There is always a way to do less. Whether it’s right or not is a different matter but there are always options for getting a job done without going the full mile. In terms of plastering, that option is dry lining.
Dry Lining walls can be an easy way to get the finish you require without actually using plaster. If you want to save time and save learning a new skill like plastering then maybe this is the way to get the home you want!
You probably have a few questions. Like what is Dry Lining?
What is Dry lining? Dot And Dab Method
I know what your thinking and you’re probably thinking I’ve lost my mind with a heading like that! Dot and Dab, (as it’s called by many plasterers or most commonly known as dry lining), is a way of sticking plasterboard to brickwork. This method allows you to cover up your internal brickwork with speed and accuracy.
Dry Lining is basically a way to cover a brick wall with plasterboard. It’s called Dry Lining because you don’t need to plaster the board to get a smooth finish. You apply the plasterboard to your walls and simply fill the joints.
All you need is plasterboard and a product called Board Adhesive.
Plasterboard adhesive is simple a plaster that is designed to be mixed for the purpose of sticking plasterboard. All you need to do is mix the product with water, cut your plasterboard to size and dab the adhesive onto the wall your working on.
Ok, this may sound confusing. Let me explain and show you how to do it in this easy how-to guide!
Dry Lining Walls – The How-To Guide
This is a simple process and you want to keep the same tools as if you were using Hardwall. You will need:
- Feather edge
- Spirit level
- Stanley knife
- Jab saw
- Plasterboard (tapered edge) *needs to be tapered to allow filler after application.
- Plasterboard adhesive
- easy fill
So before we start I’m going to give a quick list of what you need to do to dry line your walls. I will delve into detail but here is a quick overview!
- PVA Your Brick/ plastered walls
- Cut your tapered plasterboard to size
- Measure the board’s length and mark onto your wall
- Mix you adhesive and apply in blobs onto the wall
- Stick your cut plasterboard to the wall
- Tape and fill the joints when dry
Sound easy? Don’t worry I’ll explain everything throughout this whole article.
I know it’s a lot to take in but you can also save this article so you can download and read it later:
Next up is finding the right materials!
What Materials Do I Need And How To Use It?
Make sure all your brickwork has a heavy coat of PVA. I recommend I mix of 2 parts water to 1 part PVA, ( if you need advice on PVA, click here). This is extremely important because this seals the brickwork and allows the adhesive to stick to the wall.
If the walls have a dusty, unprimed surface then there could be a risk that the board and adhesive pulls and falls from the wall. That wouldn’t be ideal, would it!
You need to measure your board, cut it to size and mark a line down your wall where the board would end. (There is a reason for this which I will explain in due time). So for example, if your plasterboard was 1.2m then measure and mark a line at 1.2m onto your wall.
By the way, do you like my drawings 🙂 Next up is the adhesive.
I recommend you use Knauf Board Adhesive. It’s a brilliant product that doesn’t go off or set too fast which makes it an easier formula to use. It isn’t clear on the mixing instructions but you want to mix the plaster until its a thick, creamy consistency.
It needs to be thick to hold the plasterboard up. If its too wet then the board won’t stick and you’ll have no real adhesion to the boards.
Then you want to use your mixed plasterboard adhesive and stick it in blobs to your brickwork. Don’t be shy and definitely avoid being stingy! You want a heavy plasterboard to stick to a wall so don’t be slack on the adhesive.
I would take a big blob from your hawk and stick it directly to the wall using your trowel. Make sure each blob is roughly 6 / 8 inches apart and just throw it on (Not literally of course)! As you can see from the picture above, the adhesive is thick, generously coated and sticks to the wall.
This is how you dab the adhesive. It needs to be thick to stick and it needs a generous coat because when you hang your board to the wall it needs enough adhesive to hold. If the mix is too sloppy you will struggle to finish the job.
Now the reason you wanted to draw a line is to make sure you know when to stop the blobs on your wall.
So if your line is at 1.2m then just put your blobs before the line – this way your board will hit the row of adhesive.
Now, this is how to get your board on the wall. However, we need to make it right!
How To Make Your Plasterboard Plumb
We need to make sure the board on the wall is plumb and level. You will need a spirit level and a straight edge or timber that you can use as a tamper.
Put your level to the plasterboard and check to see how it sits. You will notice that its probably out and you may also see that the board doesn’t follow the length of the level. It may be sagging behind or dipping in.
This is where the hitting stick comes in. I use 4×2 timber at the rough length of the board. Put your timber to the board and check to see where the low or high spots are: If the bottom is too far out then hit it in until the board follows the length of your straight timber.
You want your plasterboard to be straight and equally plum:
Repeat the process until the wall is straight. If you look at the picture below you will see that the board is completely straight and the spirit level is showing plumb.
That is the result you want to strive for when dot and dabbing the wall. A nice, flat plumb wall. It is tricky at first but you will get the hang of it. It just takes practice. Take your time and you will get results.
So you have your plasterboards on the wall but now what?
It’s time to start covering all your joints and getting your walls ready for painting. This new section is all about the prep needed to finish Dry lining.
Tape And Joint
Ok, so you have the plasterboard up onto your brick wall! That’s half the battle – now its time to make it look presentable.
The second part to dry lining is called tape and joint. This is where you fill the gaps of your plasterboard and make the wall look like a solid construct. It sounds easy but there is actually an art to effective results.
However, don’t threat. We’re going to show you the exact steps needed to get maximum results. We walk you through the whole process. Nothing lost, nothing spared – just jam-packed knowledge.
Ok, less of the talk, let’s do this:
Tape/ Scrim The Joints
The first step to tape and joint is to cover your tapered plasterboard joints with either scrim tape or jointing tape. This ensures that if there is any movement on the plasterboard, it won’t crack the surface of the board.
The tape keeps the weak points of the plasterboard (the joints) strong. That’s why this step is crucial towards any dry lining pursuits. I personally recommend you use scrim tape if you are just starting out.
The main reason for this is because it has self-adhering properties on one side which means you can mesh your joints before applying any filler. It can be tricky applying the tape whilst applying the easy fill. It’s much easier to mesh the joints at the beginning.
However, if you do wish to take this as a serious profession then jointing tape is the future. This is simply because the finish is often considered superior using paper tape. It folds easier and leaves a cleaner, sharp finish on angles and beads.
However, fibreglass scrim tape is fine for anyone else.
Make sure you have every joint meshed (and I mean EVERY joint!) Even the corners need scrim taping. It just keeps your walls fully protected and prevents any damages occurring over timer.
Now its time to start filling the joints. I recommend you use British Gypsums Easy fill because it is just a top product. It doesn’t shrink, sands down like a dream and leaves a lovely, smooth finish.