Faux Shiplap Wall for $20

This year I’m participating in monthly DIY Challenges with a wonderful group of DIY bloggers. This month’s them is DIY Home Improvement, and today I have one of my favorite projects from my latest boy bedroom makeover – a faux shiplap wall. Don’t forget to check out all the other great projects linked at the bottom of this post!

When I started renovating Weston’s room, I was really excited to try my hand at some sort of accent wall. I’ve seen a lot of modern wood pattern accent walls lately, but his room is so small and I was worried something like that might overwhelm the space. So I settled for a more traditional shiplap wall inspired by Table and Hearth. There are a hundred different ways to do shiplap, and all the tutorials online can get a little overwhelming. So I’ll just tell you ahead of time – I used this method because it was the absolute cheapest way to get that shiplap look.

DIY Shiplap Wall

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In case you missed it, I also shared the plans for each piece of furniture in his room – the Twin Bed, Dresser, and Toy Organizer.

Tools & Supplies:


I’ve seen quite a few people use 1/4″ plywood for a shiplap wall, which works great. I decided to use sheets of Eucaboard from Home Depot to save a little extra money. At $6.50 per board, they’re about half the price of 1/4″ plywood and give the same result.

DIY Shiplap Wall

To finish the wall up, I also grabbed a few strips of 1 3/4″ lattice trim:

DIY Shiplap Wall

Measure your wall to determine the number of sheets of Eucaboard and lattice trim that you’ll need. For my 8′ x 12′ wall, I used three sheets of 4′ x 8′ Eucaboard and four 8′ pieces of lattice.

To calculate the number of sheets for 6″ strips:

  1. Calculate the square feet of wall and multiply it by 12.
  2. Divide the result from #1 by the width of boards you want to use to find the total linear feet.
  3. Divide the total linear feet by 8 (the length of one sheet).
  4. Divide the result from #3 by 8 (total number of 6″ strips from one 4′ x 8′ sheet).

*** this calculation is different for widths other than 6″ ***

Step 1.

Rip the eucaboard into 6″ strips with a circular saw or table saw. You can do a different thickness, but 6″ divides a 4′ x 8′ sheet equally into 8 strips. The last strip will be slightly less than 6″ due to the width of the saw blade, but I just saved those pieces for the bottom row and covered them with the baseboard trim. If you want to use a different thickness, you may have to grab a few extra sheets of eucaboard.

Step 2.

Once you’ve marked the studs along your wall, begin installing the shiplap planks from top to bottom. Since ceilings are not always perfectly level, position the first plank as close to the ceiling as possible and then use a level to make sure it is level. If you have to adjust the plank down from the ceiling in a few parts, that’s fine – the lattice trim will cover it up later. The goal is to get that first row perfectly level so the rest of the planks are level … no leaning walls around here! Once you’ve positioned the plank, attach it to the studs with 1 1/4″ finish nails.

Start on one side of the wall and work your way across. I worked right to left since I like to read backwards …

DIY Shiplap Wall

Actually I have no idea why I went right to left … but it happened … the important part is to stay consistent for the whole wall.

To ensure evenly spaced vertical joints, start with a full length board. Once you can no longer fit a full length board, cut a board to length to finish that row. Start the next row with the rest of the piece that you cut the last board from. Again, make sure to work from right to left (or left to right) for the whole project. Working the same direction and using the last piece you cut staggers the vertical joints perfectly.

I used paint sticks to space the rows 1/8″ apart. You can use tile spacers, playing cards, a speed square, etc.

DIY Shiplap Wall

Step 3.

To work around outlets and/or switches, measure the opening horizontally and vertically.

DIY Shiplap Wall
DIY Shiplap Wall

Transfer your measurements onto the shiplap plank.

DIY Shiplap Wall
DIY Shiplap Wall

Cut the opening out with a jigsaw and install the plank.

DIY Shiplap Wall
DIY Shiplap Wall

Work your way along the wall until it’s all covered.

DIY Shiplap Wall

Step 4.

Once you’ve installed all the shiplap, prime it. I used my favorite primer from Rustoleum.

DIY Shiplap Wall

Start by cutting in all the seams and edges with a brush. I just used a 1 1/2″ angle brush and it worked great to get in all the nooks and crannies.

DIY Shiplap Wall

Then finish it up with a paint roller and let it dry.

