How to Paint Shiplap

how to paint shiplap

Many homes are made of shiplap walls, which are inexpensive, practical and quite easy to maintain. The primary characteristic of a shiplap wall is a wooden board, which serves the purpose of an exterior siding. The wall material may either be made from a rough-sawn pine or similarly inexpensive milled wood materials. One thing you will notice about shiplap walls is that they feature a rabbet on the opposite sides of each edge. This component enables the boards to overlap in this area. Nonetheless, the profile of each board partially overlaps that of the board next to it creating a channel that provides shadow line effects and incredible weather protection. It also allows for dimensional movement.

shiplap fixer upper

Shiplap walls are great for residential homes, sheds, barns, as well as outbuildings. Is your house made up of shiplap walls? Do you know how to paint shiplap walls? Probably not just like many other homeowners. Read this comprehensive shiplap wall guide to get some wonderful ideas on shiplap painting projects, learn how to select the right color for your painting project. Discover what it takes to choose and use a paint sprayer correctly. Finally, get the answers to the most frequently asked shiplap wall painting questions below;


Shiplap Painting Projects

Before starting your shiplap wall painting project, it is imperative that you understand where to begin. Otherwise, you will end up stuck even before you begin. This is a systematic project with a series of clearly defined steps. The first step is usually to figure out how you would like your walls to look like after concluding the project. Here, you do not need to think too much, because you can easily get some wonderful ideas on shiplap wall painting online. Pinterest and other similar home improvement websites are a great place to start.


Choosing A Paint Color

Once you have gotten some wonderful ideas on how you want your walls to look like later, it is time to proceed to step one. You need to choose the right color for your shiplap walls. You have various options from which to select, including brick orange, yellow, red, blush pink, blue shades, and so on. To choose the right color, consider your home’s architectural style, era and the visual effect you want.

choosing a paint color

Whether you have a midcentury modern ranch, a Victorian, or a Craftsman style house with shiplap exterior walls, your exterior paint theme should match the style. Imagine a 1930s classic style home painted silver grey or any other 21st-century color! Absolutely shocking right?

Many paint makers provide varieties of shiplap wall colors that suit different home styles. The best part is you can seek free expert advice from your local paint distributor if you are stuck, especially if you are going to buy their products.


Rolling vs Spraying Paint

Once you have decided on the right set of paints to buy for your shiplap walls, it is almost time to get down to work. However, before that, you need to make sure you have the right tools for the job and safety gear. You will need to buy a painter’s tape, a pair of safety glasses, a set of painting gloves and a paint sprayer. Although you can choose between a paint sprayer and a paintbrush, experts do recommend a sprayer over a paint roller. The former provides more benefits than the latter. Here are some advantages of using a paint sprayer over a paintbrush:

  1. Using a paint sprayer makes your work a lot easier than using a paint roller. Nonetheless, spray painting is a less tiresome task compared to brush painting.
  2. It is easier to accomplish a smoother, uniform paint surface with a spray painter than with a paint brush.
  3. A paint sprayer is an ideal tool for any type of paint job, whether small with easy surface detail or large with intricate surface detail. A paintbrush, on the other hand, may only be suitable for small paint jobs with simple detail.
  1. A paint sprayer is more beneficial in terms of health than a paintbrush. It is because there is less work involved when using a paint sprayer rather than with a paint roller. So there is less effort and straining, which keeps your body healthy.
  1. A paint sprayer is relatively affordable despite all the advantages that it offers over a paint roller. You can get a good quality painter for as little as 12 dollars, which is almost the same amount of money you will pay for a quality brush.
  1. A paint sprayer is just as portable as a paintbrush despite all the advantages that it provides over a paintbrush. It is relatively compact, lightweight and easy to carry from one place to another just like a brush.

Best Paint For Shiplap

Earlier on you had decided on, what color to paint your shiplap wall. You have also just settled to use a paint sprayer instead of a paintbrush. Now what is left is to buy the paint and the brush before getting down to work. There are many paint vendors, both online and locally, who sell the paints you are looking for. However, one thing you must understand is that not vendors offer quality products. There is a lot of inexpensive, poor quality wall paints on the market these days. Without proper buying knowledge, it is easy to get your hands on a poor quality paint collection that will come off sooner than you expected. To get a quality collection of paints for your shiplap wall;


  1. Choose a Well-Known Paint Brand

Nowadays there are several wall paint brands on the market which you can select from. Of these, there are a few brands that are popular, of course depending on where you are. In the United States, for example, Valspar, Benjamin Moore, Glidden, and Sherwin-Williams are considered to be some of the best quality wall paint brands. So, if you go shopping, insist on buying a paint whose brand is well-known for quality.

  1. Oil-Based Vs Water-Based Paints

Wall paints can be divided into two primary categories i.e;

  • Oil-based paints
  • Water-based(acrylic latex) paints

The former is a type of slow-drying paints that are made using particles of pigment suspended in a drying oil, usually linseed oil. The viscosity of the paints may be modified by adding a solvent like white spirit or turpentine. In addition, a varnish may be added to increase the glossiness of the dried oil paint film.

The latter, on the other hand, is a type of fast-drying paints that comprise of water as well as an acrylic resin binder such as styrene and so on. These paints are poor in quality and tend to last shorter than their oil-based counterparts.


Therefore, when shopping for a quality paint collection for your shiplap walls, look for oil-based paints. Even though you may have to part with more, the benefits that you will derive out of these paints far outweigh the price setback that you will suffer.

  1. Do Not Be Fooled By Price


Quality paints are costly due to the many benefits that they come with. Substandard paints, on the other hand, are surprisingly very cheap. When shopping, do not be fooled by cheap prices because these are obviously for paints that will disappoint you later. You better pay more once for a product that will last than pay less for a product that will not last at all.


Painting Instructions

  • Put your tools in one place.
  • Put on your protective gear (safety glasses and gloves)
  • Open the top of your spray painter and pour your first paint into the can.
  • Close the top of your spray painter and shake well.
  • Apply paint to your walls by spraying uniformly.
  • Once you have sprayed all the walls uniformly and correctly, carry your tools away and let the walls dry.


FAQs – 5 Most Common Questions On How to Paint Shiplap


  1. How do I figure out how much paint I will need for my project? Just calculate the square footage of the surfaces you intend to paint then divide by the total number of square feet that your gallon of paint can cover. The manufacturer usually indicates the total number of square footage a gallon of paint can cover.
  2. What are flat gloss and high gloss finishes of paints? These are technical terms that refer to the gloss or sheen level of the paint. A flat gloss finish has relatively low levels of paint glossiness. With flat gloss paint finishes, light diffuses in a variety of angles. A high gloss finish, on the other hand, has extreme levels of paint glossiness. High gloss paints are shiny and reflect most light in a spectacular manner.
  1. How long can an oil-based shiplap wall paint last? It can last from anywhere between 15 to 20 years.
  1. How long can a water-based shiplap wall paint last? A water-based oil for these types of walls can barely last 10 years.
  1. Do I need the help of a professional in my painting project? No, you don’t need an extra hand in your project. As long as you follow our simple instructions on how to paint shiplap walls, correctly, you will be able to complete your project successfully without help.


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