Whether you’re renovating your home or building a new one, hanging your own drywall can save you money and give you the satisfaction of completing a major DIY task on your own. All you need are the right tools, supplies, and a helping hand. Drywall comes in a number of different thicknesses. Be sure to select the right one for each area of your home. Here’s what you’ll need to take on this project.
- Tape Measure
- Drywall Rasp
- Drywall Screw Gun
- Framing Square
- Straight Edge
- Quick Square
- Utility Knife
- Cut Out Tool or Jab Saw
- Various Joint Knives
- Drywall Sheets
- 1-1/4” Drywall Screws
- Drywall Tape
- Drywall Compound
- Mud Pan
- Caulk and Caulk Gun
- 3” Screws
- Wood Shims or a Lifter
- Drywall Joint Tape
When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear.
Measure and plan. Start by measuring the area where you’ll be installing drywall to determine how much you’ll need. As you measure, take some time to plan the layout of your drywall. Minimizing and staggering joint seams will help save you time when finishing it later. Joints should be avoided at door and window corners, as they can cause bulges that interfere with window and door trim.
Ceiling drywall. Start by hanging drywall on your ceiling. Drywall can be heavy, so get a friend to help hold it in place while you work. It can also be helpful to create a third arm. To do this, measure from the floor to the ceiling, then subtract the width of your drywall. Use this number as the height for two T-shaped arms you can build with 3-inch screws and 2x4s.
Measure for ceiling. Measure the ceiling joists at the end of your first piece of drywall. Measure the distance between the joists, then transfer your measurements for screw placement. We recommend installing screws every eight to twelve inches. It’s also a good idea to place a few extra screws at the end of each piece of drywall.
Hang ceiling drywall. Reduce screw pops by applying drywall adhesive to your joists first. With a friend holding it against the ceiling, place the drywall tightly into the corner against the wall. Use the third arms you built to hold it in place, then use a drywall gun to install your screws. After the first piece is up, continue the same process for the rest of the ceiling.
Prepare wall panels. Once your ceiling is installed, measure the length of the first wall you’ll be drywalling. Again, be sure to stagger your joints. Start by measuring your wall studs. If necessary, cut the drywall so the end is centered on a stud. Measure the distance between the studs and transfer your measurements to your drywall sheet to mark screw placement. For walls, we recommend placing screws every 12 to 16 inches.
Cutting drywall. When trimming the full length of a sheet of drywall, begin by marking your cut with a framing square straight edge. Cut off an extra eighth of an inch so it easily fits on the wall or ceiling. To cut the drywall, use a utility knife to score the front side of the drywall piece. Break the chalky core of the drywall with both hands. Fold back the unneeded piece, and cut through the back paper to separate the pieces. Clean the edge of your cut with a drywall rasp. You can use the same tool to make slight adjustments if necessary.
Fitting around objects. To cut holes around objects such as outlets, measure the wall from each side of the drywall to the opening. It’s often helpful to jot down your measurements on a piece of paper along with a small sketch. Transfer your measurements to the drywall with a pencil, a framing square, or straight edge. Check your measurement again before cutting any holes in your drywall. Getting it right the first time will save you from extra patching or waste down the road. Cut your desired opening in your drywall. While a drywall cutout tool is the best tool for this job, you can also use a drywall jab saw.
Place your first piece. If you’re hanging drywall by yourself, screw 2x4s into your studs to support the drywall as you place it. Apply drywall adhesive to the studs where your first piece will be installed. Starting in a corner, place your first piece of drywall horizontally so each vertical edge is centered along a stud for solid fastening. Lift the sheet so it’s tight against the ceiling or the next piece of drywall.