I need to get some kind of interior finish on my shop walls now that they're
insulated, and I can't come up with a better idea than drywall. I'm going
to do this myself, probably with a helper who will probably know less about
hanging drywall than I do (which isn't much...the white side faces out,
right? ;-). Anyway, it appears that the recommended way to do this is to do
the ceiling first, then hang the walls with the drywall parallel to the
floor starting at the ceiling and working down. However, to get this thing
going, I'd rather do the walls first. Then I would run the electric surface
mounted on the drywall. At some later date, I would drywall the ceiling.
My main question is: how big of a deal is doing the ceiling after the walls?
Also, it would be way easier in my mind to hang the drywall vertically
(parallel to the studs) rather than horizontally. For this application,
would it be OK? I'm open to any other constructive comments regarding this
I think it would be no problem. Just be sure to leave yourself a gap of the
How tall are you? If you hang horizontally, you have the big easy seam 4
feet off the ground and do not need to go up and down the ladder as much
when taping. You can also use 12 footers easier and potentially elimate
another seam or two.
I couldn't just do the walls all the way up and start the ceiling "inside"
the drywall on the walls?
I'm of average height and I also forgot to mention that these are 10-foot
walls. So, either way, somebody's getting on a ladder to tape, I imagine.
It still might be better to do it perpendicular to the studs, though. I'm
less worried about which way the walls go than I am putting the ceiling off
thanks for your response.
I'm pretty sure you can do both of what you are describing (walls
before ceiling, and vertical installation). The pros don't install
boards vertically because it is faster the other way and because you
get a better finish. Vertical edges are harder to feather than
horizontal edges. Unless your mudding job is perfect, the repeated
vertical edges every four feet will be visible through your finish,
and tend to be more distracting than a single edge four feet from the
The pros also hang the ceiling first, then butt the walls up to it
because it is possible (provided your ceiling joists are perfectly
level) to get perfect seams at the ceiling without stressing the
sheet. You will find it very hard to put the last sheet in without
leaving a gap of 1/4" or so if you hang the walls first.
HOWEVER, as any amateur who has ever hung drywall can tell you, enough
mud and enough sanding will fix all of these problems. You might get
cracks in the finish someday. So what? It's your shop, not your
dining room. You will almost certainly put a six-foot piece of walnut
through the wall someday, as well. That is why they made patching
That said, I would still recommend horizontal installation, because it
means you have to do less taping and muding. Taping sucks and should
be avoided at all costs.
Good luck with your upgrades.
I generally run my sheets vertically to avoid the butt joints that come with
laying it horizontally. Seams are going to be there no matter what - you
can't put two pieces of sheet together without seams. Edge seams at least,
finish easier than butt joints.
Unless your drywall sheets are long enough to span from one side of the
room to the other, you'll end up with non-tapered butt joints somewhere
along the wall. These are MUCH harder to tape and hide without a visible
bulge. By hanging the sheet vertically, you always have tapered edges where
sheets meet up, making the taping job a lot easier.
The other "trick" many pro's use (more on ceilings than walls, but it's
also possible) is to make the joint in between the main joists and
fasten to a ledger that is 1/8" or so shy of the field. Then have a
nice area in which to make the joint and fill to make the final surface
Using 8' or 12' sheets, an average wall will result in what? One butt
joint on an average wall vs. one EVERY four feet if laid on vertically?
The reason, I was told, that the drywall is laid horizontally is that
the joints at 4' high, etc. will not show up to the eye when you scan
the room. Sort of like the reason to cut your half tiles (or less)
towards the back corners of the tile field rather than front and/or center.
Maybe I missed it but another good reason to DO THE CEILING now is
simply this: What are you going to do once you hang cabinets, racks,
pegboard, etc. on the walls and THEN decide to go ahead and put in the
ceiling. Do it now! You really don't want to have to vacate that shop
for the job, do you?
Hell, my wife and I have decided to make our last stand here at the home
we build 30+ years ago rather than pack and move all our "stuff." Let
the kids worry about it after we're gone. That'll teach em!<g>
The walls of most rooms are between 12 and 16 feet, which only translates
to two or three joints when the sheets are hung vertically.
In any case, we hung sheets vertically on the 28' wall of our garage, and I
can't see any waviness anywhere. That's the advantage of having the tapered
seams where the sheets meet. You can get a perfectly flat joint if you take
your time when taping.
I agree, I'd do the ceiling first, even if that's all you can afford to do
right now. It's much easier to move junk off to the side to do a wall than
it would be to move everything around to get to the ceiling.
true, it IS harder to get a smooth joint on a butt joint, however, this is
offset with three things:
1) The long running joints are basically at waist height...easy to get at
without stretching and stooping. Bad enough that you need to do that in the
corners, no sense doing it every 4' down the length of the wall, too.
2) Along the same lines, the 4' vertical joints can be done by stooping
just once and getting on the drywallers bench just once. Most people have
enough of a wingspan to handle reaching 4' without a lot of twisting.
3) The vertical joints are not as noticeable, in general, as horizontal
joints, all other things being equal...that is that you make good joints.
Final tip for a mudded wall...use a skim coat after you think you're
done...just think the crap out of the mud...think thick paint...and slap it
on, followed by a WIDE trowel. When I've done this, don't try to work ONto a
wet skim coat. Start in a corner and work as far down the wall as possible.
Then go to the next corner and do the same thing, going the same
direction...and so on around the room. Next day, go the other way around.
Prime and paint.
Standard ceiling heights aren't such a bad reach for the average height
person. It's less work as well, to reach and stoop to do factory joints
than it is to do butt joints. In the end you'll be doing more stooping and
reaching with butt joints than with factory joints.
