Ultimate Guide to Plastering Materials

The Ultimate Guide to Plastering Materials

Introduction to Plastering Materials

Chapter One – Core Plastering Materials

Chapter Two – Preparing Plastering Materials

Chapter Three – Using Plastering Materials

Chapter Four – Sustainable Plastering Materials

Chapter Five – Plastering Industry Trends


Introduction to Plastering Materials


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on plastering materials – a fundamental resource for any plasterer, whether seasoned professional or budding enthusiast. 

This guide will take you on a journey through the vital elements that constitute the world of plastering.

We will start with an in-depth look at the core materials, shedding light on their unique properties and the roles they play in the plastering process. 

From there, we’ll guide you through the essential steps of preparing these materials, followed by practical advice on how to put them to good use.

But our exploration won’t stop at the practicalities; we will also delve into the increasingly important topic of sustainable plastering materials, considering how we can make eco-friendlier choices without compromising on quality.

Lastly, we’ll examine the most current industry trends, keeping you at the forefront of plastering innovation.

No matter your level of experience or interest in plastering, this guide aims to enrich your understanding and provide useful insights. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of plastering materials together!

Chapter 1- Core Plastering Materials

Core plastering materials

In any plastering job, the materials you choose to work with are paramount to achieving a high-quality finish. 

They form the base of your project and can greatly affect the durability, appearance, and even the health of your indoor environment.

In this chapter, we’re going to take a closer look at the core materials used in plastering.

1.1 Plaster

Plaster is a versatile building material used for the protective or decorative coating of walls and ceilings. 

It’s the most integral part of any plastering job. 

Here are the main types you’re likely to come across:

Gypsum Plaster: Also known as plaster of Paris, gypsum plaster is created by heating gypsum to about 300 °F (150 °C). The process eliminates water from the mineral and breaks it down into a fine, white powder. 

When water is added, the powder rehydrates, becoming a viscous material that can be easily moulded or spread over a surface. 

It’s best suited for interior work, as it doesn’t fare well when exposed to large amounts of water. 

Gypsum plaster sets quickly, usually within 30-50 minutes, so work needs to be done swiftly.

Lime Plaster: Lime plaster is a blend of calcium hydroxide (‘slaked lime’) and sand, along with other inert fillers. 

The carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reacts with the wet plaster, causing it to harden by transforming the calcium hydroxide into calcium carbonate. 

Lime plaster is renowned for its flexibility, breathability, and less brittle nature compared to gypsum, making it great for both interior and exterior applications.

Cement Plaster: Composed of a mixture of suitable plaster, sand, portland cement, and water, cement plaster is popular for its use on exterior surfaces due to its durability and water resistance. 

It’s an ideal choice for regions with heavy rainfall or damp conditions.

1.2 Plasterboard

Plasterboard, also known as drywall or wallboard, forms an integral part of modern construction. It’s made by compressing an inner layer of gypsum between two outer layers of heavy paper or fibreglass mat. 

Being lightweight and easy to install, it’s commonly used to form interior walls and ceilings. 

Moreover, it’s fire-resistant, provides good sound insulation, and acts as a blank canvas for decorative finishes.

1.3 Jointing Tape

Jointing tape is an essential element when working with plasterboard. 

It’s used to bridge the joints between sheets of plasterboard, providing a smooth, continuous surface for plastering.

Paper Tape: This type of tape is made from a strong, flexible paper material. It’s embedded in a layer of joint compound to give a seamless finish.

Fibreglass Mesh Tape: Fibreglass mesh tape is a self-adhesive tape that’s quick and easy to apply. However, care must be taken when plastering over it, as improper application can lead to bubbles or blisters appearing on the finished surface.

1.4 Plastering Beads

Plastering beads are thin strips of metal or plastic that are embedded in the plaster to create clean, sharp edges and corners, giving your plasterwork a professional finish. 

They also provide structural strength to the plaster.

Angle Beads: These are used to form sharp corners and protect them from damage.

Stop Beads: These create a neat finish at the edges of your plasterwork where it stops or meets another surface.

Bell Beads: Bell beads or arch beads are used for forming curves and arches in plasterwork.

Chapter 2: Preparing Plastering Materials

Preparing plastering materials

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a do-it-yourself enthusiast, you know that success in plastering begins before the first dollop of plaster touches a wall. 

It starts with thorough and careful preparation of the materials involved. 

From choosing the right type of plaster to prepping the plasterboard and applying PVA, each step has a significant impact on the final outcome. 

Let’s dive deeper into this process.

2.1 Preparing Plaster

The cornerstone of any plastering project is, of course, the plaster itself. 

And preparing it correctly can be the difference between a smooth, high-quality finish and a job that looks amateurish.

Selecting the Right Plaster: The type of plaster you choose will depend largely on the nature of the project. 

For indoor wall finishes, gypsum plaster, or plaster of Paris, is a common choice due to its fine texture and easy workability. 

It dries to a hard, smooth surface that can be painted or wallpapered. If you’re working outdoors or in damp environments, you might consider using cement plaster, which has greater water resistance and durability.

Mixing: Mixing the plaster properly is essential. 

Typically, you will first pour clean, cold water into a clean mixing bucket. The plaster powder is then added gradually while stirring. 

It’s best to use a mechanical plaster mixer or a drill with a mixing paddle to achieve a smooth, lump-free mixture. 

Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct water-to-plaster ratio.

Checking the Consistency: Achieving the right consistency is a vital part of the process. The plaster should be mixed to a smooth, creamy consistency – thick enough to spread evenly and stick to your trowel, but thin enough to work comfortably.

2.2 Preparing Plasterboard

Preparing plasterboard, also known as drywall, involves more than just hanging sheets on a wall. 

Proper preparation ensures that the final plastered surface is smooth and seamless.

Measuring and Cutting: Begin by measuring the area where the plasterboard will be installed. 

Use these measurements to mark the plasterboard, and then cut it using a utility knife or drywall saw. 

Always cut on the face side using a sharp blade to ensure clean edges.

Installation: Install the cut plasterboard using drywall screws and a drill, ensuring it is secure and level. The screws should be placed every 12 inches along the edges and every 16 inches in the centre of the board.

Applying Jointing Tape: Once the plasterboard is installed, apply jointing tape over the seams. This helps to prevent cracking and achieves a smooth, seamless finish once the plaster is applied.

2.3 Preparing Plastering Beads

Plastering beads give your plastering project a professional finish. They help create sharp corners and edges and add strength to vulnerable areas.

Measuring and Cutting: Determine the lengths of plastering beads you need for your project, and cut them with tin snips. Always cut on an angle to avoid sharp edges.

Placement and Fixing: Plastering beads should be fixed to the edges and corners where you want a clean, sharp finish. Use plaster or drywall screws to fix them in place.

2.4 Preparing PVA

PVA, or Polyvinyl Acetate, is a clear, adhesive sealer used in plastering to seal the surface before plastering.

Diluting: PVA often needs to be diluted with water before use. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the correct ratio, often around 1 part PVA to 5 parts water.

Application: Apply the PVA solution to the surface using a brush or roller. Ensure you cover the whole surface and allow it to partially dry (until it’s slightly tacky) before

Chapter 3: Using Plastering Materials

Using plastering materials

You’ve got your plaster, your tools, and your workspace prepared – now the real fun begins. 

