Installing drywall in a room is essentially a two-part process that requires you to hang drywall sheets and then finish the surface with plaster and/or paint. Knowing the correct method to install drywall and having an organized, methodological approach will help avoid the myriad well-known problems that occur with improper installation, such as cracking joints, loose drywall, crumbling corners and uneven surfaces.
Things You'll Need
- Drywall lift
- Drywall screw gun
- Metal L-plates
- Utility knife
- Straight edge
- Drywall saw
- Premixed drywall jointing compound
- Drywall topping compound
- Pole sander
- 4- to 12-inch drywall knives
- Protective gloves
- Safety goggles
Check with local building regulators to determine the type and thickness of drywall sheets appropriate for your room. Ensure your wall framing studs are positioned at 16-inch on-center intervals to create an efficient drywall installation.
Mark the ends of ceiling joists onto the top of the wall frame using chalk to use as a guide for placing ceiling drywall fasteners. Mark the wall stud positions onto the floor and ceiling using chalk to provide a guide for attaching drywall to a wall frame.
Use a drywall jack to position each sheet of drywall for a ceiling installation. Fasten it 3/8 inch in from the drywall sheet edge and into the ceiling joists at 12-inch intervals using a drywall screw gun for maximum attachment security. Indent the screw head into the drywall surface so that the drywall dimples without breaking the paper surface.
Abut each drywall sheet to the previously installed sheet to provide a minimal joint to seam with drywall tape. Stagger drywall joints from row to row to create an integrally strong ceiling.
Install drywall sheets on wall framing with the longest edge of each sheet running perpendicular to the wall studs. Fasten them 3/8 inch in from the sheet edge and at 16-inch intervals into each wall stud using a screw gun. Use the same method of installation for wall joints as you did for the ceiling in Step 4.
Secure outside wall corners with metal L-plates to prevent damage to the exposed ends of drywall. Cut drywall sheets to fit using a utility knife and straight edge to score the surface firmly. Use pressure to snap the drywall and cut through the paper on the reverse side to finish. Use a drywall saw if you need to cut a shape in a drywall sheet.
Fill drywall joints with premixed drywall jointing compound for a consistent plaster mix. Cut the drywall tape to the length of the joint and apply over the joint. Skim a thin coat of drywall jointing compound over the tape and feather the finish to each side of the tape onto the drywall sheet.
Fill all screw head dimples with drywall compound and feather the surface to the surrounding drywall sheet. Allow all filled joints and dimples to dry before skimming a thin layer of topping compound over the drywall surface.
Tips & Warnings
- Apply jointing compound in thin layers in joints and allow to dry before building up the joint to minimize cracking caused by compound shrinkage.
- Use a pole sander to sand uneven drywall compound to provide a professional-looking finish. Use increasingly-sized drywall knives to apply jointing compound to minimize the need for sanding.
- Wear protective gloves when installing drywall sheets and when using drywall compound to avoid chemical contact. Wear a respirator and safety goggles when sanding drywall compound to avoid dust contact and ingestion.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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