Recently, the question came up on how do you bend drywall around curved or radius walls. One might not have to apply drywall to a curved surface very often, but its good information to have when you do.
Depending on the size of the curve or radius that is being covered, will determine what thickness of drywall will be used. A radius of 2 foot or smaller may require multiple layers of 1/4" thick drywall. Normal residential drywall applications use 1/2" drywall to finish walls. In this case two layers of 1/4" would be used.
The trick is to get the drywall to bend. To do this the drywall needs to be wet. The best way I have found is to put water on the drywall is with a garden sprayer. The easiest way to control the bending of the drywall is to lay it in a form matching the radius of the wall, soffit, ceiling or whatever the application might be.
The last drywall bend I did I had the benefit of using the actual wall section to use as a form. It was an eight foot high wall, framed to a three foot radius. Only one side of the wall was being covered, the inside radius. We decided to cover the radius with one layer of 1/4" plywood and one layer of 1/4" drywall to match the 1/2" on the straight walls.
We laid the wall framing inside radius down, on the floor. The overall length of the radius was just under eight feet. We laid two sheets face down over our form. We then started spraying the back side of the drywall with water. As we applied the water, the drywall started bending immediately. It didn't take very much water or time to get the ends of the drywall to droop down and touch the form.
We let the dampened drywall lay on the form overnight to dry. The next day when we lifted the drywall from the form, it kept the shape of the radius. When it came time to glue and screw the drywall to the curved framing, it fit like a glove with very little if any stress to the material.
Its not very often that one gets to hang drywall on a curved wall, but with a little knowledge, you'll look like a professional.
Mike Merisko (C)2008
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