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Drywall is a great way to easily cover the studs, electrical, and piping that hide inside your ceiling. You can even use drywall to replace cracked plastered ceilings without the technical expertise needed to smoothly cover a ceiling with plaster.



Skill Level & Time to Complete

  For a 12-foot by 20-foot room:
  • Beginner - 5 to 6 hours 
  • Intermediate - 4 to 5 hours
  • Advanced - 3 to 4 hours
  - Always install ceiling drywall first before installing the walls.
  - Make sure the blade on your utility knife is sharp to avoid tearing.
  - Hang drywall with the goal of minimizing the number of seams. The taping will go faster and the end result will be better.
  - Recruiting the help of a friend will help the project go much more smoothly and more quickly.


Materials List
   1-5/8 inch drywall nails
   1-5/8 inch drywall screws
   Drywall adhesive
Tools List
   Claw Hammer
   Drywall T-square
   Utility knife
   Utility blade refills
   Drywall saw
   Screw gun
   Drywall lift
   Chalk line
   Carpenter's Pencil
   Tape Measure


1. Preparation
Check the area for obstruction like protruding pipe and ductwork. Install furring strips to the framing to extend the wall so the drywall will hang flat.
2. Ceiling Installation
Install ceiling drywall first. Mark the locations of ceiling joists on the wall studs for reference when fastening the drywall.
3. It is recommended to use a drywall hanger for easy placement of the drywall. You can also use the help of a second person. Start in a corner area where you can use full sheets and hang the drywall across the ceiling joists.
4. Dispense the adhesive on the ceiling joist only where the current drywall sheet will cover. Be forewarned - the adhesive dries in about 10 minutes, so do not apply it too soon.
5. When cutting the drywall vertically, first measure and mark a cut line, lay the straightedge along the line, and cut through the paper face with the knife.


6. Next, tip the panel slightly up off the floor or worktable and snap it downward to break through the core.
7. Turn the panel over and slice through the paper backing with a utility knife.
8. To cut the drywall along its length, use a chalk line to mark your line.
9. Carefully use a utility knife to score the paper over the first pass…
10. …and cut a little deeper on the second pass.


11. Using the drywall hanger, raise the drywall sheet to the ceiling and slide it into place tightly into the corner.
12. The tapered edges of each drywall sheet should always butt together and face the floor. The purpose of the tapered edges is to accommodate your joint tape and joint compound.
13. With either screws or nails, drive the fastener so that their heads just dimple the surface but do not break through the paper facing. Later you will fill the dimples with joint compound.
14. Place the fasteners 3/8” from all edges and space them 7” inches apart along the perimeter of the drywall sheet. For the interior of each sheet, drive screws into the studs about 12 inches apart. If you miss a stud, pull the nail or screw out and try again, you can fill the hole with joint compound when you tape the seams and corners.
15. You should stagger the seams of the drywall for stability. Therefore, start the second row with a half sheet of drywall.


16. For panels, which will cover a vent or light fixture, do not completely fasten the board. Using a rotary drill or keyhole saw, cut out around the border of the vent or fixture. Then finish fastening the board. Complete the entire ceiling before installing drywall on the walls.

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