How to Install Shiplap & Finished Wall Storage System (ORC Week 3)

I’ve had second thoughts about choosing the basement rec room to makeover for the One Room Challenge primarily because I can’t seem to get a decent photo given the 0% natural light and 100% florescent lighting!

I guess I will need to find someone much more skilled than me to take photos for the Week 6 reveal but until then I hope you’ll bear with me.:-)

This week  I was able to pretty much finish the storage wall system (I still have a few trim pieces to add) as well as add a shiplap wall treatment!

How to Build a Wall Storage Media System


As a refresher last week I had gotten as far as the photo below by using this tutorial and then this tutorial.

How to Make Built in Storage


I added another shelf on top of the bookcases in order to completely hide the steel support poles that are in my basement.  But for those who plan of making a wall storage system like mine you wouldn’t need to add an extra shelf.

Free Storage Wall System Plans


I will be sure to write up a post on how I built the entire storage wall system and for only $100 but for today let’s talk shiplap.

I’ve noticed shiplap being used a lot more and love it’s relaxed, somewhat coastal vibe.  I love it in this classic bathroom below.

Studio Mcgee Shiplap Bathroom



Shiplap Fireplace


via Pinterest

I thought it would be fun to use between the bookcases and as an eventual backdrop to the TV we will have there.  It is very easy to install and economical too if you use MDF instead of real wood.

How to Install Shiplap

I bought a 4′ x 8′ sheet of 1/2″ MDF at Home Depot for $30.  Then I had it cut into 8 inch strips for free at Home Depot.


How to install shiplap


When I got home I laid them out as shown above and spray painted them (more on that in a future post).  Once they had a couple of coats of white paint (I used Behr’s alkyd enamel) I started installing them.


How to Install Shiplap


It’s important to start from the bottom and to use a level to make sure the first board is nailed in completely level.

After nailing in the first board I lined up several pennies on top of it…

How to install Shiplap Wall Treatment



and then placed another board on top of the pennies and nail it in.

Using Pennies to install Shiplap


Once the board had been nailed in I pulled the pennies out and put them on top of that board.  I continued this process until I got to the top.

Photo of 8 inch Shiplap


After I nailed them all in I filled in the nail holes with spackle and plan to do a light, last coat of paint with a foam roller.

I feel like this shiplap wall treatment gives a lot of bang for the buck!

As for this week I’ll be working on getting the ceiling done (I will likely need to hire an electrician).   Originally between the two steal beams there was a super low drop down ceiling and I hated how cave like it made that part of the basement feel.

So I took down the drop down ceiling in that area only to discover that the previous owners who had finished the basement had jimmy rigged the lighting in a super dangerous way hence needing to hire an electrician to fix it.

Basement Ceiling Before


As you can see above I thought about just painting the wood beams white and leaving them exposed but have decided instead to try installing wide headboard for the ceiling and having 6 can lights installed in that area.

Beadboard Basement Ceiling


I would also like to get the TV in the space sometime this week.  We’ll see how it goes!!  Here is a a projection that I mocked up in photoshop of how it might look with the TV and headboard ceiling.

Photoshop Beadboard Ceiling


Little by little!!  What do you think of shiplap?? Let me know if you questions and don’t forget to check out the progress of the other One Room Challenge participants, Here!

As always thanks for being here!:-)


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How to Install Shiplap Step by Step Instructions!

37 thoughts on “How to Install Shiplap & Finished Wall Storage System (ORC Week 3)

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi Kimberly, that’s a great question. I looked it up on google and couldn’t find anything about it. I have seen SO many high end homes with shiplap in a bathroom that I would assume there isn’t any problem. Sorry I couldn’t be more help!

  1. Ruth Davis

    I love ship lap too but I want the real overlapping edge (tongue and groove) None of this imitation stuff . The “Real”- knots , small insect cavities one dings in the wood make it 100%nicer . I used a min wax pickling stain in a white tone and varethaned . It was so nice . A little more work but so much more character .

  2. Pingback: DIY Shiplap Projects | The Budget Decorator

  3. Pingback: Shiplap Fireplace – SouthEndStyle

  4. Stacey

    Tamara! I found your post a it shiplap and am wondering if you’ve experimented with plywood vs MDF?? I see a lot of DIY using plywood isn’t…. Just wondering your thoughts ❤️

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi, Stacey, thanks for your question! I’ve only used MDF for shiplap so I can’t say which is better. The plywood that I’ve worked with for other projects hasn’t been very smooth but perhaps there is such a thing as pre-sanded plywood. I can tel you that I had a super positive experience using MDF sheet “ripped” to 8 inch pieces. I would do this method again in a heartbeat! Best wishes in whichever you choose!!:-)

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi Michelle! Thanks for the question! It wouldn’t be the “right” way to do it. I’m sure contractors would say no. But technically it does seem like it would work.:-) I would just make sure first that there aren’t any laws that say for a room to be considered finished it has to be drywalled.

  5. Lisa T Kaht

    great tips – we’re going to do this next weekend in my daughter’s new condo! Question regarding the staggering of seams. I don’t see seams (where the boards end) in your pictures and wondered how you staggered the boards being that the wall is longer than the planks. thanks!

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi, Lisa, that’s a great question! I actually only had to deal with one seam since I mostly only had the shiplap going between two bookcases that weren’t that far apart. When I did the shiplap above the bookcases I had a seam. I just butted the two boards up against each other and added white caulk in the seam, smoothed it out and let it dry, and then lightly sanded it. I have heard that it doesn’t matter how you stagger the boards just as long as the boards don’t end in the same places on the wall…so that they eye isn’t drawn to a clump of seams all in a vertical line on the wall. Does that make sense? Congrats to your daughter on her new condo!!:-)

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