This chapter guides you through the process of applying and finishing your plaster, working with plasterboard, incorporating plastering beads, and effectively using PVA in your plastering project.

3.1 Applying Plaster

Applying plaster is an art that requires patience and precision. It’s a multi-step process, each step building on the last to achieve a smooth, flawless finish.

Load Your Hawk: First, scoop some plaster onto your hawk, a handheld flat board that holds the plaster while you’re working. The plaster should be scooped onto the centre of the hawk, ready to be pushed onto your trowel.

Apply the Plaster: Slide some plaster from the hawk onto your trowel, then apply it to the wall or ceiling with a firm, even stroke. Start at one corner and work your way across the surface, maintaining a consistent thickness.

Smooth the Plaster: After the plaster has been applied, go over the area with your trowel held at a slight angle. This helps to smooth out any inconsistencies and remove excess plaster.

Wait and Polish: Allow the plaster to set partially – this typically takes around 20-30 minutes depending on the type of plaster. Once it’s firmed up a bit, use a clean, wet trowel to polish the surface, giving it a smooth, glossy finish.

If you’re applying plaster to larger areas and need an extended setting time, plaster retarders, such as Extratime, are a useful option. Plaster retarder delays the plaster setting, giving you more time to finish the job. 

3.2 Finishing Plasterboard

When finishing plasterboard, there are two steps you need to take before deciding whether applying plaster is necessary. 

Apply Jointing Compound: With the plasterboard installed and jointing tape applied, it’s time to apply a jointing compound over the tape and any drywall screws. This is done with a taping knife, ensuring the compound fills the seams and covers the screws.

Sanding: After the jointing compound has dried completely, sand it smooth using a fine-grit sandpaper. Be careful not to sand into the tape beneath the compound. The goal is to create a seamless surface that blends smoothly with the rest of the wall or ceiling.

After the application of jointing compound and careful sanding, you may be left with a smooth enough finish to apply paint directly on top, avoiding plaster application. However, if the plasterboard doesn’t have a smooth finish, you may need to skim plaster before painting. 

3.3 Using Plastering Beads

Plastering beads, which provide clean, crisp edges and corners, are an essential component of professional-looking plasterwork. However, if you’re using plastering beads with plasterboard and the finish is smooth, a layer of plaster may not be necessary.

Apply Plaster: With the beads securely fixed, apply plaster up to the edge of the bead, making sure to cover any fixing nails or screws. This ensures that the bead becomes part of the finished wall or ceiling.

Smooth and Shape: After the plaster is applied, use your trowel to smooth the plaster and shape it to the edge of the bead. This helps to create a sharp, clean finish.

3.4 Working with PVA

PVA, a sealer used in plastering, requires careful timing to use effectively.

Apply PVA: Once the PVA solution has reached the tacky stage (not fully dry but sticky to the touch), it’s time to apply your plaster. The slightly sticky surface allows the plaster to adhere better, giving a smoother finish.

Plaster Over PVA: Apply your plaster following the methods described above. However, it’s crucial to apply the plaster before the PVA fully dries, so the plaster can properly adhere to the surface.

Finishing Touches: After your plaster has set, check for any imperfections or bumps. If necessary, lightly sand the surface until it is completely smooth and ready for painting or decorating. Always remember, patience and meticulous attention to detail are the keys to a successful plastering project.

Chapter 4: Sustainable Plastering Materials

Sustainable choices with plastering materials

In the face of increasing environmental concerns, various industries, including construction and plastering, are leaning towards more eco-friendly alternatives. 

This chapter will dive deep into the array of sustainable choices in plastering materials, waste management, and supplier selection for a greener plastering project.

4.1 Green Plastering Materials

Traditional plastering materials are energy-intensive in production, contributing significantly to environmental pollution. Waste generation is another concern when plasterboard is discarded. This section explores environmentally-friendly alternatives that not only minimise harm to our planet but can also enhance the aesthetic and functional value of buildings.

4.1.1 Lime Plaster: The Eco-friendly Old-timer

Lime plaster, one of the most ancient building materials, offers a sustainable option for modern construction. Its production process involves burning limestone at a relatively low temperature, which results in less carbon dioxide emission than the manufacturing of cement or gypsum plaster.

Moreover, lime plaster has a unique ‘breathing’ property. It allows moisture to evaporate, preventing dampness and mould growth, thus improving the indoor air quality. But what truly makes lime plaster stand out in terms of sustainability is its ability to reabsorb CO2 as it cures, aiding in reducing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

4.1.2 Clay Plaster: Harnessing the Power of Nature

Clay plaster is a prime example of how naturally abundant elements can be harnessed in construction. Produced from clay, sand, and straw or fibres, it is a recyclable and compostable material that creates virtually zero waste.

One major benefit of clay plaster is its ability to regulate indoor humidity levels, contributing to a healthier and more comfortable living environment. Furthermore, clay plaster does not off-gas harmful chemicals, ensuring better indoor air quality compared to many conventional plasters.

The energy-efficiency of clay plaster production also contributes to its eco-friendliness. The raw materials are mixed and left to dry naturally, eliminating the need for high-energy kilns.

4.1.3 Recycled Plasterboard: Turning Waste into Value

In an effort to reduce waste, some manufacturers have started producing plasterboard from recycled materials. This includes waste plasterboard, which can be processed and remanufactured, thus extending the life of the materials and diverting them from landfills.

While recycled plasterboard may not be entirely zero-waste, it signifies a positive move towards a circular economy in the plastering industry, where resources are kept in use for as long as possible, and waste is minimised.

Using recycled plasterboard also requires less energy compared to producing new plasterboard, further decreasing the environmental footprint of your plastering project.

Chapter 5: Plastering Industry Trends

Plastering materials industry trends

The plastering industry, like many others, is constantly evolving in response to new technology, societal changes, and environmental concerns. 

This chapter will highlight some of the most impactful trends and emerging practices that are shaping the future of plastering.

5.1 Technological Innovations

Technological advancements have been instrumental in refining the art of plastering, driving efficiency, precision, and innovation in this age-old trade.

5.1.1 Advanced Plastering Machines

Technological innovations have led to the advent of advanced plastering machines. 

These machines offer a multitude of benefits, including efficient mixing of plaster and quicker application on walls and ceilings. 

Some machines even come equipped with integrated silos and pumps that not only store but also mix and pump the plaster to the site, saving time and effort.

5.1.2 Digital Measurement Tools

Digital tools such as laser metres and digital spirit levels have become commonplace in modern plastering. They allow for precise measurements and cuts, minimising errors and waste. Digital modelling software also enables professionals to create accurate visualisations of the end product, aiding in the planning and execution of complex plastering projects.

5.2 3D Printed Plaster

The integration of 3D printing technology into construction presents an exciting frontier in plastering. This technology allows intricate, customised designs to be printed in plaster, creating possibilities for highly detailed decorative plasterwork that would be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to achieve by hand.

5.3 Smart Plaster

The advent of “smart” plaster and plasterboard is another innovative trend in the plastering industry. The term refers to materials that can do more than just provide a surface finish.

Smart plaster could potentially regulate indoor humidity levels, absorb toxins from the air, or even change colour based on temperature or light conditions. 

These materials could offer improved energy efficiency, health benefits, and enhanced aesthetic appeal, though their development is still in the early stages.

