Our Plywood Shiplap – Step by Step Tutorial

Today I want to show you how my husband and I did the shiplap walls in the entryway of our new house. We are so proud of ourselves for this accomplishment! I’ve been painting furniture for years, but neither myself nor my husband can call ourselves “handy”. The hardest DIY jobs we ever tackled was painting a few walls and removing some floor tiles. Notice that we only removed them, because installing new ones is way too advanced for us.

For the shiplap project however, hiring contractors was not an option that fit our budget, so we took our chances. I actually didn’t give my husband any choice. I just informed him what he would be doing the following weekend (evil laugh).

I am so thankful we are in the Youtube era! Nowadays you can learn how to do virtually ANYTHING by watching some videos on the Internet. Home improvement DIYers are especially generous when it comes to share how they do their projects.

I found several videos by people who did their own shiplap walls, but I didn’t follow all steps of one specific video. I picked tips and advice from different ones, choosing the tools and steps that seemed easier and more effective to me.

Now it is my turn to share with you how we did ours.

So, here is how our space looked before.

Shiplap-Before - The Wood Spa

And here is the full tutorial. (This post contains some affiliate links to the tools and products used for this project).

  1. First we painted the walls white. Since we had to leave a tiny gap between the planks, there was a chance the brown color would show through those gaps, and painting between the planks after installing them would be a much harder work.
  2. We measured the area of the two walls and bought enough sheets of plywood at Home Depot to cover that area. It was one of the cheapest ones available, about $19 per 4′ x 8′ sheet. At the store, we asked them to cut each sheet in six-inch wide planks.

This is what we brought home.

Shiplap - The Wood Spa 023. The plywood was really rough , so I sanded the planks using a Random Orbital Sander  to smooth out the surface before painting. I wanted to keep some of the texture because I like it rustic, so I didn’t go too crazy on the sanding.

Shiplap - The Wood Spa 03

4. Next I dusted and cleaned the planks, than painted them white using a Small Paint Roller. I chose “New House White” by Behr, in eggshell.

Shiplap - The Wood Spa 04

5. Using a Stud Finder, I marked the location of the studs with a pencil and we used those marks as guides to nail the planks firmly to the walls.

Shiplap - The Wood Spa 10

6. In our case, we had to follow the angle of the wall under the staircase, so to get an accurate measurement, we positioned each plank where they would be nailed to, and used a Carpenter Square to trace the line where we needed to cut each one.

Shiplap - The Wood Spa 05

7. We clamped each plank to our kitchen table and cut them using a Circular Saw.

Shiplap - The Wood Spa 06

8. We placed nickels between the planks to leave a small gap between them, giving the “shiplap” look we wanted. Then we nailed the planks to the wall using a Nail Gun.

Shiplap - The Wood Spa 09

9. We started from the bottom and went all the way to the top following those steps, until both walls were covered. I decided to patch the ugly nail holes with Spackling Compound, then I sanded and touched up the paint with a small brush.

Shiplap - The Wood Spa 08

10. Finally, I bought some wood trim at Home Depot, painted them white then nailed following the edges of the walls to hide the ugly imperfections of the cut wood.

Shiplap - The Wood Spa 11

And here is our entryway looks now. I love how it turned out! I had that lovely “Welcome to the Farmhouse” sign custom made by an artist from Etsy.

Shiplap - The Wood Spa 12

Entryway-The Wood Spa-1-5.jpg


Entryway-The Wood Spa-1-3

Entryway-The Wood Spa-1

Entryway-The Wood Spa-1-2

Thanks for reading!


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It all started in the spring of 2013. I realized how tired I was to see my house entirely decorated with IKEA stuff. Nothing against IKEA, but after 12 years, I just needed some change. I wanted stylish, original furniture, but noticed that everything I liked from retail stores was way out of my budget. Thanks to Google, Youtube, and a couple of amazing blogs, I was able to discover and explore the world of furniture refinishing, and it was the beginning of my addiction. I now spend my days rescuing old, dull, unwanted pieces of furniture to give them a fresh look so they can be displayed, used and loved again for many more years to come. Thanks for stopping by.

14 thoughts on “Our Plywood Shiplap – Step by Step Tutorial

  1. It’s beautiful, Pat! You guys do great work for not being very “handy”! Thanks for the thorough instructions as I too am not very handy! lol


    1. Thanks Lisa! Yeah, we are kind of proud of ourselves for this one. If you decide to try it, feel free to ask any questions!


  2. What a transformation! That looks gorgeous! Love the sign and all the little farmhouse touches you added. Makes that space look so much homier now, and I know you are enjoying it!


    1. Thank you Florence! Yes, I wanted to have a welcoming and cozy feeling when entering our home. It’s still one of my favorite spots in the house!


    1. Thanks Dottie. I just know they are laminate, not real wood. The previous owners installed it so I unfortunately don’t know any more details.


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