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 🙂



Drywall Repair

Patch Drywall – Patching big holes in Plasterboard

Ok. You might have a patch like this and here are some basic drywall repair notes to keep in mind. Firstly find out what the cause of the damage was in the first place. If it is say for example water damage make sure the problem is fixed first before even attempting to patch or you will have to patch again later. Once that is sorted you need to cut out the damaged area into a nice square shape in which you will replace with new plasterboard. Once hole is cut put some timber blocks around edge of cut out hole so you can replace with new plasterboard. As seen below top left.

Now once you have sheeted the new plasterboard, you will need to tape this border with paper tape so it does not crack back out later down the track. Once you have done that, as it sets you scrape off any high areas in preparation for the second coat which i have done in the picture below bottom left. Again as this drys make sure you scratch/scrape of any high areas again in preparation for the top coat. Now your first 2 coats were done with a base compound as it sets hard and holds the tape in from cracking. The final coat is the top coat, which basically allows you to sand back the patch to a smooth finish ready for painting. I do recommend though when sanding always use a light to show imperfections up so you can patch before painting. #drywallrepair


Phillip Cordwell –



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 –