with both and lately am leaning toward 6″.

**Both Home Depot and Lowes employees have commented to me on occasion that they aren’t sure they can rip 6″ or 8″ cuts. They might blame OSHA or the store. Just smile and let them know you are confident they can do it!!! Be a cheerleader. They can and will do it so I don’t know why they even try that.

The employee should also tell you 2 things.  There will be one board (the last board cut) that will be slightly less wide due to loss from the blade from each cut.  You may be able to use it towards the top of your project- separate and save it.  It may be a great color testing strip for stain or paint too.

The second fact is that Lowe’s now charges a 25 cent cutting fee per cut.  Totally worth it because leaving with 6-8 planks is so much easier.


What Other Supplies Are Needed?

While you are at Lowes or HD let’s make sure you have everything you need.  NOTE- I do not make money from any of the links I’m just sharing them so you know what is needed.

  • Nails- 1″ finishing nails .  They have tiny heads and are barely visible.  1″ is sufficient to go through the 1/4″ plywood plank and hold it in the studs. I do not have a nail gun but if you are lucky enough to have one grab a pack of nails.
  • Hammer
  • Level- used to make sure the planks are level
  • Jig Saw- used for cutting around outlets or light switches.  I have 2 – not sure why- but something simple like this will work
  • Miter Saw- used to cut the length of the boards to fit the space needed.  I have an entry level miter saw that has done everything I’ve needed (included all the angled cuts for the herringbone wall project)
  • Sandpaper- you will use this to sand the edges after the boards are “ripped” and for the edges that you cut
  • Scissors- to cut the sandpaper
  • Spacers- you will place spaces between the boards to create a gap.  You can use tile spacers or the piggy bank. A few nickels or 2 pennies taped together work great. I’m a fan of the spare change!
  • Primer and paint- now is a great time to pick up your products.  I use Zinsser 1,2,3 to prime- it’s inexpensive and effective.  You can paint with a brush or roll it.  I’m personally a fan of Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore paints but get what YOU like!!!!
  • Paint pan/liner
  • Paint Rollers
  • 2″ angled brush- mid range price- just make sure bristles don’t fall out
  • Pencil
  • Ladder
  • Tape measure

Now that you have completed one day of “Shiplap School” you should be armed with enough information to go stock up your supplies.  You can confidently head to the hardware store to pick up everything for your shiplap project.

Enjoy your visit to my happy place and comment below with any questions.

Good luck shopping – Kristen

About Laurel Dane Designs, LLC

Making our final house into a home one room at a time. This is our 11th and final home so it is unique. Every detail in this home is aimed at creating our FOREVER home. I've worked on many of my homes and clients homes so theres plenty of inspirational for all home styles here!

4 Responses

  1. Desperate Craft Wife

    Why thank you 😊. Do you feel like you could stock up on your own supplies after Shiplap school?

  2. Laurie

    This is awesome! Headed to Lowes now! Can’t wait for class tomorrow, I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for ‘school’ !!! 😊

  3. Desperate Craft Wife

    Laurie- this makes my heart happy!!! Enjoy your journey in the hardware store😊

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