How to Install Gypsum Wallboard

Gypsum wallboard is also called drywall or sheetrock. It was introduced in the U.S. to use instead of plaster for walls. It comes in 4x8-foot and 4x12-foot sections and can be cut to other sizes. Follow the simple steps below to effectively install gypsum wallboard in your home.

Tools and Materials

  • Saw
  • Screw gun
  • Screws
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Straight edge
  • Tape for sheetrock
  • Metal corner beading
  • Joint compound
  • Sheetrock knife
  • Sandpaper

Step 1: Put Up Gypsum Wallboard

Carefully put up a full sheet of the gypsum wallboard against the wall frame. If there are any electrical outlets, etc., be sure to use the saw or utility knife to cut an opening for them. Make sure the sheets are up against one of the wall’s wooden rafters or studs so you have a place to put in the screws to hold the sheet.

Step 2: Screw in Sheets

Take your screw gun and carefully screw in the pieces of wallboard by putting the screws around the edges. Make sure the screws go clear through the wallboard and into a rafter or stud. Secure the screws into the wallboard all the way until the screw head is flush with the wallboard.

Step 3: Measure Additional Pieces of Wall

Measure any sections of the wall that won’t accommodate a full section of wallboard. Then, measure the wallboard and mark your measurements with a pen or pencil. Cut the piece carefully with the saw or utility knife and screw it into the area it belongs onto the wall. As you continue to line up the pieces of gypsum wallboard against the wall and attach them, get them as close together as you can, but if there are small openings, they will be filled in with joint compound later.

Step 4: Covering Any Cracks or Openings

Once you have completed hanging the gypsum wallboard for all the walls, the next step is to place sheetrock tape carefully over all of the seams and use the metal corner beading over outside corners. The corner beading should be screwed in tightly. Spread joint compound over the tape and seams and smooth it down with the utility knife. Be sure to also cover all the exposed screws with the joint compound and smooth it out. Let it all dry and after it dries, put on another coat of joint compound in the same places. Let this dry as well before continuing to the next step.

Step 5: Smooth Out

Next, use the sandpaper to smooth down any unevenness caused by the joint compound. It’s important to do this so your paint won’t look bad when you finish the wall. Sand down each section of wallboard carefully and watch out for flying dust that could get into your eyes. Be sure to wear safety glasses during this part of the project.

Step 6: Clean Up and Conclusion

After you are done, sweep up any dust caused by the sanding of the wallboard. After the wallboard is totally dry, you can paint over it with any color you choose.