DIY Network

Drywall 101

More in Windows Walls and Doors


Watch an Overview Video

Tools & Materials

Drywall boards
Drywall screws
Screw gun
Drywall joint tape
Drywall compound
Taping knife
Drywall primer
Interior paint
Paint roller and tray

Helpful Drywall Info

Drywall is made of the mineral gypsum sandwiched between two layers of paper. It was invented about a century ago to take the place of wet plaster on ceilings and walls.

Standard thicknesses are 1/2 and 5/8 inch for walls and ceilings; drywall sheets are typically 4x8 or 4x12 feet.

Large water molecules in gypsum make it naturally fire resistant.

You can now get drywall that also resists mold and moisture (good for baths and kitchens); high impact drywall (use in garages, workshops, and playrooms); and noise-reducing drywall (for home theaters and bedrooms).

Much of today’s drywall is made entirely of recycled materials.

Installing Drywall

Install drywall on ceilings first, then walls; with wood wall studs, place the board horizontally.

TIP: Drywall must be primed before you paint or wallpaper it.