How to Shiplap Walls Using Pinewood and Why I’m Not a Fan

April 3, 2018

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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I’m a sucker for wall treatments and shiplap walls are my biggest crush. Throughout my home I have added both board & batten and shiplap here and there. As I talked about in my last post, there are so many ways to get the shiplap look. My latest shiplap wall technique tackled (now that’s a tongue-twister) was using pinewood. After starting this project, I had some mixed feelings about it right out of the gate. But having already bought all of my wood, I was committed.


I decided to try out this technique in a smaller area, primarily because I knew it would be a little more costly than my typical method of adding shiplap. Turned out it was about 3 times more expensive. (Reason #1 – why I’m not a fan) But, having seen some other DIY’ers choosing pinewood for their shiplap walls, I wanted to give it a try. And in turn, report back to you, my thoughts.

Having built and installed this sliding barn door a couple years ago, this area was in need of some extra pizazz…

Black sliding barn door with neutral wreath and HOME sign in background

The barn door is a huge statement piece in and of itself, but I wanted to add a little more character to it’s backdrop. Not to mention, the primary wall in this alcove was a little beat up….fingerprints, dull paint, and a little hole from…can’t even remember…

Wall with tiny hole and trim removed

Gradually, I’ve been changing out all of my trim throughout my home and updating it to a more modern look of craftsman trim. Therefore, my first step was to remove and replace all of the trim in this area. (Click on this link to see how I DIY craftsman trim)…

Hammer, box cutter, crow bar, flat head screwdriver used to remove trim

Now I’m ready to shiplap!!



  • 1×6 pine boards (measure area to determine number of boards needed)
  • miter saw
  • jigsaw
  • nail gun
  • tape measure
  • caulk
  • paint
  • 1 1/2″ nails



Paint walls the same color the shiplap walls will be…


Starting from the top of the wall, measure length of board needed.

Cut board using miter saw.

Attach to wall with nailgun.


Measure, cut and attach next board.

Note: BEFORE attaching, use a ruler to separate the two boards to allow a slight gap between boards…

A hand holding a pinewood board against another board, separated by a ruler


Repeat this process all the way down to the bottom of wall…

Alcove with 3 pine boards nailed into wall

Alcove with several pinewood boards nailed in

Most likely, you’ll run into an outlet or smoke detector during this project. Don’t panic. These are actually very easy to overcome. (Watch for an upcoming video to show exactly how I do this). With a little measuring, you’ll knock these out. No problem.

As you can see, my cuts were not perfect by any means. So give yourself grace, because when the project is complete, (caulk is my best friend) these imperfections are not very noticeable….

Pinewood boards cut around smoke detector on the wall

One thing I wish I would have done differently is, to pull the outlets and smoke detector out farther and place them on top of the boards. This would have given a much more seamless look. But, my anxiousness to get this project moving won over…

Light switch with boards partly around it

Now that you have one wall completed, you are ready to move onto the next wall. The key is to make sure your boards line up together in the corner. If you’re finding that it’s just not possible to line them up, (most walls are not straight) the best way to remedy this is to attach a 1×2 (going from the ceiling to the baseboard) in the corner. To understand this more clearly here’s a picture where I used this technique in my modern farmhouse bathroom remodel…modern farmhouse style guest bathroom with shiplap walls, 3 baskets on the wall with white towels, and tissue dispenser on back of toilet

What this does is, it tricks the eye into not noticing that the boards don’t actually line up perfectly. It works like a charm. 🙂

I ran into a dilemma with my baseboard. Because my baseboard is the same thickness as my 1×6 pine boards, they all ran together…

alcove with sliding barn door outside

I was not a fan of this look at all. I like my trim/moulding to be big and chunky and stand out. My solution: I attached another baseboard onto my already attached baseboard. Voila! Problem solved!!

alcove with shiplap

STEP FIVE: Now, we’re ready for some caulk…to fill in any gaps along the sides of the wall, where the boards meet the trim, anywhere you feel you need to hide some imperfections. If you would like a few extra tips on caulking, I have a thorough post on the best caulking techniques…check it out here.shiplap boards butted up against one another

STEP SIX: We see it all coming together! It’s looking amazing! Let’s add some paint!! If you’re wanting the same look I have, I used Behr Marquee White Moderne. Sidenote: Because the boards are spaced apart a bit, you will need to paint in between each board…so as not to see the raw wood of the pine boards.

white shiplap alcove

And that is it!! Now you have some beautiful shiplap walls, that are sure to make a statement and bring on lots of conversations. And the best part is, you get to say…”I did that!”

alcove with sliding barn door and a metal star

There’s one more big change I would like to make to this alcove….change out the doors to 5-panel doors. But just like changing all of my trim to craftsman, changing all of my doors is a big undertaking…it’s all a process. 🙂

alcove with board and batten and shiplap

A much easier change I would like to make, is a new picture. I would like to go more neutral and let the barn door and the shiplap do all of the talking. 🙂 But I’m still on the search for that right picture. So for now, sometimes I keep this bolder picture up…

alcove with green picture and sliding barn door

And sometimes I take it down…

alcove with black sliding barn door

And of course, this little lady always makes pictures cute…

alcove with sliding barn door and white mini goldendoodle pup

It really is that easy!!! And if the DIY grip has gotten a hold of you (because it’s so addictive) and you would like to build your own barn door to add to this space (or another), check out this AWESOME tutorial!!! It is my favorite build and I’ve put together a GREAT tutorial to help you build one too. Check it out!!!small table with flowers in a vase and a sliding barn door

Updated: Here’s a more recent view of this area. I love the simplicity of this picture I got from Hobby Lobby…

Modern farmhouse wall treatments with sliding barn door

Until next time,

Happy Building!!







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