Fixing Plasterboard – The Essential Guide to Fixing Plasterboard
August 13, 2019

Are you planning a renovation? Then this guide is a must-read. Find out everything you need to know about fixing plasterboard and ensure your renovation is a success!

Although it may not be the first thing you think of when you look around your favourite room plasterboard is something you have to appreciate. It changes the look of your home from something skeletal and rough to something liveable!

Plasterboard has grown in popularity as a faster alternative to traditional lath and plaster. It goes up much faster, allows you to cover a large space with a single sheet, and is ready for paint in just a few days instead of a week. When it’s nicely finished, it makes your home a welcoming, delightful space to live.

Fixing plasterboard is a necessary step when you are renovating. Whether you’ve added in a new wall or are demolishing old lath and plaster for an upgraded surface, you will need plasterboard in order for your project to be truly finished.

With the right tools and steps, you can install plasterboard on timber or masonry walls. Plasterboard will make a difference to your walls or ceiling and give you a great surface to move on to the final steps of decorating. It’s simply a must for your home, so read on for more information on what you need for fixing plasterboard anywhere in your home.

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Essential Materials For Fixing Plasterboard

Before you start a DIY project, make sure you have the right materials at hand. This includes enough sheets of plasterboard to take care of the job as well as the tools and supplies you’ll need to get the job done. For this project, you have a choice of fixing plasterboard with screws or nails. Either option will work well for the task, but make sure you have the type specifically designed to hold your plasterboard in place. Get started preparing with our list of essential materials

Tools For Fixing Plasterboard

  • Power drill, for use with your plasterboard screws
  • Hammer, for use with plasterboard nails
  • Plasterboard nails or screws
  • Utility knife for scoring the paper front of your plasterboard
  • Broad knife for cutting plasterboard
  • Tape measure to ensure your pieces are the right size
  • Pencil for marking off measurements
  • Ladder so you can comfortably reach all heights in your room
  • Joint tape to fix up all of your seams and connections for a smooth surface

Optional Items

  • Stud adhesive to fix your plasterboard to masonry
  • Wooden furring strips to attach to masonry to prepare the surface for plasterboard
  • Gloves, if you want to keep your hands clean from plasterboard dust
  • Sandpaper, to rough up a masonry wall in preparation for installation
  • A plasterboard lift, if you will be fixing plasterboard to your ceiling

Fixing Plasterboard to a Wall Step by Step

After you’ve measured your walls’ height and width and calculated your square footage, you should have the sheets of plasterboard and other supplies to start the project. For a standard stud timber wall, follow these steps for the best results.

  1. First, measure your walls. Take these measurements and mark your plasterboard with where you need to cut. Try and use a full sheet to start, and then cut pieces down to fit as needed.
  2. Using your utility knife, score the front paper of your plasterboard. Then, fold the section back to get a clean cut through the plaster. Cut the remaining paper with your knife. Even cuts will help you match up sheets neatly.
  3. Take your first sheet and set it next to the timber wall. Use an offcut to keep your plasterboard just off the floor. This gives the plasterboard some clearance, allowing allow for floor expansion behind your skirting boards.
  4. Adjust your plasterboard so it is resting snugly against the wall in position. Nail or screw it into place on every stud. Make sure to fasten at the edges of each sheet as well as in a line down the stud for a secure connection that will last. Repeat the process for each plasterboard sheet until your walls are securely covered.

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Your Top Questions About Fixing Plasterboard Answered!

Now, you know how to go about fixing your plasterboard. But you might still have questions about what else you can do with your plasterboard. Don’t worry, we are here to help! We’ve compiled some of the most common questions about plasterboard to help you handle the installation — and help you feel prepared for the next steps!

Can You Fix Heavy Items to Plasterboard?

Yes, you can fix heavy items to your new plasterboard. But in the interests of keeping your items safe — and to prevent ruining your hard work, you need to do it right.

Heavy items cannot be fixed to plasterboard with ordinary screws or nails. You also can’t use regular wall plugs. These plastic plugs usually expand to fit the hole when you put them into a surface.

Plasterboard is a soft material, meaning that a plug’s expansion just makes the hole bigger and less likely to hang on to your heavy item. One day you may walk into your room and find your mirror or shelf has fallen to the floor and damaged the plasterboard too.

Instead, we recommend using a special plug that gives you extra staying power. Look for fixings that have a spring or toggle option. Commonly made out of a strong plastic or metal, they have wings that expand once installed. They are inserted flat into a predrilled hole so your plasterboard won’t need patching. It holds onto the other side of your plasterboard and disperses the weight of your heavy item so it’s sure to stay.

