We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Drywall?

By Jane Harmon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Drywall is a construction product commonly used to finish building interiors. For hundreds of years prior to its development, the interior walls of buildings were usually made of plaster. This was applied in layers over narrow boards called laths that were nailed directly to the studs. The plaster was pressed into gaps between the laths to make it adhere, and was built up in progressive layers. This building technique called for a fair degree of craftsmanship and experience, but allowed the builder to incorporate interesting textures or decorations as the plaster was worked.

In the mid-twentieth century, drywall, also called plasterboard, sheetrock or gypsum board, came into widespread use, and now almost all buildings have drywall walls. Drywall has a number of advantages over plaster, ease of installation being the most obvious. Any reasonably handy person can refinish a room with drywall, and you don't have to take any training or join a guild to learn how to do it.

Drywall is made using gypsum plaster, which is then covered on both sides by fiberglass matting or heavyweight paper. Depending on the manufacturer, certain additions, such as anti-mildew and fire-resistant materials, are mixed with the gypsum plaster before applying the paper.

Finishing an unfinished basement room with drywall, for instance, can be the work of a weekend. The drywall, which comes in sheets that are designed for modern house codes, can simply be nailed to the standing studs. Cutting holes for outlets, wall switches and light fixtures can be easily done with a keyhole saw - make your measurements carefully.

Once the drywall is up, the joins between sheets are covered with a special tape, and the tape and the nails are covered with a spackle-like paste called joint compound. The joint compound must be allowed to fully dry on the drywall, after which you can sand it to smoothness. If done properly, the tape and joint compound process will hide the seams between sheets of drywall.

A common household blemish is the popped nail. This often appears in the ceiling, where a nail holding the drywall in place has popped out, or perhaps the joint compound has flaked off and left the nail visible. This is easy to fix; if the nail has popped out altogether, reposition it an inch or so away and nail it back in again, then hide it with joint compound and sand or paint, as in a new drywall installation. Older homes might have a number of these little nail glitches throughout, but a few minutes on a ladder can have your drywall ceiling looking spotless and seamless again.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon35091 — On Jul 02, 2009

hi i would like to know if dry walling is possible outside my house i want to attach a little room outside my kitchen to accomadate a washing machine

By elsewhen — On Feb 08, 2008

to Anonymous: about the seams showing through... In my experience, it depends how visible the seams are right now. if there are just minor imperfections that are only visible from certain angles, then a thick new texture coat might do the trick.

Its probably a pretty risky endeavor though, because if the seams are visible after the new layer, then you are going to have to start over again.

Your best bet, is probably to get everything completely flat, and then to put on any texture you please. This might involve scraping or sanding down the existing texture, but getting a good base to work on will ensure that you have a nice flat final product.

By anon5173 — On Nov 15, 2007

How do i repair cracks on the perimeter fence? The cracks are approximately 4mm thick. So kindly help. Thank you, Griffins

By anon1965 — On Jun 21, 2007

The seams are showing on the drywall in my living room and dining room walls and ceiling. Is there anything I can do to cover them up? Would getting someone to do a textured paint work or should I try to have someone do another round of texture on the walls? Currently they have the "orange peel" texture on them which I don't care for. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.