How to plasterboard a ceiling

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How to plasterboard a ceiling

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Project Overview

Installing a plasterboard ceiling is a D.I.Y. project that can save you a lot of money. Before you start, check out this step-by-step guide. We’ll show you how to measure up, cut and install the plasterboard in just a few steps.

Before you start, check with an electrician to make sure there are no live wires where you’re working. Also, if you’re going to insulate your ceiling, throw the bags of batts in the roof space before installing the plasterboard.

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insulate ceilings
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Insulate ceilings

We all need insulation to keep our homes cool in summer and warm in winter. It can also help you save money on your power bills. If you’re replacing your ceilings or putting plasterboard ceilings into a new home, put the packs of insulation batts in your ceiling space before you do it, so that they’re already there for you to lay.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Check that the trusses are level
2 Measure the length of the ceiling
3 Measure the width of the ceiling
4 Cut the plasterboard to size
5 Mark the position of the battens on the wall frame
6 Apply the glue to the battens
7 Attach the plasterboard to the battens
  • Step 1. Check that the trusses are level

    Before you measure, use your spirit level to check that the wooden trusses, which the plasterboard will be attached to, are level. 

  • Step 2. Measure the length of the ceiling

    To measure the ceiling length, use your tape measure to measure from one internal corner to the other, and mark out the lengths on the plasterboard. Then transfer these measurements to your plaster sheet.

  • Step 3. Measure the width of the ceiling

    Measure the width of the room to work out how many sheets of plasterboard you will need to cover the ceiling. Then mark up where the sheets need to be cut. If you need more than one sheet, it’s a good idea to measure and cut them evenly to fit the space.

  • Step 4. Cut the plasterboard to size

    To cut the plasterboard sheet(s), use your measuring tape and utility knife to make a finger gauge, and then run the knife carefully along the plasterboard. 

  • Step 5. Mark the position of the battens on the wall frame

    Take your pencil and mark where your ceiling battens are on the top of the wall frame so that when you cover them with the plasterboard, you’ll know where to drill in the screws.
  • Step 6. Apply the glue to the battens

    Make sure your safety glasses are on and then apply the glue to the wooden battens. The glue about the size of a walnut and you should apply it thickly at regular intervals.
  • Step 7. Attach the plasterboard to the battens

    Lift the plasterboard up to the ceiling and start drilling in the screws, in line with where you’ve marked the battens. You might need help lifting and holding the plasterboard in place, while it’s being drilled in. Repeat this until the plasterboard ceiling is complete. Remember don’t drill in a screw where you’ve applied glue because when the glue dries it will push the screw out.

Tools and Materials


  • Drill
  • Dust mask
  • Gloves
  • Glue knife
  • Ladder
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Saw
  • Spirit level
  • Utility knife


  • 25mm plaster screws
  • Acrylic stud adhesive
  • Plasterboard

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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