Fixing a TV to a Plasterboard Wall – How to Correctly Fix Your TV to The Wall

A wall-mounted TV is a great solution for space and viewing comfort. But you might be wondering what you need to know before fixing your TV to your walls.

First, consider the wall you want your TV to sit on. Make sure there are no pipes, wires or cabling buried behind the wall’s surface. Running into any of these items can cause some major and expensive damage, so it’s best to check before you drill into your plasterboard.

Next, you’ll need to ensure you have the right bracket. It needs to be able to hold up the size and weight of your TV. You won’t want to become a horror story and have your TV fall down and get smashed up against the ground.

To fix your bracket on a timber stud wall, find studs and screw your TV bracket into these for a strong grip. For plasterboard that has been fixed over masonry, you will need to use long enough screws or bolts that are graded for use in bricks. They will use the surface behind to anchor the weight.

If you still don’t feel confident in your ability and don’t want to be responsible for getting it right, you can always submit a free request for a plastering or TV mounting professional who will use their expertise to get your project done right!

Can You Fix Plasterboard to Brick?

Plasterboard can absolutely be fixed to brick surfaces, but it does require different steps than fixing it to timbers. This is where some of the optional materials listed above will be useful.

Your first step is to prepare the brick surface. Painted or natural surface bricks will need to be sanded for a rough surface that’s receptive for fixing. Run your hand over them to ensure no stray pieces of brick are sticking out that could damage the underside of your plasterboard. After sanding, wipe them down with a damp sponge to remove any dust that could interfere with application.

There are two methods of fixing plasterboard to masonry.

With the first, you apply stud adhesive to the bricks and stick your plasterboard to it. This is a lot like pasting a piece of paper to another surface! Use enough adhesive that your plasterboard sticks but not so much that it cannot dry.

In the second, you need to apply the wooden furring strips to your masonry using screws and plugs graded for masonry work. These should be spaced approximately 40 to 60 cm apart, about the same distance as timber studs are spaced. The furring strips give your screws something to grab onto to keep your plasterboard up. Make sure you are using screws that are long enough to reach the masonry behind for the best results.

Can Plasterboard be Fixed to a Ceiling?

Plasterboard is the perfect way to start finishing a ceiling! Use a plasterboard lift to help raise up sheets of plasterboard to the height you need, and then use traditional screws as you would with a timber wall.

Fixing plasterboard to a ceiling can be a bit more difficult since you are working over your head. If you think manoeuvring large sheets into place is going to be too much of a challenge, you can always enlist the help of a pro.


Fixing plasterboard can feel like a daunting project. With the help of a professional plasterer you can fix your plasterboard easily and effectively fix plasterboard during your renovation. Simply click to compare costs for plastering in your area!

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But sometimes, it can start to look shabby. It could even show signs of damage! If you spot signs of wear or worse, it means you need more than just a fresh coat of paint. You need to install plasterboard to give your ceiling a new start. This also makes it a great opportunity to have some fun with how your ceiling looks. Shake up your home’s looks by choosing a fun paint colour or incorporating a textured finish. Plasterboard is the perfect foundation for your ideas. 

Before you travel to your nearest home supply store to get your materials, you should learn how to plasterboard your ceiling to make sure the job is done right. Once you know what to do, it can be a simple DIY project that you can tackle over a few days. When you have a brand new ceiling overhead, you’ll be glad you did!

What is plasterboard

What is Plasterboard?

Before you learn how to plasterboard a ceiling it’s a good idea to have a solid understanding of what plasterboard is. After all, if you haven’t worked on wall or ceiling project before, you might not know what plasterboard is. It’s a preformed sheet of plaster held together between two sheets of heavy paper. This plaster is made of the same material as the plaster used on traditional plaster walls and ceilings, already dry and ready to go. It’s perfect for covering your ceiling. It reduces the muss and fuss of traditional plaster and gives you a quicker option.

It also takes a lot of the guesswork out of plastering. To plaster properly, it takes a bit of skill. With plasterboard, even an occasional DIY dabbler can get a smooth, sturdy covering for your ceiling. It will look brand new! It also takes less time to dry, which means you can finish your project much faster. This is great for the times you can’t wait for traditional lath and plaster ceilings to dry! You can start painting and finishing on a much shorter timeline. It also gives you a uniform surface that looks great with less effort.  

