I'm planning on making some shelves with drywall and steel studs (like the one below), but many people told me that the paint cracks and peels with time. Is that true?

Or just bad experience or a bad paint job?

How to prevent it?

drywall sheves

1 Answer 1


Drywall isn't meant to be handled or bumped a lot. In most builtins like those pictured, the interiors of the boxes and the faces would be made of wood, taped, compounded (often with harder compounds) and painted to match the adjoining walls.

If the surfaces are drywall, they will likely dent or crack.

  • Even using the drywall corner beads? Oct 13, 2016 at 21:47
  • 1
    It's not the bead that suffers. It's the very soft joint compound over them, along with the (typically flat sheen) latex paint. They're not designed for that usage. They'll be scuffed and dirty before you know it.
    – isherwood
    Oct 13, 2016 at 21:49
  • The corner beads provide an edge and surface to hold compound, but the drywall in between the beads is prone to damage. It's made of paper and a soft plaster. Plus weight on shelves tend to cause some flexing which wood handles well but drywall does not.
    – bib
    Oct 13, 2016 at 21:50
  • What about using a glass panel as on the bottom of the shelves? Oct 13, 2016 at 22:06
  • Thick, hardened glass is fine for short shelves, but all the more reason to use wood on the sides, so you have something to attach the glass supports to. You need to buy glass according to the weight of the load. Books and similar objects are heavy, so thicker glass is needed.
    – bib
    Oct 14, 2016 at 0:34

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