How to Install Drywall on Curved Surfaces

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Drywall is a building material made of gypsum board pressed between sheets of paper that is installed over wall studs to finish walls in most modern construction. Installing drywall on standard flat walls and ceilings is a laborious but generally straightforward process. If you have a wall that's curved, you can still install drywall on it, but you need to take extra steps to bend the drywall. When installing drywall on a curved surface, don't use 1/2-inch drywall. Instead, use 3/8-inch drywall for a wall with a shallow curve and 1/4-inch drywall for tight curves.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Straightedge
  • Utility knife
  • Drywall screws
  • Drill
  • 1-by-2 board
  • Spray bottle
  • Wood putty
  • Sandpaper
  • Joint compound
  • 6-inch putty knife
  • Drywall tapeß
  • Measure the length of the curved surface. Cut the drywall to fit the surface by placing a straightedge against the cut line and scoring the drywall with a utility knife. Snap the drywall along the score line. If you need more than one sheet of drywall, cut the sheets so that they meet in the middle of a stud.

  • Connect the first drywall panel to the stud at the beginning of the curve. Place one drywall screw in the middle of the board, then install drywall screws every 6 inches, working out from the center. Drive the screws deep enough that the head of the screw is just beneath the surface of the drywall.

  • Attach a 1-inch-by-2-inch strip of wood to the edge of the drywall by driving drywall screws through the 1-by-2 and the drywall into the stud. (Don't hit the screws that are connecting the drywall to the stud.)

  • Dampen both sides of the drywall at the point you are bending with a spray bottle. Only spray the section of drywall that you are currently bending.

  • Press against the drywall about one-quarter of the way out from the edge attached to the stud. Screw the drywall to the second stud the same way you attached it to the first stud.

  • Continue attaching the drywall to the wall frame, using the same method.

  • Remove the 1-by-2 from the drywall. If you had to use a second panel, install the second panel, working out from the end stud on the other side of the curve.

  • Fill in the holes created by the 1-by-2 and where the drywall screws are located with wood putty. Sand the putty down to smooth it out.

  • Apply joint compound to the joints between the drywall sheets with a 6-inch putty knife.

  • Place strips of drywall tape into the joint compound over the seam, and press it into the joint compound with the putty knife. Allow it to dry overnight.

  • Add more joint compound and drywall tape to the joints and allow it to dry overnight. Repeat this a third time the following day.

Tips & Warnings

  • When building a tightly curved wall, install studs every 8 inches instead of every 16 inches, which is the standard. Attach the 1/2-inch drywall to the studs spaced 8 inches apart, rather than 16 inches apart.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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