shiplap family room

Hanging Shiplap and How to Get it for Less

shiplap family room

Hey friends! I’ve had so many friends tell me they wanted a post on hanging our shiplap so here it is! There are so many options out there for shiplap and faux shiplap and it can add up in expenses quick. When we were purchasing our house I knew that I wanted to makeover our family room and add real shiplap. You can make your own but we didn’t have the tools needed for that which would have just added to our cost. So I began looking at options and costs on wood, comparing and deciding on what options on wanted to go with. When purchasing shiplap it tends to come in small quantities. For example, Lowe’s had a case of 6-12 boards of tongue and groove shiplap and it was roughly $8-15 a board. I knew that I would need roughly 80-90 boards which comes out to around $630 at the cheapest cost and we were trying to keep cost as low as possible. 

before view of our family room
The family room before.

I was on the search to find ways to cut the cost and still get the shiplap look I wanted so I began searching my local marketplace and noticed that local lumbar companies were selling what were called “factory seconds” of tongue and groove shiplap and they were ranging from $2-5 a board! 

our truckload of about 85 shiplap boards.
Our load of shiplap boards.

If you’re wondering what factory seconds means, they are boards that were cut and have slight imperfections in the cuts or bend in the wood so they are leftovers from what gets sent to hardware stores, big box stores, etc.  We picked up the last of what they had in stock at the lumbar company which was around 85 boards.

 The next step of the renovation was doing the demolition of the room and pre-painting the boards. There was a little bit of discussion on the beams that were in the room on if we wanted to keep them up or take them down. I loved the rustic look of them but Tim hated them. We talked about adding new beams and decided we would take down the old and decided what we thought once the room was finished. 

tearing sheet rock off of the walls around the fireplace.


tearing off the sheetrock on the walls.
Tearing off the sheetrock and boards.
A view of our family room with the fireplace mantle taken off and the walls torn down to the studs.
A bare and empty family room ready to be maid over with shiplap!

 One of the best purchases we made for this project was a paint sprayer. It made priming and painting the boards so much easier and we didn’t have to do a one board at a time. Tim laid about 8-10 boards out at a time and then primed them with Kilz so they were ready to hang and the final step would be painting. The benefit to doing it this way is that we didn’t have to worry about priming in the cracks after we hung each board. If you read some other tutorials you will see that if you hang the boards without paint you should paint the lip on each board before hanging the next board otherwise it will be difficult to paint in between later and you risk bare wood being seen. 

shiplap boards are laid out to begin the painting with our paint sprayer.
Priming the shiplap boards.

shiplap boards laid out and being spray painted to be hung on our family room walls.

Once everything was primed and torn off we were ready to start hanging. My dad came down to help us get started and that was so helpful!

One thing you want to think about and calculate is the measurements of your boards and your walls and calculating where your boards will need to meet up to keep a cohesive line. We had our fireplace and the windows that we had to measure and then we marked with a chalk line on all 3 walls at the same height to allow us to know and make sure all of our boards lined up on each wall.  I didn’t get many pictures of this process so hopefully that makes sense. You can see the chalk line marked on one wall below and my dad is marking out where to snap the line on the wall with the window. 

Measuring to make sure our boards match up on each wall.


the first boards of shiplap are hung on the wall of our family room.
Hanging the first of the shiplap boards!

 To hang the boards we simply used an 18″ nail gun and nailed the boards into the studs and overlapped at each tongue and groove on the board below it. 

shiplap being hung around the fireplace

shiplap being hung on our family room walls

hanging shiplap around the large picture window
Shiplap is almost finished being put up on the last wall!

 As you can see in the photo below, once all of the shiplap was hung we had to do some filling in. One thing that you will have to remember if you use factory second boards is that they will not be perfect. I was worried as we put it up that some of the boards (not many, maybe 5-10) were slightly bowed and I wasn’t sure how it would look as a whole. “Would it look like a hack job when we’re done?” I remember thinking. 

 The other issue we had is that our table saw had a malfunction in cutting at times and caused our cut to be slanted (that’s a whole other story!). And because they were factory seconds they had some big knots in a few of the boards. So I filled in the nail holes and then I filled in some of the boards where the knots and slants were. 

 The great thing is that shiplap is so forgiving that it didn’t look anything like what I thought it might and it all came together once we painted. So if you are looking for a great way to save money on real shiplap and are willing to fill a few extra holes then be sure to check out your local lumbar companies for shiplap! 

shiplap family room

 If you’d like to see more of the finished room head over to my post Before and After – Shiplap Family Room Makeover. You can also find my post My DIY and Review of Magnolia Home Shiplap Wallpaper if you are looking for a cheap way to get the shiplap look without actually tearing up your walls. 🙂