How to Do a Drywall Job

Drywall Equipment
  • 1-16 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 200-4,500
What You'll Need
Keyhole saw/circle cutter
Crow-head hammer/drywall hammer
Reinforcing tape
Joint compound
Drop cloth
Metal corner strips
Sandpaper block
Steel rule
Sandpaper: 80 or 100-grit
Trimming knife
Drywall knife
Adhesive gun
1x4-inch lumbers
2x4-inch lumber
Joint knife

Walls are an important part of every home. Gypsum board, also known as drywall, is an easy and affordable way to create a clean finish on the walls of your home. Follow the easy steps in this article to properly drywall in your home.

Plan Ahead

Begin with sketches so that you can adequately visualize the workspace. Wallboards must be added in a perpendicular position to the joists. Work from the top down, beginning in the center of the ceiling and extending outwards until you reach the base of the walls. Use waterproof drywall for bathrooms and other areas prone to moisture. Some codes require fire-resistant drywall.

Cut the Drywall

The easiest way to make accurate drywall cuts is to employ a straight edge and a utility knife. Always measure and mark before making any cuts. Start your cut at the paper and slowly score the board until you have complete the cut. Once you have adequately scored the gypsum board, it should break easily and evenly. Account for all fixtures around which you must cut the board.

Single Versus Double Layer Installation

a room with completed drywall

The easiest and cheapest job is to add a single layer of drywall. Use a second layer when you want to protect against flames or sound.

Decide on Vertical or Horizontal Installation

As you plan the layout for your drywall boards, find a way to create as few joints as possible. Use a horizontal arrangement for lower ceilings and a vertical arrangement for high ceilings.

Apply Drywall to the Ceiling

It's best to have help when installing the drywall so that you can make the attachments while your friend holds the boards in place. If you're on your own, use a T-brace.

Apply Drywall to Walls

Add the top boards first for horizontal arrangements. Put it into place and attach it firmly with screws. If the workspace includes a spot where you find ceiling boards secured directly to the joists, you should begin the first run seven inches lower than the ceiling height. When using nails, plan to space them by seven inches.

Some homeowners prefer adhesive/nail-on style. If that's the kind of board you have selected, then you should stick the boards to the studs before nailing. Sometimes, you'll have a board that bows in the center. To fix it, add a nail until the adhesive has totally settled. For vertical arrangements, align the long edges so they run in the same direction as the framing members.

Ask a sales associate at your local home improvement store for help finding specSet Corner Strips

Ask a sales associate at your local home improvement store for help finding specially designed metal corner strips and install them according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Get to the Joints

Apply joint compound over drywall tape to all areas where boards butt against one another. You may occasionally need more than one layer of compound.

When using adhesive tape the best option is to apply the tape first, then add several coats of compound. For non-adhesive tape, you must also apply embedding coal. Once the embedding coat has settled, you can continue to apply several more coats of compound.

When applying the adhesive tape, pay special attention to centering it. Apply noTape it Up

When applying the adhesive tape, pay special attention to centering it. Apply non-adhesive tape by applying gentle pressure with the knife over the tape into a layer of the compound at a 45-degree angle.

Adhesive tape can be coated immediately. Non-adhesive tape must rest for 24 hours and totally dry before you can proceed. Spread the compound wide so that it spreads to a feathered finish.

Sand the Dry Mud

Sand the Dry Mud

Once the compound has dried, sand it until it is smooth. Wipe away the dust with a dry towel.

Cover the Nail Heads

The nails/screws should be slightly recessed into the gypsum board. Spread compound over the dimples and allow it to dry before sanding to a smooth finish.

Fill the Butt JointsFill the Butt Joints

Continue on to the drywall joints where the boards butt against each other. Spread the compound over these areas in a feathered fashion. Allow it to dry and sand.

Finish the Metal Corner Strip

Walls are an important part of every home. Gypsum board, also known as drywall,

Make sure that the metal corners are securely positioned and spread the compound over them. Allow the layer to dry, sand it, and apply a second coat. Sand the topcoat.

Finish the Inside Corners

When completing the interior corners, spread the compound 1.5-inches in each direction from the angle. Make sure the joint tape matches the area it will cover, and press it into place. Allow it to dry, apply more compound, and sand the final layer once it has dried.

Information in this article has been furnished by the National Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors.