If you’re dealing with damaged drywall, the traditional ways to handle it are to hire a professional to repair it or tear it down and replace it altogether.
But you might be curious about whether there’s an easier, cheaper way to install new drywall. Can you put drywall over drywall?
Yes, you can put drywall over existing drywall instead of repairing or replacing your walls by following these steps:
- Plan out the project, including getting extensions for electrical fixtures, window sills, and door jambs.
- Attach the new drywall to the studs using drywall screws.
- Cut out holes where necessary.
- Finish the drywall by applying primer and texture or paint.
In this article, we’ll discuss why you might want to drywall over existing drywall. We’ll also explain the special considerations to keep in mind as you attach new drywall to old drywall. Finally, we’ll provide a step-by-step overview of the drywall installation process.
Can You Drywall Over Existing Drywall?
Yes, you can drywall over existing drywall. There are a few explanations for why you might consider doing this.
First, drywalling over existing drywall is typically cheaper and easier than removing and replacing the existing drywall.
Next, adding another layer of drywall can provide your fixtures with extra protection.
Finally, if your existing wall is damaged, perhaps due to removing old wallpaper or general wear and tear, putting drywall over it gives you a clean, smooth surface without having to repair the existing wall.
Plus, it costs far less than hiring a professional to come in and do the repairs, since they’re usually too challenging for the average homeowner to DIY.
How Do You Attach New Drywall To Old Drywall?
Attaching new drywall to old drywall isn’t much more difficult than regular drywall installation. There are just a few considerations you’ll need to keep in mind.
As you’re planning your project, you’ll want to factor in these components.
The biggest difference between regular drywall installation and attaching new drywall to old drywall is not being able to see the studs. This means you’ll have a harder time figuring out the correct placement for your screws.
There are some simple solutions, though. If you don’t care about spending a little extra money, you can purchase a stud finder. A cheaper option is to make marks on the ceiling that coordinate with the vertical studs.
Since you’re adding another layer of drywall on top of existing drywall, your light switch boxes and electrical outlets will now be ¼” to ½” too short (depending on the thickness of your drywall).
This isn’t too much of a challenge; you’ll just need to stop by your local hardware store to buy extensions for your electrical fixtures.
Molding And Trim
Before you install a new layer of drywall, you’ll need to remove any crown molding, chair rails, and baseboards. You’ll also need to cut these to fit the new perimeter of the room, which will be slightly smaller than it was originally.
Window Sills And Door Jambs
The door jambs and window sills will also need to be extended. Again, a quick trip to your local hardware store for extensions is the easy solution here.
The toughest part of this process will be staining the extensions to match the original door jambs and window sills. It may be worth it to bring a small piece of the original woodwork with you to the store so that you can match it perfectly.
How To Install Drywall Over Drywall
Here’s a step-by-step guide to installing new drywall over old drywall.
1. Plan Out Your Project
As with any home improvement project, planning is crucial. Not only will you need to calculate the amount of drywall necessary to cover the walls, but you’ll also need to note any necessary openings that will need to be cut out.
Thinking through and planning for each of the considerations discussed above should also be part of this step.
2. Attach The New Drywall
It’s time to attach the new drywall to your existing walls. If you’re also installing drywall on the ceiling, it’s best to start there and work your way downward.
Attach the sheets of drywall to the studs with drywall screws. You can use a cordless drill or a drywall screw gun to do this.
3. Cut Holes Where Necessary
Now that you’ve attached the new layer of drywall, you’ll need to make cuts for electrical fixtures, piping, and any other areas where openings are necessary with a rotary cutting tool.
It’s best to draw out the cut before making it so that you can ensure it’s accurate and precise.
4. Finish The Drywall
The project is almost done, and the final step is to clean the area and smooth out any small mistakes or imperfections. If you’d like to add a finish or texture to your new layer of drywall, you’re now ready to do that.
However, no matter what type of finish you’ll be putting on the new drywall, don’t skip the primer.
Primer evens out the surface of the drywall and makes it much easier for finishes to adhere to it. It also prevents paint from soaking into the drywall and requiring numerous coats.
Polyvinyl acetate primer is a great choice, but any type of primer specifically formulated for drywall application will work.
After the drywall primer has had plenty of time to dry, you can paint your new walls or add texture.
If you don’t want to put in the time, effort, and money to repair or replace your damaged drywall, there’s another option: install a new layer of drywall over your existing drywall.
This project is very similar to the typical drywall installation process, but there are a few special considerations to keep in mind.
You’ll need to determine where the studs are, purchase extensions for door jambs, window sills, and electrical fixtures, and remove and reinstall your trim and molding.
After you’re done planning, you’ll need to attach the new drywall to the studs with drywall screws. Cut out holes for electrical fixtures and any other necessary openings and apply primer. If you’d like, you can paint the walls or add texture to the drywall as well.