Step 1

Cutting and Installing Drywall

Mark locations of all studs by placing a pencil or a chalk line on the ceiling and the door. Make a mark that’s noticeable enough that it won’t get totally covered by the new drywall sheet.

Step 2

Making a Ledge

If you’re hanging your sheets horizontally, measure 48” down from the ceiling and place a mark on two studs. Insert one drywall screw deep enough into each stud to hold your piece of wallboard. You’re essentially making a ledge to rest a large piece of wallboard on.

Step 3

Get Your Measurements

Measure where your wallboard needs to be trimmed. A standard piece of wallboard is 4 x 8. In this installation the wall is only 6 x 2.5in wide, so we’ll need to cut some of the end.

Step 4

Score the Frontside

Mark the location of your cut and use a T-Square or other straight edge to score the frontside of the wallboard using a sharp utility knife. Make your score fairly deep, at least 1/8 of an inch.

Step 5

Snap the Wallboard

Snap your wallboard along the score line using care not to rip the paper backing.

Step 6

Cut the Backing

Then, move to the backside of the cut, run your utility knife up the seam and cut the paper backing to finish the cut.

Step 7

Use Your Adhesive

Once you’ve trimmed your board to size and are ready to install, run a bead of adhesive down each stud. This will reduce the number of screws needed, provide additional sound deadening, and result in a stronger, flatter wall.

Step 8

Press Into Place

Lift your wallboard and rest the bottom edge on your ledge screws and press it into place.

Step 9

Secure Positioning

Using your ceiling and floor marks, drive three screws through the wallboard and into the studs to secure it in position.

Step 10

Feel the Edges

Drywall screws should be properly “dimpled” into the wallboard so that they will not be visible. Using a screw gun for larger jobs will save time and produce a cleaner result. For smaller jobs we recommend a drywall screw-setter that will properly dimple your screwheads using a standard drill. The objective is to ensure that no screwheads are sticking out above the surface. You should be able to run your hands over the wallboard and not be able to feel the edges of the screwheads.

Step 11

Three Courses of Screws

Place three courses of evenly-spaced screws in your newly installed wallboard – one course across the top and bottom edges and one course through the center. Use your ceiling marks as a guide to ensure that every screw hits a stud. You should end up with three screws in every stud per piece of wallboard (Top, Middle, and Bottom).

Step 12

Fit Wallboard Over Outlets and Switches

When working around outlet boxes you’ll need to cut holes so that the wallboard fits snugly over all of your outlets and switches. Always make sure the power is turned off to all electrical outlets and switches and that any unsecured wires are safely capped and pushed into the back of the box. Measure from the top of the outlet box to the bottom edge of the wallboard above. Write your measurement on the wall directly above the outlet box. Then, mark the width of the outlet box using lines on the left and the right sides of the outlet box.

Step 13

Defining the Outlets

Transfer your measurements to the new bottom piece of wallboard so you will know where to cut around the outlet box. Make sure to accurately define where the top edge of the outlet box should begin on your new piece of wallboard.

Step 14

Cut Holes for Outlets

Use a drywall router with a drywall bit installed or a keyhole saw to neatly cut the hole for the outlet box. The drywall router is handy for larger jobs where there are numerous outlet holes, windows and doors to cut. Keyhole saws are great for smaller projects and hard to reach areas where there isn’t much material cut out.

Step 15

Fasten Your Wallboards Together

Fasten your lower piece in place use the same techniques as before, making sure that your outlet and switch boxes are all cut out and seated properly.

Step 16

Form a Sharp Edge

Make sure that when two pieces of wallboard meet at a corner, they overlap to form a sharp edge. This is essential for the reinforcing corner bead that you’ll need to install along the entire length of the corner joint.

Step 17

Using a Drywall Router ... If Necessary

Any large openings for doors, entryways or windows can be trimmed out using the drywall router.

Step 18

Finishing Drywall

For filling joints, a bucket of pre-mixed, all-purpose drywall compound is recommended. Stir the bucket to a smooth consistency and fill a mud pan with enough joint compound to make one full coat over the joint you’ll be working on. The technique for finishing horizontal and vertical seams is identical. It’s usually best to start with the horizontal seams.

Step 19

Fill the Drywall Seam

Using your 4” putty knife, fill the entire length of the drywall seam from one end of the other. Make sure your final product is level with neatly feathered edges. When using drywall compound, the key is to work in thin, level coats. Thee objective is to fill the cracks and make them as level as possible with the wallboard on both sides of the seams.

Step 20

Lay the Joint Tape

Lay your joint tape into the wet drywall compound and smoothly lay it into your freshly mudded joint. Slightly wetting the tape will keep it from binding and ease the application process. Use one piece of tape per seam. Leave 1/8” of an inch where two pieces of tape meet in any areas.

Step 21

Add Joint Compound

With your tape in place, take your 6” drywall knife and add a layer of joint compound over the tape and surrounding area. Make sure to completely cover the tape and make sure that you continue the process of laying smooth, thin coats that are level with the wall. The objective is to bed the tape into the first layer of joint compound while covering it with the second.

Step 22

First and Second Coat

For outside corners, you’ll use a pre-fabricated corner bead instead of tape. These can be made from fiberboard or metal. This is a low traffic area so we’re using a fiberboard corner bead. Press it into your first coat securely and then lay your second coat over it just like you did for the tape.

Step 23

Fill Screw Dimples

Allow the taped seams to dry for the recommended time per the instructions on the joint compound. While the large joints are drying, fill all of the screw dimples and any other imperfections in the wallboard. You need one smooth even coat. Drive or gently hammer down any screw heads that are protruding from the wall and then cover those as well.

Step 24

Ready for the Next Coat

Wait a full 12 hours for all of the joints to dry. You’ll be able to see that all of the drywall compound has turned totally white. At this stage, you’re ready for your next coat.

Step 25

Apply the Finishing Coat

Using an 8” putty knife, apply a thin finishing coat to every seam and every corner. This is also a good opportunity to put a second coat on every screw dimple as well.

Step 26

Fill Any Low Spots

Make sure that all of your joints are level with your wallboard. You should be able to place the edge of a putty knife over any joints without seeing any light gaps underneath. Fill any low spots with another layer of drywall compound.

Step 27

Sand the Joints

Wait another 12 hours for your finishing coat to dry completely. Once that’s done, you’re ready to sand your joints. Use a circular sanding pad for larger jobs, or a smaller hand-held sanding block for small areas. Sand gently until you cannot feel any joints, screws or imperfections with your hands.

Step 28

Ready for Primer and Paint

Once you’ve finished sanding and touching up, your wallboards are ready for primer and paint.