The Guide to Finishing Shiplap Edges: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

The Guide to Finishing Shiplap Edges: A Step-by-Step Tutorial


Shiplap is a popular choice for interior design, known for its rustic and timeless appeal. It is a wooden board commonly used to create a charming, farmhouse-style look in homes.

Shiplap consists of long, horizontally positioned boards with a rabbet joint, allowing them to fit snugly together.

This creates a clean, overlapping effect on the walls, adding texture and visual interest to any space.

Benefits of using shiplap in interior design

There are several advantages to using shiplap wall and shiplap ceiling in interior design.

Firstly, shiplap wall provides a unique and distinctive look to any room. Its clean lines and natural wood grain create a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Additionally, shiplap is incredibly versatile and can be used in various design styles, from traditional to modern. It can be painted or stained to match any color scheme, making it a flexible choice for homeowners.

Another benefit of shiplap is its durability. When properly installed and finished, shiplap wall can withstand the test of time and everyday wear and tear.

It is also relatively easy to clean and maintain, making it a practical option for high-traffic areas such as living rooms or kitchens.

Furthermore, shiplap can help improve the insulation of a room, providing an extra layer of protection against drafts and temperature fluctuations.

Standard techniques for finishing shiplap edges

Finishing shiplap corner is an essential step in the installation process. It not only enhances the overall appearance of the shiplap walls but also helps protect the wood from moisture and damage.

Here are some standard techniques to consider when finishing shiplap edges:

Step 1: Preparing the shiplap walls for finishing

Before you finish the shiplap corner, it is crucial to prepare the walls properly. You can start by removing any existing paint or wallpaper and ensuring the surface is clean and dry.

Fill any nail holes or imperfections with wood putty and sand the walls to create a smooth and even surface for the finishing materials.

How to cover shiplap corners

Step 2: Choosing the suitable materials for finishing shiplap edges

When it comes to finishing shiplap edges, there are several materials you can choose from.

One popular option is to use caulk or wood filler to fill the gaps between the shiplap boards.

This helps create a seamless look and prevents dust or debris from getting trapped in the crevices.

Alternatively, you can use trim or molding to cover the edges, adding a decorative element to the shiplap walls.

Step 3: Applying caulk or wood filler to fill gaps in shiplap edges

To fill the gaps in the shiplap edges, apply a thin bead of caulk or wood filler along the seams.

Use a putty knife or finger to smooth out the material and remove excess.

Please ensure the caulk or wood filler is dry and cured before moving on to the next step.

Step 4: Sanding and smoothing the shiplap edges

After the caulk or wood filler has dried, it’s time to sand and smooth the shiplap edges.

Use fine-grit sandpaper to sand the edges, gently removing any roughness or unevenness.

Be careful not to sand too aggressively, as this can damage the shiplap boards. Once you have achieved a smooth finish, wipe away any dust with a clean cloth.

Step 5: Priming and painting the shiplap edges

The final step in finishing shiplap edges is priming and painting. Please apply a coat of primer to the shiplap walls, making sure that all areas are covered evenly.

This will help the paint adhere better and provide a more professional finish. Once the primer has dried, you can paint the shiplap edges your desired color.

Consider using a paint roller for larger areas and a brush for the more minor, hard-to-reach spots.

Apply multiple coats if necessary, allowing each coat to dry before adding the next.

Alternative finishing options for shiplap edges

While caulk, wood filler, and paint are the most common finishing options for shiplap corner, there are alternative methods you can explore.

  1. One option is to leave the shiplap edges exposed, embracing the natural beauty of the wood. This can create a more rustic and authentic look.
  2. Another alternative is to use a whitewash or stain to enhance the wood grain and add depth to the shiplap walls.

Experiment with different finishing techniques to find the one that best suits your style and the overall design of your space.

Finishing shiplap corners for a seamless look

When finishing shiplap walls, paying special attention to the corners is essential. The goal is seamlessly transitioning from one wall to another without visible gaps or inconsistencies.

To achieve this, you can use corner trim or molding to cover the exposed edges. This will provide a clean and polished look and protect the corners from damage.