DIY Shiplap Wall

Primer is some pretty potent stuff, so I always make sure to wear a respirator … especially when I’m working in a closed room in the house. I have this respirator and filters from 3M and have been really happy with it. I use it for painting, staining, sanding, etc.

Step 5.

Time to paint! Repeat the same process as you did with the primer. Start by cutting in all the seams with a brush, and then use a roller for the rest of the wall. The color is Benjamin Moore “Steel Wool”.

DIY Shiplap Wall

If you own a paint sprayer, by all means use the paint sprayer! I haven’t made the investment yet, but I’ve got my eye on this HomeRight Finish Max … especially after this project 😉

Step 6.

Last but not least – trim the sides, top, and bottom of the wall.

DIY Shiplap Wall

Simply measure your wall, cut the lattice trim to length, and attach with 1 1/4″ finish nails.

DIY Shiplap Wall

I used 3/4″ pre-primed MDF for the baseboard trim around the whole room.

DIY Shiplap Wall

To finish things up, re-install any switch and/or outlet covers. And there you have it!

DIY Shiplap Wall

Please let me know if you have any questions and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

I’d love to see it if you put up a new shiplap wall – tag me on Instagram @bitterrootdiy! I’ve also saved a video tutorial for this wall to my highlights on my Instagram.

See more DIY Home Improvement Projects

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Thanks for stopping by!

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DIY Shiplap Wall

Reader Interactions


      • tylynn_sattler says

        I think it would work just fine, but it honestly might be easier to use real shiplap on a ceiling. The Eucaboard is pretty floppy once it’s cut into strips. But you can always give it a try!

      • Stephanie says

        Amanda did you end up using this for your ceiling? I want to do the samething and wondered how it worked out.

        • Christin Patrick says

          We also have an 8×12 wall. Your pieces u cut off and added to the next row, where they always in studs or where some pieces not?

          • tylynn_sattler says

            They all hit studs in at least one place. If you’re having trouble hitting studs, you can drive the nails in at an angle to kinda anchor it cross-ways into the drywall.

        • tylynn_sattler says

          I think it would be fine on a kitchen island. Just make sure to leave room on the edges for expansion and contraction and cover those spaces with trim (the eucaboard seems to move more than regular wood with heat and humidity changes).

    • tylynn_sattler says

      Thank you! I definitely need to pick up a sprayer haha everyone I know who has the HomeRight one loves it!

  1. Kenya Rae says

    I love this! I am sitting here thinking about what room I could do this in. I have that paint sprayer and I love it. Have only used it once though. But I don’t know if I can use it indoors or not…

    • tylynn_sattler says

      Thank you! It was such a fun project and I love how it changed the whole room! I’ve seen a lot of people use that sprayer indoors for accent walls. You just have to make sure you cover everything really well with tape and plastic (ceiling, floor, adjacent walls)

  2. Katie says

    I know I’m a little late here, but I just came across your post because I’m trying to do a shiplap wall with the same material. My question: did you have any issues trying to cut the outlet cutout? My material keeps splitting when I make little cuts like that!

    • tylynn_sattler says

      Hmmm … no I didn’t have any issues with splitting. I just used a jigsaw and it worked fine. You could try to put tape on the edges where you’re going to cut. I tape the edges of plywood before cutting to prevent splitting, so I wonder if that would help with the eucaboard too.

    • tylynn_sattler says

      Hi there,
      Sorry but no I don’t have a video tutorial. I didn’t start doing videos until after this project.

  3. Shirley says

    I noticed you did not use any type of adhesive on the back of your planks…did they lay flat to the wall without any bulges? I am not seeing any…but just making sure..As far as I could see..you only had two nails per board per stud..correct?
    Great job..BTW…thanks for sharing your work..

    • tylynn_sattler says

      Hi Shirley,

      Thank you for the question! I did not use adhesive just in case I want to take it down some day – just 2 or 3 nails per board per stud. Everything lays flat and looks nice. I would recommend leaving some room along the sides of the walls to let the boards expand and contract – about a 1/2″ or so. I put those trim pieces up to cover those gaps on the sides. You can definitely use adhesive if you want a more secure joint. This is just a kid’s room, so I wasn’t as worried about it. If you’re putting it up in a main room or a bathroom (lots of humidity), I’d recommend using an adhesive.

  4. Angie says

    Hi, do you think this eucaboard material would chip/dent/damage easily? Has it held up good for your son? I would love to put this on the walls of the play room we are making for the kids, but am worried it would easily damage every time a toy gets thrown? 🙂

  5. Tara Hickenlooper says

    It looks like you had to stagger your boards because the length of the wall is longer than what the sheets came in.

    However, in the finished photo you cant even tell it was staggered. How did you achieve that look ad one long piece?

    • tylynn_sattler says

      Yes I had to use multiple boards for each pass. I just butted the ends up together and it hid the seams really well … Nothing tricky. You can see the seams up close but all shiplap has seams, so it looks normal

  6. Heidi says

    After seeing this on pinterest, I asked my husband to use the same concept to cover up a poorly placed window in our master. It had its challenges for sure but I’m SO glad we did it and it’s DONE! Our wall was a little wider than yours and the prices at our home depot were a little more but it was still insanely cheap compared to real shiplap. Thanks so much for the idea!

  7. Christi says

    Hi there! Would you be able to hang artwork on this wall? Nothing too heavy – thinking a framed picture with a matte. Thanks!

    • tylynn_sattler says

      Yes, I think so! I didn’t hang any on this one, but I don’t see why it would be an issue. The boards are very secure to the wall.

  8. Tyler Wilson says

    What did you use to cover the boards that you put side to side so there weren’t any spaces showing? And any tips to make it mine look like yours

    • tylynn_sattler says

      I’m not exactly sure what you mean, but I’ll try to help out. You can see the joints between boards where one board ends and another starts. They’re just butted up together and not as noticeable in the photo. It looks natural on the wall.

      I put pieces of lattice trim over the ends of the shiplap boards where they meet the adjacent walls. I also put a piece of lattice trim along the top where the top shiplap meets the ceiling.

      Hope that helps!

    • tylynn_sattler says

      No mine didn’t. Make sure to shoot into the studs so they hit something solid. If you just shoot them into drywall, they’re more likely to go through since it’s not very solid. You want them to sink a little into the eucaboard so they’re not sticking out, but you shouldn’t have trouble with them shooting all the way through.

  9. Marcy says


    Love this tutorial and all ready to do it Monday. Did you start from the top?? Did you have help holding the boards. I’m solo doing this. Just wondering.


  10. Kari says

    Hi, was wondering why you had to use a primer before you painted the Eucaboard? Is it because how smooth the material is? I’ve done the plywood method for shiplap and used just a paint with primer in it. Would like to try this idea. I’m just wondering if you had to prime or could you skip that step and use a paint that has a primer in it?

    • tylynn_sattler says

      You could probably get away with a paint/primer combo. I just did it to make sure the paint really adhered well

  11. Anaka says

    I’ve had some sleepless nights over a really unsightly ceiling and was wondering if you think this could work based on your experience. I’m not set on the shiplap look or the coffered ceiling one, but those two solutions seem to be the most doable. The ceiling does have plywood on it covered with some insulation and that’s what I need to pretty up. What do you think? Would it be doable?

    • tylynn_sattler says

      Yes, shiplap ceilings look great. However, I’d recommend going with actual tongue and groove for a ceiling cus it will look more finished. Just ask for tongue and groove at the hardware store (Home Depot or wherever) and they’ll direct you to it. It’s a little more expensive, but worth it for a ceiling where it’ll be more permanent.

  12. Judy says

    Great diy I can’t wait to try myself! And this weekend is my target date. I live in the hot, humid south… Georgia… and your comments about the board swelling scare me a little. I am curious if the boards have noticeably expanded on your walls. After corners are caulked in have you seen any major issues with expansion and contraction. Thank you for your detailed instructions. Your project is a great inspiration!

    • tylynn_sattler says

      Thanks Judy!

      Yes, the boards expand and contract significantly with the humidity changes in Minnesota. I left gaps between the ends of the boards and the wall so they can move as necessary (about 1/2″ gaps, so pretty substantial). I covered the ends with a piece of trim so you can’t see the gap. I did not use any caulk.

      It seems to be doing pretty well so far!

  13. Leslie says

    I’m in the middle of this project and just wondering is it really necessary to prime? I’m painting a dark colour

  14. Alicia Hursley says

    I can’t wait to throw some shiplap up on my walls! We just bought a fixer-upper and we definitely need to take care of the older-looking walls. As soon as that’s done we just need to do a hardwood floor refinishing and a few kitchen updates to put it up on the market. Thanks for sharing.


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