How to build a fast temporary wall

Every now and then a temporary wall or partition is needed. Maybe you have two children in a bedroom who each need their own space for a few years. A garage may need to be sectioned off for a temporary storage area. Even a space sectioned off for company or to hide a mess might be in order. The wall does not need to be insulated or even beautiful, but it does need to be safe.

Measure the height, length and depth of the wall area.

Lay a 2-by-4-inch board on a flat, level surface with its 2-inch side touching the floor as the bottom plate. The board should be the length of the wall you are building or a 10- to 12-foot section of a longer wall. Use 2 X 6 boards for walls that require insulation.

Cut 2x4 boards that are the height of the wall minus 3 inches, since the 2x4 is actually 1 and ½ inches deep and not 2 inches. The top and bottom plates will add 3 inches to the wall frame's height.

Nail 2x4 boards as "upright" studs every 16 inches, to cover the wall with dry wall, plywood or other flat material. The covering material will need to meet at the 2 inch centre of the stud.

Nail a top board to the upright studs to complete the frame. Use at least 2 nails per stud, top and bottom.

Lift the frame to fit into the space.

Pound the wall in place with a rubber mallet instead of nailing the wall to the floor or ceiling permanently. Make sure the fit is tight.

Fasten the wall in place with thin, 3-inch drywall screws, when safety around children is an issue. The existing wall will need to be Spackled and painted when the temporary wall is removed.

Nail a 2x4 to each side of the wall frame's bottom plate to steady the wall if a tight fit is not possible.

Cover the frame with drywall, panelling, or even sturdy material, if it will meet your need.


If the wall is very temporary, old sheets or blankets can be use to cover a frame and less 2x4s will be needed.


Use extra care if the wall will be used around children. Do not leave a heavy wall simply wedged in place. Do not try to to install cabinets or electricity in a temporary wall.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-by-4 inch boards
  • Nails
  • Hammer or Nail gun
  • Drywall or wall covering
  • Rubber mallet
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About the Author

Mitzi Saltsman has been writing children's material for church and Sunday school lessons since before 1980. Her work writing how-to articles earned her a trip to San Francisco and a spot on a commercial. Saltsman holds a Bachelor of Religious Education from Great Lakes Christian College.