You have to stoop for every joint - and you have to do all of the extra work
of feathering out every one of those butt joints. I've seen a lot of
sheetrock hung horizontally, and most times the butt joints show. It's not
worth taking the extra time and effort required to work those butt joints
when you can simply hang it vertically and deal with (almost) all factory
Which would be an arugment in favor or hanging it vertically and having all
vertical joints without horizontal joints.
I've never tried this and it sounds like more work than just applying a good
primer coat before painting, but I'll bet it does a nice job of creating a
consistent finish on the rock so that paint does not telegraph where the
My uncle taught me how to drywall and tape the joints over 40 years ago. He
always preferred to hang the sheets vertically with as many factory joints
as could be made, then tape and mud the joints with increasing width layers,
feathering the edges wider with each layer. The non-factory edges had to be
feathered wider during the taping process to make them look right, so he
tried to minimize the number of them because they took a bit longer to do.
After each layer of mud dried he would use a taping knife to scrape off any
high spots or bumps before applying another layer of mud. Two or sometimes
three layers was all that was usually necessary for good results. His final
"sanding" wasn't sanding at all. He never used sandpaper. He used a large
damp sponge to wipe off and smooth any remaining bumps and surface
imperfections. While doing this on the seams he also wiped across the whole
surface of the drywall and not just the joint areas. By doing this, the
whole wall surface became coated with a thin smooth layer of drywall mud,
which reduced the differences in texture between the paper sheetrock surface
and the seams, making them even less visible after the walls were painted.
He never used sandpaper, his finished walls always looked great, and he
never had any plaster dust to clean up.
> I need to get some kind of interior finish on my shop walls now that
> insulated, and I can't come up with a better idea than drywall.
> to do this myself,.............
Let me play the devil's advocate for a moment.
Ever consider using T&G siding.
Relatively low cost, you won't punch holes thru it, and you can pretty
much hang anything you want, anywhere you want.
Be a good idea to rough in the electrical under the siding under the
wall covering, whatever you use.
BTW, not my idea, NYW had project building a workshop in a garage that
I hadn't considered T&G siding. I had considered plywood, though. The
siding would be a sight easier for me to deal with compared to the drywall.
I imagine it's at least double the material cost of drywall, but if I factor
in hiring out the drywall hanging like SWMBO wants to do, I might come out
Although I didn't highlight it, I'm curious to get people's input on the
electrical. One thing to keep in mind is that here in the Chicago area,
I've got to run everything in metal conduit, so running wire inside the
walls isn't quite as easy as drilling some holes and pulling romex through.
I've read archive posts where people found it acceptable to surface mount in
a shop situation.
thanks for your input,
"here in the Chicago area"
Are you doing a "commercial" shop? In most areas I am familiar
with, ROMEX is acceptable for "home" applications and conduit is
required for "commerical" applications. If you are building a "home"
shop and haven't asked Code Enforcement, it might be worth asking.
Having said that, it is certainly easier to la conduit outside of
finished walls than to run it through studs - although there is a more
flexible variety than the steel now a days - but CODE RULES if you are
to be INSPECTED. If at all possible, route your wiring behind the
walls. You may be able to pass inspection with that flexible spiral
bound cable which can be easily routed through stud walls.
I ran duplex outlets around the perimeter with a steady and a switched
circuit all around the shop. You can wire the tp two outlets switched
or just the top left (be consistent so you will remember which is
switched!) This allowed me to leave all those transformer things
plugged in 24/7 but able to switch them off when I left the shop.
Saves on electricity and fire hazards. I ran 12/4 (Red, White, Black
and Bare) but I didn't invite the inspector - hell, I told no one.
As to the wall surfaces, T-111 is a good idea but OSB works as well -
smoother surface - and is cheaper than drywall in our area. It can
take a screw - don't think it will hold one as well as solid wood but
no facts to back that up. And, as the fellow said about the T-111, it
will take more punishment than drywall. If your studs are 16" O.C. you
should be able to hang the boards vertically easier than horizontally
and use a two foot section along the bottom horizontally. I used joint
compoud on my OSB seams and texture on the walls and ceiling and it
worked out nicely.
Ceiling goes up FIRST **. And, don't discount its value up there.
Primed, then painted with a Bright White, it will provide double the
illumination (well, I just made that up- again, no facts or research,
just opinion) with any given wattage and LIGHT IS important in a
shop. Esp as you age in place. Ten foot ceiling height. I'm impressed.
As the intensity of the light diminishes inversley with the square of
the distance, I may have been experiencing a much greater illumination
boost from my bright white ceilings than you can achieve. But it will
make a difference
** At least that is the way all the pros I've watched do the job.
Partly because, I suspect it is easier to hide the inevitable gaps
that occur when positioning ten foot long, four foot wide sheets of
anything overhead in a structure "nominally square."
Let's just say that the Chicago area isn't like most areas you're familiar
with ;-). Romex is not code for any interior home applications that I'm
aware of around here. The garage/shop was built last year along with a
major addition to the house, and was inspected, including the electrical.
Except for certain (short) applications, BX or Greenfield is not allowed.
Certainly not as a replacement for conduit in a long run.
I don't plan on having this inspected, but I do plan on doing it per local
Put up something you can screw into whatever you do. My shop is a
concrete sectional garage. This means concrete panels bolted together
make the walls. The centre of the panels are very thin, only the edges
have any thickness and the inside edge around the panels is bevelled. To
hang anything I had to rip strips of ply to the right angle (I don't
have a tablesaw), laminate them together, drill them for the bolts and
bolt them in place using longer bolts. Then I screwed 18mm ply onto
them. So far the wall above my bench and the end wall above the bench
are done. Means I have two wall cabinets on the end wall now and some
saws are hung up by shaped blocks through the hole in the handle.
Don't do drywall, think finding studs every time you want to hang
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