5.4 Sustainability in Plastering

The increasing demand for sustainability is significantly influencing the plastering industry. 

Eco-friendly alternatives to traditional plastering materials, like those discussed in the previous chapter are gaining popularity. Furthermore, the industry is exploring methods to reduce waste and minimise its carbon footprint while maintaining the quality and durability that plastering projects demand.

Strategies include utilising green building materials, adopting energy-efficient production processes, and implementing waste management practices that prioritise recycling. 

This trend represents not only a response to the growing global emphasis on sustainability but also an opportunity to innovate and evolve plastering practices for the better.



This guide has provided a comprehensive overview of the plastering process, starting from the essential materials and moving through their preparation and application. 

The different types of plaster – gypsum, lime, and cement, were discussed along with auxiliary materials like plasterboard, jointing tape, plastering beads, and PVA. 

These materials were then contextualised within the preparatory phase of a plastering project, with emphasis on the importance of meticulous preparation for achieving quality results.

The guide also considered the growing importance of sustainability within the plastering industry, with an exploration of eco-friendly materials and practices. Lime and clay plasters, along with recycled plasterboard, were introduced as greener alternatives that can contribute to a more sustainable construction landscape.

Finally, a spotlight was thrown on the latest industry trends, including technological innovations and the advent of 3D printed and smart plaster. These developments, alongside the emphasis on sustainability, underscore the dynamism of the plastering field and its continuous evolution.

In conclusion, whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional plasterer, understanding these elements – the materials, their preparation and application, sustainability considerations, and industry trends – can enhance your plastering work, improve its quality, and contribute to a more sustainable construction environment.

The Ultimate Guide to Plastering Tools

The Ultimate Guide to Plastering Tools

Introduction to Plastering Tools

Chapter One – Plastering Trowels

Chapter Two –  Hawk and Float

Chapter Three –  Mixing Tools

Chapter Four –  Straight Edges and Feather Edges

Chapter Five – Corner Tools 

Chapter Six – Plastering Stilts and Hop Ups

Chapter Seven – Cleaning and Maintenance Tools


Introduction to Plastering Tools

Introduction to plastering tools

Plastering is a skilled trade that requires precision, attention to detail, and the right tools to achieve a high-quality finish. 

With a wide variety of tools available for different plastering tasks, it’s essential to know which ones are best suited for your specific project. 

This ultimate guide to plastering tools will help you understand the purpose and usage of each tool, ensuring that you’re well-equipped for a successful plastering job.

Chapter One – Plastering Trowels

Plastering trowels

One of the most essential tools in any plasterer’s toolkit is the trowel

Trowels come in various types, including finishing trowels, skimming trowels, and more, each designed for a specific purpose in the plastering process.

  • Finishing trowels: These trowels are used for smoothing and finishing the plaster surface, providing a professional and polished look. They typically have a flat, rectangular blade made of stainless steel or carbon steel and a comfortable handle for easy use.
  • Skimming trowels: Skimming trowels are designed for applying a thin layer of finishing plaster on top of a base coat, creating a smooth surface. They often feature a pre-worn blade to help achieve an even finish.
  • Bucket trowels: This small, flat trowel is useful for getting plaster and compound out of the bucket and onto the hawk or mortar stand.

When selecting a trowel, consider factors such as blade size and shape, handle type, and material. 

A larger blade can cover more surface area, making the job faster, while a smaller blade offers greater control for detailed work. 

Additionally, choose a trowel with an ergonomic handle for comfortable use during extended periods.

Proper trowel maintenance is crucial for ensuring longevity and optimal performance. 

Clean your trowel after each use, removing any leftover plaster to prevent buildup. 

Occasionally check for signs of wear and replace the trowel if necessary.

Chapter Two – Hawk and Float

Hawk and float

The hawk and float are essential tools for holding and applying plaster during the plastering process. 

A hawk is a flat, square platform with a central handle underneath, used to hold plaster while you work. 

A float, on the other hand, is a smaller trowel-like tool used in conjunction with the hawk to apply and smooth plaster.

When choosing a hawk, look for one made of durable materials like aluminium or magnesium, with a comfortable handle that provides a secure grip. 

The size of the hawk should match your hand size and the amount of plaster you’ll typically be working with. 

To use a hawk and float effectively, practice scooping plaster onto the hawk with the float, then applying the plaster to the wall with smooth, controlled motions.

Chapter Three – Mixing Tools

Mixing tools

Properly mixing plaster is crucial for achieving a smooth, even finish. 

There are several tools available for mixing plaster, including mixing drills and paddle attachments.

  • Mixing drills: These are power tools designed for mixing various materials, including plaster. When selecting a mixing drill, consider factors such as power, speed settings, and overall durability. A higher wattage drill will provide more power for mixing thicker materials, while variable speed settings allow for greater control during the mixing process.

  • Paddle attachments: Paddle attachments, also known as mixing paddles, are used in conjunction with a mixing drill. These attachments come in various shapes and sizes, each designed for specific mixing tasks. A helical or spiral-shaped paddle is ideal for mixing plaster, as it promotes a smooth and consistent mix.

To properly mix plaster, add the dry plaster to a clean mixing bucket, then gradually add water while operating the mixing drill with a paddle attachment. 

Be sure to mix the plaster thoroughly, eliminating any lumps or inconsistencies, and achieve the desired consistency based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Chapter Four – Straight Edges and Feather Edges

Straight edges and feather edges

Achieving a flat, even surface is essential for professional plastering results. Straight edges and feather edges are tools designed to help plasterers accomplish this goal.

  • Straight edges: These are long, straight metal or aluminium tools used to check and correct the flatness of a plastered surface. To use a straight edge, place it against the surface and look for any gaps or high spots, then adjust the plaster as needed.

  • Feather edges: Feather edges are similar to straight edges, but they have a thinner profile and are typically more flexible. This flexibility allows for easier use on curved surfaces or in tight spaces.

When using these tools, work methodically across the surface, checking and correcting the flatness as you go. 

This process helps ensure a smooth, even finish that will look professional and stand the test of time.

Chapter Five –  Corner Plastering Tools

Corner tools

Achieving clean, sharp corners is an essential part of plastering, and specialised corner tools can help you accomplish this with ease. 

Some of the most common corner tools include:

  • Angle trowels: These trowels feature a blade with a 90-degree angle, designed for finishing internal corners. The angled blade allows for smooth application and shaping of plaster in tight spaces, ensuring a clean, professional finish.

  • Corner floats: Corner floats, sometimes called corner sponges, are used to smooth and shape external corners after plastering. These tools consist of a sponge or foam material with a 90-degree angle, allowing you to work the plaster into a clean, sharp edge.

When working with corners, be sure to use the appropriate tool for the specific task, and take the time to ensure a precise, professional finish.

Chapter Six – Plastering Stilts and Hop Ups

Stilts and hop ups

For larger plastering projects or working on ceilings, plasterers often require additional height to reach their work area comfortably. 

Plastering stilts and hop ups can provide the necessary elevation, allowing you to work more efficiently and safely.

  • Plastering stilts: These adjustable stilts strap to your legs and feet, allowing you to walk and work at an elevated height. Stilts offer flexibility and mobility while working on high surfaces, but they require practice and skill to use safely.

  • Hop ups or ladders: Alternatively, you can use a sturdy hop up or a ladder to reach higher areas. While these options provide a stable platform for working, they may not offer the same level of mobility as stilts.

Whichever option you choose, always prioritise safety when working at height, using appropriate fall protection measures and ensuring that your equipment is in good condition.

Chapter Seven – Cleaning and Maintenance Tools

Cleaning and maintenance tools

Proper cleaning and maintenance of your plastering tools are essential for extending their lifespan and ensuring optimal performance. 

Some essential cleaning tools include:

  • Plasterer’s brush: A soft-bristle brush is perfect for cleaning your trowels and other tools after use. The soft bristles help remove plaster without damaging the tools.

  • Cleaning water and sponge: Keep a bucket of clean water and a sponge nearby while working to wipe down your tools as needed. Regular cleaning prevents plaster buildup, which can affect the performance of your tools.

After each plastering job, clean your tools thoroughly, removing all traces of plaster, and store them in a dry, protected location.

By understanding the purpose and usage of each plastering tool, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any plastering project with confidence. 

With the right tools and techniques, you can achieve a professional, high-quality finish that will stand the test of time.


Plastering tools conclusion

This exploration of plastering tools has offered an in-depth view of the essential instruments used in the plastering trade, from the basic hand tools to specialised equipment.

The discussion began with the ubiquitous plastering trowel, the plasterer’s primary tool. Used for applying, spreading, and smoothing plaster, the trowel is a versatile instrument available in different shapes and sizes to accommodate various tasks and preferences.

Next, the focus shifted to the hawk and float. The hawk, a flat platform for holding plaster, and the float, used for smoothing and levelling the plaster, form a crucial partnership in the plastering process.

The importance of proper mixing was underscored in the section about mixing tools, which are essential for creating a smooth, workable plaster mix. Mechanical mixers and sturdy buckets, as well as mixing paddles for drill attachments, were identified as key tools for this stage.

Then, attention turned to straight edges and feather edges. These tools ensure a flat and level finish to the plaster, vital for achieving a professional-looking result.

Corner tools were introduced next. These specialised tools help create clean, sharp corners and edges, enhancing the finish and durability of the plasterwork.

The guide also ventured into the realm of plastering stilts and hop ups, essential for reaching high areas. While these may not be necessary for every project, they can increase efficiency and comfort for extensive or high-reaching plastering work.

Finally, the importance of tool maintenance was emphasised with a discussion on cleaning tools. Keeping tools clean and in good working order not only extends their lifespan but also ensures the best possible finish to plasterwork.

In sum, a well-equipped plasterer’s toolkit should feature a range of trowels, a hawk and float, mixing tools, straight and feather edges, corner tools, and potentially stilts or hop ups. 

Additionally, proper cleaning and maintenance tools are critical for ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of this equipment. Understanding these tools, their use, and care is vital for anyone engaged in plastering, whether as a DIY enthusiast or a professional.

Ultimate Guide To Drylining For 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Drylining in 2023

(From planning and prep to maintenance and repairs plus everything drylining in between!)

Chapter One – Introduction to Drylining

Chapter Two – Planning and Preparation

Chapter Three – Installation Techniques 

Chapter Four – Finishing and Decoration 

Chapter Five – Maintenance and Repairs 

Chapter Six –  Drylining Misconceptions 

Chapter Seven – Drylining FAQs


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on drylining – a crucial aspect of modern construction that’s often misunderstood. 

Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast looking to embark on your first drylining project, a professional seeking to deepen your knowledge, or simply interested in understanding more about this trade, this guide is for you. 

We’ll cover the process from start to finish – from planning and preparation, through installation techniques and finishing, to maintenance and repairs. 

We’ll also debunk some common misconceptions and answer frequently asked questions about drylining. 

Let’s embark on this journey together to explore the world of drylining.

Chapter One – Introduction to Drylining

Introduction to drylining

Introduction to Drylining

Drylining is a type of construction method used to create smooth and level walls and ceilings in buildings. 

This technique is commonly used in new builds, renovations, and remodelling projects to provide a smooth surface for decoration and to improve the insulation and soundproofing of a room. 

In this chapter, we will explore the history, benefits, and types of dry lining systems and materials.

History of Drylining

Drylining has been used as a method of creating smooth and level surfaces in buildings for over a century. 

The earliest forms of drylining were made from plaster, but with the advent of new materials, such as gypsum board, drylining has evolved into a more efficient and cost-effective method of construction. 

Today, drylining is widely used in residential, commercial, and industrial construction projects across the world.

Benefits of Drylining

There are several benefits to using dry lining as a method of construction, including:

  • Improved insulation and soundproofing: Drylining provides a barrier to heat and sound, improving the insulation and soundproofing of a room.
  • Increased structural stability: Drylining helps to strengthen the walls and ceilings of a building, providing increased structural stability.
  • Faster construction times: Drylining is faster to install than traditional plastering methods, allowing projects to be completed more quickly.
  • Cost-effective: Drylining is a cost-effective method of construction, as it requires less materials and labour than traditional plastering methods.

Types of Dry Lining Systems and Materials

There are several different types of dry lining systems and materials that can be used, including:

  • Gypsum board: This is the most commonly used material for drylining, as it is easy to install, lightweight, and provides good insulation and soundproofing.
  • Fiberboard: Fiberboard is a type of dry lining material that is made from recycled materials, making it an environmentally-friendly option.
  • Cement board: Cement board is a type of dry lining material that is made from cement and fibres, making it strong and durable.
  • Plasterboard: Plasterboard is a type of dry lining material that is made from gypsum and paper, making it an affordable and versatile option.

Each of these materials has its own unique properties and benefits, and choosing the right material will depend on the specific needs of a project.

In conclusion, drylining is a versatile, cost-effective, and efficient method of creating smooth and level walls and ceilings in buildings. Whether you are building a new home, renovating an existing one, or just want to improve the insulation and soundproofing of a room, drylining is an excellent option to consider.

Chapter Two – Planning and Preparation

Planning and preparing for drylining

Tools and Equipment for Drylining

In order to complete a drylining project, you will need a range of tools and equipment. In this chapter, we will take a look at the essential tools and equipment that you will need, as well as some optional items that can make the job easier.

Essential Tools

  • Measuring tape
  • Knife or cutting tool for drywall
  • Screw gun or drill with a drywall screw bit
  • Square or straight edge for making straight cuts
  • Level
  • Joint knife or taping knife
  • Drywall saw or utility knife
  • Sand block or drywall rasp

Optional Tools

  • Electric or manual drill
  • Hole saw or hole cutter
  • Screw gun holder or drill holder
  • Corner bead tool
  • Drywall lift or hoist

There is also the option of replacing joint and taping knives with automatic taping tools. Automatic taping tools are a faster alternative, ideally suited for larger drywalling jobs.

It’s important to have the right tools for the job, as this will make the drylining process faster, easier, and more accurate. Investing in high-quality tools can also help to reduce the risk of injury and damage to the materials.

Safety Equipment

When working with dry lining materials, it’s important to wear protective clothing and equipment, including:

  • Dust mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Hard hat
  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Safety boots

It’s also important to follow safe working practices and to be aware of any potential hazards, such as sharp edges on the dry lining materials or dust in the air.

In conclusion, having the right tools and equipment is essential for a successful drylining project. By investing in high-quality tools, wearing appropriate safety equipment, and following safe working practices, you can ensure that your drylining project is completed efficiently, effectively, and safely.

Chapter Three – Installation Techniques 

Installation techniques

Preparing the Surface for Drylining

Before you start your drylining project, it’s important to prepare the surface that the drywall will be attached to. This includes cleaning the surface, repairing any damage, and ensuring that it is level and free from debris.

Cleaning the Surface

The surface that the drywall will be attached to should be free from dust, dirt, and debris. This can be achieved by using a vacuum cleaner, or by wiping down the surface with a damp cloth.

Repairing Any Damage

If there is any damage to the surface, such as cracks or holes, this should be repaired before the drywall is attached. Small holes can be filled with filler and sanded smooth, while larger cracks may need to be reinforced with mesh tape.

Ensuring the Surface is Level

The surface that the drywall will be attached to should be level. If it is not level, this can be corrected by using shims or by attaching furring strips to the surface.

Removing Obstacles

Any obstacles on the surface, such as electrical outlets or light switches, should be removed before the drywall is attached. This will make it easier to attach the drywall, and will reduce the risk of damage to the electrical wiring.

In conclusion, preparing the surface before you start your drylining project is crucial. By cleaning the surface, repairing any damage, ensuring that it is level, and removing any obstacles, you can ensure that your drylining project is completed efficiently and effectively.

Chapter Four – Finishing and Decoration

Finishing and decorating

Attaching the Drywall

Once the surface has been prepared, the next step in the drylining process is to attach the drywall. This involves measuring and cutting the drywall to the correct size, and attaching it to the surface using screws or adhesive.

Measuring and Cutting the Drywall

Before the drywall can be attached, it needs to be measured and cut to the correct size. This can be done using a measuring tape, a straight edge, and a utility knife. The drywall should be cut slightly larger than the opening, to allow for slight adjustments during installation.

Attaching the Drywall with Screws

The most common method of attaching the drywall is by using screws. Screws should be spaced every 12-16 inches along the edges of the drywall, and every 8-12 inches in the field. This will ensure that the drywall is securely attached to the surface.

Attaching the Drywall with Adhesive

In some cases, drywall may be attached using adhesive, rather than screws. This is particularly useful for attaching drywall to surfaces that are difficult to screw into, such as masonry or concrete. The adhesive should be applied to the back of the drywall, and the drywall should be pressed firmly against the surface.

Hanging the Drywall

Once the drywall has been cut to size and attached to the surface, the next step is to hang the drywall. This involves carefully positioning the drywall against the surface, and securing it in place.

In conclusion, attaching the drywall is a critical step in the drylining process. By measuring and cutting the drywall to the correct size, and attaching it to the surface using screws or adhesive, you can ensure that the drywall is securely attached and ready for the next step in the process.

Chapter Five – Maintenance and Repairs

Maintenance and repairs

Finishing the Drywall

The final step in the drylining process is finishing the drywall. This involves covering the joints and screws with joint compound, and sanding the surface to create a smooth finish.

Joint Compound

Joint compound is used to cover the joints and screws in the drywall, and create a smooth surface. The joint compound should be applied in thin, even layers, and left to dry completely before sanding.

Sanding the Surface

Once the joint compound has dried, the surface should be sanded to create a smooth finish. This can be done using a fine-grit sandpaper or a power sander, and requires careful sanding to avoid damaging the surface of the drywall. 

Priming the Surface

After sanding, the surface should be primed, to help prepare it for painting or wallpapering. This will help to seal the surface and prevent any unwanted absorption of paint or wallpaper.

Finishing Touches

Finally, the surface should be given a final inspection to ensure that it is smooth, level, and free of any blemishes. Once this is complete, the drylining process is complete, and the surface is ready to be painted or wallpapered.

In conclusion, finishing the drywall is an important step in the drylining process. By covering the joints and screws with joint compound, sanding the surface, and priming the surface, you can create a smooth, level surface that is ready to be painted or wallpapered.

Chapter Six –  Drylining Misconceptions

Drylining misconceptions

Drylining is not a permanent solution

One of the biggest misconceptions about drylining is that it is not a permanent solution. In fact, drylining provides a strong and durable surface that can last for many years, if installed correctly. The plasterboard sheets used in drylining are designed to be long-lasting and resistant to damage, and with proper maintenance, they can provide a smooth and level surface for many years to come.

Drylining is only for modern homes

Another common misconception about drylining is that it is only suitable for modern homes, and cannot be used in older, more traditional buildings. However, drylining can be used in any type of building, and provides a versatile and flexible solution that can be adapted to suit a range of different styles and requirements.

Drylining is difficult to install

Another common misconception about drylining is that it is difficult to install, and requires a high level of skill and experience. While some aspects of drylining can be challenging, many of the steps involved in the process are relatively straightforward, and can be carried out by anyone with a basic level of DIY experience.

Drylining is expensive

Another common misconception about drylining is that it is an expensive solution, and that it is only suitable for large or high-end projects. While the cost of dry lining will depend on the size of the room and the complexity of the project, it is often more affordable than other alternatives, such as traditional plastering.

Drylining is not fire resistant

A final misconception about drylining is that it is not fire resistant, and that it is not suitable for use in buildings where fire safety is a concern. In fact, drylining provides good fire resistance, as the plasterboard sheets used in the process are designed to slow down the spread of fire, giving occupants more time to evacuate the building in the event of a fire.

Chapter Seven – Drylining FAQs

Drylining FAQs

What is dry lining?

Drylining is a method of creating a smooth, level surface in a building by fixing plasterboard sheets to the walls or ceiling. This provides a strong and durable surface that is ready for painting or wallpapering.

What are the benefits of drylining?

Drylining provides a number of benefits, including improved insulation, fire resistance, soundproofing, and easier decoration. It is also quick and easy to install, and can be used to create a range of different surface finishes, from smooth and modern, to textured and traditional.

What tools do I need for drylining?

The basic tools required for drylining include a measuring tape, a spirit level, a screwdriver, and a drill. You may also need additional tools, such as a saw, a cutter, and a ladder, depending on the size and complexity of the project.

How long does it take to dryline a room?

The length of time it takes to dryline a room will depend on the size of the room, and the complexity of the project. However, as a rough guide, a single room can typically be dry lined in one to two days.

Is dry lining expensive?

The cost of dry lining will depend on the size of the room, and the complexity of the project. However, as a rough guide, the cost of dry lining a single room can typically range from £500 to £1,000, including materials and labour.

Can I dryline my own home?

Yes, you can dryline your own home, although it does require a certain level of skill and experience. If you are unsure about your abilities, it is recommended that you seek the assistance of a professional dryliner.

Is dry lining safe?

Drylining is generally considered to be safe, as long as the correct safety precautions are taken and the correct PPE is used, particularly whilst sanding. This includes wearing protective clothing, using a ladder securely, and using proper tools and equipment.

Can dry lining be used to soundproof a room?

Yes, drylining can be used to soundproof a room, as the plasterboard sheets can provide an effective barrier to sound. However, additional steps, such as using soundproofing materials and sealing any gaps, may also be required to achieve the desired level of soundproofing.



We’ve reached the end of our guide to drylining, a journey that we hope has provided you with a deeper understanding of this essential trade. 

