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Tips and Tricks for Accurately Cutting Drywall (page 1 of 3)

Learn the pro tips for properly cutting and fitting drywall.

Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

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Fold Drywall Slightly and Cut Through Paper

Courtesy of DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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Unless your room is a perfect 4' x 8' square, with no openings, you will need to cut drywall to complete your project. Take time before you begin to accurately measure and purchase drywall panels to reduce the amount of cutting you will have to do. Use full sheets wherever possible during the project, and always cut the drywall panel to length so that the end falls in the center of a joist or stud. You will then be able to attach the next panel to the other half of the joist or stud.

Cutting Tips

Making cuts along the length of a sheet can be tough. One method is to snap a chalkline along the sheet and then score the line by hand. You may also use a tape measure to mark out accurate guide lines.

When you need to cut inside corners, cut one side with a drywall saw. Then score the other side of the drywall with a utility knife and snap it back as you would any other cut.

Bend the back panel away from the score line to break it along the score. It is usually easier to snap the panel away from you. Be careful to not rip the paper face when using a drywall saw. Make cuts away from the hand holding the straight edge.

Cutting the Drywall Vertically

A. Mark the panel and score it using a straight edge and a utility knife. Pass the knife just through the top layer of paper and into the core (Image 1).

B. Snap the drywall panel along the score line, and away from cut side (Image 2).

C. Score the back of the panel with a utility knife to break the paper, and snap forward to break (Image 3).

D. Rasp and sand the edges of the drywall panel to remove any bumps or imperfections (Image 4).

Marking Horizontal Guide Lines

A. Mark the panel according to your measurements. Snap a line across the panel to provide a straight line for scoring (Image 1).

B. Alternatively, use a tape measure as a straight edge to mark the cutting line (Image 2).

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Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009