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Fill the ribs and grind

  • Step 1 - Cleaning and Dusting
  • Step 2 - Mix the putty
  • Step 3 - Pre-filling
  • Step 6 - Post-filling
  • Step 5 - Fill corners and edges
  • Step 7 - Sanding
  • Step 8 - Priming

With Rigips you can create beautiful smooth walls and ceilings in no time. Whether as a space dividing partition or on an unsightly stone wall, the plasterboard is glued either directly or screwed onto a backbone. Then only the seams of the individual plates have to be filled well. How to get a smooth wall made of plasterboard, we show you here in this guide.

Hardly any material is used so often in dry construction today as plasterboard. This is due in large part to the particularly simple processing of these plates. No expensive special tools are required for this, nor are special skills required. Thanks to these gypsum plasterboard coated with a special paper, every DIY enthusiast can quickly build a wall and smooth it. Even sloping walls and ceilings can be quickly covered with gypsum plasterboard.

You need this:

  • putty
  • trowel
  • spatula
  • Silicone / Acrylic
  • abrasive paper

The filling and sanding of plasterboard is a relatively complex and dusty matter, but also very important to get good results. What you should look out for to get a smooth surface is in our detailed step-by-step guide.

Step 1 - Cleaning and Dusting

Before you start working, you must thoroughly remove dust from the rig. With a clean as possible hand brush or a fine broom you should dust off the plasterboard before filling. The focus here is on the places that will be plastered later. Especially at the seams and where you need to fill in screws, all dust must be carefully removed so that the putty later holds very safe. In the meantime, think about where you want to insert fabric tape everywhere.

Thorough cleaning

Step 2 - Mix the putty

With the filler you have a choice between a ready-to-use mixture of the tube and the self-mixed variant. The latter is suitable for medium to large areas. However, if it is a smaller area, then the ready mix can be used.

Tip: Be sure to buy high-quality putty, at this point must not be saved. Gypsum or Ansetzbinder are not suitable for Rigips.

Most gypsum or putty gets hard quickly. Therefore, you should always mix only a small amount. It is not bad if the mass is a bit too liquid, then just stir in some more powder. You can use a thin spatula to mix.

Bevel edges

Tip: Slant the edges of the plasterboard slightly with the craft knife. Sharp edges later push through the fabric tape and can push out the putty.

Mix the filler

Make the putty yourself, then ready mixes are offered in the trade. Slowly stir the powder into cold water. The exact working instructions depend on the selected product and are usually indicated on the packaging.

Step 3 - Pre-filling

Self-leveling is done in two steps, starting with pre-filling.

  1. Roughly fill the joints

Take a smoothing trowel and apply the putty across the joints. Now push the mass into it. Then remove the excess putty again. The best way to do this is with the wide side of the smoothing trowel. After subtracting the excess mass from a joint, you can insert it into the next joint.

First, just put a little putty in the joints and gaps. Also on any resulting holes you should give a little putty. In turn, the putty should not be too wet, so that the plaster in the plate does not dissolve and the paper does not become wavy.

Remove any remaining putty regularly from a smoothing trowel

Tip: Scrape the putty from the trowel at regular intervals. Avoid hardening, otherwise lumps are formed that are difficult to remove.

In the approach of joint machining, it has proven useful to first treat the horizontal joints. Subsequently, the vertical joints are provided with filler.

Tip: When filling the vertical joints, work from the bottom up. This reduces the risk that part of the putty falls down.

Fill joints from bottom to top
  1. Insert fabric tape

The mesh tape or joint tape is now pressed into the still moist filler compound of the joints. Always use a sufficiently wide band to fully cover the joints and rounded side panels of the panels. The band should not be wider, otherwise it will sag on the smooth surface.

cloth tape

Drive along the gap with the large smoothing trowel, in order to remove excess filler already, the less you will later have to sand and sand.

Tip: If you have equipped a whole house with plasterboard, you should inquire on the Internet or in the hardware store for carton acceptances for the joint tape. The prices are then often much lower than the individual roles. Even if, for example, 90 meters seems quite a lot, you only have to measure the joints in a room once, in order to consume the full roll there.

The use of fabric tape makes sense, as it makes the joint really tight and prevents later stress cracks. The tape ensures that the gypsum compound still holds when the house is working in the event of changes in temperature and weather, or when you have a door slammed shut.

Tip: Most DIY stores have different widths of fabric. Look carefully what width you need. Usually you can only decide that when the panels are already on the wall. If necessary, you simply have to cut a wide band with the household scissors.

