How to Install Shiplap Wood on Walls

With this easy to follow step by step tutorial and video, learn how to install shiplap wood on walls in a mobile home for that rustic farmhouse charm look.

Shiplap has become a very popular choice for finishing interior walls. It gives any home that rustic farmhouse charm feels for a low cost. There are several rooms in our home that we have already hung shiplap wood on the wall, including the living room and dining room.

This tutorial will give you the steps that you need to know how to install shiplap boards on walls for your home. At the very end of this post, I share the video tutorial.


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What is a Shiplap Wall

Shiplap planks are wooden boards, usually pine, which is most used for constructing rustic buildings. Traditional shiplap has a special groove cut into the top and bottom edges of the board, which allows the pieces to fit together snugly, forming a tight seal.

In recent years, it has become increasingly popular to use shiplap on the interior design of homes to create a planked wood wall.

Installing shiplap boards inside the home horizontally, can help carry the eye around the room, making it feel larger. When installed vertically, it can help make a room feel larger by emphasizing the height of a wall.

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What is the Difference Between Shiplap and Tongue and Groove

The difference between shiplap and tongue and groove boards is how the grooves are cut on the top and bottom edge of the boards. In general, shiplap boards have a groove cut where the boards rest on top of each other and overlap. Tongue and groove boards join together and interlock.

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There are a variety of ways to hang shiplap planks on walls to get that shiplap look. Choices range from using actual shiplap boards, tongue and groove boards, faux shiplap using plywood and even shiplap peel and stick wallpaper.

For our home, our personal preference is to use actual pine shiplap boards.
We get our shiplap boards from a small lumber yard, Liberal Building Supply, located in Liberal MO. The boards come in a 16 ft length and are 7 1/4″ wide.

Supplies Needed to Hang Shiplap on Mobile Home Walls

Here are the supplies that we used in order to hang shiplap on our mobile home walls.

16 ft pine tongue and groove boards (purchased here)
Nail Gun
Air Compressor
Air Hose
2″ Galvanized Finish Nails

How to Install Shiplap on Mobile Home Walls

First, for this tutorial we are using tongue and groove boards. I ordered shiplap boards but got tongue and groove. I know the company would have gladly exchanged them, but we did not notice until we got home. It is about an hour drive one way, so, we decided to use the tongue and groove. Besides, we get the same look as using shiplap boards.

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About a year and half ago, two, I started installing shiplap on the hallway walls. I got halfway finished when we started the process of moving our home. Then, I needed to meet a deadline, so my husband, Timothy, stepped in to hang shiplap while I took a video and photographed the process for my readers.

The hallway in our mobile home is just over 16′ long and 39″ wide. We have three bedrooms and one bathroom on this end of the home.

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Double Wide Mobile Home Farmhouse Style with Hardwood Floors and Shiplap Walls

How to Install Shiplap on Walls

Step 1: Remove Sheetrock

In our home, we removed all the sheetrock from the mobile home walls before putting up the shiplap. On the outer walls and some of the inner walls we have added insulation. However, for the wall on this side of the hallway, we chose not to do insulation in between the studs.

Depending on how shiplap is attached to the studs, it could be hard to remove, and may come off in small pieces. In many places within our home, the sheetrock appeared to be glued to the walls as well as stapled. But, if you watch the video tutorial I share at the bottom of this post, you will see the sheetrock came off this wall easily.

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After removing the sheetrock from the walls, my husband either hammered in the nails/staples back into the studs, or completely removed them. If there would have been thick glue build up on the studs, he would have scraped it off. The goal is to get a flat area for the board to attach to.

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Step 2: Measure the Wall

The next step is to measure the wall where we would be installing shiplap. We start at the bottom and work our way to the top of the wall. For this wall, we measured and knew we would need eleven boards cut the same size. This would cover the largest area from the floor to the top of the door frame of the first bedroom.

My husband cut all eleven boards at the same time, so he did not have to continually stop, cut a board, nail a board and then measure and do it all over again. It was easiest to cut them all at once, then work on installing the boards.

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Step 3: Paint the Boards

When my husband started cutting the boards, I started applying a thin coat of my favorite paint color, Snowbound by Sherwin Williams, to the grooves of the boards. The reason I do this is because it is near impossible to paint in the groove after boards are all attached to the wall.

It is easiest to paint the shiplap boards before attaching them to the wall. By the time Timothy has finished cutting the boards, the first shiplap board I painted is dry and ready to hang. There is also the possibility to paint the boards the day before.

Snowbound by Sherwin Williams for Mobile Home Shiplap Wall

Real Shiplap

Step 4: Attaching Shiplap to the Mobile Home Walls

To attach shiplap to the walls, Timothy started by laying the first board on the floor. He then used a nail gun to attach the shiplap to the wall using 2″ galvanized finishing nails. He nailed through the top of the tongue and groove board directly into each one of the studs.

When using tongue and groove boards you will need a way to interlock the boards securely without hammering on the actual tongue and groove part itself. Hammering on the tongue and groove edge can break or damage it, causing the next board to not interlock correctly.

Timothy used an old piece of tongue and groove flooring to make sure the boards securely interlocked into the grooves. You can also watch the video to see how he does this.

Once we got to where a shiplap board needed to but cut for an outlet, Timothy, took measurements and followed the step listed below.

