Curved Drywall: Learn How to Bend Drywall to Form Curved Surfaces

You can bend drywall to create curved surfaces, arches, and walls. There are multiple ways on how the drywall can be bent, but first, you will need to understand the bending radii for dry gypsum board. 

Drywall Bending Radii

Drywall radii
Drywall radii.

Drywall can be bent following these recommendations:

  • If the drywall is 1/4 inch thick, it can be bent 5 feet lengthwise or 15 feet widthwise,
  • If the drywall is 5/16 inch thick, it can be bent 6 feet lengthwise or 20 feet widthwise,
  • If the drywall is 3/8 inch thick, it can be bent 7 feet lengthwise or 25 feet widthwise,
  • If the drywall is 1/2 inch thick, it can be bent 10 feet lengthwise.
  • If the drywall is 5/8 inch thick, it can be bent 15 feet lengthwise. 

Drywall sheet thicker than 1/2 inch shall not be bent widthwise while dry. There are other combinations that can be achieved when combining drywall sheets together but that needs to be carefully designed and measured. One of the most important things is to have the right spacing between framing members. Check out how far away framing members can be.

Framing Spacing for Curved Drywall Surfaces

In order to secure a neat installation along curved surfaces, framing members shall be spaced closely to prevent flat surfaces along the curve. It is recommended to have framing members spaced at a maximum of 6 inches on center and use nail or screws to attach the sheets to the framing members. Nails or screws shall be driven every 1 to 2 inches to secure the drywall piece to the curve-framing members. If you don't drive the required amount of nails, then the drywall might have many waves and would not look good. Now it's time to add some water to the drywall.

Wet Bending Drywall

Wet bending drywall
Wet bending drywall. Fulcrum1

Drywall can be bent shorter than the recommended radii when it has been moistened. To complete this a simple process needs to be followed. Start by moistening the back paper and the core of the drywall sheet. Too much water can damage the drywall so make sure you are applying the right amount of water. Spray water over the drywall surface and let the core absorb the water before it is hung. Water shall be applied to the back of the drywall. You can use a roller or a sponge to add water to the drywall. Some people like to moisten the front part as well when they are working with really tight curves. One hour should be more than enough to get your drywall moistened. Let's read on how to remove the excess of moisture.

Remove Excess Moisture of the Drywall

drywall drying
Drywall drying. Dry Express Restoration

Once you have completed the wetting process, it is recommended that you drive the water out of the drywall. The sheet must be dried within 24 hours to prevent mold development and decay of the sheet. If you want to drive the moisture out faster, ventilate the room and if needed mechanical ventilation could be used as well. It is very important to note that the drywall should return to its original hardness, otherwise it should be replaced and the process needs to be repeated. Now your drywall is ready to be installed. Slowly drive all screws and repeat the process as many times as needed.