6 Ideas to Decorate With Shiplap

By Scott Sidler November 27, 2017

DIY shiplap bathroomPeople can’t get enough of shiplap and thanks to shows like Fixer Upper, the world is looking for new ways to incorporate the hottest trend since subway tile.

For us old house owners shiplap is just a part of life. Until a few years ago it wasn’t nearly as coveted as it is today so it was easy to take for granted that authentic wood wall everyone is clamoring for. Old house or new, I’ll show you some of the most creative and beautiful ways you can decorate with shiplap.

While there are ways to make faux shiplap walls with plywood or even foam, in the end it’s never worth it. If you don’t have access to true shiplap that’s okay. I’ve put together a tutorial on How To Make Your Own Shiplap to get you going. Ultimately you don’t need the true shiplap joint, but don’t skimp on materials, use real 1x nominal lumber and you’ll be so glad you did!

Bathroom Walls

 

Bathroom shiplap
Photo by Casey St. John Interiors

Bathroom walls take a beating and having a hard surface like shiplap can work great. Paint them a bright semi gloss white so they will stand up the moisture and you’ll have long lasting, resilient walls with a lot more visual interest than just boring drywall.

Bare It All

bare shiplap
Photo by Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

Original or reclaimed shiplap is usually beautiful old-growth wood, so why not give it a chance to shine in its own right without paint or coatings. Clean it up, sand down splinters and other rough spots and then give it a couple coats of tung oil or finishing wax and let the world see all that amazing character.

Mud Rooms

mudroom shiplap
Photo by Alys Design

Mud rooms take a beating and they usually get passed over for nice design and decor. But add a little shiplap to the walls and ceiling of your mud room and you’ll turn a boring utility room into a place that makes you want to come inside.

Perfectly Imperfect

shabby chic shiplap
Photo by VOH Architects

Who says your shiplap has to be perfectly smooth and blemish free? Not me! Like the bare wood option mentioned above, some rooms could really benefit from a shabby chic look on the walls. If you’re concerned about peeling lead paint, read this first and then coat the shiplap in a sealer like a satin polyurethane or finishing wax.

Accent Wall

accent wall shiplap
Photo by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Adding shiplap to just one wall or changing the color of one wall in a room full of shiplap makes a big statement and draws visitors eyes right to the unique wall. Find the wall you want to make a statement with and get to work.

Go Vertical

rustic shiplap
Photo by Dan Joseph Architects, LLC

Though shiplap was not traditionally installed vertically, sometimes it’s worth it to mix it up and use some of this reclaimed wood vertically on a wall or two, especially in small spaces like a bathroom.

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1 thought on “6 Ideas to Decorate With Shiplap”

  1. I live in a 111 year old house in northeast Texas. It was built in a local small town in 1906, and in the mid-70’s, it was moved to this country property, and remodeled and added onto.

    We bought it in 2000, and after raising our kids and getting them all 4 through college, we are beginning to make the house our own! Renovating completely, eventually, I hope, but 1 room at a time for now.

    The original part of the house has all shiplap under the sheetrock! And, yes, it is the real deal… LOL!

    The wood is not necessarily in great condition – full of brads, nails, etc. The handyman helping us said they were put up with spikes!! LOL! I’m not sure about that, but at the very least, they have tons of whatever is in them. I want to bare just one wall (to start, anyway) in the living room, but I do see that the wood is not all sucked up to the next boards – there are small gaps in between some of the boards.

    Noting how many nails are holding these boards on the wall, I will not try to remove them and reset them, but I’m thinking about calking to fill in the gaps. What would be the best product to use?

    I will paint the wall when I’m ready, and I have read about prepping the boards first. Is it really necessary to use oil-based primer? I hate the thought of dealing with that. We have used KILZ on all our other projects, but none used old wood. Just want to be sure I really need to before I do. I’ve never actually painted with oil based paint, but I remember my parents cleaning paint brushes with gasoline…. LOL!

    Also, the wall I’m wanting to use backs up to the master bedroom. There is shiplap on both sides, covered with sheetrock. I’m concerned about the sounds from the TV and stereo bleeding into the bedroom. I do not know if there is anything between the 2 layers of shiplap in the wall. But, I wonder if I could put something in there, if needed. I have not been to the attic to see if I can look down between the walls, but I suspect that I cannot do that. I’ve been in the attic quite a bit and have never seen an opening like that.

    My husband is not on board with the shiplap look, and the sound is a big deal to him since he goes to bed pretty early every night. I do not… 🙂

    Can you help with these things?

    I saw your article on shiplap about Joanna Gaines, and I’m hoping you can help me — hubby is not much help at this point….

    Thank you!

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