15 Steps to Create Faux Shiplap DIY Wall in Budget

by Ethan Tremblay
How to Create Faux DIY Shiplap Wall for Less

Everyone loves to make their houses beautiful, but sometimes it might need more money than expected. Creating a faux shiplap wall within your budget is easier than you might think, and it can add a beautiful vibe to any room in your home. There are many things that you should take care of while creating a shiplap wall for your home.

If you miss any of these single steps, then you might not get a perfect shiplap wall. It is best to apply these tips while using the shiplap wall properly. So, to get the best out of it, you should know what to do and how to do it. No one wants a dull look for their houses, and this shiplap wall will make your house exceptional and different from others.

So, let’s see how you can create the best shiplap wall for your house that will work as a complement.

1. Affordable Shiplap Walls

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Creating shiplap walls on a budget is not only easy but also a smart way to improve the looks of your living space within your budget. Shiplap, known for its different look and amazing beauty, has been a popular choice for interior wall coverings. But, traditional shiplap materials and installation methods can be quite expensive. There’s a cost-effective way to achieve the same stunning look. The key to affordability in faux shiplap wall installation is your choice of materials. Instead of choosing costly wood planks, consider using plywood.

Plywood is not only easily available but also much cheaper than traditional shiplap wood. To further save on costs, select a plywood thickness that suits your preferences and budget. By choosing the right plywood and thickness, you can create a beautiful shiplap wall without compromising quality. When you take on the task of installing shiplap yourself, you also save on labor costs. Use faux wooden panels while designing your house for an even better look.

2. Cutting Top Shiplap Piece

Cutting Top Shiplap Piece

When beginning a shiplap wall project, one of the important steps that might require extra attention is cutting the top shiplap piece. This piece plays a major role in ensuring a smooth and polished finish to your shiplap installation. The top shiplap piece is the final board that sits just below the ceiling or crown molding. It works as the finishing touch to your shiplap wall and should align perfectly with the upper edge. Achieving this alignment requires precision.

First, you’ll need to measure the space between the last wood strip and the ceiling. This measurement is important for determining the width of the top shiplap piece. Accuracy is key here, as even a slight misalignment can be noticeable. Once you have the measurement, use a saw, preferably a circular saw, to cut the last piece of plywood to the best width.

3. Paint & Measure

Paint & Measure

Before getting into the process of installing shiplap on your walls, it’s important to consider an important aspect that can impact the final result: paint and measurement. First, selecting the right paint color is necessary. The choice of paint can influence the overall aesthetic of your shiplap wall. To achieve a simple and clean look, it’s recommended to paint the walls the same color you plan to paint the faux shiplap.

This ensures that if there are any gaps between the boards, the underlying wall color won’t stand out. This small but thoughtful detail can make a notable difference in the final appearance of your shiplap wall. And when it comes to painting, preparation is important. Before applying any paint, it’s essential to make the surface ready for it properly. This includes cleaning the walls to remove any dust and ensuring they are smooth and free from imperfections.

4. Watch Out for Center Saws

Watch Out for Center Saws

When it comes to creating a shiplap wall, one aspect that requires careful attention is the use of saws at home improvement centers. These saws, often available for customer use, are primarily designed for rough cuts and may not provide the clean and precise edges needed for a polished shiplap installation. Saws at home improvement centers, such as those found in stores like Lowes or Home Depot, are typically made for basic cutting tasks. They are useful for customers who may require rough cuts for various projects. While these saws can be convenient for certain applications, they may not be the best choice for cutting shiplap boards.

The primary concern when using center saws for shiplap projects is the quality of the cuts. Shiplap boards require clean and precise edges to fit together easily. Any uneven edges can result in gaps between the boards, making the overall look of the shiplap wall weird. You should have a faux wallpaper that also looks amazing.

5. Nailing & Filling Tips

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As you begin on your faux shiplap wall project, paying careful attention to the nailing and filling process is important for achieving a polished and professional finish. When it comes to nailing the shiplap boards to the wall, choosing the right type of nails is necessary. Choose nails that are specially designed for woodworking and suitable for your chosen material, whether it’s plywood or another type of wood.