Alternatively, miter the shiplap boards at the corners, creating a 45-degree angle joint.

This technique requires precision and skill but can result in a seamless and professional finish.

Shiplap wall trim can help you cover seams and joints between structures.

Creative shiplap finishing ideas for unique wall designs

Shiplap is a versatile material that allows for endless creative possibilities in interior design. Here are some unique shiplap finishing ideas to inspire your wall designs:

  1. Mixed Materials: Combine shiplap with tile, brick, or stone to create a striking focal point in a room. This can be done by incorporating these materials into the shiplap edges or creating an accent wall with a different material.
  2. Pattern Play: Instead of installing shiplap in a traditional horizontal pattern, experiment with different orientations and designs. Consider installing a shiplap in a chevron, herringbone, or vertical pattern for a more unique and visually dynamic look.
  3. Color Contrasts: Create visual interest by painting the shiplap boards in contrasting colors. For example, paint the shiplap edges darker than the rest of the wall to create a bold and dramatic effect.
  4. Shiplap Backsplash: Extend the shiplap beyond the walls and incorporate it as a backsplash in the kitchen or bathroom. This will add texture and character to the space while maintaining a cohesive design.

Remember, balancing creativity with functionality is the key to a successful shiplap finishing idea. Consider the room’s overall aesthetic and how the shiplap finishing will complement the existing decor.

Common mistakes to avoid when finishing shiplap walls

While finishing shiplap walls or shiplap ceiling may seem straightforward, common mistakes can compromise the final result. Here are some pitfalls to avoid:

  1. Skipping the preparation: Properly preparing the shiplap walls before finishing is crucial for a smooth and durable result. Could you take the time to clean, sand, and fill any imperfections before moving on to the finishing steps?
  2. Neglecting the edges: Focusing only on the face of the shiplap boards and ignoring the edges can result in an unfinished and unprofessional look. Please pay attention to the edges and ensure they are correctly filled, sanded, and painted.
  3. Using low-quality materials: Investing in high-quality materials is essential for a long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing finish. Cheap caulk or paint may not adhere well or provide adequate protection, leading to premature wear and damage.
  4. Overlooking proper ventilation: When applying caulk, wood filler, or paint, ensure that the room is well-ventilated to prevent the buildup of fumes. Open windows or use fans to keep the air circulating and protect your health.

By avoiding these common mistakes and following the step-by-step tutorial, you can achieve a professional and polished finish for your shiplap walls.

Tips for maintaining and preserving finished shiplap walls

Once you have finished your shiplap walls, it’s essential to take steps to maintain and preserve their beauty. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Regular cleaning: Dust and debris can accumulate on the shiplap boards over time, leading to a dull appearance. Regularly dust your shiplap walls using a soft cloth or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to keep them looking fresh.
  2. Avoid excessive moisture: While shiplap is a durable material, excessive moisture can still cause damage. Avoid placing shiplap in areas prone to high humidity, such as bathrooms or basements, without proper ventilation. If necessary, use a dehumidifier to control moisture levels.
  3. Inspect for damage: Inspect your shiplap walls for any signs of damage, such as cracks, chips, or peeling paint. Please address these issues as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration and maintain the integrity of the finish.
  4. Touch-up as needed: The shiplap edges may experience wear and tear over time, especially in high-traffic areas. Keep some spare paint or caulk on hand to touch up any areas that require attention. This will help maintain a seamless and consistent finish.

Following these maintenance tips ensures that your finished shiplap walls remain beautiful and pristine for years.


Finishing shiplap edges, also known as how to finish shiplap edges, is crucial in creating a polished and professional look for your interior design.

You can achieve a seamless and visually appealing result by following the step-by-step tutorial on how to trim shiplap and consider alternative finishing options.

Please avoid common mistakes, be creative with your shiplap designs, and take steps to maintain the finished walls.

With the proper techniques and materials, you can transform any space with the timeless charm of shiplap.

So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to create stunning shiplap walls that will be the envy of all who see them.

Whether you have a shiplap ceiling or not, the process of how to finish shiplap edges remains the same.