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The History of Shiplap

Posted by Cassie Venable on

If you've been awake at any point in the past five years, you will immediately know what I'm talking about when I say this word. "Shiplap." Just the mere mention of this word conjures up images of farmhouses with cozy blankets and fresh flowers and the mornings' egg collection on the counter ready to fry.

Photo credit: AT HOME | a blog by joanna gaines

These dreamy wood boards turn a blank wall into a wall with soul. Shiplap has become the Holy Grail of house flippers everywhere thanks to three names: Chip Gaines, Joanna Gaines and HGTV’s Fixer Upper. Uncovering it is like a gold mine of style and character.  

So here’s a question I have, where does shiplap get its roots anyway? Today I’m going to answer that question for you.

As with most design trends, it’s often understanding the history behind them that gives me so much more appreciation for the craftsmanship and care it took to
create it.

Shiplap was originally used to refer to thin wood boards that have two opposing rabbet joints that overlap each other, giving the boards a tight seal to keep the wind and weather out.  This overlap creates a little shadow between the boards that make homeowners swoon.



Photo credit: Painted by Kayla Payne

For interior walls, shiplap was the standard base behind a classic wallpaper install before drywall came on the home building scene.  A shiplap wall would be covered with cheesecloth or muslin to cover the seams and give the wallpaper enough grip to adhere correctly. 


Photo credit: Irwin Builds and Darby Kate Photographer

Shiplap is a favorite of home decor icon, Joanna Gaines, who has highlighted the value of this beautiful old wood and taken it even further with different colors and patterns. We love you Joanna! 


Photo credit: AT HOME | a blog by joanna gaines

Here are a few of my favorite renditions of shiplap...

Classic farmhouse- Just imagine this space without this shiplap wall here. It would look so different wouldn’t it? This farmhouse-fresh look is every Fixer Upper fan’s true north when it comes to home style. 


Photo credit: @blessedmommatobabygirls

Going Dark-  When you need to add a little depth or drama to your space, think darker hues that will make your other decor elements pop. 

Photo credit: @restoring_home

Floor to ceiling-  This floor to ceiling shiplap install makes this space perfectly proportional, light and airy. 


Photo credit: Studio McGee

In a nook- Nothing says “cozy” like snuggling up with a good book and wool blanket.  The shiplap wall inside this nook makes it look like it’s own piece of art. 

Photo credit: AT HOME | a blog by joanna gaines

Today, recreating classic shiplap would cost time and money that most home stylists and DIY’ers wouldn’t want to spend. That’s why the internet is chock full of tutorials and inspirational photos of beautifully recreated shiplap walls.

Here at Plank and Mill, we’ve taken it a step further by creating a product that doesn’t need any power tools to install. Having a quick and easy install process that only takes a few hours might just make us your best friend. We’re all for it!


Say hello to our new 5” wide whitewash wood planks with our user-friendly peel-and-stick backing. 



These wider whitewash barnwood beauties instantly brighten any space and are available now on our website. 

If you’d like to see them in person before you order, snag one of our sample packs! We’ll send you two 3” raw reclaimed wood planks, two 3” whitewash wood planks, and we now include two of each of our 5” wide plank options as well so you can find the perfect spot in your space.


Happy Planking!

-Cassie 

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