From the initial stages of planning and preparation, we’ve walked through the practical steps of installation and decoration, before moving onto maintenance and repair strategies. 

By demystifying common misconceptions and answering key questions, we hope this guide will prove an invaluable resource for your future drylining projects.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a newcomer to the field, understanding the depth and breadth of drylining is crucial for success.

 As the construction industry continues to evolve, so will the practice of drylining. 

Stay informed, stay curious, and above all, never stop learning. 

Here’s to your success in your drylining endeavours!

Why Are DeWalt Tools So Good?

DeWalt Tools

At Gypsum Tools, we pride ourselves on offering quality products from trusted suppliers and tool manufacturers with a strong reputation and reliability. One of those is DeWalt; a well-known firm that began back in 1960 under the leadership of Raymond E DeWalt, inventor of the very first radial arm saw.

With a vision to be recognised as one of the best in the industry, DeWalt worked tirelessly on product development and business expansion – and it paid off.

In the 1990s, DeWalt brought their brand new range of portable tools onto the market, inspired by the success of bigger brands like Black & Decker, and in conjunction with the German company, ELU, which specialises in technology for woodwork. It was very well received and soon they became renowned for ingenuity of tool design and being well ahead of the field.

What sets DeWalt apart is an ethos of high standards and expectations based on the needs and expertise of real life tradesmen and women, whose advice and feedback are built into their product development. This means professionals trust this brand and know they can expect consistently top quality performance from any DeWalt tool.

If you own more than one power tool from DeWalt, the chances are you’ll be able to make multiple uses of chargers and accessories, which means it’s well worth sticking with the brand. Their own patented ‘Flexvolt’ technology has proved to be revolutionary in the use of cordless power tools, even for heavy-duty jobs. The impact and improvements on time, money and effort is a radical upgrade in working practice and economic savings for drywalling professionals.

But it’s not just DeWalt power tools that are going to give you professional results.

Even a basic DeWalt putty knife or taping knife has the same design precision and attention to detail. You can invest in a range of DeWalt drywall hand tools or sets for drywall taping and finishing tools, which means you’ll have everything you need to offer a professional service time and again. But if you just need an individual specialist product, we can supply these at great prices so you can update your equipment over time.

Our DeWalt drywall taping tools such as finishing spatulas, corner rollers, spatula poles, or spatula adaptors, are going to be great additions to your drywall and taping kit. DeWalt taping tools are right up there with any other brand and you can be totally confident in their quality.

So if you’re looking for drywall tools and supplies to get the professional finish for your next job, think of DeWalt and check out our fantastic range of products today.

Find out how you can make huge savings on our taping tools with our DeWalt Kit Builder, featuring DeWalt and Level 5 taping tools.

The Evolution Of The Wall

Plasterer adding second coat

A wall is an everyday thing that we don’t normally think twice about when we see it, whether it’s an interior or exterior wall in a shopping centre or in a prestigious gallery. But just imagine how varied and versatile its uses have been over the (literally!) thousands of years it’s been used in civilisations right across the world.

From mud-made walls to the fine art that dryliners, fixers jointers and plasterers now carry out. It’s also easy to forget that plaster and jointing compound in its basic form is a combination of things like sand, rock, cement, lime, and water.

Plaster Has Revolutionised Wall Building

The main point of building a wall right from its earliest days, was to bring windproof, waterproof protection to dwellings so that everyday people could stay safe and dry, whatever the weather. And then of course, over the years building internal walls and ceilings became an art. We’ve seen plaster and jointing compound being used for aesthetic effect to create a look of richness and beauty in the extravagant homes and prestigious buildings such as museums, theatres and palaces.

All those aspects of making a wall remain part of the use and purpose of the material, but time has led to sizeable industry improvements in technology and skill, in keeping with the needs of contemporary life.

So, plaster has been made from all kinds of things over its long history; some of which are cheap and readily available, and others that were more expensive and refined. But let’s concentrate for now on the most popular modern day forms of building a wall… drylining.

These days, gypsum (also known as calcium sulfate dihydrate) has become the main component of drywall compound. It has a crystalline structure that makes it perfect for the job. No fibrous binding material is needed because when gypsum get wet, they bind automatically and naturally. We all love a smooth mix!

Check Out Our Range Of Plastering Materials & Tools

For ease of use, why not try 4T plaster compound that’s ready to use straight out of the box and doesn’t necessarily even need mixing. Something like Wondertex Prem, which is great for filling and finishing. To save even more effort and energy, how about getting a cordless mixer that will do the hard work for you? And you could invest in a DeWalt mixing paddle, which will even save you for bending down – excellent news for your back!

We have all the drywall and plastering supplies you need for any project. Just have a look through our entire range to find the materials and equipment you need for the finish you’re after. If for any reason you can’t find what you need, be sure to give us a call and we’ll try our best to get you exactly what you need!

The Ultimate Sanding Guide For Beginners

Full Circle Air Radius 360 Dust-free Sanding System

Let’s make it easy for you to start sanding if you’ve never really learned how.

To start with, choose the right sandpaper – coarse or fine. Coarse has larger aluminium oxide particles, which means you’ll be sanding faster and with more aggression. When you’re ready for the finishing touches, you’ll want to go for a fine grit paper. Be patient with it, and you’ll be polishing the surface to a lovely smooth end product.

You can use paper on its own of course, or wrapped around a block for more stability. If you have a larger area to sand, it’s worth using a tool, such as an orbital sander, which also have a dustless system keeping you safe.

Sanding tools can be fitted with all kinds of accessories, depending on the surface you’re sanding. A sanding disc, for example, isn’t as heavy duty than a sanding band. An abrasive brush will work on a surface layer without causing harm below that surface. Perfect for sanding down drywall after yoru taping and jointing.

Take care, because sanding inevitably creates dust in the air, which isn’t nice to breathe in anyway, but especially when you know some of those particles could be toxic. A face mask is a great way to keep the dust inhalation to a minimum, and plastic goggles are a good idea to protect your eyes, safety first!

This is also applicable when cutting drywall to the size you require. When using a drywall jab saws and rasps to smooth off your edges, remember to wear the relevant PPE to protect yourself. Also make sure you’re wearing gloves to keep your hands safe.

A vacuum cleaner is going to be vital, to avoid particles make their way into your paintwork or accumulating in the area you’re trying to clean. Give it a vacuum to remove most of the sanding dust, and then with a damp cloth give it a bit of a wipe to finish it off.

Everything you need is available from the Gypsum Tools site. We stock a range of sanding tools and accessories, including heavy duty kit such as the Giraffe Wall & Ceiling Sander, which has full safety features, as well as speed selection controls.If you’re working on some drywall sanding and you want a more manual approach, the Full Circle Flex Edge Multi-Layered Drywall Sanding Tool is going to be perfect. Or if you’re simply DIY’ing we have loads of sanding blocks and more.

We sell foam replacement pads for this type of project, as well a range of sandpaper sheets. But even if you’re planning a small scale sanding project, we can help you with hand sanders, and sanding tools and supplies to fit the job. Just let us know exactly what you need and we’ll be happy to help!

Strong As An Ox – Tools That You Can Depend On

Ox Tools

What’s the point of a tool unless it can stand up to some serious hard work? That’s one of the beliefs we hold here at Gypsumtools, which is why we recommend OX tools – a range praised in construction circles for their strength, durability and price point.

