Advanced Drywall Techniques

compound doorway

In magazines or on home tours, you may have seen spectacular drywall effects such as a curved wall, a barrel-vaulted ceiling, a ceiling that's paneled, or one that's stair-stepped. But features like these aren't reserved exclusively for upscale homes. All of these looks are well within the reach of the do-it-yourselfer. We've included plenty of tips and revealed some helpful professional tricks to help ensure your success.

Projects in Advanced Techniques

Looking up
In many ways, customizing a ceiling is easier than dealing with walls. That's because you don't need to work around multiple electrical boxes, baseboards, window and door jambs, and other millwork. And many times, you don't even need to demolish the old ceiling.

If you're building a coffered ceiling, you can get building as soon as you clear the room. As long as the central portion of your ceiling is solid, you can leave it in place, although you may want to remove the texture.

The raised panel look
Raised panel wainscots are another designer feature that you can build into your home. The job involves a little bit of planning and some careful installation work, but there really aren't any difficult procedures involved.

There are also raised panel designs suitable for upper walls, stairways, and ceilings. But don't try to cram all of these features into a single roomthat would give it -- a choppy appearance.

Bending the rules
Curved walls and barrel-vaulted ceilings can be spectacular, and they really aren't beyond your reach. We've included a chart that shows the minimum radii for a variety of drywall panels applied lengthwise, width-wise, wet and dry.

All access
Although access panels may sound mundane today, they're a handy feature when the shower valve starts leaking or a drain line is clogged.

If you're converting an attic, basement, or garage into extra living area, you'll be especially glad you discovered how easy it is to install access panels. The panels provide an easy solution to a number of utility problems.

One Hour or Less

Three simple projects to cross off of your to-do list -- just print these instructions and begin!