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Dry Lining - Taping and Jointing Plasterboard

Dry lining taping and jointing tools and materials

Dry lining walls and taping and jointing the taper edge plasterboard allows walls to be lined without the need to apply a plaster finish. The slightly tapered edges allow the joint tape to be covered with jointing compound and left flush with the main surface of the plasterboard. The jointing compound can be applied as a smooth finish requiring only a light sanding before decorating.

Once all the dry lining boards have been fixed with drywall screws to the timber stud work, the process of taping and jointing the boards can be started.

Applying the self adhesive joint tape

1. Holding a roll of joint tape in one hand, place the end of the tape at the start of the join and run it all the way along the join.

Smoothing the joint tape

2. Smooth it firmly into place ensuring that it sits evenly over the joint. Trim at the end of the join using a sharp craft knife.

Taping the internal angles

3. Apply the tape to all the joints including the internal corners between the boards where the wall changes direction – and at the ceiling edges if you have boarded the ceilings as well.

Adding joint compound powder to water

4. Jointing compound  for dry lining is supplied as a dry powder and usually available in 12.5kg bags. Put some clean cold water into a mixing bucket and pour in some of the powder.

Mixing the jointing compound

5. Stir thoroughly, adding more powder if necessary, to get a smooth double cream consistency. Only mix what you can comfortably use in 30 minutes or so. After this time you’ll need to mix a fresh batch as it will have started to go off. Always use clean water and tools. Contamination of the mix will adversely affect the setting time and lead to poor results.

Holding the spatula

6. Use a trowel to scoop some of the jointing compound out and onto a plasterers hawk. Take a little of the compound on a wide spatula and hold it at around 30 degrees to the base of the wall at the bottom of the joint.

Joint compound applied

7. Put a little pressure on the blade of the spatula and draw it up the joint, spreading a smooth band of jointing compound along the tapered section and over the tape. Use long even strokes. You should be able to get a pretty smooth band the width of the tapered section.

Applying compound to internal corners

8. Continue this process on all the taped joints. You may find that at internal corners it is easier to position the spatula in the corner and draw it out sideways.

Filling screw heads

9. When all the joints are covered, go over all the recessed screw heads. You should be able to do this with one clean sweep of the spatula when you’ve had a little practice.

Applying second layer of joint compound

10. Allow the jointing compound to dry then mix another batch. This time the mix can be a little thinner – more like single cream. The thinner mix will allow you to put a final very smooth layer of compound over the previous layer. Repeat the process of applying a second smooth layer over all the joints.

Jointing and filling completed

11. Do the same for the screw heads. The first coat of jointing compound may shrink a little and this will bring it up flush.

12. Allow the compound to dry thoroughly before sanding down any irregularities and feathering the edges with a fine grade abrasive paper. You’ll find that minor ripples and nibs will sand easily. Wear a suitable dust mask and goggles when you sand down and when you clear up the resulting dust.

13. If you are doing more than a small area it might be worth investing in an extendible sanding pole. Abrasive paper is mounted on the sanding plate which is wide enough to span the full width of the filled tapered sections.

Sanding the joints

14. For smaller areas of taping and jointing, you can get away with a simple cork sanding block wrapped with abrasive paper. Whichever method you use, it’s important to have the abrasive over a flat surface to allow you to smooth the compound flat.

Sanding screw heads

15. Give the compound over the screw heads a sand down as well so that everything is smooth and flat. Dust down the surfaces and vacuum up the residue from the floor.

16. Dry lining should be coated with dry wall primer or sealer prior to decorating. Pour a little primer into a paint kettle.

Cutting in with primer

17. Cut in around the edges of the boards using a brush. The idea here is to create a 2” wide band round the perimeter and all internal angles – in other words all the places where a roller cannot reach or where it would snag. Don’t overload your brush and aim to get a reasonably even smooth coverage.

Pouring primer into roller tray

18. Cut in one wall at a time then pour some of the primer into a roller tray and load up your roller. This should have a short pile sleeve suitable for smooth surfaces.

Applying primer with roller

19. Starting in the top left corner of the first wall, roller the primer onto the surface in a vertical strip. Roller this out horizontally then go back over it using vertical zig zag strokes to lay it off. The first section will probably be around a metre square

Rollering primer onto the wall

20. Repeat the process on the wall below the first section. Continue like this to the bottom of the wall then start again at the top to the right of the section you’ve done. Carry on across the wall like this till the whole wall has been coated with the primer.

Additional Info

  • There are various board jointing tapes available but the best type to use is the self adhesive webbing tape which is supplied on a roll. This allows the taping to be carried out quickly and efficiently.
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