You have decided to completely redecorate your home, but you know that you will need a lot of skills for that. One of the steps in this endeavor is to learn how to cut drywall. Today is your lucky day because it is very easy to pull this off, with a few of my tips on how to cut drywall fast.
Table of Contents
What is Drywall?
For total beginners, let’s start by explaining what drywall is. This material consists of gypsum cement with a smooth finish. In the last century, this material has become very popular due to its efficiency. This kind of material has other advantages. One of these is that using this material can reduce the transmission of sound between rooms.
However, like all materials, this material has its disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is the huge sensitivity to moisture. This material is also susceptible to mold formation. In case of such undesirable situations, it would be essential to eliminate the plaster. After that, you should replace the drywall.
Another option is, if you react quickly enough, within 48 hours at the latest, to hire professionals who would dry the entire wall and thus renew the wall and prevent the emergence of microbiological organisms. Because of everything I have already mentioned to you, I sincerely advise you to avoid using this material in rooms with a large amount of moisture, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and so on.
The first time I dared to try to cut drywall, I had no idea what tools were needed for that or how much time it took. I was very pleased to find out that this endeavor does not require a lot of money or skills. This is one of the most elegant procedures in remodeling your home.
There is no unbearable noise, there is not a large amount of dust and it takes you about a day to wrap the job you have planned. Of course, like all the renovations you do in your home, you can leave this to a professional. But why would you when, if you do this yourself, you can save a lot of money.
A few key things you need to cut drywall are:
- Measuring tape
- Utility knife (get some extra blades just in case)
- Straight edge (you’ll want to be very precise, this isn’t something that’s done roughly)
- Drywall rip saw or electric drywall saw
- Drywall keyhole saw
- And drywall surform rasp or sanding block
You need to take into consideration that you dispose of the material you use responsibly. It would be best to have no small children in your environment while doing this work.
Techniques of Drywall Cutting
There are two techniques for drywall cutting. You can use the technique of scoring or sawing. The first technique is more suitable for cutting sheets to length or width, while the other technique is much more suitable for cutting openings for windows and doors.
First of all, we will start with a description of the drywall scoring process. This method is the neatest and meticulous way to do the job.
After you have brought the necessary material into the room, lean all the drywall sheets against the wall that you plan to process last. Position them so that their finished faces are facing the room. Be careful when arranging them because you don’t want them to warp.
Using a straight edge, cut with a very sharp knife and get into the gypsum core on the front side of the drywall sheet. It is important that while doing this, you support the drywall sheet from behind to make it break clean. There is no need for any strong pressure, as this can only result in a blunt knife.
Mark the desired length on the gypsum board sheet and score it only in the bottom-up direction. This move will prevent the knife from slipping and causing unwanted injuries while working.
Lean one of the sheets on one side of the floor and lightly press it with your knee in the desired place so that you can easily fold it.
You need to cut partially down into the paper crease on the backside using a bottom-up move.
If you notice that the edge of the paper is not as sharp as you would like it to be, you can solve this problem by smoothing the cut edge with a sanding block.
In this step, you need to cut strips that are thinner than three inches, by scoring both sides, before you finally tear them off. It is important to score both sides, to avoid breaking into small pieces.
You will need a little practice for this step. Using a utility knife, cut off the tops of the sheets behind the 4 feet square. Score the aluminum tongue with the blade so that you can hold the square against this sheet, and then score the sheet. With such moves, it is possible to score two sheets at the same time.
Snap the sheet by opening the incision with a light hit. Before this move, make sure that the surface on which you will place it is totally clean, because gypsum is very sensitive material, so you can damage its surface if an object is found on the floor during this move.
Cut the sheet on the backside wherever you need it. You may need to replace the blunt blade in this process. If you notice that the paper starts to tear when you cut it, it’s time to replace it.
The Simplest Method to Cut a Hole in the Drywall
Before you start any cutting, measure the dimensions of the hole you want to drill well, and mark those desired dimensions. Take measurements from all sides and angles. This procedure is the same regardless of the purpose of the hole you are drilling, that is, whether it will serve as a window, door, ventilation opening, or anything similar.
Using a pencil and straight edge, draw the sides of the hole for total precision. If the hole you want to drill is not rectangular or square, but round, it will be necessary to measure the dimensions from the edge of the drywall to the center of the circle.
Using a keyhole saw, which can be found on the market for only five dollars, cut a hole. Since this technique is often used to cut holes for switches, you need to keep in mind that you need to insert a keyhole saw into one of the sides of the gap. Be very careful if the drywall is already placed around the switch. Use protective gear, such as goggles and gloves, while doing this.
When drilling a hole for a window or door, use back and forth movements with a saw. The very beginning of drilling, that is, cutting a hole, is usually the most difficult, so it might be best to first pierce the center of the hole you want to cut with a knife and thus make your job easier.
The fastest way to cut drywall when you have already cut the sides of the hole is to lightly hit the center of the hole with a hammer to remove the cut material.
As with the previous technique, smooth the edges of the drywall with a rasp if necessary. Use light back and forth movements.
You can cut the drywall yourself, but it would be good to have help, especially when lifting heavy objects. Be economical and when cutting, cut your material first to length, and only then to width.
That was you will save some material and not let it go to waste. If another adult can help you while doing this, it would be great because then the person could stick to the drywall, and thus the material would break less into irregular parts.
Although there is much less dust when cutting this material than with some other materials, if you are allergic to dust or just want to protect yourself, it would not be bad to use a face dust mask in addition to the already mentioned protective equipment.
As you can see from the attached, there are not many steps that need to be done to cut the drywall. However, you have to be very precise, meticulous, and patient if this is your first time doing something like this. Use a graphite pencil for marking. If you use a chemical trap or marker, there may be an unwanted spill of paint on the drywall, which would only take extra time to repair the damage.
Don’t push yourself too much. Take a break when you need it, drink coffee, or go out into the fresh air, and that way you will stay rested and prevent the occurrence of mistakes caused by fatigue. I wish you good luck and I hope you find these tips on how to cut drywall useful.