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How to Cut Drywall & Hang Drywall – 15 Beginner Tips

I admit, before I started hanging my own drywall, I thought it looked like it would be too hard for me to do. But, guys, it’s really not. Today, I have 15+ beginner tips for how to cut drywall and hang drywall on walls, by yourself!

How to Cut Drywall & Hang Drywall

Now, I’ve been hanging my own drywall for about 20 years. And, I’m sure I’ve saved myself thousands of dollars at this point. Cutting and hanging the drywall is actually the fastest and easiest part.

Taping and mudding the seams to get perfectly smooth walls is the part that takes the most time and effort.

This post will cover the most common questions I get or have had in the past. And, I have a short video showing most of the steps you’ll need to know to hang drywall in your home.

Instead of babbling on, let’s get to those beginner tips for how to cut drywall and hang drywall. 🙂

15+ beginner tips for how to cut drywall and hang drywall, by yourself. This DIY is easy if you know the rules and have the right tools! How to hang drywall on walls by yourself. Beginner steps for how to drywall your home.
Don’t forget to save this DIY on Pinterest.

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Carefully measure the area you will hang the drywall on.

How Do You Cut A Piece of Drywall

Let’s start with how to cut drywall. Here are the basic steps to cut straight lines in drywall.

  1. Carefully measure and cut drywall.
  2. Use a level or a Drywall T Square or 4′ Level to mark and cut straight lines.
  3. Only use a pencil to mark drywall. Pen and marker ink will bleed through most paint and primers.
  4. Always use a sharp blade in your utility knife when cutting drywall.
  5. Cut the face of the drywall first. That’s one of the most important things to remember for how to cut drywall. Make sure to cut through the paper or deeper to break the board with clean, straight lines.
  6. After cutting apply pressure to either side of the cut or the back of the cut to snap the drywall.
  7. Then cut the paper on the back to separate the 2 pieces of drywall.
15+ beginner tips for how to cut drywall and hang drywall, by yourself. This DIY is easy if you know the rules and have the right tools! How to hang drywall on walls by yourself. Beginner steps for how to drywall your home.
Use a 4′ Level or Drywall T-Square and pencil to mark and cut straight lines.
After cutting through at least the paper on the face (front) of the drywall, you can apply pressure to break through the rest of the drywall.

Watch This Beginner Drywall Video

If any of the steps for how to cut drywall are confusing, I highly recommend watching the short video. Hopefully seeing it done can help clear up any confusion.

How to Cut & Hang Drywall By Yourself - 15 Beginner Tips

Now that you know how to cut drywall, let’s talk about how to hang drywall by yourself.

Can You Hang Drywall By Yourself

If you can lift the drywall alone, you can generally hang drywall by yourself with a few tips.

Tip 1

The first tip is to use framing nails to hold drywall in place. Just partially nail in 2 framing nails a hair below where the drywall bottom should be, one at each end.

That will help you hold the weight of the drywall and line it up while you screw in the first few screws.

Tip 2

The second tip is to use a drywall jack. You can rent a drywall jack at most tool rental stores. The drywall jack can hold a sheet of drywall on walls or ceilings for you.

Drywall jacks are essential when hanging drywall on ceilings. Even if you’re hanging drywall on a ceiling with someone else, a drywall jack will save your arms and shoulders. Which will help you work longer and faster.

Tip 3

The third tip is to build and use a dead man’s brace to hang drywall on a ceiling. These only work on ceilings. A dead man’s brace is built with 2x4’s to the height of your ceiling.

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A Dead Man’s Brace generally T-shaped or a T with 2 45-degree supports to strengthen the top of the T. But, these are harder to work with by yourself than a drywall jack.

Just imagine lifting a sheet of drywall above your head and holding it while you try to position a dead man’s brace in place. Some people use a tall ladder and a dead man’s brace to help move the drywall in place.

But, honestly, it is harder and a bit dangerous. I only recommend using a dead man’s brace when you have 2 people lifting the drywall into place and only need a dead man’s brace, or two, to safely hold the drywall while you are screwing it into the framing.

Partially hammer in framing nails to support the weight of drywall.
15+ beginner tips for how to cut drywall and hang drywall, by yourself. This DIY is easy if you know the rules and have the right tools! How to hang drywall on walls by yourself. Beginner steps for how to drywall your home.
Lifting drywall into place on the nails I tapped in. Make sure to remove the nails when you are finished hanging the drywall.

Steps to Hang Drywall

For this DIY drywall project in my house, I’m only hanging drywall in a small area. But, I have the steps below for how to hang drywall across a whole wall, or multiple walls, by yourself. Again, you can see me doing most of these steps in the how to cut drywall and hang drywall video above.

