Back Button

How to Drywall a Bulkhead

Owen E. Richason IV

The word "bulkhead" is a maritime term that generally means a wall. It is also used in aviation terminology for the same reason. The term can also be found among contractors referring to an interior wall, often associated with a kitchen or bathroom. Therefore, drywalling a bulkhead means to hang drywall on an interior wall. This is a do-it-yourself project that any moderately handy homeowner can undertake and complete.

  1. Measure the height and width of the bulkhead with a tape measure to determine how many drywall sheets you will need to cover the wall. Drywall sheets come in 4-by-8-foot panels

  2. Cut drywall sheets down to size to cover the bulkhead as necessary. Cut the drywall panels using a utility knife to score each side and snap off the excess.

  3. Place a stud finder against the bulkhead and mark the location of each stud behind it with a pencil.

  4. Hold the first drywall sheet against the bulkhead and fasten it to the bulkhead with a screw gun driving drywall screws into the stud. Repeat as needed until the bulkhead is covered in drywall.

  5. Tape the seams between each drywall sheet on the bulkhead by adhering drywall tape along the seam. Spread joint compound over the taped seams with a putty knife thereafter. Allow the compound to dry for about 24 hours.

  6. Attach medium-grit sandpaper to an orbital sander and sand the joint compound to make it smooth and flush with the drywall sheets.

  7. Apply a coat of interior primer using a roller and let the primer dry for at least three hours. Paint over the drywalled bulkhead with an interior paint after the primer is no longer tacky to the touch.