The Ultimate Guide to Drywall Installation: Tips and Tricks for a Professional Finish

Installing drywall can seem like a daunting task for the novice DIYer. However, with knowledge and preparation, it can be done successfully, which resembles the work of any professional. This guide will discuss everything you need to know about drywall installation to have a flawless finish. From materials needed to tips while installing. We will outline each step necessary to ensure your project turns out perfect. So let’s get started!

🔨Plan Ahead

Drywall Installation

To estimate the quantity of 4-by-8-foot sheets you need, compute the total square footage of walls and ceilings and divide by 32. Purchasing one or two extra per room is prudent in case any cutting errors occur.

In order to ensure safety:

  1. Make sure all electrical cables are safeguarded from screws or nails.
  2. Ensure that wires behind outlets are tucked away as much as possible into the switch and ceiling-fixture boxes’ backs. If any electrical box is concealed by insulation, uncover it immediately.
  3. Remember to install a metal shield (known as a nail plate) for any wiring or plumbing pipes placed within 3⁄4 inches of the edge of a stud wall.

Strategically plan your ceiling-panel layout so that any seams are at least 8 inches away from light fixture boxes—as these fixtures will undoubtedly highlight any imperfections or irregularities. To ensure convenience, store the drywall sheets in an adjacent room and stand up on their end. Whenever possible, put cut edges against corners, as this allows for easier trimming and covering with another piece of drywall.

🔨Selecting the Drywall 


There are many factors to consider when selecting drywall for your project, including size, thickness, and composition. Understanding these factors will help you select the right drywall for your project. 

👉Size Matters 

Drywall typically comes in 4’x8′ sheets with larger sizes available, such as 4’x10′, 4’x12′, and 5’x12′. The larger the room or space being worked on, the larger the size sheet of drywall you need to purchase so that fewer seams show after installation. When measuring and planning a project, make sure to factor in the size of your drywall sheets when calculating how much material you need to buy. 

👉Consider the Thickness

When it comes to drywall thicknesses, there are several options for you to choose from, ranging from 1/4″ – 5/8,” with 1/2″ being the most popular option. If you want to add soundproofing between rooms or extra fire-resistant protection, thicker drywalls may benefit your project. In general, 1/2 “-thick drywalls are suitable for most residential applications because they balance cost and performance benefits well.  

👉The Drywall Composition

In addition to size and thickness considerations, you also want to pay attention to the composition of your drywall before making a purchase decision. This is because different gypsum boards have different properties and characteristics that will affect their performance once installed in your home or business space.

For example, some types of gypsum boards come with moisture-resistant properties, while others feature fire-resistant qualities, which can be beneficial if you’re looking for extra protection against water damage or potential fires in your space. You should also consider where your wall will be located when selecting a type of gypsum board, as certain types may perform better in certain environments than others.  

Thoroughly researching all these considerations before starting any project can help ensure that you have a quality result that meets all your expectations without breaking the bank!

🔨Materials Needed

The most important material for your drywall installation is the actual drywall itself. When selecting the type of drywall to use, consider the size and weight of the boards. Larger boards are more difficult to manage, and heavier boards are more challenging to install. Choose a board that is easy to handle and install in your space. 

Once you have selected the type of board that works best for your project, calculate how much drywall you will need by measuring all four walls in each room or area where you plan to install drywall. Once you have all your measurements, add 10% additional material to account for any mistakes or waste during installation. 

👉Additional Materials 

In addition to the actual drywall, several other materials will be necessary for a successful installation. These items include:

  • Joint compound (also known as mud)
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Screws or nails
  • Level or straight edge
  • Caulk gun (for sealing seams around windows and doors),
  • Sandpaper (to smooth out uneven surfaces after applying mud)
  • Drop cloths (to protect floors from mud)
  • Putty knife (for smoothing out filled seams between panels)
  • Mudding trowel (make applying joint compound easier and faster than using a putty knife alone)

🔨Preparing the Walls

Make sure you take the time to inspect the wall area and prep it so it will take your drywall. This is especially important if you’re working with an older home or one damaged in some way. In this blog post, we’ll look at what steps you should take to ensure that your walls are ready for drywall installation. 

👉Inspect for and Repair Hidden Damage 

Before beginning any drywall installation project, inspect the walls for hidden damage. This is especially important if you’re working with an older home or one damaged in some way. Check for signs of water damage, such as mold, discoloration, or odors from the wall area. If there is any visible damage, repair it before installing drywall, as this can cause issues with adhesion and sturdiness in the long run. 

👉Inspect Insulation Stapled to Studs 

If your walls contain insulation stapled to studs (often done with exterior walls), inspect it before beginning your drywall project. Ensure that all the staples are flush against the studs and not protruding outward or inward. If there are any exposed staples, use a pair of needle-nose pliers to flatten them out again so they don’t interfere with the drywall installation process. 

