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How to make make curves with sheetrock?

28503 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  newfie49
I'm designing a drop ceiling in my kitchen over the bar and plan building it using mostly sheetrock, 2x4s, and plywood. There are areas in the design in which I would like to have semi-rounded curves along the sides. I'm wanting the surface to be mostly sheetrock, but not sure what is typically used in contruction projects, as most drywall seems unbendable. I've thought of using a thin wood panel and perhaps after it was mounted... covering it with paper, thus texuring it afterwards with thinned drywall compound. Is there a better way perhaps to achieving what I speaking of? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading. Charles
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They do make thin drywall for what you are talking about. About 1/4" I think. They may even have thinner rock, I'm not sure. A lot of times I have seen good rockers score the face of the panel in as narrow increments as 1" and glue and screw the panel to the framing, but talk to some drywall outfits around you. They probably have even more ideas that could work better for you.
Bendable rock

As Gramps said, 1/4" bendable drywall. You will have to get it at a drywall supply house. The box stores don't carry it. Also as said it needs to be scored and broken to achieve a tight arc.
"Bendable" will be probably be easiest to work with. I haven't used it. Regular 1/4" will work if the radius isn't TOO severe. Getting the drywall to curve is easier if you wet it. Not saturate, but pretty damp. Then work it around the radius. Use adhesive and as few fasteners as possible as they will tend to make the drywall break. Fasten the ends away from the actual radius. Make sure there are plenty of framing members for adhesive and for the drywall to conform to (2"x4" s every 3 or 4 inches in the radius). On new construction we used to take the 1/4" rock and lay it on the basement floor for a couple of days before using it. The "fresh" concrete would get just about the right amount of moisture in the board. Sometimes we would wet the floor first to aid our cause. If that was not an option, cut the strips and lean against a wall. Take a bucket of water and a sponge and wipe down the strips with water. Allow to stand overnight and they'll bow on their own to begin forming your curve. Repeat the process if needed. I personally have never scored drywall to get it to bend. I have heard of using 1/4" masonite on a radius if it's too tight for drywall to bend around. Never had to do it though....
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Thanks fellas! Not just a common thanks....but a REAL thanks for your input! Little do some of you know just how much your input saves us money and from embarking into disasterous efforts. Charles
I admire those who are willing to attempt to do the work themselves. Just be willing to accept (admit) your limitations and keep it safe. Even the pros know when to call another pro....
I built a curved wall several years ago and I can certainly offer some advice from my experience.

Framing: Double up your studs. I'm my case (about R=5ft), I framed at 8" o.c. instead of 16".

Sheetrock: Buy 1/4." In spite of what was said, my local Menard's does sell that thickness.

Installation: You do NOT need to score it nor would I advise doing so. To make the rock bendable, I used a spray bottle filled with water for this. Spray the outside radius (i.e. the convex side) until damp. At that point, you can form it immediately.

Start at one end, begin fastening and move toward the other. Since you have doubled up your framing however, only fasten the drywall EVERY OTHER STUD. If you fasten more often, the sheet rock will lose it's smooth curve and start taking on a segmented surface.

In my instance, I built the wall using two layers to achieve 1/2" thickness where the curve met the adjoining straight wall.

Good luck!
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Curved drywall

Here is another alternative - pre-made curved sections. They install and finish just like drywall.


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what about using "whacky wood", AKA bendable plywood, then some wire lath and plaster over it?
Curves in drywall

Sure bendable plywood has been used for years - but that is a lot more work both to frame the shape & get a smooth continuous finish to the plywood either side of it. The premade corners are very simple and quick to use.
Fulcrum1, is there any added support behind the curved piece?
Curved Drywall Corners

This was just a small demo wall to show off the drywall corners. The two perpendicular stud walls are joined internally with a couple of 45 degree braces which hide within the curves, cut from 2 x 4s. This was more to brace the walls prior to putting on the curved panels. The panels are sandwich panels and are rigid in themselves. They are considerably stronger than drywall.
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1/4 drywall works best, if you are joining to 1/2 drywall use 2 layers of 1/4. I have worked on curved domes, curved stairways and curved walls and always ended up using 2 layers of 1/4 but also the builder did a great job with framing which made my job easier. When I drywalled a 16' round dome the builder had gone in with a thin layer of plywood all around which after the drywall was installed looked really nice, homeowner went in and painted a
starscape mural....beautiful
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