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How to Install Drywall


Hanging Drywall
After you drive each nail in, give it an extra blow to dimple the surface without breaking the drywall face paper.

To install drywall on the ceiling and walls of a framed room, you'll probably need an assistant, especially for the ceiling. Here's how to cut and install panels:

Step 1: Construct a pair of T-braces from 2 X 4s about an inch longer than the distance from floor to ceiling. Nail 2 X 4s about 3 feet long to one end of each longer 2 X 4 to form the Ts. Alternately, adjustable T-braces can be rented.

Step 2: Cut drywall panels to size. Use a sharp utility knife along a straightedge to cut drywall. After you make the cut through the face paper, place the board over a length of 2 X 4 laid flat on the floor, or some other type of support, and snap the scored section down. The gypsum core will break along the line you cut. Then turn the panel over, cut the paper on the other side, and smooth the rough edges with very coarse sandpaper on a sanding block.

Step 3: Install drywall panels on the ceiling. If possible, try to span the entire width with a single sheet of wallboard to reduce the number of joints. Position and wedge the T-braces against the drywall sheet to hold it in place until you finish nailing it.

Step 4: Drive nails at 6-inch intervals into all the joists covered by the sheet. Start in the center of the drywall panel and work out. Give each nail an extra hammer blow to dimple the surface slightly without breaking the face paper.

It is not necessary to dimple the nails of outside cornerbead, because the surface will be covered with drywall putty.

Step 5: When the ceiling is finished, cut and install wall panels. Carefully measure for any cutouts in the drywall, including electrical outlets, switches, or light fixtures. To make cutouts, draw a pattern of the cutout on the wallboard, drill a hole on the pattern line, and then use a keyhole saw to follow the pattern.

Step 6: Space the nails 6 inches apart along studs, but start nailing 4 inches from the ceiling. Butt the wall panels against the ceiling sheets. Dimple all nails. Nail metal outside cornerbeads to cover any outside corners.

Now it's time for the artistic part -- taping. That's covered in the next section.

Not what you're looking for? Try these:

  • Materials: Just having the tools you need on hand for repairs isn't always enough to do the job. You'll often need various materials, such as lumber or drywall, to complete a task. Check out this article for tips on materials.
  • Drywall: Drywall, also known as gypsum board, is the building material used to put up interior walls in a home or other building. Find out all about drywall in this helpful article.
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