👉Use Triple-Expanding Foam 

Using a triple-expanding foam to seal any cracks and gaps on exterior walls before installing your drywall will help keep moisture out while providing additional insulation and soundproofing benefits. Apply a generous bead of foam around window frames and other penetrations to ensure an airtight seal between these areas and your newly installed drywall panels.  

🔨Measuring & Cutting ( Ceiling )

👉Measuring Out From Corners 

The first step when installing drywall for your ceiling is to measure out from a corner. This will give you a good idea of where each sheet should end. It’s important to ensure that each sheet’s end lands directly onto strapping joists or pieces, as this will provide additional support and stability for the rest of the drywall installation process.  

👉Applying Glue and Hoisting Drywall 

Once you’ve measured out from a corner, before laying the drywall, it is necessary to adhere each strapping or joist with glue. This glue will help keep the drywall in place while providing additional support and stability. With the adhesive firmly in place, it’s time to start hoisting your drywall panel towards the ceiling – beginning with the corner you just marked out. 

👉Screwing Into Strappings or Joists   

After hoisting up your first sheet of drywall, it’s time to secure it by driving five screws into each line across its middle and into one of the strappings or joists below. Make sure these screws are spaced evenly apart to distribute weight evenly across the entire panel.  

👉Finishing Up Your Row   

Once your first row is complete, it’s time to start gluing, hoisting, and screwing in more sheets until one full row of your ceiling has been covered with drywall panels. It’s important to ensure that each sheet is securely attached before moving on to the next. If any panels become loose during installation, they should be reattached immediately to ensure safety and stability throughout your project.  

🔨Measuring & Cutting ( Wall )

👉Mark the Location of All Studs 

The first step in any drywall installation is to mark the location of all studs using a stud finder. This will help you determine the space you have available for each panel and which pieces need to be cut down. After you’ve marked the wall studs, measure your drywall against them to ensure that its end piece will fit securely in the middle of a stud.

👉Glue and Screw Placement 

Once you’ve determined where each panel should go, it’s time to start gluing and screwing them into place. To securely install drywall, evenly apply the bead glue to each strapping or joist. With assistance, lift the drywall onto the wall and use a drill to install five screws into the stud in its center. This will help keep it secure while ensuring that future panels are aligned correctly with existing ones. 

👉Cutting Out Irregular Openings 

As you traverse from row to row, utilize drywall saw to make cuts along abnormal openings like arches or other decorative accents that necessitate careful precision when slicing out pieces of drywall. Keep attaching, lifting, and screwing the drywall until one tier of your ceiling is totally enclosed before progressing to the next.

Don’t forget to cut out any drywall hung over window or door frames—this will create an even surface once all panels have been successfully installed. It’s important to caulk between each panel and around any windows or door frames to ensure an airtight seal.

🔨Mudding and Taping

Mudding and taping drywall involve more than slapping some compound onto the wall with a putty knife. To ensure that you get professional results, follow these steps. 

👉Mix your Initial Coat of Mud

Before you start mudding and taping, mix your initial coat muds consistency of sour cream. This will make it easier to spread on the wall or ceiling evenly.

  • Apply the Mud: Use a drywall knife to apply a liberal amount of muds to a seam.
  • Place Drywall Tape over Joints: Put drywall tape over the entire joint to which you applied the mud.
  • Wipe off Excess Mud: Wipe off the mud around the tape with your drywall knife.
  • Inspect for Air Bubbles: Make sure there are no air bubbles in your recently taped joint before moving on.
  • Use Corner Tools for Corners: For corner beads, consider using a corner tool that is available for both inside and outside corners.
  • Apply More Coats as Necessary: In order to ensure an optimal finish, apply at least 2-3 more coats using a wider putty knife for each layer.
  • Don’t Forget Swipe Coat Over Each Screw Head: Ensure that your drywall panels are seamlessly integrated once painted. Make sure to cover every screw head with a swipe coat for maximum protection. This will help conceal the screws and give you a flawless finish!
  • Repeat Until All Joints Are Taped: Repeat these steps until all joints are taped properly, and you have achieved desired results. 

🔨Sanding and Finishing

One of the most important steps in getting a perfect installation is sanding and finishing the drywall. This process ensures that your walls look even, smooth, and professional. Here’s how to get it done right. 

👉Sanding Drywall 

The first step in sanding and finishing drywall is to use a pole sander and drywall sandpaper to create the perfect finish for your project. It can also hit the inaccessibly situated joints after the final coat has dried. This will ensure that the joints are smooth and even. Once scraping away the excess material, use a handy drywall sander along fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out the rough edges. Be sure to review every inch of wall space to ensure it’s completely evened out. 

