What are the Best Tips for Replacing Drywall?

Robert Ferguson

Drywall, or gypsum board, is a wide flat board used to cover walls and partitions. The best tip for replacing drywall is knowing the various techniques involved when undertaking this project. There are many things one should consider before hanging the first sheet. From drywall removal to installation, these professional techniques provide the greatest margin for success.

A man uses a taping knife to skim coat a drywall panel.
A man uses a taping knife to skim coat a drywall panel.

When replacing drywall, proper surface preparation is an important first step. Studs or rafters that have a bow or cup must be repaired before replacing drywall. Using a straight edge or string stretched across the face of the wall will identify any problems. Corners, around doors and windows require nailers in which to fasten the drywall.

Drywall replacement typically requires a utility knife.
Drywall replacement typically requires a utility knife.

Replacing drywall requires fastening new drywall to the wall studs. The new drywall should not be simply nailed into place. Drywall nails will pull away from the studs over time, especially on ceilings, causing problems down the road. Tacking the drywall into place with drywall nails will hold it in place until the drywall screws are installed. The drywall screws should be driven just below the surface of the drywall without breaking the surface paper.

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Drywall is available in many sizes.
Drywall is available in many sizes.

When replacing drywall, the new drywall must be cut and fitted into place. A common tool to aid in this process is a drywall square. The tool acts as a straight edge and measuring stick when cutting drywall. A utility knife with a good sharp blade will offer the cleanest cut, which allows for an easier fit. Plenty of sharp razor blades should be kept handy, because the drywall can dull them quickly.

Fiberglass mesh tape is the easiest to use when taping drywall joints and inside corners. The tape has an adhesive backing that allows it to install before any joint compound is applied. Although it is possible for one to tape an outside corner with the mesh tape, using a metal or plastic corner bead provides the most strength to this vulnerable area.

Joint compound is sold in boxes or buckets in a pre-mixed, ready-to-use form. All joint compounds should be mixed thoroughly before they are used. The best way for one to mix the joint compound is with a spade drill and mixing paddle. This provides a smooth, creamy and consistent material with which to work.

Most professionals choose to use a flat hand trowel for mudding drywall joints, because it gives the smoothest finish.
Most professionals choose to use a flat hand trowel for mudding drywall joints, because it gives the smoothest finish.

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