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:
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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.
The first step is to apply the easy fill. Firstly, you want to mix the plaster to a nice creamy consistency. You don’t want it too weak and the ideal consistency is similar to double cream. Add a little bit of water to your powder and mix the water into the plaster.
Slowly add and mix the paste until you get a thick creamy consistency. However, you don’t want it too thick! You need to be able to use and work the product into the joints.
Take your trowel or Broad knife and apply your mixed plaster to your tapered joint. You want the plaster to cover the tapered area until you are flush with the flat board. If your plaster goes over the tapered area or looks raised then trowel it back until its flush.
You want to repeat this process to every joint and make sure you have all the areas covered. Wait for it to dry and follow the next step.
The first coat is aimed at filling the majority of the joint so you don’t need to get it perfect. If anything, you want it to be slightly dipped compared to your flat plasterboard. This is because you still have to apply a second coat.
If there are any low points then the second coat will fill any slack sections.
Sand Down Your First Coat
When the plaster is dry, its time to give a little attention to your work. Check all your joints and make sure you have all the joints covered. If the filler is high in places then gently rub the plaster down to a flat finish.
I would also sand down any areas that look bumpy or look a bit rough. The first coat was aimed at filling the majority of the joint so you don’t need to get it perfect. Sand down any imperfections or high points and get ready for the 3rd stage:
Now it’s the time to get the results. This is the point where you fill most of the tapered area and bring the dipped board to a nice, level finish. Simply mix another batch of easy fill to a creamy consistency like before.
Take your trowel and apply your second coat of plaster. Make sure you trowel back any high point and try to keep you plaster flush with the rest of the wall. The flatter you get your filler the less work you have to do at the later stages.
Repeat this process with all the joints and remove any excess plaster that’s proud or any unwanted areas. Your aim is to have a nice, flat wall where no joints are showing. Leave this to dry and get ready for the final stage to dry-lining!
Sand To A Flat Finish
Now is the time to get the results. Examine every one of your filled joints and gently rub down any high spots with a very fine sandpaper. A good tip is to use a wooden block with the sandpaper wrapped around it.
This allows you to use the flat wood as a guide to getting a flat, even finish. If there are any rough patches or uneven points then again, sand down the plaster until you have a decent finish.
To get real results you can shine a high-quality spotlight facing sideways to your wall. This will show any imperfections and make it easier to fill and sand any minor details.
If you repeat this process with every joint you should be left with a nice, flat, even wall ready for painting. If there are any low points or an area that doesn’t look so nice then simply sand the area down and apply another coat of easy fill.
It is made to be sanded down which makes this process ideal for beginners. Take your time, follow the steps in this guide and you will have a wall ready for fresh paint.
For a quick demo watch this video from youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJjUG6-HMoU
Now it’s your turn. Take the advice from this post and make your home look like a dream. Take your time and you will only get success. Thank for reading and feel free to look around the rest of the website. Cheers!