How to Finish Tongue and Groove Corners

How to Finish Tongue and Groove Corners?

Creating a clean, finished look in any room is essential, whether trying to impress guests or simply want your home to look its best. One way to achieve this polished look is by ensuring that your groove and tongue corners are neatly finished. While it may seem like a small detail, ensuring crisp, clean corners will make a big difference in the overall appearance of your space. 

Additionally, finishing the corners of your tongue and groove will help to protect them from damage and wear over time. Knowing how to finish tongue and groove corners is essential for anyone who wants to achieve a professional-looking finish in their home. We’ll show you a few different ways to achieve this look, and you can choose the method that best suits your needs. 

How to Finish Tongue and Groove Corners? Some Different Methods

Good-looking grooves and tongue corners are essential for several reasons. First, they give your project a professional and finished look. Second, they help to protect the edges of your project from damage. In addition, they can ease the assembly process by providing a stable surface for the rest of the project pieces to sit on. 

Finally, they can add strength and stability to your project, helping to prevent it from warping or becoming distorted over time. When you take the time to create a high-quality finish on the tongue and groove joints, you can ensure that your project will look its best and last for a long time. 

There are a few different methods that you can use to complete interior walls, tongue, and groove corners. We will explain a few of the most popular methods and help you select the one that is most appropriate for you.

Method 1: Using a Chisel

How To Do Tongue and Groove Corners

A chisel refers to a type of hand tool used for carving wood. It has a long, thin blade that is sharply angled at the end, making it ideal for precision work. The blade is also wide enough to allow for various cuts. Chisels can create detailed carvings or remove excess wood from ceiling joists, drywall, and hardwood flooring finish

When using a chisel, it is important to apply even pressure and ensure that the blade is kept perpendicular to the surface of the wood. Otherwise, the chisel may slip and cause damage to the workpiece. With a little practice, anyone can learn to use a chisel effectively. To use this method, you will need the following steps:

Step 01: Measure and Mark the Corner

Accurate measuring is essential when working with tongue and groove lumber. Even the slightest error can result in an imperfect fit, leaving unsightly gaps or preventing the boards from joining together properly. When measuring the tongue and groove outside the corner, always take into account the thickness of the boards as well as the depth of the groove. 

It’s also important to use a sharp pencil or a laser level to mark your measurements, as doing so will help to ensure that the boards are cut in a straight line. By taking the time to measure accurately, you can avoid frustration and wasted material and ensure that your tongue and grooved edge project turns out to look its best.

Step 02: Cut the Tongue and Groove Boards

Once you have accurately measured and marked the tongue and groove panels, it’s time to cut them to size. If you’re using a power saw, such as a circular saw or a table, saw, be sure to use care when cutting the boards. 

Tongue and groove lumber is often thinner than standard boards, making it more prone to splintering. When cutting tongue and groove lumber, it’s crucial to use a sharp blade and ensure that the board is securely clamped down. This will help to prevent the board from moving while you’re cutting it and will also help to avoid kickback.

Step 03: Set Up the Chisel

After cutting the tongue and groove boards to size, it’s time to set up the chisel for use. First, select a chisel that is the appropriate size for your project. The blade should be wide enough to fit within the groove of the board but not so wide that it will damage the board when you’re cutting. 

Next, use a sharpening stone to sharpen the blade of the chisel. By doing so, you will ensure that the blade is sharp enough to make clean, precise cuts. Finally, attach the chisel to a handle. This will give you more control over the tool and will help to prevent you from injuring yourself while using it.

Step 04: Finish the Corner

Now that the chisel is set up and ready to use, it’s time to finish the western red cedar tongue and groove siding. To do this, hold the chisel at a 45-degree angle and insert the blade into the groove of the board. 

Apply pressure to the handle of the chisel and push it forward using a sawing motion. Continue working the chisel back and forth until you have cut through the board. Repeat this process on the other side of the plank corner, then use a piece of sandpaper on the corner seams to smooth away any rough edges.

Method 2: Using a Router

How to Finish Tongue and Groove Corners

A woodworking router is a powerful tool that allows the user to rout or hollow out an area in a piece of wood. The router consists of a small, handheld motor that spins a large, cylindrical bit at high speed. The bit has a series of sharp cutting edges that remove material from the wood as the router is guided along the surface. Routers are capable of creating very intricate designs and can be used for both decorative and functional purposes. 

