We are asked a lot “what is shiplap?”

What IS shiplap?


With the popularity of Chip and Joanna Gains of HGTV’s Fixer-Upper shiplap has become super popular and in demand to add character to the interior of homes. They use shiplap on everything!

Shiplap adds a lot of character and I personally love it. We always called it “planking” a wall. But call it shiplap, planking or barn board its here to stay for a bit.

But wanna know a secret? A lot of what Joanna shows is not real shiplap! (gasp, its true) a lot of the time they show wooden boards on a wall. True shiplap doesn’t look like that.

What exactly IS it? And WHERE can you buy it?

Shiplap is is a wooden board that’s used for constructing sheds, barns, and other rustic buildings. Traditional shiplap has a rabbet (a groove) cut into the top and bottom, which allows the pieces to fit together snugly, forming a tight seal, this gives shiplap its distinctive appearance, with subtle horizontal reveals between each piece.

Real shiplap has a groove or lip to lap over the next board

You can “fake” shiplap in various ways, but I find it very cost effective as is. Here is one way we planked a wall without shiplap.

You can buy shiplap in Atlantic Canada at Kents and Home Depot. I am confident you can purchase it at your local hardware store.

This is a totally dorky picture of us buying shiplap on date night. We’re diy dorks.Date Night buying ship lap Front Porch Mercantile

Its sold in 6″, 8″ or 10″ width, but not all stores carry all width. (Call ahead if you are doing the math and trying to figure out how many you need)

It is sold in random lengths (see the above picture of the dorks) and it can be very rough, go with your hubby if you are the picky or you may end up with really rough boards with holes etc. (Which is ok if that is the look you want). You will want to pick through the pile. This can be annoying to your hubby, but you will eventually train him and he will eventually be allowed to go on his own. ;)

shiplap love

photo credit HGTV Fixer Upper 

Another tip – locally in Atlantic Canada, our hardware dudes don’t all understand the word shiplap (although I am educating them ha ha) and they will look at you like you have 10 heads. Ask for barn boards with grooves and they will show you to the shiplap. :)

Here is a post on how to install it. 

We use a nail gun like this one to attach the boards. Putting up the planks Front Porch Mercantile

Here is a little Facebook live post I did (completely last minute) after many people asked me about our shiplap. We are in the middle of a spontaneous last minute renovations here at the cottage (tearing our a wall, shiplapping and repainting a whole room, it’s how I roll) but in the video I show you what shiplap is and how it goes together.

That’s it. If you have any questions about shiplap, just put them in the comments, I will try to answer asap.

Have you used shiplap anyplace in your home or cottage?

Thanks for popping in,