Tips for Installing a Drywall Garage Ceiling

worker drilling in ceiling drywall panels
  • 8 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 120-300

When installing drywall on a garage ceiling the same procedures used to hang it from any other ceiling apply. Aside from determining the number of sheets you will need, making any necessary cuts, compensating for fixtures, and actually hanging it, you have to be careful not to disrupt any electrical wiring.

That goes for in-house ceiling drywall as well. The biggest difference is in the finish. Whereas inside the home you would completely finish the joints so they are ready to be covered with primer and paint, in a garage this is not usually necessary.

Professionals refer to them as different levels of finish, the higher levels being a more complete finish. Before you begin, consider some of these helpful tips for hanging drywall on a garage ceiling.

Hang Ceiling Drywall First

If you are drywalling the entire garage, pros recommend that you start with the ceiling. This may conflict with the experiences of some. By all means, if you’ve already done the walls, don’t worry. If anything, the reason for this is that it gets the hard drywall hanging out of the way.

Hang the Full Sheets First

Rather than hang one full sheet, measure a space for a cut then hang a smaller sheet, moving again to a full sheet, hang all of the full sheets first. That way you can make all of the necessary cuts at the same time.

Account for Joints

It may be easier said than done, but try to account for any joints before you begin hanging. Joints are where two sheets edge up to one another. Where they occur, they should both be fastened to a joist. That means a 1½ joist needs to be halved.

Knowing how long the sheet will reach, measure to where it will end up. If you compensate for the joints and assemble them correctly, you’ll have a stronger ceiling.


There is nothing quite like holding a full 4x8 foot of drywall above your head while you attempt to put a screw on a driver and accurately insert it. Using either drywall jacks or 2x4s cut to the right height, do yourself a favor and put some supports in place.

Hold the sheet up to the joists, pull a support underneath and follow that with one or two more supports. Release your arms, then comfortably insert the screws.

Use Screws

Drywall nails are cheaper but not by much, and screws hold better and you are not as likely to put a hole in the drywall when inserting them. One missed nail, and the hammer smashes into the newly hung drywall.


Once all of the drywall is hung, you're left with a lot of joints: grooves between pieces of drywall. Now it is time to finish the joints with all-purpose drywall compound and tape. However, because you really only use the garage for storage, there is no need to fully finish the joints.

One coat of mud applied over each joint followed by a length of tape will do. After the tape is up, run the drywall knife over it to adhere it and squeeze the excess mud out from the sides. Scrape that away and leave it to dry.

These helpful tips for hanging garage ceiling drywall will definitely make the job a lot less troublesome, especially if it is your first time doing the work.