How to Hang Drywall on a Ceiling

How to Hang Drywall on a Ceiling. Putting up a new drywall ceiling is similar to hanging walls - just more strenuous and awkward. But even strain and awkwardness can be eased with the right rental equipment.

  1. Gather your equipment. You'll need a hammer and drywall nails or drywall screws and a drill with a screwdriver bit, not to mention enough drywall to do the job.

  2. Rent a drywall jack from your local rental center or drywall supply house. This equipment has a large rack to support the drywall in a flat position while it's positioned and raised with an easy-to-operate cable jack mechanism.

  3. Mark the ceiling joists, or rafters as they're commonly called, on the top plate (the two 2-by-4s or 2-by-6s that cap the wall studs) of the wall. This will make it easier to find the joists as you fasten the drywall to them.

  4. Measure and cut any light fixture areas from the drywall as needed (see "How to Cut Drywall," under Related eHows).

  5. Place a sheet of drywall onto the drywall jack (make sure you always put the drywall on the jack with the finished side facing downward), and lift to the ceiling.

  6. Position the drywall sheet in the correct location. Make sure the end of the drywall is in the center of the joist.

  7. Nail around the edges and remove the jack. Nail about 1/2 inch from the outside edge to prevent breaking the edges.

  8. Complete nailing the drywall in place with nails or screws approximately 7 inches apart along each joist. Remember to dimple, or countersink, the nails or screws slightly so they can be hidden with drywall compound. (When using a drywall screw gun, this countersinking action can be adjusted so that it's the same with each screw put in.)

  9. Tip

    Always match factory edges and cut edges together when adding the next piece of drywall. Stagger the joints from row to row of drywall. After hanging the drywall on the ceiling, you can tackle the walls.


    Even with the drywall jack, this can still be heavy work. Getting help from a friend is a good idea. Wear safety glasses to prevent nails, screws or dust from falling in your eyes.