Have you ever looked at homes that have seemingly carved walls and beautiful inset shelving and wondered how easy they were to create? The answer is very—for someone in the know— which you are going to be, once you've read this article!
Builders are adept at using plasterboard and similar materials to create stunning visuals and easy storage potential within homes, but we want you to know how the process works in case you want to consider dividing your home in a more imaginative way.
Let's look at all the steps that go into making truly wonderful plasterboard walls!
In order to create some interesting and well-sculpted walls, you need to have all the materials you'll need to hand before you get started.
Your home improvement store won't know what's hit it when you roll up to collect the following:
• Plasterboard sheets - ready to be cut and fitted.
• Specific self-adhesive tape for plasterboard - to cover seams between boards.
• Self-tapping screws - to hold the plasterboard in place.
• Galvanised steel corner strengtheners - to give you a straight edge.
• Plaster - for the final skim.
It's all very well having the materials you need, but the tools you use are also vital. You can't simply use any old saws and files, as most will be too coarse for the delicate plasterboard.
Here's a prescriptive list of tools to invest in:
• Plasterboard cutter - this will look like a large steak knife, with heavily serrated edges that can glide through plasterboard, unhindered.
• A variety of screwdrivers - you'll know whether you need cross or flat head versions as you'll have bought the screws you'll be using.
• Plasterers trowel and square - for easy application of the final skim coat.
• Spirit level - this is vital for ensuring your shelves and surfaces are perfectly square before you finish them.
• Files - it would be best to have a variety of files so you can find one with the perfect coarseness. Also try to find a few different shapes in case you get some fiddly corners to deal with!
• Soft broom - for removing debris from the walls ahead of the skim coat.
• Sponge - all plasterers will tell you that a sponge is crucial, so you can keep your material wet and easy to work with, while also mopping up any mess.
If you're planning to add inset wall shelves to your home (most likely in your living room) the first step is to plan, measure and plan some more!
Use a pencil to mark out the shape, size and layout of your proposed new shelves on your existing wall, before grabbing your spirit level to make sure everything is square.
Once you're happy with your design, you can attach a stud framework using screws and then start thinking about the details.
Absolutely not! If anything, plasterboard will speed up a project, as it's so easy to use!
With your frameworks in place, you can set about adding appropriate insulation into the cavities, before boxing it all in with plasterboard sheeting that's cut to size.
Naturally, you'll need to use tape to create seamless and watertight joins wherever two pieces of board meet, and some people like to add tape over screw heads for a really smooth finish.
With your new wall in place, it's all about those final finishing touches.
A very thin, light skim of plaster will create the appearance of a seamless build, with no joins or anything on show. Keeping the plaster moist is the key, which is why you'll need your sponge to hand.
Finish with a coat or two of paint and you're done!
For more great DIY tips, take a look at this Ideabook: Low-cost home improvement ideas.