Dot and Dab Plasterboard: A How-To Guide for Smooth Walls

Plasterer with trowel and hawk stood in front of block wall
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Want to know how to dot and dab plasterboard? Then you have come to the right place. It's a technique that isn’t as difficult as you might first think. Any competent DIYer will be able to tackle it with relish and enthusiasm and you might well be surprised at how good the results look.

Dot and dabbing plasterboard is a prelude to skimming or plastering walls so you need to get it right. Get it wrong and the plasterboard could pull away from the wall under the weight of the plaster. And nobody wants to see their beautifully painted wall suddenly heading towards them when they are comfortably sitting watching TV.

But why use dot and dab? "They speed up your build as less water gets used, so drying out times are vastly increased," reveals Gary Blackburn, Plaster Support Manager at Saint Gobain. "It also gives flexibility of the various types of plasterboards available to use e.g. noise, moisture, vapour, fire, and thermal boards. And waste boards can be recycled."

Follow our step-by-step guide to find out how to prep your walls, mix the adhesive and measure up for the perfect finish. 

Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins is a freelance content creator with over two decades of experience working in digital and print and was previously the DIY content editor for Homebuilding & Renovating. 

He is a keen DIYer with over 20 years of experience in transforming and renovating the many homes he has lived in. He specialises in painting and decorating, but has a wide range of skills gleaned from working in the building trade for around 10 years and spending time at night school learning how to plaster and plumb.

He has fitted kitchens, tiled bathrooms and kitchens, laid many floors, built partition walls, plastered walls, plumbed in bathrooms, worked on loft conversions and much more. And when he's not sure how to tackle a DIY project he has a wide network of friends – including plumbers, gas engineers, tilers, carpenters, painters and decorators, electricians and builders – in the trade to call upon.