Do You Drywall Ceilings Or Walls First? (How-To Guide)

Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by Barry Gray

Do You Drywall Ceilings Or Walls First

We bought a house recently and wanted to renovate a few rooms. We started with revamping the foundation. After renovating the foundation and other aspects of the house, we wanted to redo the drywall on the walls and the ceilings. The one question that kept popping up was, do you drywall ceilings or walls first?

When installing drywall, you should always start with your ceilings first. It’s important to start with the ceiling first as it provides additional support. It also creates a seamless, clean finish when you hang the drywall afterward; it aligns nicely with the already installed drywall ceiling.

We received excellent advice from a contractor on installing drywall in your home. He suggested we start with the ceiling and continue with the walls afterward. I thought I would share all the information we gathered about what part to drywall first, the walls or the ceiling, and how to go about it. 

Do You Drywall The Ceiling Or Wall First?

Experts suggest that you start drywalling the ceiling before you drywall the wall. It is because of the following reasons:

  • Installing the pieces from the top is faster and easier to work with.
  • You can create easier, tight, and clean corners when you use the drywall ceiling you installed first as a guide. 
  • When you install the wall pieces after the ceiling installation is completed, it will give extra support to the drywall ceiling. 

Why Do You Drywall The Ceiling First?

why drywall ceiling

When you install the drywall in a room, it is important to start with the ceiling first; the question is, why start with the ceiling?

It’s Faster And Easier To Work From The Top

The ceiling is usually the hardest place to start when drywalling because it’s above your head, so if you tackle the ceiling first, then the rest of the drywalling that needs to be installed will be easier and faster to complete. 

Nice Tight And Neat Corners

Installing the drywall pieces against the already installed ceiling will give the ceiling extra support and look much better. It provides a neater look to the drywall corners that are known for being tricky to get just right.

Mishappen and inconsistent alignment of the corners are eliminated if you start drywalling with the ceiling. It also eliminates unwanted gaps between the pieces that connect in the corners. 

It is important to remember that while pushing the drywalling as close together as possible, there are also issues when installing the drywall too tightly together. Here is what can happen when you install the drywalling to close together:

Breaks In The Drywall

When the drywall is installed too tightly together, there is a chance that the drywall will break completely. The wooden frames will expand and naturally expand and contract based on the time of the year. It’s like tectonic plates rubbing together, causing them to break entirely.  

Cracks In The Drywall

When there is too much support, like with frame changes, it acts as a negative pressure source; it can cause the outer edges to crack and warp.

There Is More Ceiling Support

When you do the drywall ceiling first, the walls will act as extra support and reinforcement to the ceiling. It is needed because the ceiling is kept in place with screws and taping, but it will sag and crack over time without added support. 

If the walls are put in after the ceiling, it will push the ceiling sheets further into place and ensure the added stability of the ceiling. It also relieves some of the heaviness of gravity that is a natural consequence of hanging something in the air.

Added support for the ceiling is also important if you have an attic or another floor above the ceiling that might add extra weight to the ceiling. 

Tips For Installing Drywall In The Ceiling And Walls

tips for drywall

When installing the ceiling and wall drywalling, it’s easy to make mistakes, and it can be intimidating if you are new to DIY projects,  but here are some of the best tips for installing drywalling in your ceiling and walls. 

The Studs Should Come First

You need to make sure that you start paneling on the studs; it will help create a firm and sturdy foundation from the beginning. The studs act as the fastening points and add extra support to the ceiling drywall panels.

The Direction Is Important

Depending on the kind of studs that you have, the direction won’t be the same. If you are using wooden studs, you need to hang the drywall horizontally; that way, the drywall has more contact with the studs. 

With metal studs, you want to install the drywalling vertically. It is important to install the drywalling vertically when it’s used in commercial buildings. It ensures you adhere to the fire codes.

Try Using Bigger Sheets

Using bigger sheets of drywalling will help you eliminate the need to do more screwing and tacking on multiple pieces. Larger panels require less work and less upkeep to keep them in place and supported.

You Should Work Your Way Around The Room

Once you have installed the ceiling pieces, you must hang the first row of wall drywalling. It will add much-needed support to the ceiling drywall and keep it straight and properly aligned.

Ensure The Drywall Is Tight 

You need to make sure the drywall is tight against each other and that the panels are pressed firmly to the structure underneath the drywall. The screws need to be fastened tightly but not so tight that it digs into the drywall. 

It will help give added strength to the drywall until you can attach the supporting top drywall pieces, and it will ensure the drywall ceiling doesn’t buckle or warp easily.


It’s very important to start with the ceiling to create better strength and support to the structure while still maintaining the overall clean finished look of the drywalling. Ensure to follow all the right steps from the start to avoid all the costly repairs and maintenance.

Drywalling the ceiling first will also allow for an easier overall installation. Using bigger panels will help you to avoid costly maintenance and the need for extra screws and support. Install the drywall in the right direction by checking if the studs are metal or wooden. 

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Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.