Not only that, they offer outstanding safety features like an ergonomic handle design that ensures you get a decent grip when you’re working. And if that wasn’t enough, their striking cyan blue signature colour is immediately recognisable across the industry for top notch tooling. OX tools are the business.

Take, for example, plastering and finishing. You’ll want a finishing tool with an ultra-fine blade that will work well with any gypsum-based plaster. OX gives you just that. If you’re working with plaster, the OX Trade Stainless Steel Plasterers Trowel is made using a 0.3mm ultra-flexible blade which is perfect for getting the best finish with the least effort.

You should definitely keep an OX Pro Retractable Folding Knife somewhere in your tool kit. It’ll come in handy time and again. The blades are sharp but safe to change, and the grip is comfortable and very easy on the hand. And while we’re talking about ease, the OX Stubby Adjustable Wrench Jaw is designed with an extra short handle to make easy work of the trickiest to access areas you’ll ever encounter.

Or how about the OX Aluminium Hawk? It’s made from tempered aluminium which makes it a premium product and comes complete with a soft grip rubber handle for additional comfort. It not only looks sleek and polished, it’s going to last you a very long time.

Other OX hand tools include the Industrial Quality Pro Wire Snips that feature stainless steel serrated edged blades for increased cutting capacity, the Speedskim Flex Finishing Rule that’s specifically designed to enhance the quality of your finish, and the Semi Flexible Plastering Rule for use on ceilings, walls and floors.

How have OX managed to reach such high standards at such affordable prices? Well, it’s because they’ve considered the needs of their market by actually asking them, and fine-tuned their tools over time to make ongoing improvements. The technology is cutting edge, drawing on the expertise of US, German and other European tool designers. This company is an award winner, and we’d all agree it’s well deserved.

For all your OX tool requirements, take a look at our dedicated page with their full range of tools and latest offers. Stock up on OX tools and you can be confident with every new job that your kit won’t ever let you down!

Why Is Plastering Tape So Important?

Drywall Taping

There’s one thing you should never forget that when you’re plastering a wall – and that’s preparation. Preparation is everything.

A flawed surface underneath your handiwork is going to be much harder for you to cover. Get it right, or you won’t be able to guarantee to get that smooth professional finish you’re after.

Skip this step and you’ll spend far too long working to hide the dodgy joins that haven’t been properly prepared in the surface below. That’s why, whether you’re plastering a tiny patch of wall in the kitchen or a major commercial property, plastering tapes are going to be your all-round best friend.

Types Of Plastering Tape

Plastering tape comes in a few different types, making it suitable for the whole range of walls and surfaces you could ever find yourself drywalling. Basic drywall tape is usually made of paper, which means it’s easy to tear, flexible to use, and lightweight to apply.

When you’ve applied your jointing compound to fill the gap between plasterboard panels, a strip of drywall tape over the top ensures that the join doesn’t become visible again when the wall has dried. Perfect.

Scrim tape is very popular for beginners working with plasterboard, and it’s also a good all round tape. It has the added benefit that you don’t need to use jointing compound with it, so it’s less fiddly. Made of fibreglass, the construction is like an interwoven mesh of threads, which gives it the flexibility and strength you need, and it won’t bubble up or move around like some other tapes.

Lastly, we’d also highlight Wondertex metal angle tape which a superior style of tape that is reinforced with galvanised metal. This steel reinforcement gives the tape incredible rigidity and strength, making it perfect for finishing internal and external drywall corners.

With a specially-designed fold down its middle, this style of tape can be applied quickly and easily with the assurance each corner will be straight and sharp.

Find The Perfect Tape For The Job

When you’ve chosen the type of tape you need for this job, make sure you get the right width. Normally 1 to 2 inches is fine, but if you’re working on a bigger area, you can get much wider tapes. Ultimately you just want to keep the joins as tidy as you can, so speak to us for more guidance here if you need it.

You’ll learn by experience how to get the preparation right the first time, with just the right drywall and plastering tapes.

Experienced dryliners have their preferences, and some stick with tried and tested tapes they’ve used for years. Others experiment with new tapes as and when they come on the market. The important thing is to finish the join as if it was going to be on display – then the plastering on top will be a breeze!

Still need some guidance? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to help!

Automated Tools Are Now Must-Haves – Here’s Why!

taping tools

Did you know, the very first drywalling taping tools came onto the market back in the 1930s? That’s nearly 90 years ago.

But the truth is, even in 2019, many contractors are still working as if they’re back in that era. and it’s understandable.

Is It Time To Upgrade?

If you normally do your drywalling by hand in the time-tested way most professionals learned their trade as apprentices, you might not have given the new automatic taping tools a second thought. After all, you don’t want to find yourself doing a job that’s below par. You’ve spent years honing your craft and taking pride in your work.

But if we can get your attention just for a second on the subject of automated tools, we might have some good news for you.

We’d like to let you know how plugging in could actually make all the difference to your business – not just in terms of the hard work you’re putting in, but in cost-efficiency too. Not only would you save precious time and save on man hours, you could find yourself with a more efficient work flow that means you can charge the same for the same job, but spend less time doing it.

The most important thing to take away from this is that the quality of finish you get from automatic taping tools is impressively good and, if done right, will match hand finishers. Automatic taping tools are designed by professionals who know the high quality of manual work you produce – they are made to perfect drywalling fixing and finishing results at a fraction of the speed it would normally take you.

Get The Edge Over Your Competitors

In the marketplace you’re up against your local competitors every day, and the chances are they haven’t caught on to automation yet – so why not give yourself a big head start by getting trained in automatic taping tools, investing in the right equipment, and giving your staff the benefit of some professional development!

Your walls will be smooth, perfectly prepared – still the same recipe for job satisfaction as ever.

How about safety? Well, you’ll reduce the risk substantially by using automated tools as you’ll be able to reach higher places with less equipment. In fact, safe working is one of the driving forces behind the growing popularity of automated taping tools.

Have we got you interested? Contact us if you need some more information, or have a look through our range of taping tools to discover the equipment that will work best for your business needs. Don’t want to commit? Why not hire? We reckon you’ll soon be back to thank us for introducing you to automated taping tools!

Level 5 – Affordable Drywall Tools That Work!

LEVEL5 Tools

Here’s some great news for drywallers everywhere, and it’s called Level 5. If you’re looking for quality at competitive prices when you’re stocking up on drywall tools, you’ll definitely want to consider Level 5 products.

Who Are Level 5?

Level 5 began trading (under a different name) nearly 20 years ago, and over that time they’ve expanded and developed steadily and impressively to become one of the biggest names in value products for drywalling. Whether you’re looking for tools or drywall supplies, for taping or finishing, Level 5 really do understand what’s needed for professional results.

What’s more, they supply it at a fraction of the price of some other manufacturers.

With Level 5 tools, you’ll get an impressive 7-year warranty with some tools, which is backed up by excellent customer service and industry knowledge. That’s why so many of our clients are regular Level 5 customers.

We Stock The Full Range

At Gypsumtools, we’re proud to stock Level 5 products and recommend them to our customers, not just for the price tag, but for the quality too.

You could be paying only half what you would for comparable drywall tools from other brands when you choose Level 5. And of course any repairs and replacements are dealt with swiftly and professionally.

