Home ProjectsInterior SHIPLAP WALL WITH WINDOWS, FOR $100


by Amber

This is a project that I knew I wanted to do in our living room the week after we moved in but ya know, sometimes life happens.  Fast forward two years and we have a faux shiplap wall!!  I’m happy dancing over here.  I’m sure you could all think of your favorite blogger that has installed some form of shiplap wall.  It honestly seems that everyone does it just a little bit different.  Since I turned to some of my favorites, I thought I would share what I did along with links to what each of them did.


These are the tutorials that I turned to when deciding how to install, and what materials to use.  They are all fantastic.

DIY Shiplap for under $100 in the Office

Easy DIY Shiplap Wall

DIY Shiplap Video Tutorial, the easy and inexpensive way!

They all gave really great photos and tutorials on what they did.  Since each room is different and everyone has a slightly different approach, I decided to read each then take my own approach from all of them and previous experiences.  I call this faux shiplap because I was going for the look of shiplap with minimal cost.  If you want to see my first “shiplap” install be sure to check out that post here. 


  • 1/4″x 4′ x 8′ Maple Plywood, link here.
  • Lazer Level Stud Finder
  • Level
  • Chalk Line Reel
  • Nail Gun & Air Compressor
  • Miter Saw
  • Jig Saw
  • Drill & Drill Bits
  • Tap Measure
  • 2″ Finishing Nails
  • 12″ Combo Square, link here.
  • Mouse Sander
  • 80, 120, and 220 Grit Sandpaper, link here.
  • Pencil
  • Caulk & Caulk Gun
  • Nickels
  • Cardboard (only if you have windows)
  • Box Cutter (only if you have windows or molding)

We did have to remove molding under the windows before we started this project and that required additional tools.  I will be talking about that in a later post.  For now this is the wall and I’ll tell you all about what we did.


STEP 1: Pick your wood and cut to size.  I decided to go with the maple plywood from Lowe’s because it was really smooth and when cut had one very smooth side.  Since I didn’t have the option to go with something thicker without replacing the window trim and crown molding, I decided to go with something that was extremely smooth.  This was the perfect solution!!

We decided to go with a 8″ plank size because I personally prefer the wider look.  We had Lowe’s cut it down to size for us.  Note: We did have a small strip at the bottom so you may consider measuring your wall and finding the exact size for the entire wall that would work for you.

STEP 2: Sand each board on the top and sides.  I did a really quick light sand on the sides and top of every single board before we put it on the wall with 80 grit sandpaper and my mouse sander.  The edges were mostly clean but I wanted to make sure I had that perfect edge.

STEP 3: Prep your wall.  We removed all outlet covers, the tv, and the molding under the windows.  We then marked the studs along the top and bottom of the wall using a stud finder and a tape measure.

After they were marked, we used our chalk line reel to mark a very clear line on the wall.  You could also do this with a level and a pencil. We had it so we used it for convenience. 

Please notice the supervisor in the bottom left of those photos, he didn’t approve of our mess.

STEP 4: Install the first board.  We started at the top, because the boards did not perfectly cover the walls and the smaller board on the bottom would be less noticeable. We butted it directly up to the bottom of the crown molding, made sure it was level, and used our nail gun and 2″ finishing nails into the studs to secure it to the wall.

STEP 5: Attach the shiplap and work down the wall.  We made sure to measure the distance from the newly installed board to the adjacent wall.  We then cut the board to size with our miter saw and attached it to the wall; you can see that in the photo above.  Between each board we used nickels to keep the spacing the same.

STEP 6: Cut around the top of the windows.  Our second row we had to cut around the window which wasn’t the most fun part of this project.  I placed the board on the top of the window flush against the wall.  I then put two marks at the bottom where it would slide down over the window.  I removed it from the wall and measured how far the window molding was from the bottom of the first piece of shiplap.  I made sure to subtract the width of a nickel from that distance before marking my measurements.  I measured this space on the board and used our jigsaw to cut it out.  After it was cut out I sanded the edge quickly so it was smooth.

I will be honest it took multiple times for us to get this right and for it to fit around our window. We found out that the window molding wasn’t perfectly square so it took a little extra time with the sander to get it to fit correctly.  You can tell how much time by the fact that it got dark outside…yyyeeeahhhh!!

STEP 7: Continue down the wall until outlet/ hole. Between each board we used multiple nickels to keep the spacing the same.  

