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Make an accent wall with shiplap

Materials: Shiplap is either rough-sawn 1-inch wood of almost any kind, or milled 3/4-inch pine or similarly inexpensive wood between 3 and 10 inches wide with or without a 3/8-inch–1/2-inch rabbet (recess or groove cut into the edge) on opposite sides of each end. You’ll need planks sized to your preference and 2-inch trim nails.

Budget: $2.50 per square foot for 1×6-inch or 1×8-inch pine planks. (Hardwood will be higher and will vary in cost.)


  1. Measure your space to determine how many planks you’ll need.
  2. Purchase and then store the planks inside your house for at least three to four days to let the material acclimate to your indoor humidity level.
  3. Fasten the planks to the wall either horizontally or vertically by nailing through drywall directly into wall studs. You can use construction adhesive if installing on ceilings or over other surfaces in good condition—use finish nails to hold the pieces while the adhesive dries.
  4. You can butt joint the corners and ceiling or use smaller 1-inch by 4-inch boards to attach to corners and ceiling. Options depend on your style preference and skill level. A compound miter saw will help you piece together planks and trim; a regular circular saw works for this as well.

Hint: Use a nickel to space between boards. If you want a wider gap, up to 3/16th of an inch, use something a little wider to keep your spacing even.

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