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How to Plasterboard a Ceiling Step by Step

When you look up how to plasterboard a ceiling it can seem quite daunting! It could be a struggle to know where to start when you aren’t sure what you’re doing. But you can bring your project in hand with the proper preparation. This includes getting the right materials for the job and following each step through to completion. This way, you won’t get stuck with your ceiling a mess! more
Dot and Dab Plastering (5 Key Steps for Successful Dry Lining)

The dot and dab technique remains a very popular method for attaching plasterboard to a wall. For speed, efficiency, and cost, dot and dab plastering can’t be beaten. However, the dot and dab technique which is also often referred to as dry lining has its detractors. Sometimes it is viewed as less stable and less reliable than traditional wet plastering techniques.

However, if you are a D.I.Y. novice who needs to attach or fix plasterboard, dry lining is perfectly fine.

This article will guide you through the dot and dab process. We have also included plenty of tips and trick to help you achieve great results the first time.  We’ll also explain the pros and cons of dry lining, to help you decide whether this plastering method is right for your D.I.Y. project. Think you'll hire a professional instead of DIY? Easily find top local plasterers near you!

What Is Dot and Dab?

First of all, be aware that dry lining and dot and dab are terms that are now often used interchangeably. Usually, these terms refer to the process of attaching plasterboard to a wall by dotting adhesive at various points across the surface.

When Is the Dot and Dab Technique Used?

The popularity of the dot and dab technique has risen alongside the popularity of plasterboard. Plasterboard provides a smooth, even surface that is easy to hang. Dry lining allows you to easily and quickly attach plasterboard to a wall.

Dry lining also allows you to avoid an excessive mess. This technique requires little water when compared to wet plastering.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Using Dot and Dab?

So, dot and dab is quick, cheap, and it is a great starter project for D.I.Y. novices. It sounds like the perfect plastering option, right? Well, there are some potential problems that you need to be aware of before you take the plunge at start dry lining your wall.

One of the biggest problems that people find with plasterboard that has been attached using dot and dab is that it provides little in the way of sound insulation. To avoid this problem, it is advisable to invest in some further insulation before you attach the final layer of plasterboard that you intend to decorate. Just be aware that this will be an additional expense, so add insulation into your budget.

To get more information on the costs of plastering check out our comprehensive Plastering Price Guide.

How to Identify a Dot and Dab Wall

If you have just moved into a new house or flat, you might not know what is going on behind your walls. What are they made of and how were they put up? You need to know the answers to these questions before you can start to make any changes. Don’t start decorating or drilling through the walls before you are fully informed.

One of the simplest and most effective ways of finding out if you have a dot and dab wall is to knock on the surface. You’ll need to knock the wall at various points. If you can hear a hollow sound at certain points, but a denser sound in other areas, you have a dot and dab wall.

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Plastering Trowel

How to Plaster a Ceiling Step by Step

So you’re ready to take on plastering your ceiling, are you? Well, just follow the simple steps outlined below and you’ll soon be well on your way!

1. Gather Your Tools and Equipment

Before you begin plastering your ceiling, you will need to gather a few tools first. Keep these handy for the duration of the project. Then, if you need something mid-project it will be close at hand.

We’ve included a list below of the most important tools and supplies for plastering a ceiling:

  • Plaster
  • Plastering trowel
  • Ladder
  • Mixing stick
  • Sandpaper
  • Clean water and sponge

Once you’ve gathered all the essential supplies then it’s time to begin the prep work.

2. Prepare the Area

Plastering a ceiling is messy there is simply no better way to put it. You’re balancing on a ladder with wet plaster on a trowel that you spread across the ceiling. This means, there’s a pretty good chance that some of it is going to drip down and land on your or the surrounding area.

The best way to counteract this is to plan ahead. Remove as much furniture as possible from the room. Then, cover any remaining furniture as well as the floor with a sheet of plastic. Take special care to ensure that the entire floor is covered. You don’t want plaster falling and hardening on your carpeting or hardwood.

To protect yourself, you should wear a renovation mask and some old clothes. While the mask prevents plaster from landing in your mouth, the clothes will protect your skin. Not to mention that using old clothes means you won’t destroy any favourite pieces.

Plaster Ceiling

3. Prepare the Ceiling

Do you have uneven patches on your ceiling? Then you should sand these down first. You don’t want the faults of your old ceiling to carry over after you are finished your project.

Then you’ll need to tidy up. Even if your ceiling is newer you should still follow these steps and tidy to remove any hidden dust. The good news is, that cleaning your ceiling is relatively easy. Use a vacuum to remove old cobwebs from the ceiling and then a sponge with some soapy water to wipe up any dust that remains. After this, get rid of any traces of soap residue by sponging the ceiling with clean water after following this step.

Are you plastering on a surface that has been exposed to oil? Then use a degreaser. If you don’t remove the oil before you plaster, it won’t set.

If you have a hole in your ceiling, you will also need to take some steps to patch this up first. more

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