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A step-by-step guide to creating a plasterboard wall

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Before we get started with our guide for creating a feature drywall or plasterboard wall, let us include a little disclaimer here by saying that we are not highly experienced construction professionals. We are simply offering a go-to guide for enthusiastic DIY advocates that probably already have a base level of knowledge to draw on, so if that's not you, please consider hiring a pro for your plasterboard project!

With that out of the way, how about we take a look at how a unique plasterboard wall can add not only style and charm to any room, but also extra storage? This would be particularly handy in a busy family home that is always short on spaces to stash belongings away in and we think that plasterboard wall niches add so much visual appeal to main spaces, such as living rooms. If you've ever thought that your walls could use a little more pizazz, come with us now and find out how you can accomplish it!

1. Gather your materials together.

The first thing you need to do, before starting a plasterboard project, is to collect all the materials that you'll need. Hardware and DIY stores will be your best bet for finding everything, but make sure that you definitely pick up the following:

- plasterboard sheets (also known as drywall)

- double-sided plasterboard tape

- expanding wall plugs

- self-tapping screws

—metal edging strips

- wall putty

2. Organize your tools.

Once you have all your physical materials in place, you can turn your attention to ensuring that you have a comprehensive collection of tools. Plasterboard requires specific tooling to be used, as the sheeting can actually be quite delicate, so you'll need to make sure that you have the following:

- a specific plasterboard cutting blade

- a variety of screwdrivers

- a tape measure or meter rule

- a putty spatula

- a spirit level

- a selection of hand files

- wall cleaning brushes and sponges

3. Where to start?

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piano a

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A plasterboard wall is, essentially, a false wall that is created around a metal framework, so your starting point is to design your installation and create the metalwork that will support your plasterboard sheets. The process should go something like this:

- mark out the edges of your framework to get a feel for the proportions. Use a pencil to mark fixing points on the ceiling and floor, as they will be easy to remove or re-do.

- fix your metal edging strips into place, starting with the corners. You want a metal strut roughly every 60cm, for optimum stability, and you will need to affix the metal both to your floor and ceiling, so it can take the weight of your sheeting.

- check that all of your struts are at the right angle, with your spirit level, and continue to secure. Remember that heavy plasterboard sheets will be added next and you need everything to stay in place.

4. Add the plasterboard/drywall.

To install the plasterboard sheets into place, you need to do the following:

- start at one edge and install your first sheet, being sure to use enough screws. You want the sheet to remain firmly in place without needing to be supported by anything other than the metal frame.

- insert any acoustic or thermal insulation, so that you can enjoy enough space to manhandle it into the correct position.

- continue all the way around your frame, affixing every sheet into place carefully and with the same number of screws, perfectly spaced.

- at the base of the wall, craft a watertight seal, using putty or tape.

- apply plasterboard-specific adhesive tape over every join, to create a perfectly seamless installation that is ready to finish.

5. Finish the project.

With the structure completed, you need to cover your taped seams with a thin layer of putty. Use a damp sponge to get a thin but even coat. Once this has been done, you're ready to finish your project! You might want to apply a skim coat of plaster and some paint, or even add wallpaper! As long as you end up with a super smooth finish and a stylish addition, you've done it right!

For more DIY advice, take a look at this Ideabook: How to make a DIY concrete planter.

Do you feel confident enough to grapple with plasterboard?
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