Use a Drywall Setter Bit to get screws that are perfectly set inside the drywall without breaking through the drywall or causing extra damage.
  1. Use a Drywall Screw Setter Bit to easily set drywall screws at the perfect depth.
  2. You can use partially set framing nails, or similar, to hold drywall up while you screw it in place.
  3. Start by hanging drywall horizontally from the ceiling. Hanging drywall horizontally has been shown to reduce material usage and the amount of seams to tape and patch.
  4. Hang the drywall all the way across the wall before moving to the next row beneath it.
  5. Stagger the joint on that row for less obvious joints.
  6. Starting at the ceiling and working down a wall keeps most of the seams within easy reach for patching. It will also, in most rooms, keep the seam below eye-level so that any imperfections are less obvious.
  7. When you hang drywall you need 7 screws on the left and right sides, spaced 8″ apart. And, 4 screws along each stud in the center, spaced 16″ apart.
  8. Use your 4′ level to mark the studs with pencil to make it easy to place the screws.
  9. Keep all screws along the edges 3/8″ away from the edge to avoid damaging the drywall.
  10. You always need studs at each end of your drywall, the drywall should be supported by at least 1/2 (3/4″) of the length of a stud on each end. You can screw a new stud into place when you don’t have a support.
15+ beginner tips for how to cut drywall and hang drywall, by yourself. This DIY is easy if you know the rules and have the right tools! How to hang drywall on walls by yourself. Beginner steps for how to drywall your home.
Space 7 screws 8″ apart on the left and right sides. The studs between those get a screw at the top and bottom and 2 between those 16″ apart.

Does Drywall Have to End on a Stud

Yes, drywall does have to end on a stud. You need to have the left and right sides of drywall halfway over a stud. A stud is 1 1/2″ thick, so the drywall should cover 3/4″ of that so that the next piece of drywall also has 3/4″ to attach to.

Also, if you are cutting out corners to fit a space, you really need any corners of drywall ending on a stud too. That’ll give that cut out the strength and support it needs to avoid extra damage if that spot is ever bumped hard enough at that  spot.

That’s it, guys. Generally your next steps would be to tape the seams and mudding. I will actually be covering my drywall with some DIY Paneling and Wainscoting.

More DIY Projects For You

You can see what this finished wall looks like now in this How to Remove an Arched Doorway in a Wall post. Grab the printable version of the steps for how to cut drywall and hang drywall below.

UPDATE: Check out how different this Foyer looks now in the Before and After 2 Story Foyer Makeover post!

Looking for more of my Home Remodeling Videos? Check out this DIY Home Improvement playlist on YouTube.

How to Cut Drywall & Hang Drywall By Yourself

How to Cut Drywall and Hang Drwall By Yourself

Here are 15+ beginner tips for how to cut drywall and hang drywall by yourself. You can do this!

Additional Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute

Materials

  • The general rule is to use 1/2" thick drywall where studs are spaced 16" on-center. Use 5/8" thick drywall where studs are spaced 24" on-center.

Tools

Instructions

  1. Carefully measure before cutting your drywall.
  2. Use a level or a Drywall T Square to mark and cut straight lines.
  3. Only use a pencil to mark drywall. Pen and marker ink will bleed through most paint and primers.
  4. Always use a sharp blade in your utility knife when cutting drywall.
  5. Cut the face of the drywall first. Make sure to cut through the paper or deeper to break the board with clean, straight lines.
  6. After cutting apply pressure to either side of the cut or the back of the cut to snap the drywall.
  7. Then cut the paper on the back to separate the 2 pieces of drywall.
  8. Use a Drywall Screw Setter Bit to easily set drywall screws at the perfect depth.
  9. Use partially set framing nails, or similar, to hold drywall up while you screw it in place.
  10. Start by hanging drywall horizontally from the ceiling. Hanging drywall horizontally has been shown to reduce material usage and the amount of seams to patch.
  11. Hang the drywall all the way across the wall before moving to the next row beneath it.
  12. Stagger the joint on that row for less obvious joints.
  13. Starting at the ceiling and working down a wall keeps most of the seams within easy reach for patching. It will also, in most rooms, keep the seam below eye-level so that any imperfections are less obvious.
  14. When you hang drywall you need 7 screws on the left and right sides, spaced 8" apart. And, 4 screws along each stud in the center, spaced 16" apart.
  15. Use your 4' level to mark the studs with pencil to make it easy to place the screws.
  16. Keep all screws along the edges 3/8" away from the edge to avoid damaging the drywall.
  17. You always need studs at each end of your drywall, the drywall should be supported by at least 1/2 (3/4") of the length of a stud on each end. You can screw a new stud into place when you don't have a support.

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Feeling inspired? Now that you’ve read these tips for how to cut drywall and hang drywall, you can do it too. Let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.

Kim | Shiplap and Shells

Wednesday 9th of September 2020

Wow! I feel like I might even be able to do this! Your pictures were very helpful.Thank you for sharing at Charming Homes and Gardens!

Stephanie

Thursday 10th of September 2020

Thanks, Kim!

Marilyn

Wednesday 9th of September 2020

******************************************************** Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn ********************************************************

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