Plaster or dryline - from the diydata forum

Occasionally there is a really good and helpful exchange on the forum which it would be a shame to let pass into history, here's one which we thought worth keeping.

Subject: Plaster or dryline
Name: Andrew
Date Posted: Jan 21, 04 - 4:52 AM
Message: We will soon have some stud partitions to board and plaster. I'm happy putting up the board, but my plastering looks more like artex, so will get someone in for this.

Is it better to use taper edge and have it taped, or go for straight edge and a full skim? is there much cost difference?

thanks again


Subject: Re: Plaster or dryline
Name: Paul McNamara
Date Posted: Jan 21, 04 - 5:14 AM
Message: Personally, I would go for the taper edge and tape for several reasons:

  1. It's more of a diy job and you don't need a plasterer. Just get the ready mixed joint compound and a set of plaster 'knives'. Then, it is a case of scrape on, scrape off over the joint, keeping the plaster knife across the taper and perpendicular to the wall. Several coats and a quick finish with sandpaper gives a perfectly smooth finish. You can even do external corners with a reinforcing bead, so long as you don't mind a bit of a taper onto the flat surface.
  2. You don't actually need to skin the plasterboard. As long as you seal it with the proprietary sealer or emulsion, you can decorate straight on top.
  3. If you do get a plasterer in, it still needs the joints taping and with the taper edge you get a thicker bond line there.
  4. There should be no price difference between square and taper.

Subject: Thanks & 3 more questions...
Name: Andrew
Date Posted: Jan 21, 04 - 2:40 PM
Message: Thanks Paul

I agree the taping is pretty simple, tried it at the last house and the finish wasn't too bad for a first go, it was the corners etc. that concerned me. I had seen a perforated tape for this, any idea? Also plastic or metal beading, any preference.

Also how do you join the tops of the boards where there's no taper?

Thanks again.

Subject: Re: Thanks & 3 more questions...
Name: Paul McNamara
Date Posted: Jan 22, 04 - 4:38 AM
Message: The tape that I used was a self adhesive plastic mesh from a DIY store (saves having to apply the paper tape to a wet mixture as you put it on first) and you can use it on internal corners and taper off the skim onto the plasterboard finish as before. Alternatively, you could risk slight cracking at the internal corners and just fill the gap with compound without the mesh - easier if the plasterboard here is not tapered!

I don't know anything about plastic beading - I haven't seen it but use a standard metal with expanded webs, nailed/screwed through the edges of your corners into the studding behind - but make sure the mesh is as flat against the wall as you can get it - for preference, use tapered edges at the corners to make a better job! This then gives a very rigid and hard edge to run your plaster knife down as you blend back onto the plasterboard with your compound.

I have only used taper boards for doing walls which were 8ft high so no horizontal joins. If you are doing a wall which requires a horizontal join, you could try chamfering the edge by cutting off 3 to 4 cm of paper from each board and scrapping away some of the plaster behind before taping and skimming as before, just make sure the edge of the paper is stuck down in the chamfer created (either use the joint compound or PVA) and preferably tucked under the joint tape! Alternatively, you are back to a full skim requirement.

Subject: Re: More thanks
Name: Paul McNamara
Date Posted: Jan 26, 04 - 4:25 AM
Message: Ah, high ceilings. I remember those - I had one about 19 years ago!

One way round your problem is to revert to the old decorating methods. Most high ceilings had a picture rail around the room at about 18" from the ceiling and they then decorated above the rail to match the ceiling, with a different decoration below. This way, they visually lowered the ceiling and made the rooms larger - its a perspective thing.

If you use tapered edge boards from the ground to 8 ft (or slightly less) and again above that to fill in to the ceiling, by just filling the horizontal gap between the boards, you will get a fair finish (but probably not perfect) but you could mask it with a picture rail. The vertical joints will be nigh on perfect due to the tapered edges.