How to use dot and dab on a new brick wall

Written by tim daniel
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How to use dot and dab on a new brick wall
Dab and dot your brick wall. (BRICK WALL image by brelsbil from

Dot and dab -- or the "direct bond method" -- is a fairly simple technique used to apply plasterboard to brick or breeze block walls, often achieving a new design look or function to interior walls.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Level
  • Buckets
  • Straight edge
  • Utility knife
  • Plasterboard saw
  • Large brush
  • Flat trowel and hawk
  • Tape measure
  • Mason's trowel

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  1. 1

    Remove obstructions on the brick wall and anything that may get in the way of the new plasterboard. Apply a coating of PVA -- a special, necessary, glue -- with a large brush allowing the plasterboard to bond to the brick wall. Cover the entire installation area with the PVA and allow time to dry before continuing to the next step.

  2. 2

    Mix plasterboard adhesive in a bucket, add water, and follow manufacturer's directions. Mix the adhesive until it reaches a creamy consistency. Remove adhesive with a mason's trowel and place it onto a hawk. Apply or "dab" the drywall adhesive to the brick wall vertically and horizontally; place a dab every 30 cm (12 inches) along the wall. Apply a solid line of adhesive along the ceiling line or where the brick wall intersects the ceiling.

  3. 3

    Mark level course lines and install the first full boards first, if possible. Mark the board to cut, and use a utility knife to cut the plasterboard to the correct size(s) for the brick wall. Use a plasterboard saw to cut out sections allowing for light sockets, switches and other obstructions. Use a "feather edge" or straight edge to verify that the board is flat, and use a level to verify that the plasterboard is "plumb" -- or level -- on the perpendicular plane.

  4. 4

    Adjoin the seams of your new plasterboard dot and dab wall with plasterboard tape. Smooth over with plasterboard mud and allow 24 hours to dry. Sand and smooth the plasterboard mud.

Tips and warnings

  • The installation of plasterboard using dot and dab is not recommended for exterior applications due to potential moisture issues. Install the plasterboard 7.5 cm (3 inches) off the floor if the application is in an area -- such as a basement -- where moisture may rise from the floor. Turn off power to any switches and sockets that may need to be cut around.

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