Laying drywall is an effective and inexpensive way to finish the walls inside your home during new building or while doing renovations. All you really need are the drywall sheets, drywall tools and some know-how about how to lay the drywall. Laying drywall isn’t an overly complex process, and it lends itself nicely to the do-it-yourself kind of mentality. To get started, you’ll need your drywall sheets and drywall tools like lightweight knives in widths of four and six inches, paper tape and all-purpose joint compound. You can also try self-adhesive mesh tape, although some beginners will have trouble with it. Ask someone at your hardware store or home store what thickness of drywall would be best for your specific needs.
If you are drywalling the ceiling, it’s best to start there, then do the walls second. Use the longest pieces of drywall you can, to avoid having to use your drywall tools too often to cover seams. It’s a good idea to check to ensure the floor joists are level before you start installing the drywall on the ceiling. Once you’re sure that it’s level, have a helper hold the drywall sheet up against the ceiling. This is where you’ll need more drywall tools, including a drywall hammer and drywall nails. Hammer in the nails at about 16-inch intervals, or whichever distance works best for your situation.
For the walls, cut your drywall sheets to the appropriate lengths using your drywall tools, then lift each sheet up and hold it against the top of the wall. Nail the sheet in place so it is secure, then repeat the process around the remainder of the walls. When you encounter electrical outlets during installation, take a few steps to make sure you don’t end up hammering a drywall nail into the wires. Install some self-gripping steel protection plates by hammering them onto the wall studs. Then. Measure to the outside of the electrical box by using the edge of the drywall sheet next to the box as a reference point. Use your drywall tool square to transfer the measurements to the panel you installed. Cut just outside the pencil lines with a drywall saw and then nail your drywall sheet to the stud.
When doing the corners, use metal corner bead for the outside corners and folded paper drywall tape on the inside corners. Both will require drywall compound to make the corners look complete. You’ll need your drywall tools again to finish off the seams for a smooth look. Tape the perimeter seams by laying down a thin strip of compound along each seam. Press your tape into the joint and wipe away any excess compound. Apply a second coat after the tape is dry, then another once that is dry. Sand the seams, then apply one or two more coats until the seams are smooth. With practice, you’ll gain confidence with all your drywall tools and you’ll be able to lay drywall faster and with a more professional look.