The Very Best Shiplap Hacks: Affordable, Reversible & Super-Simple

published Sep 8, 2016
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(Image credit: The Schmidt Home)

If you’re a fan of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, or if you’ve spent a lot of time on Pinterest in the past couple of years, then you probably know about the wildfire popularity of shiplap, a type of wood paneling. Technically speaking, “real” shiplap has grooves at the top and bottom, called rabbets, which allow the pieces to overlap for a watertight seal. Now that shiplap has gone from ship walls to homes across the country, the traditional style has been reinterpreted in a range of materials, while staying true to the pretty, rustic and nautical vibes of the original.

Ways to Get the Look:

There are several inexpensive and easy-to-find materials that can be used to imitate the highly-coveted look of shiplap. Check out these common materials, then see how they transform into shiplap in the inspiration images that follow.

Watch Them In Action:

(Image credit: Blue Sage Designs)

Rather than invest in solid wood panels, Kaily of Blue Sage Designs lined her bar area with inexpensive hardboard. Fifteen dollars worth of faux wood and a few coats of white paint later, this kitchen nook looks like the real deal.

(Image credit: Always Rooney)

Faux shiplap paneling cut from plywood underlayment demonstrates the power of a cheap material to make a room look like a million bucks. Find the “before” to this workroom makeover on Always Rooney.

(Image credit: All Things with Purpose)

You’ll never guess what Sarah of All Things With Purpose used to create her shiplap-style kitchen backsplash. Give up? Vinyl peel-and-stick flooring planks.

(Image credit: Table & Hearth)

Table & Hearth‘s gray accent wall—made by cutting plywood into strips—proves that shiplap doesn’t have to be painted white.

When designer Autumn Clemons of the blog Design Dump made over a baby nursery on a budget, she decided to put shiplap in an unexpected spot—the ceiling. Rather than nail each wood panel in place, she bought some shiplap wallpaper for just $32 for a 33-foot roll.

(Image credit: Shades of Blue Interiors)

Once again, cheap plywood planks pose as shiplap in this country-style bathroom spotted on Shades of Blue Interiors.

(Image credit: The Schmidt Home)

There’s something about the often-cluttered mudroom that calls for neat-looking rows of white wood paneling. Get a behind-the-scenes look at this entryway makeover on The Schmidt Home.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

With just $25 worth of plywood and two nickels for spacers between planks, Little Glass Jar gave a plain pantry a farmhouse makeover.

(Image credit: WallPlays)

Finally, a shiplap solution for renters! This fabric wallpaper from WallPlays is not only removable, but also re-positionable.

(Image credit: Studio McGee)

Popular design firm Studio McGee is no stranger to shiplap. In their not-to-be-missed complete guide to the stuff, they recommend using everything from MDF to tongue-and-groove boards to get the look. In the mudroom above, beadboard stands in for traditional shiplap.

Looking for even more inspiration? Save these shiplap ideas for your next big home project.