How to Install a Drywall Ceiling

Change the look of a room by installing a new ceiling.
Related To:

Acoustic panels or other ceiling treatments can be replaced easily by a drywall ceiling, giving your room a more streamlined look. 

Materials and Tools:

drywall lift
straightedge
ladders
power drill
utility knife 
hammer
five-in-one painter's tool
mud masher
scrubber
nail puller
mud tray 
drywall knife
carpenter's pencil
gloves 
mask 
safety glasses
sheets of drywall
drywall mud
drywall tape
drywall screws

Steps:

1. Remove the old ceiling tiles and pull out any old nails. Scrape off any bumps of old adhesive using a utility knife and hammer. Make sure to wear safety goggles.
2. Remove any ceiling-mounted light fixtures. Turn the power off first, and check the fixture with a voltage detector to make sure it's off.
3. Use the straightedge to mark rows on the drywall for the screws. Fit the first piece of drywall in the drywall lift and hoist it into place. Start in the corner and work your way out.
4. Attach the drywall using drywall screws and a power drill. Space the screws about six to eight inches apart. If it's a shiplap ceiling (smooth wood panels), the screws can be attached anywhere. Otherwise, they would have to go into the center of the ceiling joists. Continue until all the drywall is installed.
5. Load up a tray with mud, whip it with the drywall knife until it's nice and soft. Start filling in the screw holes first.
6. Next start on the seams. Place a thick layer of mud on a seam, then center a piece of drywall tape along the seam. Cover the tape with a little more mud and smooth it out with your drywall knife.
7. Wait until the drywall mud is completely dry, then come back and work down rough areas using sponges, scrubbers and drywall knives.
8. The amount of sanding you'll need to do depends on the type of ceiling treatment you're using. You'll need to sand less if you're going to apply a textured treatment.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Install a Planked Wood Ceiling

Add architectural detail and rustic, farmhouse charm to a builder basic bedroom with a tongue-and-groove planked wood ceiling. This is also a great way to cover up dated, cottage cheese ceilings or a sloppy drywall job.

How to Install French Drains

Divert groundwater from the basement or foundation with the help of gravel and fabric.

How To: Installing a Fire Pit

A backyard gets more warm and hospitable with a stone firepit.

How to Install Beadboard Wainscoting

Beadboard wainscoting gives a family room a cozy lake-side feel.

How to Install Crown Molding

Install crown molding to add visual interest and value to your home.

How to Install Tile in a Bathroom Shower

Use these step-by-step instructions to take your shower from drab to fab by installing Italian marble tile.

How to Install Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

The experts show how to install wall-to-wall carpeting.

How to Install Snap-Together Laminate Flooring

Installing snap-together flooring allows anyone with moderate DIY skills to create a beautiful new laminate floor.

How to Make and Install an Outdoor Chalkboard

Add a weather-friendly chalkboard to your outdoor space for inspired drawing or score-keeping on family game night.

On TV

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.