Consider the length of the nails to ensure they provide secure anchoring without protruding through the boards. Using a nail gun can make the nailing process easy, more efficient, and precise. A nail gun allows for consistent nail placement and depth, resulting in a uniform and perfect shiplap installation. Be sure to adjust the nail gun settings according to the thickness of the boards to avoid over-penetration. Spacing between the nails is another important aspect to consider. While it’s necessary to secure the boards firmly, overcrowding with nails can lead to an unsightly appearance.

6. Consistent Spacing with Nickels

Consistent Spacing with Nickels

Creating a faux shiplap wall involves placing wooden planks in a manner that they form a perfect-looking pattern. One important aspect is maintaining consistent gaps, or spaces, between these planks. This not only contributes to the overall look but also ensures a balanced and better look.

To achieve this, a simple yet effective technique involves using nickels. These small, round coins act as spacers between the planks. By inserting a nickel at regular intervals as you install the planks, you can achieve equal spacing throughout the entire wall. This easy method guarantees that each plank is positioned at an equal distance from its neighboring plank, resulting in a better and well-proportioned shiplap pattern.

7. Smooth Seams with Filler

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Once the wooden planks are in place, it’s important to address any gaps or seams that may exist between them. These spaces can disrupt the proper continuity of the shiplap pattern. To correct this, a basic yet highly effective solution is to use a filler, such as wood putty. This substance is good at filling in small gaps and seams.

Applying it along the edges and joints of the planks ensures that any irregularities are smoothed out. Using a putty knife, the excess filler is leveled, resulting in a smooth surface. This uncomplicated process makes a shiplap wall appear amazing and well-finished, with no visible gaps or interruptions.

8. Use Vacuum, Caulk, Paint

Use Vacuum, Caulk, Paint

Before proceeding with the final step of painting the faux shiplap wall, it’s important to make the surface smooth perfectly. This involves a perfect process that includes three key steps – vacuuming, caulking, and painting. To begin, a vacuum cleaner is used to remove any dust that may have been left in the gaps between the planks or on the surface of the wall. This ensures a clean and smooth look for the correct steps.

Following this, caulk is applied along the edges and corners of the wall. Caulk is a flexible material that seals any remaining gaps or joints, providing a smooth finish. Once the caulk has dried, the wall is ready for painting. The choice of paint color is a personal preference, with options ranging from muted neutrals to vibrant shades. Applying the paint evenly and consistently across the surface results in a fresh, clean look, bringing the shiplap wall to its final, polished state.

9. Adding More Rows

Adding More Rows

Expanding your faux shiplap wall is an easy process that allows you to customize the look to suit your space. To begin, measure the area you want to cover with precision. This ensures that the additional rows of planks will fit easily alongside the existing ones. Next, using a saw, carefully cut the planks to the required length. Position them against the wall, ensuring they align evenly with the existing rows.

To secure them in place, use nails or a nail gun, ensuring they are firmly attached. This uncomplicated method enables you to increase the height or width of your shiplap wall to your desired dimensions. Whether you’re looking to create a perfect feature wall or to cover an entire room, this process offers flexibility and practicality.

10. Dealing with Outlets

Dealing with Outlets

When installing a shiplap wall, you may face electrical outlets that must be put easily into the design. It’s important to complete this task with care and precision. Begin by turning off the power to the outlets to ensure safety during the installation process. Next, measure and mark the locations of the outlets on the planks. Using a jigsaw, carefully cut out the necessary openings to locate the outlets. Take your time with this step to ensure accuracy and precision.

Once the outlets are positioned securely within the perfect openings, you can continue installing the remaining planks around them. This simple process allows you to fix electrical outlets easily into the shiplap wall, ensuring both practicality and making it look good forever.

11. Finish One Wall First

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When starting your faux shiplap project, it’s a wise approach to begin by finishing one wall before proceeding to others. This method includes several valuable purposes. Firstly, it lets you become familiar with the process and techniques involved in shiplap installation, giving you the confidence to be familiar with larger areas later. Secondly, it helps you manage your time and resources effectively. Focusing on one wall at a time ensures that you’re not overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the project. Also, it provides you with an opportunity to estimate the impact of shiplap on your space before using more large renovations.

