How to Install Interior Shiplap Siding

Installing shiplap siding can be a great way to add a charming, rustic look to your home. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install shiplap siding:

Tools and Materials Needed

  1. Shiplap Siding Boards
  2. Finishing Nails or Siding Nails
  3. Hammer or Nail Gun
  4. Saw (Hand Saw or Circular Saw)
  5. Level
  6. Tape Measure
  7. Stud Finder
  8. Chalk Line
  9. Construction Adhesive (Optional)
  10. Safety Gear (Gloves, Goggles, Ear Protection)


  1. Measure the Wall: Determine the square footage of the wall to calculate the amount of shiplap needed.
  2. Acclimate the Shiplap: Store the shiplap in the room where it will be installed for a few days to let it acclimate to the environment.
  3. Prepare the Wall: Ensure the wall is clean, dry, and smooth. Remove any old siding or wall coverings if necessary.

Installation Steps

  1. Find and Mark Studs: Use a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall and mark them with a chalk line.
  2. Start at the Bottom: Begin installing the shiplap from the bottom of the wall. Use a level to ensure the first board is straight.
  3. Attach the Boards: Nail the shiplap boards to the studs. If the wall is uneven, you can use construction adhesive in addition to nails for a more secure fit.
  4. Stagger the Seams: As you move up the wall, make sure to stagger the seams between the boards. This provides a more appealing look and adds strength to the installation.
  5. Cutting Boards: Measure and cut the boards to fit as needed, especially around corners, windows, or doors.
  6. Top Row: The top row may need to be cut lengthwise to fit. Ensure it’s level and fits snugly under any soffit or against the ceiling.
  7. Spacing Between Boards: Depending on the look you’re going for, you might leave a small gap between boards or fit them snugly together.

Finishing Touches

  1. Fill Nail Holes: Use wood filler to fill any visible nail holes, then sand them smooth once dry.
  2. Caulking: Caulk any gaps around windows, doors, and where the shiplap meets the ceiling or floor.
  3. Paint or Stain: If desired, apply paint or stain to the shiplap for a finished look.

Safety Tips

  • Always wear appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and eye protection.
  • Be cautious when using power tools.
  • Ensure proper ventilation if using adhesives or finishes.


Regularly check the shiplap for any signs of damage or wear, and address issues promptly to maintain its appearance and longevity.

By following these steps and tips, you can successfully install shiplap siding and create a beautiful, timeless look for your space. Remember, accuracy and patience are key to achieving the best results.

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