TikTok Shares A Shiplap Look-Alike That'll Make Your Next DIY Easy & Affordable

Shiplap, a variety of pre-grooved wood paneling inspired by the sort of wood that once proliferated in the cabins of ships during the Viking era, has steadily made its way into the design world in abundance. Once the go-to material in barns and nautical spaces, shiplap walls have gained steady popularity over the past two decades, becoming one of the major elements in popular design aesthetics like modern farmhouse, coastal, and cottage styles. Easy to install for DIY-ers, the system of interlocking boards can be seen in every room of the home and in various manifestations, including full walls, partial walls, and ceilings. Recently, TikTok user @surryplace showed off a hack for getting a shiplap look even easier than by installing the boards individually, touting readily available and inexpensive shiplap paneling boards available at Home Depot.

The readymade paneling does a considerable amount of the work for you, making it far easier to install than traditional shiplap. Three sheets of the 4-foot-by-8-foot panels, available for under $40 each, can cover a whole wall in minutes. Installation is very DIY and renter-friendly and is completely removable when you move out or change your design scheme.

Easy to install shiplap panels

The TikTok user attaches the panels to the wall studs with nails, spanning the entire area. She then paints the panel with her desired shade. She also adds a piece of trim to the top to finish the look, which she leaves in a natural finish. The paneled area creates a nice frame for the bed, giving the whole room a stylish cottage-type feel that has a lot of texture, while the vertical lines bring the eye upward toward the ceiling, which makes the room feel both spacious and cozy at the same time.

The paneling not only adds interest to a boring, blank wall, but is also great for protecting the wall from furniture scrapes, dirty handprints, and other hazards. This makes it perfect for children's rooms and nurseries, as well as hallways and foyers where scuffs and marks can be a problem on plaster or drywall. It's also a great way to cover up imperfections in the drywall in an older home.

How to use shiplap panels

These wood panels are perfect for half walls, or, when stacked and lined up, can cover a whole wall or ceiling for a shiplap look for much less cost and labor than installing individual planks. For higher heights, use caulking or additional trim to cover the seams between pieces. You can also use the paneling horizontal for a cottage look. Most varieties, like the Home Depot ones, are already primed and ready for paint in your desired shade or you can leave them white. 

The shiplap panels, when cut down, are also great for other pieces of furniture like kitchen islands and faux fireplace surrounds. While they work great for paneling larger rooms, they can also be cut down to smaller sizes and used in small doses anywhere you need some architectural interest. Try using the paneling in unexpected places like behind shelving or on a hallway ceiling to add a whole lot of cottage-style charm to any space.