One of the advantages of using a router is that it can be fitted with a wide variety of bits, each designed for a specific purpose. This means that the router can be used for various tasks, from shaping edges to carving intricate designs. Whether you’re a professional woodworker or a hobbyist, a router is an essential tool for any workshop. Following these steps will enable you to form groove and tongue corners using a router:

Step 01: Select the Appropriate Bit

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of carpentry is choosing the right bit for the job at hand. This is especially true when using a router to create smooth tongue and groove wood paneling. The type of bit will determine the quality of the finished edge, as well as the amount of time and effort required to complete the task. 

You need to select a bit that is the same width as the tongue on the tongue and groove boards. The bit should also have a profile that matches the shape of the groove. This will ensure that the finished edge is both smooth and flush.

Step 02: Set Up the Router

Once you have selected the appropriate bit, it’s time to set up the router. Begin by attaching the bit to the router. Next, adjust the depth of the cut so that you’re only removing a small amount of material with each pass. 

Too much depth will result in a rough, uneven edge. Once the depth is set, turn on the router and guide it along the board’s edge. Use light, even pressure to ensure that the router doesn’t wander off course.

Step 03: Finish the Corner

After making a few passes with the router, you should have a smooth, finished edge. If there are any rough spots or gouges, you can sand them. Once you’re satisfied with the results, repeat the procedure in the opposite inside corner. In this way, the finished product will appear professional and free of defects.

As you can see, there are two different ways that you can trim groove and tongue shiplap board corners. Which method you choose is dependent upon the tools that you have available, as well as your personal preferences. Whichever approach you choose, just be certain to take your time and proceed slowly. That way, you get the best possible results.

Frequently Asked Questions:

There are a few questions that are commonly asked about tongue and groove corner trim. Below, you’ll find some of the most frequently asked questions, along with their answers.

1. How Do I Avoid Tear-Out When Using a Router?

You may encounter a tear-out when working with a router, especially if you are working with delicate materials or trying to achieve a precise finish. You can do a few things to minimize the possibility of tearing. First, ensure the router bit is sharp and in good condition. 

A dull bit is more likely to cause tear-out, as it will slide across the surface of the material rather than cutting cleanly through it. Second, use a fence or guide when routing, which will help keep the router steady and on course. 

Finally, take light passes when routing, particularly if you’re working with softwood or plywood. By taking lighter cuts, you’ll minimize the amount of material that’s removed with each pass, which will help reduce the chances of tears.

2. How Do I Make Sure the Tongue and Groove Fit Together Correctly?

Whenever you work with tongue and groove, it is essential to ensure a tight fit so that the pieces lay flat against one another without gaps. The easiest way to do this is by using a mallet or a hammer and chisel to tap the tongue into the groove until it’s seated correctly. 

You may need to adjust the pieces as you go along to get a tight fit. Once all the pieces are in place, you can use a belt sander to smooth out any rough edges where the tongue and groove meet. When you put in some effort and patience, you can achieve a perfect fit that will enhance the appearance of any tongue and groove job.

3. How Long Does It Take To Finish Tongue And Groove Corners?

The amount of time it takes to finish the groove and tongue corners will depend on the method you’re using, as well as your skill level. If you’re using a router, you can expect to spend about 15-20 minutes per corner. 

Using a chisel and mallet, the process will take a bit longer, as you’ll need to take care not to damage the tongue or groove. In general, it’s best to allow yourself plenty of time when working on tongue and groove corners to take your time and get a perfect finish.

4. Do I Need to Paint or Stain Tongue and Groove?

Whether or not you wish to paint or stain the tongue and groove depends on the finished look you’re going for. If you want the tongue and groove to blend in with the surrounding wood, then you’ll likely need to stain it. 

In order to make the tongue and groove stand out, then painting it may be the best option. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to paint the tongue and groove is up to you and can be influenced by the final look you want.


Tongue and groove boards are a fantastic way to add texture and interest to your wood flooring, wall, or ceiling. A snug fit is important when installing tongue and groove so that the pieces of wood lie flat against one another without gaps between them. 

After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of how to finish tongue and groove corners. With a little effort and persistence, you can revitalize the look and value of your home with professional-looking results.

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