Installing a plaster ceiling is not too difficult to do yourself using modern materials and methods. With a few sheets of plasterboard, some lines of furring channels, adhesive and glue you can have a new ceiling in place with very little time, and with the right tools, with very little effort as well.
Preparation for Installation
An simple method for installing a plaster ceiling is to use plasterboard. You'll need to place a series of furring channels under the roof's joists to install the plasterboard into. Drywall furring channel is easy to work with. It's strong while being lightweight and it can be cut to size using a pair of aviation snips.
Before placing the furring channel you'll want to install any necessary insulation above the ceiling, both to aid in energy efficiency and to create a firmer backing surface for the plasterboard.
Mark the walls at each end where the channel will run. Fix the clips into the furring that will enable you to attach the furring to the rafters. Attach the clips to the rafters with a screw, locking them on with a second screw after adjusting the level of the furring channels.
Measure your plasterboard for attaching to the furring channels. Plasterboard cuts easily using a trimming knife, and you can just snap the board at the cut, using the trimming knife once again on the other side to complete the cut.
Installing the Plasterboard
To attach the plasterboard to the furring channel, add walnut-sized globs of plasterboard adhesive along the lengths of the channels every 10 inches and on the outer timber beam. To raise the plasterboard to the roof, it helps to have the use of a telescopic gas lifter, which can be rented at local equipment rental shops. With the lifter holding the plaster in position, screw the plasterboard into the furring channels, every 8 inches.
When the boards have been screwed into place, you should joint the boards. To joint the boards, tape all the joints where the board meets another surface with either a plastic tape or a flexible over-weave jute fabric and then use joint compound to fill in the gaps, sanding the compound flat once it's dried. By applying the tape, you'll prevent cracks from forming at the joints later on.
Finishing the Ceiling
Finish the board using a skim coat followed by paint, or just paint. Skim coating is applying a thin coat of joint compound in order to create a smooth surface to work with. You can paint the ceiling using a textured paint, or create a more complex texture using alternative plastering techniques like Venetian ceiling plastering, or stamping the ceiling surface.
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