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How to Hang Shiplap on a Mobile Home Wall

Step 5: Measure Around Outlets, Windows and Door Frames

The hardest part to installing shiplap on walls, is cutting around the outlets, windows and door frames. Of course, the measurements will be different for each home, and it will be a matter of measuring what needs to cut out on the board.

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How to cut shiplap around electric outlet

For the hallway, Timothy, cut a board to fit around the bottom of the outlet and around the top of the outlet. As we have been installing shiplap on our mobile home walls, Timothy, has also been replacing the outlets and securely attaching them to the studs.

To cut the hole that needs to fit around the outlet, Timothy, used a tape measure to take the measurements, a square to make sure the lines were straight and finally, a jigsaw to cut the hole out.

Cutting shiplap for outlets

Outlet cutout for shiplap

Step 6: Measure for Other Areas

There was another smaller wall area in between the bedrooms that we had to measure before cutting and attaching the boards to the wall. Timothy measured the area and cut all the boards, then, attached them to wall using the nail gun.

At the very end of the hallway on a small area of the wall, we already had shiplap boards, However, we did decide to remove them and use the tongue and groove boards, so the entire wall was the same kind of boards.

How to atttach shiplap to a mobile home wall

How to shiplap a wall

Mobile Home Remodeling Farmhouse Style with Shiplap boards

Once Timothy attached all the boards up to the top of the door frames, he had our son, Josiah, start helping hold boards.

One of the reasons I love to use 16′ boards is, so I do not have the staggered look on the walls in our home. However, the hallway is just over 16′ so at the very end of the hallway we have an area where two boards are butted up against each other to span the space. With it being such a small space and at the very end of the hallway, it will not be very noticeable.

Once we got to the very top of the wall, the width was not big enough to fit the entire width of a shiplap board. So, Timothy, measured, cut a board in half long ways to fit the final board in.

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Mobile Home Walls with Shiplap

Step 7: Finish Painting the Installed Shiplap Boards

After attaching all the shiplap boards to the wall, the final step is to paint them before attaching any trim. However, we just moved our home to the farm, I did not take the time to paint mine.

Once we get settled back into our home, we will be finishing up the hallway by painting the rest of the boards, hanging doors, trim and adding beadboard to the ceiling. So, be sure to subscribe below, to get the latest updates on the happenings here at Rocky Hedge Farm.

Installing shiplap is an easy project which can make the walls of any home, including mobile home walls, have that rustic farmhouse charm that so many loves. I hope that this tutorial on how to hang shiplap on mobile home walls shows you just how easily it can be within just a few short hours.

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DIY Video Tutorial | How to Hang Shiplap on Mobile Home Walls

Please talk to a licensed contractor before altering electrical wiring in your home. This video is sponsored by Clayton Homes.


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How to Hang Shiplap on Mobile Home Walls

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15 thoughts on “How to Install Shiplap Wood on Walls”

  1. I’m not exactly sure what tongue and groove is obviously boards.But is it cheaper than the stuff they promote as “shiplap” because that’s expensive. Its Why we haven’t done it. You get a tiny little Box for anywhere from $30 to $60 or more. So is tongue in groove flooring what is it? What was your aource for purchasing. Thanks

    • We bought ours from a local lumber yard. You can use tongue and groove flooring as well. We purchase 16 ft boards in actual shiplap except this time it ended up being tongue and groove. Its much cheaper to get it this way from a lumber yard or local sawmill.

  2. I can’t wait to see how you finish off your hallway! I’m curious how you plan to finish the corner there in the foreground of the photo. I also live in a mobile home, and am currently ripping out 20+ year old carpet. So gross!! But in the end it will be awesome! I love the look of your rustic painted/sanded hardwood floors! But don’t have the patience to do that to my own floors hahaha! We’re planning on tiling the floors with the wood-look ceramic tiles. Easier with kids, animals and rough country living (aka dirt roads and driveways!) I love what you’re doing! Can’t wait to read your next post! You inspire me!!

  3. Looks nice! I think you were lucky to have sheetrock walls. Most mobile homes do not. Most have some sort of paneling with thin strips between them down the middle of the walls. Wich most of us mobile home owners don’t like. They can be painted but do not look as nice as a sheetrock wall. It was a great post with lots of details but I don’t feel it was pertained to mobile home owners.

    • My Sheetrock walls still had the thin strips on them. I removed all of those before doing shiplap. I call it Sheetrock but it’s about half the thickness of regular shiplap

  4. I am so glad I found your blog. I have almost the same foot print as your house. This is a project we will be working on the next year. Thank you for sharing. P. S. Now maybe I can convince my husband to remove our corner fireplace for a wood stove.

    • you wouldn’t have to remove the sheetrock, and we haven’t finished the ends. Trim will be the last thing we do since we have to finish the ceilings and the beam that we put up between the living room and kitchen area.

  5. is this real sheetrock or the paneling that comes with a 1994 mfg home? I am NOT a fan of original paneling… what can be done with it? can you add another panel over this?

    • We had very thin sheetrock pieces that had strips over them. I would assume you could put shiplap over the panels as long as it is nailed into the studs.

  6. Thanks for sharing all of this. I always get a little nervous with my measuring skills which always makes me a bit wary of trying something like this because I’m sure I’m going to mess up and cover an outlet on accident haha But I do look forward to trying this in my mobile home. As soon as it’s done we are going to refinish the wood floors and try to rent it out as soon as possible.


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