Learning how to hang drywall panels flawlessly is an important skill for any DIY enthusiast. Using incorrect hanging techniques means your finished walls and ceilings might sport noticeable seam lines. Perfecting the skill takes practice but having the right techniques and materials is a step in the right direction.
Drywall corners should NOT overlap when applying drywall to the walls because overlapping could leave bumps. They don’t need an exact fit either. Gaps will be filled with joint compound during the tape and float process.
In this article, you’ll discover the best techniques to follow when installing your drywall in corners. You’ll also learn useful tips and tricks, plus what mistakes to avoid when carrying out your drywall project.
How To Hang Your Drywall in a Corner
Installing drywall in a corner isn’t as straightforward as doing it in other areas. That said, the most important thing to do is avoid screwing in the drywall panels while leaving behind large gaps. Clean corners aren’t only beautiful to look at, but they can also make your drywall more stable. Thus, you also want to smoothen the corners well to prevent bumps.
Consider using a drywall lift for the best results when undertaking a drywall corner installation. This tool makes handling and placing drywall sheets easier, especially when working with a partner.
To hang your drywall, follow the steps below (source):
- Place the first drywall panel as flush as you can against the ceiling edge (use the drywall lift) and screw it in.
- Place the second panel flush against the first one and secure it.
- Add a layer of joint plaster on either side of the corner walls and cover the area with drywall tape.
- Apply a corner bead to seal the outer drywall corners.
- Apply joint plaster over the corner (2–3 coats), allow it to set, then seal and sand the corners.
Here are useful tips to follow when installing your drywall:
Avoid Overlapping Drywall Tape
The most challenging part of drywall installation is delivering a perfect finish, particularly when it comes to corners. That’s because you need to blend multiple drywall sheets seamlessly and multiple surfaces together. It’s easier said than done, but it’s the only way to attain excellent results.
The best way to avoid having a bulge on your finished wall is to apply a single layer of paper tape. Paper tape is ideal because it delivers a strong joint when used alongside an all-purpose joint compound.
Start by applying a thin compound layer to the entire length of a single vertical joint. Ensure to use a quality knife with a flexible blade to help you spread the mud evenly across the joints.
Next, place a strip of paper tape on top of the wet mud. The tape should be around 2 inches (5.08 cm) shorter than the joint. Work from the center of the tape and move towards each end while pulling the joint knife smoothly. Doing this will bed the tape securely in the mud. Repeat this process with all your vertical joints.
Watch the short YouTube video below to learn how to tape a corner using paper tape:
When taping horizontal joints, you want to cut the tape such that it fits snugly between the vertical joints without forming any overlap. That’s because an overlap might leave bumps (source).
Ensure You Have Everything You Need Before You Start
When carrying out any DIY project, planning is essential. To avoid stopping halfway through your project because you don’t have a particular tool or ample supplies, ensure you have everything you need before commencing. This includes all necessary tools and materials.
It’s also highly advisable to prepare your materials beforehand. Having your tape cut to length before starting can save you precious time as the mud is drying.
Consider Doing Some Practice Before Tackling Challenging Tasks
Finishing a job like installing drywall well takes practice. Before handling difficult aspects like finishing inside corners, consider practicing mudding and taping on a less challenging surface such as a standard tapered joint first.
The most suitable area is inside a closet where your results won’t be that evident. This way, you’ll gain the experience required to make high visibility areas like joints and corners in your living room look more appealing.
How Do You Drywall Outside Corners?
To drywall outside corners, first, you want to ensure your corner is straight and all corners are smooth. Next, apply a thin coat of joint compound on the outside corners, around 2–3 inches (5.08–7.62 cm) wide on either side. Spread the compound down the wall with a 6-inch (15.24 cm) knife.
What follows next is mounting the corner bead.
To mount the corner bead, place your cut bead over the adhesive layer, ensuring it lies flush with the ceiling. Using slight but even pressure, run your hand along the entire length to ensure a good bond. Confirm the bead is placed straight, then wipe down and blend the edges while holding the knife at 45°.
You might need to cover the bead completely with several coats of joint compound. Proceed smoothly to the wall as well in order to make the corner smooth and seamless. Also, scrape off excess compound to prevent bumps. Remember to let the compound harden completely in between the paint jobs, then sand it lightly with fine-grit sandpaper after the paint dries.
Completing the outside corners gives you the practice you need before tackling the more complex inside corners. The only thing to note here is that you need to be extremely precise when applying your initial coats of mud for the best results. These form a guideline for your knife to follow in the next steps.
How To Hang Drywall Panels on Your Walls
Drywall panels are typically installed horizontally in residential properties. Also, you need to measure and cut the initial wall panel carefully to ensure that its bottom meets the center of a wall stud neatly. This cut edge goes to the corner.
To hang your drywall panels, you want to start by installing the upper row, working on a single wall at a time. Hang your first panel on the adjoining wall and ensure to press it so it fits snugly against the previous wall drywall and the ceiling drywall.
Drywall makes an ideal building material because it’s affordable and DIY-friendly. What’s more, you can install it using a few hand tools that you probably already have. For the perfect finish to your walls and ceilings, use compound sparingly and apply a light touch when spreading it.
As a homeowner, I am constantly experimenting with making the structure of my house more energy-efficient, eliminating pests, and taking on DIY home improvement projects. Over the past two decades, my family has rehabbed houses and contracted new home builds and I’ve learned a lot along the way. I share my hard-learned lessons so that you can save time and money by not repeating my mistakes.