By starting from small and gradually expanding, you can create the project to your preferences and make any necessary adjustments along the way. This step-by-step approach ensures that each wall is finished with care and attention to detail.

12. Tools for Your Shiplap Project

Tools for Your Shiplap Project

Equipping yourself with the right tools is important when undertaking a shiplap project. These tools are the building blocks of your shiplap, enabling you to change a plain wall into a beautiful shiplap showcase. Among the necessary tools are a saw, which allows you to cut shiplap boards to the desired size accurately, and a hammer, which is important for securing the boards in place. A measuring tape ensures precise dimensions, ensuring a perfect fit for each board.

Also, nails are necessary for fastening the shiplap securely, while sandpaper helps smooth any rough edges or surfaces. Together, these tools form the backbone of your shiplap project, enabling you to achieve a professional-looking result.

13. Painting Your Shiplap Wall

Painting Your Shiplap Wall

Once your faux shiplap boards are securely installed, the creative painting process begins. This step offers an amazing chance to mix your style into the project. Choosing the right paint color is important, setting the tone for your entire room. Prefer to choose a paint shade that complements your existing decor or creates a look that should not be very different from other items, depending on your design goals.

The beauty of shiplap is that it provides a flexible chance for your creativity. It does not matter if you prefer a crisp, white finish for a classic, clean look or something different and colorful choice to make an amazing look; the choice is yours. Painting your shiplap wall is an enjoyable and changing part of the process, where you can see how you have used your ideas to make your shiplap awesome. You can use shiplap stencils instead of using wallpapers.

14. Supplies for DIY Shiplap

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In addition to the core tools, gathering the necessary supplies is important for a successful DIY shiplap project. Shiplap boards themselves are, of course, a major requirement. These boards typically come in various lengths and widths, allowing you to customize the appearance of your shiplap wall.

Sandpaper, while mentioned earlier as a tool, is equally important as a supply. It’s important for achieving a smooth finish on the shiplap boards, ensuring that your painted surface looks flawless. Paintbrushes are another necessary supply, as they enable you to apply the paint evenly and precisely, giving your shiplap wall the best shade with your chosen color. With the right tools and supplies in hand, you will face no problems in making the best shiplap for yourself.

15. Why Choose Faux Shiplap

Why Choose Faux Shiplap

Faux shiplap is an attractive choice for those searching for a cost-effective yet amazing-looking alternative to traditional shiplap. One of its primary advantages is its affordability. Genuine shiplap, crafted from solid wood, can be quite expensive. Faux shiplap, on the other hand, provides the same beautiful look at a fraction of the cost. This affordability makes it an excellent option for budget-conscious people who want the best option for themselves and do not want to spend that much money. Also, the shiplap is very easy to install.

Unlike traditional shiplap, which requires precise measurements, cuts, and complex fitting, shiplap often comes in interlocking panels or sheets, simplifying the installation process. Even those with limited DIY experience can achieve professional-looking results. This shiplap offers a wide range of styles and finishes, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your aesthetic preferences. Whether you aim for a clean, farmhouse-inspired look or a more modern, classic appearance, you can find faux shiplap options that fulfill your designs. Its flexibility makes it an overall choice for various design themes and preferences.


Making a faux shiplap wall is not hard or expensive. With some basic tools and supplies, you can change your space and give it a comfortable and new feel. It’s all about taking it one step at a time. First, finish one wall before moving on to the next. Use simple tools like a saw, level, hammer, and nails to get the job done.

Choose your materials wisely, ensuring they align with your idea for the project. With the right tools and some patience, you’ll change your wall into an amazing wall. Level up the overall look of faux shiplap and enjoy the beauty it brings to your home. If you want to add colors, painting your shiplap is easy. Just pick a color you like, and with a few shades, you can make your space feel brighter, depending on your preference.

It’s a fun and easy way to give your space a beautiful and new look within the budget.

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