Take a look at our product pages for the full range of Level 5 hand tools and automatic taping tools. You’ll find taping knives, putty knives, and pointing knives, all designed for excellent grip and flexibility. Some taping tools are bundled too so you can stock up a load of different tools at a competitive price. Corner finishing tools and mud pan bundles are among the bargains you can order from us at Gypsumtools.

Great Tools At Great Prices!

How do their prices stay so affordable? Simply by maintaining the priority for giving the customer the best possible price without cutting corners.

With many tools a third less than competitor’s prices, you’ll not only have the tool you need for an excellent drywalling job, you’ll also have kept your budget on track – which means valuable savings you can pass on to your own clients, or save for elsewhere in your building project.

Level 5 is a global brand with a track record of quality goods and excellent service. What’s more, many of their repair parts work equally well as a replacement for more expensive brands, which is great news if you just needed a part.

This could solve your tooling problem at a fraction of the price. It’s worth checking, so give us a call and we’ll be able to help!

Find out how you can make huge savings on our taping tools with our Taping Tool Kit Builder, featuring DeWalt and Level 5 taping tools.

Dry Lining Vs Wet Plaster – Which Is Best?

Dry Lining Or Wet Plaster

When it comes to getting that professional finish on your interior walls, it’s essential to go for the materials that give you the appearance and functionality you need, at the right price.

You’re basically faced with the choice between wet plaster and dry lining. Of course the decision will come down to a few different factors, like the price, soundproofing, ease of application, and the location of the work. Let’s go through a few general factors that will help you in most situations to make the right call.

Breaking Down The Options

Now, obviously, dry lining is faster. Getting a piece of plasterboard in place speeds things up, and you avoid the problem of cracks and surface issues that can be a challenge with wet plaster.

Wet plaster still has a lot of benefits though. Whether you go for gypsum that’s trowelled onto blockwork, or cement – both of which need to be finished with a skim of gypsum) – the cost is about the same. It’s an especially good choice for tricky areas, but it does need some degree of skill.

And there’s also the option for using traditional materials like lime or clay, which costs more but may work for you if you like a finish that’s in keeping with natural renovations.

Speed And Price Are Factors

If you go for plasterboard, you can tape over joins, or alternatively, add a skim layer of plaster over the whole surface. The dry lining can be joined to the wall with adhesive, or screwed onto timber frames. Fixings such as heating and shelves aren’t always a simple job with dry-lining, whereas a plastered wall makes this a much simpler job.

So basically, the costs aren’t that much different between wet plaster and dry lining, but the time difference and hence the labour costs are much higher for wet plaster. Depending on the time of year, waiting for the freshly plastered wall to dry can also take a few days wait.

If you’re in a rush, you prefer to save on labour costs, and if you’re not overly concerned about fixtures on this wall, then you may be better off considering dry lining.


We can provide all the dry lining tools you’ll need to complete the job too, from the simpler things like hammers and hawks through to the more specialist tools like drills, vacuums and sanders.

If you’re unsure about the exact tools you’ll need for job, just let us know and we’ll be happy to help. You can call us on 08456 254 321 or we also have a live chat option on our website.

What Plastering Tools Does An Apprentice Need?


So you’re about to embark on the road to becoming a fully trained professional plasterer? That’s great news – but what exactly do you need to get started?

Understanding what tools an apprentice plasterer needs can be challenging, especially if you’re completely new to the industry and starting from square one. That’s where we come in!

As one of the UK’s leading suppliers of plastering and dry lining equipment, we’re perfectly placed to help you get the tools you need at a great price.

What tools do you need as part of your apprentice kit? Don’t panic, we’re going to run through a complete kit so you know exactly which tools you need to start your plastering journey.

This is the complete apprentice plastering kit checklist so get your notepad out, here we go!

The Checklist

As a minimum, any plastering apprentice will need the following tools to start work on site:

  • Plastering Trowel
  • Bucket Trowel
  • Hawk
  • Water Brush
  • Corner Trowel

These tools are required for any novice plasterer learning their trade – as time passes, you’ll need a few more as your skill level improves, but the list above covers the basic techniques. All our apprentice kits contain these tools as a minimum, so check these out if you’re looking for a comprehensive collection of plastering tools.

Before we get to the tools in more detail, there’s one brief but important point that needs to be made. We often get asked if buying cheap plastering tools is worth it, and the short answer is no – you’ll never get a high quality finish from a low quality piece of equipment, so if you’re serious about becoming a professional and reputable plasterer, you need to invest in your tools set.

Not only do the better tools give you a better finish, they’ll also speed up your work and generally make life on site that bit easier for you.

Anyway, back to the list! First up, we have the most important tool in your arsenal…

Plastering Trowel

If you’re going to plaster a wall or ceiling, you’re going to need a trowel of course. Choosing the right trowel for you can be tough as there are thousands on the market, but our apprentice kits use trowels selected from respected brands like Marshalltown and Nela.

When you’re starting out and learning how to plaster, we’d suggest starting out with a 14” trowel as this brings the perfect balance of size and control. Too small a trowel and you’ll struggle to hold the plaster when applying it to a wall; too big and you won’t be able to develop your technique effectively.

Learning how to use your plastering trowel correctly will be tough at first, but once you get the hang of it you can look to upgrade your tool.

Whatever you do here, don’t go for something cheap – your plastering trowel is what will deliver the high quality finish so it makes sense to invest. We recommend the Marshalltown 14” trowel which comes as part of the Marshalltown apprentice kit.

Bucket Trowel

Another key tool is the bucket trowel, used for scooping up your plaster before applying it to the surface. Again there are thousands of options here just like the plastering trowel, but it’s slightly less critical to invest in quality here as this tool doesn’t directly impact the finish of your work.

All our apprentice kits contain a bucket trowel as standard.


You have a choice of material when it comes to plastering hawks – plastic or aluminium.

In some cases, apprentices can find plastic hawks easier to use due to their lighter weight. That said, because they’re made from plastic they have a tendency to snap after periods of extended use.

Aluminium hawks are included in our apprentice packs as they are stronger and more durable, making them a longer-lasting option. They can be slightly more tricky to use because of their weight, but aluminium is still quite light and there’s no risk of the hawk snapping.

Water Brush

All apprentices will need a water brush as this is used towards the end of the plastering process to give a perfect finish to the final coat of plaster.

It’s also a handy tool to have around when you’re running behind schedule and the plaster is starting to set – a quick wipe with your water brush and you can save your walls.

Again, water brushes are dime a dozen but the cheap knock-off versions will leave bristles in your plaster and delay you on site. Invest in a reliable branded tool here.

Corner Trowel

Last but by no means least, we have the corner trowel. Another crucial tool in your kit, the corner trowel is used to smooth down the plaster in the corner of a room.

When you’re working on an entire room, you’re going to need to plaster in the corners where the walls meet. Without a corner trowel, leaving a high quality finish at a 90 degree angle will be almost impossible.

Our apprentice kits always include a corner trowel as standard, usually from reputable brands like Marshalltown and RST.


This concludes our list of the key plastering tools any apprentice needs to start their journey of becoming a professional plasterer. This isn’t an exhaustive list and it’s likely that you’ll need many more tools on the job, but this list is a great place to start.

Don’t forget to check out our range of apprentice kits designed to give you all the tools you need at a fantastic price!