How to install drywall ceiling and wall panels

Learning how to install drywall ceiling and walls is simple, but it does take a fair amount of strength and endurance to complete the task. It helps to have the right tools for hanging drywall ceiling sheets.


furring strip

This is where we put up the sheetrock. Sheetrock or Gypsum board, as it’s sometimes called, is kind of heavy so this is a good place to get some help. The standard thickness in residential sheetrock is ½-inch, but you can get it thicker if you need stronger walls or sound protection.



drywall furring


Before we start to put up any sheetrock, we’ll need to make sure that the wall studs are straight and square. You can take a tape measure and check the inside walls to make sure the sheetrock will be on center to a wall stud. Remember, where two sheets are joined, there needs to be enough room on the stud to nail both sheets.

You can use furring strips to help secure the sheetrock where the walls need reinforcement.
As far as which way to run the sheetrock on the walls, I prefer to run the sheets horizontally so I have a horizontal seam 4 feet up the wall. That makes it easier to tape and mud. The best way to hang sheetrock will leave as few seams as possible.

hanging drywall

There is a special drill and bit for sheetrock that prevents the screw from going in too far, but you can use a regular screw gun if you're careful.

Sheetrock can be cut with a utility knife. It only needs to be scribed enough to cut the paper and then it will break apart. You will need to cut out all the holes for outlets, switches, and light boxes.

cutting drywall

Some people find it easier to install the ceiling sheets with the use of a dead man. A dead man is just some 2x4's fashioned together to hold the ceiling panels in place.

how to install drywall
drywall hoist



If you have a lot of ceiling work to do, you may want to rent a drywall ceiling hoist. They are a real lifesaver. This is especially true if you are working alone trying to install-drywall-ceiling sheets.

A T-square can help make perfect cuts for straight pieces, but a chalk line is usually the best tool for tricky cuts.

install sheetrock

Hanging sheetrock takes a little practice, but it’s also a very “common sense” kind of thing. The important thing to remember is to make the taping job easier by using big pieces and getting the sheets to fit together without uneven joints.

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Taping and mudding drywall

Texturing drywall

Repairing drywall holes