How to Cut Drywall

When you cut drywall it does not matter if you are cutting a straight piece or taking out a piece to replace or make a fixture you have to have the right measurements and have a steady hand. Cutting a straight edge on drywall is important for the cut piece to have the exact fit.

Here are steps to take to cut straight edges with drywall.

* The first thing you need to do if find out what size the drywall has to be that you will have to cut. You have to be careful the measurements you make will line up with the center of the ceiling joist or the stud in the wall. When you make measurements do it at least twice because if you are even off by a little the piece will be too big or not big enough. If it is not big enough you will need a whole new piece. If not big enough you will have to shave it off which can make the edges less sharp.

* Take the drywall piece and put in on a sawhorse with the finished side of the drywall face up.

* Mark the measurements on the finished side of the drywall as well as on the both edges of the drywall sheet.

* Make a chalk line between the top and bottom marks. Do not do this by freehand as you should use a snap chalk line to give a straight line.

* Make a cut along the chalk line with a utility knife. Generally 1/16 inch deep will work, as once the paper on the drywall is cut you will be able to have a clean break. It may be a good idea to use a sheetrock square to guide you when you cut. A sheetrock square is also referred to as an oversized T-square.

* Get a good hold of the side of the drywall sheet and snap the drywall back from the chalk line you scored. When you snap it do not do it gently as it may cause the paper on the drywall to rip.

* Slightly fold the drywall and then cut the paper backing along the fold by using a utility knife. In order to get the cleanest cut you should cut from the backside rather than sticking the utility knife through the cut/break of the drywall.

TIPS

* If you begin to measure the exposed wall space in a corner you should go against the intersection wall and then measure out to the stud, which will be closest to the overall length of the drywall. There are 8-foot drywall sheets that are the easiest to handle and work with, but drywall sheets come in lengths up to 16 feet.

* When you use a sawhorse make sure the ground is level and the sawhorse is not wobbling. If it does the cut may not be as clean.

* The sharper the utility knife is the easier and cleaner the cut will be on the drywall.