Tips & Tricks To Cover A Brick Fireplace With Shiplap!

By - Ron Singh

Updated -

Fireplaces need facelifts when they get old or when you need a different outlook. So you may be out searching for ways to get a makeover for your fireplace.

But how that pans out matters greatly because the finishing can make or mar the fireplace look.

Concrete is often the first option to cover a brick fireplace, but the look may get boring.

At first, shiplap wasn’t a prime interior décor material, but its use has changed over time. Years back, shiplap hid in the background.

Then, shiplap was the perfect surface for wallpaper. But, people got creative, and viola and shiplap now serve visible purposes in a home interior. Talk about taking a step forward.

It’s possible to cover a brick fireplace with shiplap planks. Thus, making it an excellent finishing over the fireplace. Shiplap over a fireplace wall conceals the red of the brick fireplace like it was never there. On top of that, it is also very affordable. You don’t have to break the bank to get the desired look for your fireplace.

Can You Cover a Brick Fireplace with Shiplap?

How to Cover a Brick Fireplace with Shiplap

You can use shiplap to cover a brick fireplace wall. It’s a safe and inexpensive choice for finishing.

Shiplap also gives a modern look compared to the brick look we’re so used to seeing.

No one would know a brick fireplace wall is behind the shiplap cover. You would know, of course, but shiplap is that convincing.

Besides the low cost, an added advantage to shiplap is the ease of installation. It’s super easy! You don’t have to hire any professional to cover a brick fireplace with shiplap.

But, you can get matching shiplap designs and fit them into the fireplace wall. It’s incredible how shiplap can transform the look of a brick fireplace.

After choosing the shiplap design you fancy, all you have to do is to cut and install the planks.

It’s exactly like that! Shiplap is easy to cut and shape, so you don’t have much work. But, of course, there are some tiny details in-between. But don’t you worry, we’ll get into those details shortly.

For added safety when using shiplap, it’s a good idea to throw in a non-combustible material. It goes first on the brick fireplace wall before the shiplap follows.

This measure is because shiplap is wood, so it’s prone to catching fire. But that by no means makes shiplap a fire hazard.

How to Cover a Brick Fireplace with Shiplap?

The first step to covering a brick fireplace with shiplap is choosing a suitable design. It should match the look of the living room.

After that, you can select colors and patterns that suit your taste and then pick up the steps.

#1. What You Need to Cover a Brick Fireplace with Shiplap

  • Shiplap planks
  • Miter saw, and table or panel saw
  • Nail gun and nail set (you can go for a hammer if you’d like)
  • Fine finish nails
  • Nail hole filler or wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Primer
  • Level
  • Stud finder and marker
  • A 220 grit sanding block
  • Caulking (optional)
  • Paint, paintbrush, roller, or sprayer (optional)

#2. Measure Your Fireplace Wall Area

You must measure the fireplace area from top to bottom and side to side. The measurement will give you the dimensions you must cover with the shiplap planks.

When you know the width of the area, you can then calculate how many shiplap planks you’d need.

Of course, that depends on the preferred width of shiplap planks you fancy. Measure corner pieces if the wall area will need those.

#3. Cut the Shiplap Planks to Fit the Fireplace Wall Measurements

Using the measurements you got from the fireplace wall, mark and cut the shiplap planks. Use the miter saw to achieve this purpose, then set the planks aside.

If you’re not comfortable cutting the shiplap planks yourself, you can have them cut at the home improvement store.

#4. Locate Studs on the Wall and Mark Them

Grab the stud finder and work with it from the ceiling down to the base of the fireplace. Mark the points you located for each stud. You must ensure that the nails fit into the studs and sit firmly.

#5. Install the Shiplap Planks on the Fireplace Wall

First, install corner pieces if the fireplace wall needs them. Next, you have to install the shiplap planks from top to bottom.

Grab the shiplap planks one after another. Use the level to ensure they’re straight, then carefully nail them to the wall.

Make sure you place the nails through the center of the planks and along the studs you marked.

Depending on the plank type, you may need to place nickels in-between them as spacers. Some shiplap plank types fit into each other neatly, so you do not need to use any spacers.

