installing drywall with the right side out

Does It Matter Which Side Of Drywall Faces Out?

There’s a definite learning curve to installing drywall.

Not only can it be hard for beginners to cut drywall and finish it accurately, but it also needs to be hung in a particular way. 

For instance, you’ve probably noticed that one side of the drywall is a different color than the other. 

Does it matter which side of drywall faces out? Yes, it does.

While drywall can have a few different colors on the front, the back is almost always brown. And that brown side should never face out.

Here’s why.

Why Does Drywall Have A Front And Back?

All gypsum drywall has a front and back. The front is smooth and usually white, gray, blue, or green, depending on the type.

And the backside of the drywall is typically brown. (Although the back can be gray on some drywall.)

The brown side is much rougher than the front. This is because it’s not intended to act as a finished surface.

Plus, depending on the type of drywall you purchased, it might not serve its intended purpose. 

For example, most green drywall is for humid environments like bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. Blue and purple are mold-resistant  drywall, which also offer some moisture protection, with purple having an added mold and mildew barrier.

Back of drywall

If you hang drywall backward, your room might not get all of the benefits your drywall is supposed to provide.

Even if you’re using standard white or grey gypsum drywall or sheetrock, you still want to make sure the brown is not facing out. This is because it will create a rough texture on your wall and will be hard to paint over.

How To Fix Drywall Installed Backwards

If you’ve installed the drywall with the wrong side facing out you’re not completely out of luck. 

You can try and salvage your job by applying a joint compound over the brown paper in several small coatings. However, since drywall has beveled edges, taping the joints will be more difficult.

In this case, you’ll need to go over the seams with joint compound until they’re smooth.

You’ll also need to prime before you paint if you’ve installed your drywall backward.

Alternatively, if you haven’t used drywall tape or mudded yet, you could try to uninstall the drywall panels and turn them around. However, it’s doubtful that you’ll be able to do this without causing some type of damage – and you could end up ruining all of the drywall.


Drywall has a definite front and backside. The front side offers a smooth finish and moisture protection, depending on the type of drywall chosen.

The backside of the drywall is usually brown and feels a bit rough.

It’s essential that if you want to DIY your drywall installation, the brown side goes against the wall, and the smooth side faces out.