If you have a small area to cover, hanging drywall can be a fairly uneventful job. But, if you are covering a large expanse of room with slanted cathedral ceilings, for example, you may need help to lift and secure the panels in place. When installing drywall, make the sheets bridge as many joists or studs as possible to create a stronger connection.

Pro Tip

Measure the wall and plan the layout, making sure to minimize the number of drywall seams in the wall.

Always trim pieces to size. If you force a panel to fit in place, problems could develop later.

When hanging drywall, always work from the top to the bottom.

Always run the drywall sheets perpendicular to the framing.

Hang drywall on ceilings before walls, so the sheets on the walls can help support the ceiling sheets.

Start nails across the top of a sheet before lifting it in place, so your hands are free to lift the sheet and nail it in place.

Stagger the seams across the wall, so that there is not a continuous seam.

As you may be planning to install baseboard later, make sure any small gaps in the drywall are at the bottom of the wall.

Step 1

Hang the First Sheet of Drywall

Lay out and mark the wall for the first sheet. If you are working alone, install a level support to carry the weight of the panel while you secure it in place (Image 1).

Place the first sheet in a corner (Image 2). The sheet should fall in the middle of a stud.

Using 1-1/4-inch drywall screws and a screw gun, secure the panel to the wall, starting in the middle (Image 3).

Fasten the panel into each stud, with a screw every 8 inches. Screws should be at least 3/8 inch away from the outside edge of the drywall (Image 4).

Screws should be set just inside the drywall, but should not break the paper covering when you drive the screw into the surface (Image 5).

Step 2

Double Nail Drywall Sheet to Wall

Double Nail Drywall Sheet to Wall

Photo by: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Double-Nail Drywall

If you decide to nail the drywall in place, double-nail. Place nails in rows that are parallel at 2 inches apart. Set each nail at the same time. Do not completely drive one nail before setting the second nail.

Step 3

Use Adhesive to Hang Drywall

Apply a bead of caulk along each stud, leaving a 6-inch gap along the edges of where the drywall piece will end (Image 1).

Press the drywall in place (Image 2). Nail or screw in place around the perimeter of the drywall sheet.

Step 4

Embed Drywall Tape in Compound Along Seam

Embed Drywall Tape in Compound Along Seam

Photo by: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Apply Tape

After the drywall panels are installed, you will need to cover the joints with tape and joint compound — the first of three layers of compound that you will apply. Cut tape to length, and embed the tape in joint compound along the seam.

Step 5

Install Corner Bead

Measure the height of the wall. Cut the metal corner bead to the required length (Image 1).

Bend and cut the metal bead to shear it (Image 2).

Nail the corner bead in place at least every 12 inches (Image 3).

Apply joint compound to the corner, covering the corner bead and feathering out (Image 4).

After the compound is dry, apply a second coat of compound (Image 5).

Step 6

Tape an Inside Corner

Apply joint compound to the inside corner using a 4-inch knife (Image 1).

Smooth the compound out, feathering it in place (Image 2).

Apply the joint compound to the other wall (Image 3).

Cut drywall tape to length, and crease the tape along the seam. Firmly adhere the tape to the length of the corner (Image 4).

Smooth the tape in place, and apply joint compound to the paper, feathering out (Image 5).

When the joint compound is dry, sand any ridges from the face of the drywall (Image 6).

Apply the second coat of joint compound to the corner (Image 7).

Feather the compound out to provide a smooth finish (Image 8).

Step 7

Fill Screw Holes

Apply compound to every screw or nail hole in your drywall panels to fill the holes (Image 1).

When dry, apply a second coat of compound to smooth out the finish (Image 2).