diy inexpensive shiplap

In the fall we took to redoing our dining room, a redo that involved a little shiplap. I know this post has been waiting just months and months to see the light of day, so my apologies. You can see our full dining room redo here

Shiplap is Joanna's like, favorite thing. What's that quote from Chip? If you and French doors had a baby it'd be shiplap? Some such thing. Shiplap for those who don't watch the show, is a rough-sawn pine paneling used a lot in barns and older homes. She's always really excited when they pull off the drywall and find it there, similar to how one would feel if you removed carpet and found hard wood flooring. Just like that. Well it's sort of all the rage with those who love Fixer Upper or the farmhouse style. 
When redoing our dining room I initially considered just a chair rail. My mother (mothers always know best, don't they?) suggested we do our own diy shiplap instead. Not with pine of course because: budget.

So. What you need per Handy Matty's expertise:

- ¼” plywood (Lauan – the wood under a vinyl floor). Enough for the square feet of your project.  A 4 x 8’ sheet has 32 sq ft
- Table Saw or circular saw and a steady hand
- Finishing nailer or hammer and finish nails
- Primer and paint
- Level
- Pencil or chalk line

This is probably one of the easiest projects we have ever done.  Using the table saw or circular saw cut the pieces of ¼” plywood down to your desired width.  Next find the studs on the wall(s) that you are going to be installing the shiplap on and mark with a pencil.  You can mark top and bottom and snap a chalk line if you are doing entire walls.  Next start in one corner of the room and install a full length piece (8’ long or to the nearest stud length at the other end) and nail it to the wall where the studs are located.  Above that one we started a 4’ length (or nearest stud length) to stagger the joints.  And just start working up the wall that way.   Allow a little spacing in between the rows - approx 1/4" - you could use a scrap piece of the wood and but it between your top and bottom row when nailing it to the wall.  If you are going to a chair rail height like we did, I finished it off with a 1 x 2" molding, or you can use whatever chair rail/molding you like.  

The cost of course depends on your project size, but this is also very inexpensive as the wood per piece at our local blue or orange store is approximately $12.

At the end we painted it all – using a small paint brush to get into the cracks.    
You can fill in the nail holes or leave them as they are, I've seen it done both ways.

So what do you think? What else should we shiplap?? I had a crazy idea of Matt shiplapping our gallery wall in our living room but...Wink wink.

Past projects of the Handy Matty here!