Hanging drywall is not a 100% exacting process. Luckily, there is a little bit of wiggle-room--not a lot, but some. Creative usage of drywall compound and subsequent painting can cover up some flaws in installation.
But your drywall installation will be much smoother if you can iron out those imperfections ahead of time, avoiding cover-ups.
Incorporate these tips into your next drywall installation, and it will go smoother and result in a flawless surface.
1. Mark Vertical Studs Top and Bottom
Use a carpenter’s pencil to mark the “on-center” point of each vertical stud. Mark on the floor and mark once more as high as possible. If you can’t mark on the surface, use a tab of painter’s tape.
2. Check Studs for Protrusions
Run the head of your hammer down all surfaces where drywall will be fastened. You’ll be able to hear protrusions when the hammer hits them. Pound down nails or cut or sand down protruding studs. You want your surface completely flat.
3. Use Coarse-Thread Drywall Screws
Pay attention to threads when buying your drywall screws. You’ll need coarse thread, not fine thread, for driving into wooden studs. Coarse thread screws pull into the wood easier and hold tighter.
4. Draw Lines Showing Stud Centers
After you get your drywall panel initially tacked in place, the next-best thing to having x-ray vision is to draw a line showing the center of each stud. Run a straight edge from your top and bottom stud marks. Draw a light line. That’s where you’ll be driving screws.
5. Position Work Light to the Side
It’s hard to drive your screw-head deep enough to dimple the panel’s paper, but not so far that you break the paper. But that’s what you need to do to hold the panel tight. Angling your work light at a low angle to the wall helps you better see the crease when it develops.
6. Work Smarter When Installing Drywall Alone
Even though drywall sheets are incredibly heavy and floppy (especially the 12' sheets), it is possible to install drywall alone
. The trick? Tools. A drywall lift, easily rented at most local rental yards, hoists drywall into position for hanging on ceilings. You can even make your own ad hoc drywall lift. But whatever you do, don't try to get that sheet up on the ceiling all by yourself!