How to Cut Drywall

Cut drywall by slicing through the surface paper with a sharp utility knife, drawing the knife along a straightedge. Snap the piece away from the cut, and then slice through the paper backing.DmitriMaruta / Shutterstock.com

Cut drywall by slicing through the surface paper with a sharp utility knife, drawing the knife along a straightedge. Snap the piece away from the cut, and then slice through the paper backing.

Cutting and installing drywall (“Sheetrock®”) is fairly straightforward and can be accomplished with only a handful of common tools. However, because full panels are heavy and awkward to handle, hanging drywall is far easier with a helper.

 

If the wall will be painted or wallpapered, you’ll need to finish the joints and corners, but you may not need to hide joints on installations that serve as a backing for ceramic tile.

 

For more about the process of hanging and taping drywall, see How to Install Drywall.

 

 

Using a pencil and straightedge or chalk line, mark for your cutting line on the front paper layer. Score through the front paper with a utility knife and then turn the drywall over and break the gypsum core by bending the panel toward the back. Finish by cutting the back paper along the crease, as shown.

A utility knife is all that's needed for making straight cuts across drywall.©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

A utility knife is all that’s needed for making straight cuts across drywall.

Make straight cut outs or cuts that only go partway across a sheet using an old handsaw.Holbox / Shutterstock.com

Make straight cut outs or cuts that only go partway across a sheet using an old handsaw.

Cutouts and curved cuts. You can use a utility knife to make straight cuts and a handsaw, compass saw, drywall saw, or power saber saw to make curved cuts or small cutouts.

When cutting drywall to fit around doorways, windows, outlets, and other surface interruptions, measure out from the adjacent panel and up from the floor to the obstruction.

Then transfer these measurements onto a new panel and cut. Make small cutouts for outlet and switch boxes about 3/16 inch larger than the boxes, and adjust the holes with a perforated rasp if necessary.

Featured Resource: Find a Pre-Screened Local Drywall Contractor

 


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