People 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 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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Founder & Senior Editor
I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance.