Step 2: Cover the ceiling

covering the ceiling with drywall
Photo: David Carmack
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With an assistant, hoist the first panel into one corner of the ceiling. The edges should be perpendicular to strapping or joists and one end should be tight to the wall.

As the assistant holds the panel, drive five screws, evenly spaced, in a line across the panel's width and into the joist or strapping closest to the middle of the panel.

Use the marks on the top plate to help align the screws. Keep screws at least ½ inch from all edges. Drive the screwheads slightly below the surface of the paper but not so deeply that they break through.

Repeat this five-screw line at each joist or piece of strapping.

Continue the row in same fashion until reaching the opposite wall. Start the next row making sure all end joints offset the panels in the first row by at least 4 feet.

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    Tools List

    • drill
      Drill (for driving screws
    • t-square
      T-square,
      for guiding utility-knife cuts
    • circle cutter
      Circle cutter,
      for scoring paper to fit around circular ceiling boxes and recessed lights
    • drywall saw
      Drywall saw,
      for cutting and trimming panels before installation
    • drywall lifter
      Drywall lifter,
      for raising lowest sheet on wall
    • metal cutting snips
      Metal-cutting snips,
      for cutting corner bead
    • ladder
      Step ladders and staging planks,
      to stand on when installing ceiling panels
    • utility knife
      Utility knife,
      for cutting panels and smoothing ends
    • rotary cut-out tool
      Rotary cut-out tool,
      for cutting around electrical boxes and windows and doors
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Measuring tape

    Shopping List

    1. DRYWALL

    2. 1 1/4-INCH COARSE-THREAD DRYWALL SCREWS

    3. CONER BEAD

    for finishing outside corners



    4. 1 1/2-INCH DRYWALL NAILS

    for installing corner bead