Bending Drywall Into An Arch…


You’ve seen it before, barrel ceilings and arched doorways wrapped in rounded rigid drywall.  If you’re thinking this clashes with your basic understanding of physics, don’t worry.  It’s not explained by one of Sir Isaac Newton’s laws that you missed out on that day you slept through your physics 101 lecture.  Then what is the secret to making drywall bend?

The answer is simple, really.  Water.  Add water to any rigid plaster object and what do you get?  Something short of a rigid material.  There is an art to this, however.  Not enough water, and the drywall will crack and break when you try to bend it into that tight arch over the doorway.  Add to much water, and you get a soggy plaster soup that resembles more of a thick curdled cottage cheese rather than a wall board.  Not to mention that water adds weight…. heavy objects without much rigidity are hard to lift over your head and hold in place while you drill screws into it.  All the more reason why drywallers are generally not thrilled to see a lot of barrels and arches throughout a home that they are contracted to hang.

But hey… it looks really nice when it’s done.