How To Paint Shiplap In Your Home

No big surprise here - shiplap is IN STYLE. Everyone seems to be incorporating shiplap style paneling into their re-dos these days. It's pretty clear why; television programs like HGTV's "Fixer Upper" with Joanna & Chip Gaines have broken the internet with their hashtag #shiplap, which currently holds trend at 130,000 branded posts and growing. Shiplap now is like buying a popular car; as soon as you do it you'll notice how much of it is out there. But, it's well warranted. 

Amongst other reasons, it’s budget-friendly, relatively easy to apply, and gives the wall an authentic-looking throwback to centuries ago look. If you watch the show, you may recall that when the couple finds shiplap under dry-wall, it’s akin to the feeling of finding hardwood floors under carpet. Hardwood floors, however, present an additional large expense to restore and maintain, where shiplap is a more affordable designer’s rustic paradise.

Photo HGTV - inspired shiplap walls for a rustic home look.

Photo HGTV - inspired shiplap walls for a rustic home look.

Prepping your shiplap boards

Once you have bought your shiplap from your favorite home improvement store, you will need to sand down any large knots or imperfections. Remember that the look you are going for with shiplap is "rustic". Imperfections are welcome on shiplap; however, you may want to even out any unsightly rough patches.

Our next best piece of advice is to prime the boards (that is, if they are not already pre-primed) with a quality, stain resistant primer. This will ensure that the knots don’t seep through. From there, you may want to check out Minneapolis Interior Designer, Tiffany Hanken's blog on "How to install shiplap walls".

The boards themselves can come in a variety of flavors but if you want to start from a good position, spend the extra money and get the poplar. It's a better wood and fairly stain resistant, which will make your project move at a much smoother pace. 

How to use shiplap in your space

Shiplap is extremely versatile so it can be used in a number of different ways, depending on the needs of your space that you are transforming. You can unify a space by using shiplap on all four walls, as well as across the doors and kitchen cabinets.

You can carry the continuity further by also using shiplap on the ceiling. Or you can use shiplap to accentuate a single architectural feature such as just the ceiling to bring intimacy into the room or potentially one accent wall or structure beam covering.

Shiplap can also be used to create a nice sense of scale. For example, if you have a lofty ceiling, you might use shiplap only half way up on the wall, to create some depth and size. 

Shiplap design halfway up the wall in a tall ceiling home.

Shiplap design halfway up the wall in a tall ceiling home.

What color should I paint my shiplap?

One of the most common questions that people have when using shiplap in their interior design home projects is, "what color of white should I use"?

Colors change throughout the day and differ drastically depending on lighting conditions and other undertones in your room. Ultimately you want to test a small area of your home to ensure the final dried product is what you expect to see on your walls. But there has plenty of recommendations out there already on the best white paints for your shiplap projects. Let's take a look at them.

Alabaster, Sherwin Williams

Alabaster from Sherwin Williams is a beautifully warm white paint which gives that rustic feel right out of the can. This is our absolute favorite. 

Joanna Gaines (from Fixer Upper) used Alabaster on the shiplap in her farmhouse. Brittany Hayes, of the awesome blog Addison’s Wonderland also chose Alabaster for all the trim in her new historic remodel and the shiplap in her daughter’s room. (Be prepared to spend the next hour feasting on all the gorgeous details and pics of her new home!)

Alabaster White by Sherwin Williamns

Alabaster White by Sherwin Williamns

Extra White, Sherwin Williams

Extra White by Sherwin Williams is a bright white with just a tad bit blueish undertone. You can use this color in a space with lots of natural light to counteract the warmth of the sun if you want a true white. Designer Christyn Dunning from The Guest House Studio used it in a beautiful hallway above.

Extra White by Sherwin Williams on the trim and molding throughout. 

Extra White by Sherwin Williams on the trim and molding throughout. 

White Dove, Benjamin Moore

White Dove by Benjamin Moore is a favorite among interior designers. Veteran farmhouse blogger, Liz Marie used White Dove throughout her previous home too so your pro tip is: when in doubt - go White Dove.

A White Dove room by Benjamin Moore.

A White Dove room by Benjamin Moore.

China White, Benjamin Moore

If you’re looking for a white paint color that leans more towards cool tones and gray, a great one to try would be China White by Benjamin Moore. 

China White by Benjamin Moore in a beautifully designed rustic/modern kitchen. source: Tracery Interiors

China White by Benjamin Moore in a beautifully designed rustic/modern kitchen. source: Tracery Interiors

Simply White, Benjamin Moore

Lastly, on the list is Simply White by Benjamin Moore. This is a clean and crisp white with no noticeable undertones. It looks absolutely fabulous on shiplap, kitchen cabinets, trim, and doors. This one leans a bit more modern, as shown below in this gorgeous mudroom by husband and wife team, Syd and Shea McGee from Studio McGee. 

Simply White by Benjamin Moore in this mudroom by Studio McGee. Source: STUDIO MCGEE

Simply White by Benjamin Moore in this mudroom by Studio McGee. Source: STUDIO MCGEE

That's it. We hope this helps you think through your shiplap project, armed with a little bit more information and resource. Again, if you're seeking an Interior Designer in Minneapolis, reach out to Tiffany Hanken of Tiffany Hanken Design. And if you'd like a quote on painting your shiplap project or other areas of your home inside or out - just contact us.