The term ‘shiplap’ comes from its original use insulating and protecting ships against harsh weather before being used as external building cladding. This type of wooden board was usually rough-sawn and inexpensive, designed with alternating recesses called ‘rabbets’ allowing panels to be hung overlapped. This created a tight, interlocking seal and provided excellent weather protection for agricultural buildings such as barns or cabins.  

This style began showing up in our interiors more recently with an original rustic and nautical charm – and the style took off! Shiplap was being installed horizontally, leading the eye around the room and adding a sense of internal space. By contrast, a vertical hang draws the eye upwards, emphasising the height of a room, making it feel taller, so it depends on your desired effect. This once purely functional application was now offering a super stylish, Hamptons-style, beach hut effect, reminiscent of holidays and bright, airy seaside homes.

We would recommend using our Wainscotting Wall Panelling No. 147 which is perfect for creating a Shiplap Wall Panelled room and can be hung vertically or horizontally.

What’s the difference between Shiplap and Tongue and Groove?

They are very similar, with the slight difference being that tongue and groove is a finer design with the ‘groove’ bit! Shiplap tends to be made of plainer and flatter boards which overlap, whereas tongue and groove are generally interlocking panels.

Shiplap Panelling Ideas

  1. Take it up over slanted or pitched ceilings

Shiplap panelling can be used to great effect on both walls and ceilings, combining the two makes a real style statement. If you want a sense of comfort and cosiness, this is a great way to achieve it. By panelling the whole room, you instantly achieve extra insulation which gives the sense of a little nest, particularly using wood! Whole room panelling works really well in unusual spaces such as attic rooms, alcoves, mezzanines and under the stairs. Pick your colour carefully and take it all over the room with an effect known as ‘colour drenching’. Remember to keep it subtle so that you can live with it! The overall effect will be calming and cohesive.

We recommend painting the panelling in No. 268 Peach Flesh Pink, eggshell for a warm and cosy feel.

2. Shiplap panelling as a Bedroom Feature Wall

Bedroom wall panelling can add a welcome layer of texture and detail to your bedroom. Paint it bold or subtle and it will still be an interesting feature. As a unique bedroom headboard idea, panelling can be just the thing, coupled with comforting fabrics, cushions and bedding.  It’s so easy to install, lightweight, easy to cut and hang with our recommended wall adhesive, it will enhance any scheme.

We recommend using No.10 Paint | Downing Street for a cool and elegant bedroom interior.


3. Hang it Horizontally or Vertically

Hanging our Wainscotting Wall Panelling No. 147 vertically will look elegant and make your room look taller. Leading your eye up the wall towards the ceiling has the effect of heightening your perception. Obviously you can use this panelling up to dado height only in its traditional form, or be bold and take it up ¾ way up the wall or right up to the ceiling.

The image below shows a cloakroom panelled vertically with both tongue and groove AND Shiplap wall panelling resulting in a super smart (and practical) design.

Alternatively, you can hang it horizontally creating the allusion of more width and space, the eye follows the lines around the room. This option creates a pleasing beach-house, nautical feel and is perfect for bedrooms, playrooms and sitting rooms. Seen here in a hallway, the strong horizontal planes definitely denote this space and make it a practical thoroughfare ideal suited to knocks, scrapes and general family traffic!

4. Paint it dark and create contrast

Feature walls are nothing new, but they are still as effective as ever. Shiplap painted panelling is smart and chic, particularly when painted in a highly contrasting colour. Choose from a myriad of colours in our new Mylands paint range, all created using natural earth pigments – they are one of the last remaining manufacturers to do so. All the paints are eco-friendly, water based with low a VOC content (Volatile Organic Compounds) meaning they’re virtually solvent free.

We recommend bold paint colours No. 219 Bond Street, No. 41 Blackout or No. 164 Artillery Ground for a seriously classy finish.


5. Seaside Bathroom Feel

Shiplap panelling is particularly effective when it’s used in bathrooms, not only in a practical sense, but aesthetically too! Painted in a crisp white, you get a real seaside beach-hut vibe going on with the added benefit of an impenetrable seal and waterproof surface! Made from Purotouch, a lightweight, water-resistant synthetic product, it’s perfect for bathrooms. In a matter of hours, you can completely transform your bathroom, en-suite or downstairs cloakroom into a hotel chic sanctuary.

We recommend No.9 Whitewall in eggshell or high gloss for its cool, calming and chalky qualities. Also available as floor paint.

6. Use it with other rustic design features such as a Sliding Barn Door

As seen in the image below, shiplap panelling hung horizontally looks absolutely stunning when coupled with a Sliding Barn Door! The rustic charm of an American style barn or cabin perfectly lends itself to this brilliant space saving product, coupled with the neat horizontal black bar slider!

We sell Sliding Barn Door Kits in Matt Black, Brass and Bronze finishes, suitable for single sliding barn doors or Bi-Folding Barn Doors. One of our best-sellers, this product is perfect for creating a small ‘cloffice’, bootroom, pantry or new bedroom without the need for a large door swing.

We recommend No. 32 Morning Blue for your sliding door as seen in the image below.

Reasons to use LL Company Shiplap Wall Panelling

  • All our wall panelling products are lightweight, easy to cut and hang with out recommended adhesive
  • LL Company wall panelling is durable and can cover bumpy walls
  • We sell complimentary ranges that work together including wall panelling with decorative interior mouldings such as skirting boards, cornicing, door moulding, dado rails and ceiling roses. We offer a Product Pairing Service, get in touch at
  • We offer a CAD Design Service (POA) and can help you measure your space for Shiplap Wall Panelling
  • Our panelling is also suitable for outdoor use on your exterior or even outdoor bar!
  • All our wall panelling products are suitable for commercial use
  • Shiplap wall panelling arrives primed and ready to paint
  • We can ship worldwide. Get in touch for a quote.

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