#6. Install the Last Shiplap Plank on the Wall

Sometimes, the last plank fits perfectly into the space left at the bottom of the wall area. But that doesn’t always happen.

In such a case, you must trim the last shiplap plank so it fits into the remaining space.

First, mark the excess part of the plank and use the table/panel saw to trim it. After that, place the plank into the space and hold it with the nails.

#7. Fill the Nail Holes and Sand the Area

Use your filler of choice to cover all the nail holes. Red Devil Onetime filler is a good option for shiplap, or you can stick to wood putty.

Use a putty knife to apply the filler and wait for it to fully dry. Then, grab the sanding block and use it to smoothen the filler. After sanding the filler, you can clean up the dust or debris using a vacuum.

#8. Apply Primer on the Shiplap Planks and Paint

If you wish, you can paint the shiplap planks with a color of your choice. Sometimes the natural design and color of the planks match the interior décor.

You can leave them without paint in that instance. Likewise, if you prefer visible wood grains and knots, you can skip applying primer on the planks.

Apply the paint on the shiplap planks using a preferred method. You can use a sprayer alone or a roller with a brush to apply the primer and paint.

Use the roller for the first run of primer/paint, then use the brush for finishing touches.

If you apply primer, you wouldn’t need a heavy coat of paint on the shiplap planks. Instead, you will get an excellent finish with a light coat of paint.

After painting the shiplap around the fireplace wall, you can add any decorations. Then, that’s a wrap!

What Can You Use to Cover a Brick Fireplace?

The natural red outlook of a brick fireplace is fast getting old-school. But it’s something you can’t avoid when you move into a new house.

Thankfully, there are a couple of DIY brick fireplace makeovers you can use for a brick fireplace. Covering the fireplace with wood is one of them.

Here’s a quick look at fancy DIY brick fireplace makeovers you can use to cover a brick fireplace.

Brick StainYou can choose to stain the brick wall instead of painting it. But staining the wall reveals flaws in the wall, unlike painting which adds a layer to the brick.
ConcreteConcrete is often the first choice for brick wall makeovers. It’s trendy and has a variety of colors. For the DIY brick fireplace method with concrete, use cement boards on the wall to get an even finish.
Floor-to-Ceiling MantelExtending the mantel from the floor to the ceiling is also a good choice. It’ll change the brick fireplace look, and you can do it with different materials. Brick, stone, tile, and wood are common choices.
LimewashLimewash gives the brick fireplace the semblance of a faded look. Not tacky, but in an appealing way. You have to clean the brick with white vinegar before you apply limewash.
Material ComboYou can mix different materials to cover a brick fireplace. The result will be a fancy collage over the brick fireplace. You can combine any range of materials that suit the look you want to achieve.
PaintUsing paint over a brick fireplace gives it a modern makeover, mainly if you use white paint. But the color you choose depends on what matches the interior of your house.
Stone VeneerStone veneer is a less expensive alternative to using stone. It’s best to use a stone veneer that interlocks. That takes out the need for mortar, saving time and energy. It would help if you also had cement boards or a scratch coat for an even finish.
StuccoStucco looks just like concrete, but it has wider pores than concrete. So, it’s a more breathable material.
TilesUsing one set of tiles or a variety gives a classy finish over the brick fireplace. Here, you would also need an even surface for a refined finish. A thin-set instead of the cement board or scratch coat would be best.
WoodCovering the brick fireplace with wood also works excellently. But you should ensure you follow the local fire codes before you do so.

How Much Does It Cost to Shiplap a Fireplace?

The cost of using shiplap over a fireplace wall depends on the wall size and shiplap type. Generally, the cost of shiplap goes up per square foot.

Shiplap planks can cost between $2.5 to $8.5 per square foot. It all depends on the wood type, the wall size, and the cost of supplementary materials.

Shiplap prices also vary across regions, so it’ll change from one state in the US to another.


Shiplap is a great choice to do a makeover for a brick fireplace. It gives the brick fireplace wall a neat and modern finish.

The average cost of using shiplap over a fireplace wall depends on the wood type and wall size. Besides shiplap, there are other excellent options for a DIY brick fireplace makeover.

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