Shiplap Ceiling

Joanna Gaines would be so proud of us. I didn’t even know what shiplap was until I got hooked on watching Fixer Upper and now I have spent several weekends installing it in the new workshop. For those of you who don’t know what it is, I’m proud of you for never seeing HGTV, and also, here’s a great example of it.

Photo Credit:

Shiplap was commonly used as exterior siding for barns and similar structures in harsh climates, as the overlap on the edges allowed for good weather proofing and movement in temperature extremes. Now, everybody and their mom is putting it in their house for a farmhouse look. Allyson and I are jumping on this train with the workshop ceiling, as it is a perfect fit for the modern farmhouse design Allyson is putting together for the workshop.

Our workshop during the summer. It’s missing some trim, paint, and gutters in this photo, but it still looks great.

Before installing the shiplap, I went ahead and insulated the ceiling to help keep the temperature reasonable in all seasons. Then it was off to the store to load up the Leaf with all of the mdf shiplap we would need. Historically, shiplap is pine or a similar wood, but in this case the mdf is cheaper and we were able to get 12’ lengths that were very uniform in quality. 

Once again I marvel at the utility of the Leaf. Twelve foot boards are no problem (especially since we live 1 mile from Home Depot).

After that I took some time to cut them down to a variety of more manageable lengths. The intent was to hang these up on the workshop ceiling in a random pattern, so a variety of lengths would help that effort. In order to keep everything square while cutting, I used a square to set up a guide block for my circular saw. It would have been a lot easier if I had a miter saw, but that is still on the list to procure.

It is a simple but effective way to cut square with a circular saw.

Next up, painting! Everyone knows that I looovvvveee painting, so unfortunately I was out of town while Allyson painted most of the shiplap pieces.

Unfortunately she didn’t finish all of the painting, so I had to do my fair share when I got home.

Finally, we were able to start hanging the shiplap onto the ceiling. I did have an excuse to get a new tool for this one, something that I only do if I know I’ll used the tool quite a bit. In this case it was a Ryobi finish nailer, and it has been huge for making this project go smoothly.

Allyson is hiding a big rip in my pants with that text….
A great start. It already makes the interior look so much more finished, even before cleaning up the parts Allyson left for me.

I’m not quite done finishing up the parts that Allyson pointed out in the photo above, so I’ll discuss how I cleaned up those parts in a later post. I’ll also touch on some of the lessons learned while hanging the shiplap. I probably won’t ever have to do a similar project, but maybe I can keep you from making the same mistakes I did. 

Leave a Reply