How to Drywall a Room


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

  • Chalk
  • 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
  • Respirator
  • 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.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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