Ceiling tiles are not the most attractive due to their dated quality. It is not difficult to replace them with more timeless drywall, which is easy to paint or wallpaper. This project costs about $250 to $500, depending on the size of the room, and takes about one weekend to complete.
You will need:
• Drywall sheet
• Drywall square
• Drywall joint tape
• 1 5/8-inch drywall screws
• Screw gun
• Cordless drill
• Utility knife
• Claw hammer or pry bar
• Putty knife
• Tape measure
• Sanding stick
• Paint roller
• 6 and 10-inch joint-compound finishing knives
• 24-inch skimming blade
• Safety goggles
Step 1: Put on the mask and safety goggles. Climb up on the ladder score the tiles with the utility knife. With the putty knife, loosen and pull one of the tiles off the ceiling to inspect whether tiles are glued on or attached to furring strips.
Step 2: Remove any crown molding surrounding the ceiling. Pull the ceiling tiles loose with a claw-hammer or pry bar. If possible, use a helper on another ladder in a different area of the room to make this task progress more quickly.
Step 3: If furring strips are present, use the pliers to pull the staples from these so the strips are smooth. Drive screws through the strips into ceiling joists to reinforce the strips.
Step 4: Use the tape measure to determine the amount of drywall needed. You want to use as few drywall boards as you can and attach the ends of each one to a furring strip. Use the drywall square to mark the correct length on each board and use the utility knife to score each line. Move behind the drywall and then snap the board to break it on the scored line. Trim the paper with the knife.
Step 5: Have one person hold a drywall board against your ceiling, while you and another person use a screw gun or cordless drill to drive in the drywall screws between 8 and 12 inches apart. Repeat the process for each drywall board being installed. Line up the edges of the long sides during installation because these are tapered to create smooth joints. To create a smooth finish, stagger the end seams.
Step 6: Find each joint where drywall panels meet. Apply the drywall joint compound with the 6-inch finishing knife. Center the drywall tape on this compound and apply a thin layer of compound to cover it. After covering all joints, let the compound cure overnight.
Step 7: Use the 10-inch finishing knife to apply a second coat of joint compound to the joints. Apply more pressure to the outside of the knife blade than to the inside, feathering the joint. In addition, cover the screw heads with compound. Wait overnight for the compound to cure.
Step 8: Follow Step 7 to apply a third coat of joint compound to seams and screw heads. Allow this to cure overnight.
Step 9: Skim the ceiling by using the paint roller to apply a thin coat of the joint compound. Use the skimming blade to skim off any excess. Let the skim coat dry. Sand the ceiling lightly with the sanding stick until the area is smooth.
Step 10: Paint the ceiling, if desired, and install new or recycled crown molding.