STEP 8: Make cuts for holes/ outlets We already had our TV mounted so we knew we wanted to place it back in the same location. We also wanted to be able to run our cords through the wall.  We cut the board first and made sure it fit.  Next, I put a little bit of tooth paste around the hole and placed the shiplap in the correct spot.  I firmly pressed the board against the wall and removed it. The tooth paste left a perfect ring where I needed to cut the hole.  After the hole was cut, and I confirmed that it was in the correct place, I nailed the board to the wall. 

As for the drill holes for the TV bracket.  I simply measured down how far they were from the first piece of shiplap in the photo below and wrote it on the sticky note.  Once I installed the shiplap I measured down from the same board and drilled the hole.  We put bent nails in the holes so we knew not to caulk them.

STEP 9: Add boards until we reached the bottom of the windows. 

STEP 10: Grab some cardboard, a pencil, and an exacto knife to make a stencil of the window.  I was able to get the cardboard between the wall and the windowsill to trace the window frame on the cardboard.  I next cut out that space on the cardboard.

STEP 11: Cut out the board for around the window.  I traced the stencil on the shiplap and knew exactly where to cut. I measured from the bottom corner of the windowsill to the right side so know how far apart to match the stencil up. I traced the stencil on the shiplap and knew exactly where to cut with my jigsaw.

Even with the stencil you can see that my edges aren’t perfect.  Since I am painting this and have to caulk anyways it will cover up these imperfections so don’t panic.

STEP 12: Continue shiplapping until another outlet/ hole.  Remember to add your nickels between each board and check that they are level. At this point you can see that we staggered our seams.  We did this on purpose to help disguise them so they wouldn’t be seen after we caulked.

STEP 13: Cut around outlets.  We had 4 outlets as you can see across the bottom and followed the same process.  First, cut board to size.  Next, place board on the wall above or below the outlet and mark the edges of the outlet on the board.  Use a square to make a straight line all the way down the board.  Measure the distance from the bottom of the board to the top of the outlet and subtract a nickel size for spacing.  Then measure the same amount on the board and mark that spot.  Do the same for the bottom of the outlet.  You should have a square on the board that you then need to cut out, as seen below.

We used a drill bit to cut holes in the board first.  We then placed the jigsaw blade in the hole and cut out the square.  This is what that looked like. We did the same thing for the outlets.  I also wanted to include this image to show the chalk line up close.  It really did make it much easier when nailing each board into place.

Note: Two of our outlets needed longer screws to connect the outlet to the blue electrical box but one didn’t.  Be sure to check fit and get new screws if needed.

STEP 14: Install the last board. We simply measured the distance from the bottom of the board to the top of the baseboard and subtracted the nickel.  We then measured the board and marked an exact cut line across the entire board.  I cut this with the jigsaw as well but a table saw would work well if you had one. Nail into place and just like that all the boards were in.

Note:  We got a late start the first day and underestimated how long it would take to make all the cuts around the windows and outlets.  If you have windows and a lot of outlets allow yourself extra time for this project.

STEP 15: Caulk.  This part took forever I will warn you.  I caulked the following: around the windows, crown molding, base boards, seams, and wall edge.  We used wood filler on all of the nail holes. I had to do it twice to get it right so allow time for this. STEP 16: Prime and paint.  We use one coat of killz first.  I was sick for this process so my sweet husband painted for me, he really is so good to me!

Then we painted two coats of Valspar White Satin paint straight from the can.  This is what it looked like painted.  I could start to see the light at the end of the tunnel at this point.

STEP 17: Reinstall outlets/ TV brackets.  Since I marked the holes with bent nails as mentioned above and predrilled the holes it was incredibly easy to finish this step.  We also took this opportunity to run all our cords through the wall since we did all but two previously.

Ta Da!! Just like that we had a finished shiplap wall.  Now you may be wondering why the room still looks like a bomb went off and the couch is floating in the middle of the room.  That is because we had most of the downstairs painted!! Yep, the good news just keeps coming!! Check back over the new few weeks as I will be sharing all about: removing molding on two walls to prepare for painters,  picking the paint color, switching up some of our decor, and my mental breakdown at work over paint colors.  Trust me, tearing my house apart for a month and rushing to finish the week of Thanksgiving wasn’t one of my smartest decision.

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