Drywall (Install)

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Drywall (sometimes referred to by the trademark Sheetrock™) is an economical and low-maintenance walling solution used in many homes today. It can be bought at home improvement warehouses and installed relatively simply. However, it requires precision and patience to be done properly.



Any home improvement warehouse should have all the materials you'll need for drywalling a room in your house. Measure the specs of the room first, and someone should be able to recommend a type and amount of each of these items:

  • Drywall panels


  • Strong adhesive (optional)


  • Drywall screws


  • Joint compound


  • T-square


  • Utility knife


  • Screw gun


  • Pencil


  • Drywall tape


  • Taping knife


  • Sandpaper/sanding block/palm sander

The Process

Once you have measured the length and height of the walls you are going to panel, you can begin cutting the drywall to size it properly.

  • Use your T-square to make straight, perpendicular lines on the front side of the material and begin by scoring those with your utility knife. Go deeply enough that you can break the drywall along the cut, and finish by trimming the paper on the other side of the panel.


  • At the corners, make sure you place the panel so that the drywall on the adjacent wall will meet it and form a corner.


  • Measure the placement of the studs on the wall (or joists in the ceiling, as the case may be), and mark this on the panel with your pencil.


  • Once you have lines running down the drywall that signify the stud placement, you can put the panel up. You may choose to put adhesive on the studs first to keep the panel stable, or you could have someone else hold it up.


  • Use drywall screws and your screw gun to secure the panels into the studs. If the screw goes in too easily, you have missed the stud.


  • Place screws about six to seven inches apart along the length of the studs, starting four inches down from the ceiling. Make sure to set the screws slightly into the panels (dimpling).


  • Continue to cut and size your panels until you have covered all the walls of the room.


  • Place joint compound in between the edges of the panels (including corners) with your taping knife.


  • Apply a layer of tape all the way down the seams, pressing down and squeezing out some of the excess compound underneath.


  • Use your taping knife to get everything smooth and level. Fill in all the dimpled screws with compound as well.


  • Twenty-four hours later, the compound will be dry. Apply a second thin layer, extending a few inches to either side of the first, and allow this to dry as well.


  • Apply a third layer, extending the compound about six inches to either side of the tape.


  • Feather the compound out at the edges, so that everything is subtle and close to being level.


  • Once this dries, sand everything smooth with medium-grit sandpaper. Screws should be compounded and sanded as necessary until smooth and level with the wall.

So, now you have your drywall up, all that's left to do is choose a color of paint--and start painting, of course!

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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