  1. Fill in the screw holes

At the places where the plasterboard was bolted to the casing, bumps are created by the screw holes. First, completely lower the heads of the screws in the plasterboard. Then fill up the resulting hole with the putty.


  • The filler shrinks a little when drying, so you should apply the mass a bit more.
  • Before the next step, the filler must dry well.

Step 6 - Post-filling

When refinishing, the transitions are perfected. Thus, your work now gets the finishing touches. First remove large imperfections with sandpaper and spatula. Now use a small broom to brush the dust from the sanding process. Now apply the putty again so that a flat surface between the wall and the joints is created.

Tip: Stir the putty a little thinner this time, so that finer processing can be achieved.

Always leave the putty enough time to dry. The less you have to rework later and the less cracks occur with the dry filler. Pay special attention to the screw holes, if necessary you have to lower one or the other screw a little better. You should work very carefully, otherwise you will see the screw head shimmering after drying the putty.

Even the most experienced drywall builder likes to overlook one or the other dent or edge. So it is usually essential to see again after the first filling over all areas and, if necessary, patch areas.

The important thing is: The more careful you go when filling, the less sanding you have in the next step.

Before you can smooth the filled surfaces with the orbital sander, the gypsum must dry well again. But leave the material to the time. When you set up heaters to speed up the process, many small cracks appear in the plaster and it becomes brittle.

Smoothing trowel with putty

Step 5 - Fill corners and edges

Special attention is paid to the floor and ceiling joints as well as to the wall attachment joints. Here you can work with silicone or acrylic to close the joints. Different components also work differently, so the walls and floors always move a little, that would blow the filler out of the joint over time.

Wall corners that project a bit should always be provided with an edge profile . Rigips is very impact-sensitive, holes and dents are prevented by edge profiles. The profile can also be attached to the plasterboard with putty or with silicone. However, you should process some profiles directly when mounting the panels.

To the floor and to the ceiling also an elastic joint should be set. Depending on how much work the other joints make, the later you should make the silicone joints. It may even make sense to make these only at the very end after sanding and painting the plaster joints.

Fill wall joints with silicone or acrylic

Tip: The silicone should absolutely match the color to the later wall color. If you are not sure yet about the colors, acrylic is the better choice for flexible joints, because the acrylic can be painted over better and does not repel the color.

Step 7 - Sanding

After a long dry break, the dried putty must now be adapted to the surface to remove the resulting edges. For this you use sanding blocks or an orbital sander, which is connected directly to the building vacuum cleaner, this is gentler on the wrist and the lungs. As effective as an orbital sander or belt sander can be, in gypsum board these devices are too heavy to handle and can quickly lead to unsightly rings in the plates. A good belt sander will soon sand down the whole plate of Rigips. Often, there is nothing left to do but grind the filler with your hand. As a result, what you choose depends on the skillful handling of the tools.

With a fine sanding paper, all the filler surfaces are then refinished until everything is flat.

Tip: The hand is better at surface inspection than any tool. To stroke the smoothed hand with the smooth hand reveals every bump and dent.

Even if the joints between the plasterboards are already smooth, they still look like a crater landscape after painting. So it means grinding, grinding and grinding again, if you want a nice result. It is not so difficult if you later want to stick a vinyl wallpaper or a very rough woodchip wallpaper over the plasterboard.

Important: Try to seal the room, as a lot of dust from the grinding is whirled up.

When wearing the respirator wear

If there are still gaps and bumps after sanding, you have to go back to work with the putty and the spatula. After that, the mass must first dry again before you can grind again.

Step 8 - Priming

The last step is priming. According to the manufacturer's instructions, the primer is applied. Best suited for this purpose is a paint roller or a puff.

Tip: Lay out the foil, because the primer is like water and tends to drip and spill. For safety reasons, the primer should be applied twice.

Lambskin Scooter or Painter Tassel

Apply the deep foundation

Before the further processing of the plasterboard wall begins, you must pretreat it with a deep foundation. Make sure that the selected plaster or the color and the deep background harmonize with each other. In the trade different products are offered, which must be coordinated. Once you have found the desired depth, apply it with either the lambskin scooter or the quast. It must be applied in any case rich and dry thoroughly.

Tips for quick readers:

  • Fill joints with putty
  • Embed joint tape or fabric tape in putty
  • Fill joints and screw holes
  • Connections to other materials provided with silicone joints
  • Insulate inner and outer corners with silicone / acrylic
  • Sand gypsum joints smoothly
  • maybe top up again
  • Smooth with fine sandpaper
  • Check the surface with your hand
  • Apply appropriate depth of soil
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