👉Inspection and Priming 

Once you’ve finished sanding, it’s time for inspection. Carefully examine any area with a compound on it using handheld lights and pencils – this will ensure you can spot any imperfections. Such as bumps or divots in the wall that weren’t taken out during the sanding process. Once you’ve inspected all surfaces, prime the walls with a good-quality primer before you begin sanding again. This will help seal any remaining imperfections and give your walls an even finish when they’re painted later.  

👉Painting Drywall 

Finally, you’re ready to paint. All that’s left is to select the right color and finish for your walls. Pick a pair of painter’s gloves and use a roller or brush to apply two coats of high-quality latex paint in the desired color. Let each coat dry before applying the second one for the best results.

And there you have it! That’s how to hang and finish drywall like a pro.

Additional Expert Tips 

1. Measure Twice, Cut Once

As with any construction project, measuring twice and cutting once when installing drywall is essential. You want to ensure that your pieces fit together perfectly before you tap them into place. 

2. Use Specialized Drywall Tools

Using specialized drywall tools will make the job much easier and quicker than traditional tools like hammers and screwdrivers. Buy a good-quality taping knife, utility knife, corner roller, drill bits, screw setters, and other necessary tools. 

3. Make Sure Your Walls Are Flat

Before installing drywall sheets on uneven walls or corners, ensure they are as flat as possible by using a level or straight edge to eliminate any irregularities in the wall surface. This will ensure that your finished product looks professional and straight instead of crooked or uneven.  

4. Use Joint Compound

A joint compound is essential for filling gaps between pieces of drywall and creating smooth finishes along seams where two pieces meet up against each other. Make sure to use a joint compound specially designed for drywall to adhere better and dry faster than regular plaster compounds or spackling paste. 

5. Hang Drywall in Sections

Instead of trying to hang entire sheets of drywall at once (which can often be difficult), hang them in sections from top to bottom so that you can easily adjust them if needed without having to take down everything again from the top down. This method also prevents sagging due to gravity. Since each section is held up by its weight instead of relying on the sheet above it for support.  

6. Use Spacers

When hanging large sheets of drywall, use spacers between each sheet so that there isn’t too much pressure put on one sheet while another is being put up next to it (which could cause cracking). These spacers should be 2-3 inches wide, depending on the size of your sheetrock panels. So that they don’t interfere with installation but provide enough space for air circulation around each panel during drying time after the mud has been applied onto seams between sheets for finishing touches later in the process.  

7 . Use Adhesive Caulk

To prevent warping due to moisture buildup behind the panels over time, apply adhesive caulk along all edges before nailing them into place so that moisture won’t seep through any cracks or crevices left after nailing them down securely onto studs framing out walls beneath them. This will also provide extra soundproofing benefits and keep out cold air during winter, if needed, beyond just insulation inside walls. It might not always reach high enough levels depending on the seasonal location of the home or building throughout the year.  

 8 . Secure Nails Properly

Nailed joints should be secured properly by driving nails into studs framing out walls beneath them at least one inch deep (but no more than two inches deep) through the face paper layer covering the outer sides. Acing outwards is usually visible when looking directly at the installed panel itself, making sure not to hit electrical wiring running through walls or accidentally doing this step.

Doing this will guarantee a strong hold without the possibility of nails slipping out over time due to years of wear and tear endured by the wall surface since being hanged originally. Plus, it protects from potential water damage around areas close to nails that have been entered into later. If you ever need repair work done, future repairs happen required.  

 9 . Sand Smoothly

Finish off the job by sanding uneven surfaces until they are smooth and even. This will help ensure a professional-looking finish that doesn’t have bumps, ridges, or cracked seams when clicking on lights in the room. Use special drywall sponges designed for this purpose to avoid damaging the paper layer outer side of each panel which could potentially be exposed through the sanding process if not careful when doing this step.

Additionally, use a vacuum cleaner afterward to help clear away any dust created during the installation or finishing stages of drywall work. This will ensure a clean job site and better air quality inside the home or building being worked on overall! 

 10 . Leave it to Professionals

After reading all the tips above, and you still need to be more confident in your ability to hang drywall, leave it to a professional! Hiring someone experienced in this field can save you time and money and ensure that the job is done correctly so that you don’t have any issues down the road. St.Louis Drywall is among the premier contractors in the area, and they can help you get the job done right.


Hanging drywall is a complex task requiring an understanding of the material and how to install it best. Follow the tips outlined above to ensure that your drywall is installed correctly and will last for years. If you are uncertain or need more confidence in your abilities, it’s best to call a professional.

St.Louis Drywall is a great choice for all of your drywall needs. With their experienced professionals, you can trust that the job will be done correctly and to your satisfaction.