Temporary dividing walls are often used in apartments, homes and businesses for privacy, to split one room into two, or to divide large open areas into a more usable space. You use drywall as a staple building material used for constructing permanent interior walls but you can also use it to create temporary structures like interior dividing walls. If you need to erect a temporary wall that will not damage the surrounding structure and will leave little or no trace of its existence once removed, you can do so with some drywall, a bit of know-how and a few basic tools.
Framing the Wall
Measure the length of your temporary wall from side to side along the ceiling and the floor using your tape measure. Cut 2-by-4-inch studs to fit these measurements using your circular saw. These studs will serve as the top and bottom frame plates for your temporary wall.
Measure the distance from floor to ceiling in the location where you plan to erect your temporary wall. Measuring the exact spots where your 2-by-4-inch wall supports will stand is important. Start in one corner where the wall will begin and measure for the first stud. Then move to the location where you expect your temporary wall to end and measure again in the same way.
Subtract 3 inches from each measurement to compensate for the 2-by-4-inch studs you will place along the top and bottom of the wall -- 2-by-4-inch studs actually measure 1 1/2 inches on the short side.
Cut two 2-by-4-inch studs to fit the exact measurements taken in Step 1 using your circular saw. Lay a strip of foam sill plate sealer along the floor. Lay your bottom plate stud in place atop the sealer along the floor. With the help of an assistant or two, hold your ceiling plate stud in place directly above the floor plate stud you have just laid down. Place a second strip of foam sill plate sealer between the ceiling plate stud and the ceiling before raising it into position.
Wedge your two 2-by-4-inch studs in place at each end of the new wall between the floor and ceiling plate studs. The two verticals should fit tightly and form a sturdy square frame. Measure the space between the top and bottom plate studs every 16 inches from the corner studs outward using your tape measure.
Cut 2-by-4-inch studs with your circular saw to fit the gap at each location. Wedge the vertical studs into place in the same manner you did the first two. Use your hammer to tap the studs into place if they do not slide in easily.
Drill a toenail hole at the top and bottom of each vertical stud with your drill. The holes should sit at an angle and reach into the ceiling and floor plate studs respectively. Use your screw gun and 3-inch drywall screws to fasten each upright in place.
Measure and mark each piece of drywall with your straight edge and pencil. Lay your straight edge along the cut-line and run your carpet knife along the edge to ensure a straight cut. Lift the drywall and apply pressure to the uncut side opposite your razor cut. The drywall should snap leaving just a thin layer of paper sheeting holding it together. Cut the sheeting with your carpet knife.
Install the drywall at the top of the wall first. If your wall is not taller than 8 feet you, should be able to cover it from top to bottom with one sheet, then move to the next section. Fasten the drywall to your wall framework using your screw gun and 1 1/2-inch drywall screws. Repeat the process until one side of the wall is completely covered.
Insert your soundproof insulation between the studs on the open side of the wall. Cut it to fit using your carpet knife and wedge it in place. With the insulation in place, cover the open side of the wall with drywall.
Cover the seams between your drywall sheets with joint compound. Spread a 1/4-inch layer of compound over the joint using your 4-inch putty knife. Lay a strip of drywall tape over the compound and press it in place. Scrape away the excess compound and allow it to dry completely. Apply a second layer of compound with your 6-inch putty knife and allow it to dry completely.
Sand the dried compound to create a smooth finish using your light-grit sandpaper. Paint or finish the wall as desired. To tear down the temporary wall, just remove the drywall and unscrew your toenail anchors. The rest will come down without the help of any tools.