Plaster Crack Repair. St Helens Tasmania

This job was done in St Helens Tasmania, on a 150 year old house. The room here was full of what we call crazy cracks through out the whole ceiling. It was not an option to re-sheet the ceiling as the owner wanted to keep the heritage style of the building, which is fair enough as it is a very old residence.

What we did here was to dig out any cracks that were big enough to do so, the small hairlines do not need this. Then once dug out we trowelled them back up with cornice cement to set hard again.

After the dug out cracks were set hard again all the cracks were then taped with a fibreglass joint taped called FibaFuse. The cracks were then given another coat of base and then a final coat of topping to allow for sanding.

As you can see the entire ceiling was nearly trowelled, as myself and the owner had a few jokes about, but this is what was needed to be done to maintain this lovely 150 year old buildings heritage. #ceilingcracks

Image may contain: indoor


Image may contain: indoor


Complete House Plastering. Bicheno

This is a rondo suspended ceiling on a raked angle from 3m down to 2.5m. Because usually 10ml plasterboard is used in residential housing, these metal battens, called furring channels are spaced at a maximum 450ml centres to comply with Australian Safety Standards. The blue colour board you can see in the background is for the bathroom, it is called “wetboard”, and is commonly used in any wet environments.

Image may contain: indoor


This is the finished sanded product. The angle you are looking at now between the wall and ceiling junctions was created using an adjustable PVC splade bead. This bead was then coated 3 times. 2 x base coats and 1 x top coat, this is also to comply with CSR Gyprocks warranty standards, trowelled any other way would void your warranty.

Image may contain: indoor

Image may contain: indoor

How To Install 6m Plasterboard.

Plasterboard Installation / Ceilings

Well then. You have become brave and decided well i can save some money here if i sheet my 12m lounge room ceiling myself. But your probably wondering well what do i need to do to install it correctly. Well here is some simple advice i hope helps you along the way. Firstly you need to measure you room and work out all the sheets you need to get, remembering the biggest plasterboard sheet size you can get is 6m long.

Once you have worked out how many sheets you need, you will then need to think about labour, as in how many friends you will need to get it done. If you have a plasterboard sheet lifter like the one pictured below, then you can get away with sheeting your ceiling with you and your mate. If you do not have one of these machines then the minimum you will need is 3 people, but 4 is recommended. You can how ever hire out these sheet lifters for around $50 a day so that is not bad value really compared to your mates wanting a carton of beer each and a free barbie.

Now to the sheeting part. Usually you will start against a back wall, never in the middle, sometimes you have too, but usually against a back wall. If your finish is a square set finish it is advised to take of the 50ml recess on the edge of the first sheet when you start, thus making your first sheet 1150ml wide and not the regular 1200ml. If it is cornice then you do not need to worry, as the cornice will cover the recessed edge. Before you throw up your first sheet you need to glue it with a product called Stud Adhesive. You can see some i installed on the ceilings below. Now the stud adhesive is placed on at 200ml, 400ml, leave the centre then 800ml and 1000ml. Look at the picture below to get a better understanding. The reason we do not glue the centre is because that is where we will be screwing the sheet, 2 x 25ml screws either side of the 600ml line. If i was to put glue there and then screw in the same place it would cause problems because as the glue drys it pulls the sheet harder to the battens and will pull the head of the screw through the paper faced plasterboard.

Now also if your room is longer then 6m you will need a butt join, that is where the ends of 2 sheets meet together in a ceiling or wall. Now as you can see, my example sheet below stops halfway between 2 metal ceiling battens(these battens are installed at 450ml centres for 10ml sheet and 600ml centres for 13ml sheet), the reason for this is so the ceiling can be backed blocked (will explain this in a later post) so it pitches up where the join meets. This allows the tradesman to trowel the butt join back to a flat level later. You will have to measure the plasterboard to make sure it does stop between 2 battens because it does not always work out that a full 6m will land in that position.

Now once its glued and cut to the right size you can throw the sheet up making sure you screw with 25ml screws for 10ml or 32ml screws for 13ml sheet, both ends of the sheet on each batten and 2 in the centre on either side of the 600ml line. Now this is the way its done in Hobart, Devonport and Burnie, but in Launceston it is screwed another way, but this way is fine, less sanding later.

