How to Build a Drywall Box

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Whether you need to cover a wooden column or a pipe, a drywall box is the answer.
Whether you need to cover a wooden column or a pipe, a drywall box is the answer. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Exposed rafters, wires and pipes are a visual nuisance and a potential hazards. Fortunately, most of these items are hidden by your drywall ceiling. But there are times when these objects make appearances in a room. Many builders will not bother to cover these minor imperfections. Hiding a spot here or there involves simply building a drywall box. This box can be as large, or as small, as your project requires. To change the size of the box, all you need to do is adjust the length of its wooden frame.

Things You'll Need

  • 6 boards (2 inches by 2 inches by 48 inches)
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • 12-inch speed square
  • Circular saw
  • Broom
  • Galvanized wood screws, 2 1/2 inches
  • Drill with Phillips bit
  • 2 sheets of drywall (4 feet by 8 feet by 1/4 inch)
  • Razor knife
  • Drywall screws, 1 inch
  • Keyhole saw
  • Self-adhesive, mesh drywall tape
  • Drywall compound
  • 6-inch drywall knife
  • Sanding screens
  • Clean, dry rags
  • Spray primer
  • Acrylic spray paint
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask

Lay six boards (2 inches by 2 inches by 48 inches) side by side on a flat surface. Move the boards so that the ends are flush. Stretch a tape measure along the first board. Make a pencil mark at 24 inches. Lay a speed square on top of the boards in line with your mark. Draw a line across as many boards as possible using the blade of the speed square as a straightedge.

Cut each of the boards in half using the line across each board as a guide. Stack each of the boards to the side to leave the work area clear and safe. Sweep the area as soon as you are finished cutting the wood with a circular saw.

Lay four of your 24-inch boards on your flat surface. Arrange the boards into a square. Drive a wood screw through the side of one board to attach it to the end of the other to form a corner. Build all four corners to complete the square. Build a second square with four more of your 24-inch boards.

Stand the four remaining boards on your flat surface. Lay one of the squares on top of the four upright boards. Drive a wood screw down through each corner of the square to attach the uprights. Ask an assistant or a neighbor to help you hold the uprights in place during attachment for safety. Flip the assembly, lay the remaining square on top of the uprights, and attach it in the same manner.

Cut six pieces of drywall with your razor knife. Make each piece 30 inches by 30 inches. Lay one piece of drywall on top of your box frame. Drive a drywall screw through the drywall and into the wood with the Phillips bit on your drill. Place a series of the drywall screws spaced at 4-inch intervals around the perimeter of the drywall to attach it to the frame. Trim the excess drywall off with a keyhole saw using the wooden frame as a guide. Attach each piece of drywall in the same way, being sure to trim each piece before attaching the next.

Cover the seams in your drywall box with self-adhesive, mesh drywall tape. Place each piece of tape smoothly, covering the entire seam, and trim the tape with your razor knife.

Spread drywall compound over each seam in the box. Apply the compound with a 6-inch drywall knife. Smooth the compound as much as possible. Apply compound to each of the four seams around the top of the box. Let the compound dry completely before flipping the box and repeating the process on the remaining four seams.

Wait for all eight seams to dry completely. Smooth each seam by rubbing it with a sanding screen. Rub with the length of the seam, not against it. Wipe away the dust with a clean rag once all eight seams have been sanded.

Spray the top half of the box with primer. Hold the can 8 to 12 inches away from the box and spray using a side-to-side motion of the can to obtain a smooth coat. Let the primer dry completely, flip the box and prime the rest of the box. Let the primer dry and apply two coats of acrylic spray paint to the entire assembly in the same manner.

Tips & Warnings

  • Work gloves and safety glasses are required when using hand and power tools.
  • A dust mask is required, along with your gloves and glasses, when sanding and spraying paint.
  • Always sand and spray paint outside, or in a well-ventilated area indoors.

References

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