What is this Shiplap Planking Everyone Seems to Be So Crazy About?

Shiplap planking primer.
Image via JNMRusticDesigns

Shiplap planking consists of wooden boards commonly used for exterior buildings like barns and sheds. It’s also taken the DIY world by storm as an interior material to create a rustic planked walls.

What is Shiplap Planking?

Shiplap, for those not in the know, doesn’t refer to just any wood planking. Shiplap boards are grooved on each long end, which allows the boards to overlap each other. It’s the overlapping that makes shiplap special. The overlapping boards create a tight seal making it an excellent way to protect your building from the elements. While that’s not such an urgent requirement indoors, the shadow the boards create where they overlap creates a delicious lined effect.

Shiplap planking primer.
Image via TheReclaimedNation

Shiplap planking can be purchased new from most home improvement stores or can be sourced from reclaimed wood outbuildings, making it a more sustainable choice for DIY projects. Estate sales, Craigslist, NextDoor, Antique shops, and Etsy, are all great resources for finding reclaimed shiplap planking.

What Isn’t Shiplap Planking?

Since shiplap DIY projects can be found all over DIY TV shows, on blogs, and in the pages of magazines, it might appear that shiplap is everywhere. However, a lot of what is called shiplap is not really made from shiplap planking. Remember, if you want to sound like a pro, shiplap is rustic wood planking, but not all rustic wood planking is shiplap. Shiplap planking must have the signature grooves (called rabbet); otherwise, it’s just wood planking. That’s not a bad thing, but you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about with your DIY friends, right?

Shiplap planking.
Image via SawmillCreations

Shiplap Planking Project Ideas

Shiplap planking isn’t only for walls. With a little know-how (here’s a link to a shiplap tutorial to get you started) and the proper tools, you can apply shiplap to just about everything! Here are a few ideas.

1. Shiplap Wall Art – Attach shiplap boards to plywood to create a base for your own wall art. Get creative and paint, decoupage, or use it as a photo frame.

2. Shiplap Pallet Coffee Table – Shiplap can be applied to any tabletop to help create a rustic feel, but you get extra points if you DIY the coffee table from pallets.

3. Shiplap Coat Hooks – Spruce up your entryway by adding shiplap planks to your wall and adding hooks to create a place to hangs coats and bags.

4. Shiplap Headboard – Shiplap lends itself nicely to a DIY rustic headboard project. Shiplap directly on the wall behind your bed, or shiplap onto plywood to create a standalone headboard.

5. Shiplap Chalkboard –  Apply a square of shiplap planking to a wall and paint it with chalkboard paint for a rustic blackboard addition to your room.

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Jen Wallace

Jen Wallace shares her indie life by writing about making, creating, cooking, learning, playing, decorating, and pretty much anything else that strikes her fancy from indie biz tips to the modern history of the American hemline.