Just one last thing. When sheeting ceilings that are bigger than 6m long, make sure that butt joins are staggered at LEAST 600ml apart from the previous sheet, you can have them inline if there is a 1200 sheet between them but sheets next to each other must be staggered minimum 600ml to make it easier to hide the joins when trowelling.

Ok, now you know how to throw up 6m long plasterboard sheets, enjoy and have fun with it, it is heavy work but it is not impossible for you to do on your own and save yourself 1000’s of dollars in the process. #plasterboard


Phillip Cordwell

note: photos below were taken at Sorell Springs near Oatlands at a sheep station cottage called Brooklands. Hi Jack 🙂



How to plaster a wall.

How To Plaster a Wall – Basic Sheeting Help

Ok, a question that i get asked a fair bit is how do you install plasterboard on to a timber framed stud wall. Well the first thing you need to do in measure the height of your ceilings. Why? Because if its 2.4m high the you can order 2 x 1200ml wide sheets. If it is 2700 high you can order 2 x 1350ml sheets. Plasterboard comes in these widths only, 1200ml and 1350ml(wide not length). Now if your ceiling is 3.0m high then you would use 2 x 1200 sheets then get 1 more 1200 sheet that you cut in half at 600ml. Just take a look at the right picture, i am installing the 600ml wide sheet first then i will put a 1200ml wide on top of that then another 1200ml wide sheet on top of that, making a total of 3.0m high.As you can see, on 3.0m high ceilings you always start with the 600ml wide sheet first. Why you ask? This is so you can reach the join easy when you trowel it up, if you put it near the top you will need a ladder to reach.

Anyway, before sheeting the wall you need to put insulation in, if the client wants it and you need to put the stud adhesive on the wall prior to putting the sheet on. Now a sheet is normally 1200 wide so in this case you would put daubs of stud adhesive at 200ml, 400ml, 600ml and 800ml on each timber stud. The top of the sheet is screwed or clouted and the bottom of the sheet is screwed or clouted. Do not put screw or clouts in the middle of the sheet. Later they will break the paper surface of the plaster and show through. If your sheeting big sheets like a 4.8m long or 6.0m long sheet, you can put some screws in the middle to hold it back till the glue sets. But remember to take these temporary screws out after and just plaster the little hole up, if you leave it in it will pull through the plaster down the track.

Well i hope this helps you DIY types and remember, the first thing you do before sheeting any wall be it timber or steel or brick is to measure the height of your ceiling so you know the right type of sheets to get. #howtoplasterawall

Regards all

Phillip Cordwell –

How to plaster a wall


Use angled sanding block. Plaster Repair

Hi All.

Just a quick one here on sanding and plaster repair. If you remember back to last posting i was talking about taping in internal angles using paper tape. Well as you can see on your left the wall and nib wall are now got a coat of paint on it. But before i painted i had to sand this area. After i used my dustless sanding machine you still have to go through and BLOCK sand the internals and anywhere else the machine could not reach. i.e around the power points etc.

If ever you end up doing this for yourself, make sure you buy the angled sanding blocks as you can see in the images below, not the straight edge ones, because with the angled sanding blocks you will not dig out the plaster on the other side of the internal as your sanding it. If you use a straight block it hits the other wall in the corner and digs out the plaster, leaving plaster repair work to be done.

Anyway just a quickie


Phillip Cordwell –

Square Set Openings

Here is a new square set opening. Framed with external angles, 2 x base coats and 1 x top coat. You MUST scratch/scrape plaster down between each coat, usually just before it fully sets.

There’s the square set opening in the background with the external angles on before it’s trowelled. Remember to use a level and builders square when installing or they can look really bad when painted 🙂

Phillip Cordwell –

Taping in internals by hand.

Right. i am at work at home and i’ve just taped in the corners. These are called in the trade internals. As you can see on the left photo that is a taped in internal. you put the plaster on both sides then you put over that the paper tape which you fold(it has a fold line in the centre of it). Once you have that in you blade it off with a 3 inch (angled) broad knife so you don’t spread the plaster to wide. And that’s it you have a taped in 90 degree corner which later on you top coat with a 4 inch blade and a special corner tool. i will explain that later.

happy taping

Phillip Cordwell

Phil The Cracks Plastering –