I have seen imitation “shiplap” popping up on pinterest for a while now. I have been curious to try installing MDF Shiplap, and decided to give it a go as a feature wall. We actually have shiplap in the original farmhouse side of the house, and uncovered it during our addition build. We then repurposed some in our back entry.

We also used pine T&G throughout our entire addition- which a lot of people refer to as shiplap as well. But, it actually isn’t. 

Now that we have had a chat about my love of all things planking, I should probably share more about how we planked the wall at Maker House Studio with MDF Shiplap. 


  • 3/4″ MDF Sheets
  • Brad Nails
  • Construction adhesive (optional)
  • Table Saw (for cutting strips)
  • Pneumatic Nailer
  • Jigsaw for cutting around outlets/switches

Now, originally we had planned to have HD cut our boards into 8inch strips, however, they will not cut MDF. We were going to switch to plywood just so we could get it cut, but they also will not cut anything smaller then 12 inches. I was a little bummed, but thankfully we have a table saw. It just means a little more mess and work.

We cut our boards just under 8 inches to allow for the loss of the blade when cutting. I used a small spacer along the floor to help hold up my first board, and made sure it was level.

I used a nail gun to fasten the boards. You could also apply construction adhesive, but I didn’t. Totally up to you! It held really well with just the nails.

I used nickels spread along the length of the board as a spacer. This created a nice little gap.

You will need to cut around any outlets or plugs. I used a jigsaw.

Once I had installed all of my full pieces, I then ripped down my filler strips. The seams and nail holes can be filled with patch filler, then sanded down. You don’t notice the seams once you paint it out.

Isn’t paint kind of amazing?! It just always floors me how intentional it can make something feel. Excuse the bad lighting… I took this late at night after painting. A girl get’s excited some times!

We have been so busy that updates have been few and far between- but I am hoping to get back to a more regular posting schedule… let’s see how that goes!

-Miss Ash

Save for Later:

How to Install Simple MDF Shiplap | via Ashlea of This Mamas Dance

7 thoughts on “How to Install MDF Shiplap”

  1. mizzz ash
    wonderful work both at ur home and office!
    u r becoming a real pro with the power tools!
    looks beautiful!!! ???

  2. It doesn’t look like you painted the sides of the MDF before you hung it. How did you paint so that the paint went into the cracks on got on the board? Can you still see the wood in the cracks or is the paint in the cracks?

    1. Hi Kyle, I hung the boards un-painted- filled all the seams and nails holes- then used a brush along the joints and rolled the rest. So the cracks are covered. Hope that helps!

  3. We are about to go over our dining room wallpaper with some faux mdf shiplap. Fortunately my HD cut the strips down to just under 8″ for me. They originally told me they weren’t allowed to do any cuts under 12″ but I’m persuasive lol. I’ve used plywood bf to do a shiplap look wall but wanted to try mdf since it’s cheaper and has a nice smooth finish. They even sell mdf shiplap, so figured it should work. Only thing I notice when the mdf is cut it can look a bit frayed or chipped from it being so much softer. Any tips you have on preventing this or is it not noticeable once painted? I know anytime I’ve cut laminate I use masking tape. Not sure if that’ll help on mdf and I’m sure HD isn’t going to tape it lol when I go back for a few extra boards I’ll need. Any advice is welcome. Thx. Your walls look great!

    1. Hi Joey- what a nice treat that your HD cut it for you! I would recommend just running over the edges with a sanding sponge. It will smooth out any chips or rough spots from the cutting. Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

  4. How do you pull the outlets or switches forward so they are flush with the paneling? Or do you just cut around them and leave them recessed?

    1. Hi Nel, because this was done on newly constructed wall we set the boxes at the proper depth before hand, because we knew we were going to install the wall treatment. If you are retrofitting you could cut around them, or there are electrical box extenders available. They are often used in an application where someone is adding tile to a drywalled area. So that might be an option for you!

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