Can You Shiplap Over Textured Walls?

Isn’t shiplap just the cutest wall covering? I think so! But can you put it on textured walls? That’s the real question.

Shiplap can cover textured walls unless there is a very rough texture. Popcorn, Orange Peel, and knockdown textured walls are great for shiplap. Rougher textures like slap brush or comb will need to be sanded or skim coated before installing shiplap.

Read more to find out the best type of wall for shiplap!

What Is Shiplap?

Shiplap is a specific type of wood paneling used to waterproof ships. These panels have a groove cut at the top and bottom so that the panels overlap, making a tight seal, thus waterproof. Shiplap was also commonly used on the outside of houses.

Although shiplap has become a popular trend, it is not cheap. Some homeowners spend around $500 to $1,000 installing shiplap in one room and around $2,800 to $7,500 for exterior shiplap. Yikes! This is because shiplap typically costs anywhere from $2.50 to $7.00 per square foot.

However, there are some cheaper alternative options. Scroll down to our shiplap tips for more information on how you can do shiplap for a cheaper price!

Wall Textures

There are many ways walls can be textured. Some are more suited for shiplap than others. For those textures that are too rough, you will need to sand down or skim coat the wall before installing the shiplap. If you’re not sure about sanding or skim coating a textured wall, below is an article all about it!

Let’s start with the textures to avoid:

Slap Brush

This type of textured wall is accomplished exactly how it sounds. The joint compound (mud) or plaster is slapped onto the wall with a brush, creating a rough pattern. Though this texture gives the wall a coarse touch different from the typical Orange Peel wall, it is not best for shiplap.

You will need to remove any prominent bumps, ridges, and grooves before installing the paneling. Consider sanding or skim coating the wall to get rid of the texture.


A comb textured wall is not as common as it used to be just because it has gone out of style and involves a lot of extra work. This type of texture is highly stylized with bumps and ridges in a certain pattern. The pattern can be anywhere from repeated rainbow-like shapes, swirls, or flower-like ridges. The creator makes the pattern directly in the mud on the wall.

This type of textured wall definitely needs to be removed before installing shiplap. The comb texture, made with big, thick patterns, is much too large and varied for the shiplap to lay flat.

Now let’s talk about the best walls for shiplap! It is not common for walls to have rough textures like the ones above as it is not currently in style. Your wall is most likely to have one of the following textures:


Popcorn texture was all the rage in the ’70s and many homes still have it today, but it is more likely to be on your ceiling than your walls. However, if you do find it on your walls, that’s not a problem! Popcorn textured walls are best known for the little dots and splotches that cover the wall. This type of texture is created by spraying a mixture of drywall mud and polystyrene onto the wall.

A popcorn textured wall can most definitely be covered with shiplap. The texture is not too high off the wall that it will be a problem when applying the paneling.

Orange Peel

Orange Peel texture is very common and is called such because it resembles the look of an orange peel. This type of texture is achieved by thinning the drywall mud with water and sprayed onto the wall. The process then results in little bumps and curves.

Shiplap will easily cover an Orange Peel wall because the texture is not high off of the wall. No additional maintenance or preparation is needed when putting shiplap over an Orange Peel wall.


This texture is reminiscent of stucco and is accomplished by adding an additional step to the Orange Peel technique. They simply flatten the bumps of the Orange Peel wall to get the flatter look of stucco.

Because of the flat nature of knockdown, it is a perfect wall for shiplap. There should be no trouble installing shiplap on a knockdown textured wall.

Shiplap Tips

Let’s talk a little bit more about shiplap!

Cheaper Alternatives

The ship paneling looks great inside and is easy to install because of the already cut grooves. However, you don’t have to pay $200-$1,000 to get this rustic, trendy look. Cheap plywood can be used instead! The plywood can be nailed to the wall with little spaces in between to resemble the shiplap. Then, painted white, you can hardly tell the difference!

Another option is shiplap wallpaper. This is a great option if you don’t have the time or motivation to nail a lot of wood to your walls. Plus, it still looks great!

Finally, consider only installing shiplap on one wall. Installing shiplap to an entire room will be pretty pricey, but if you only do one wall, making the shiplap more of an accent instead of the focus, it is totally doable.


Unfortunately, those cute spaces between the shiplap, or the plywood alternative, are a magnet for dust. The spaces are so small that you may not notice them, but they will attract dust and will need cleaning regularly.

Horizontal Or Veritcal

The best thing about shiplap is that it can be installed horizontally or vertically! There is no set way to installing the shiplap, as long as the grooves fit together.

Horizontally = making the room look larger

Vertically = drawing the eye upward = ceiling looks taller

Either way you install the shiplap, it will make the room look larger than it really is, even if the shiplap is only on one wall.


If you choose to paint your shiplap, be aware that you’re going to have to be super careful. Not only do those gaps catch dust, but they will also catch paint. Use a small brush to paint the gaps first, then use a roller over the rest of the paneling.

How To Install Shiplap

If you are interested in installing your own shiplap, here is a handy little video that will show you how!

If you’re interested in installing fake shiplap, a.k.a plywood here is another video full of tool suggestions and instruction from a master. To skip the tool suggestions, go to 5:46 in the video.

Ricky Kesler

With all of the projects I've done over the years, you'd think that I work on my house full-time. But I actually enjoy other things like spending time outdoors and time with my family.

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