Is dot and dab strong? what can it hold and is it easy to remove?

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Plasterboard is the most popular choice for wall surfaces in most modern properties. One common method of installation is to use dot and dab adhesive. This is a method that is popular for several reasons, one of which is its strength and ease of installation?

Dot and dab is known to be extremely strong. Once the adhesive has dried, you can be confident that the boards will not be falling off. The method can be used on many different types of plasterboards, including all different thicknesses and weights.

The adhesive forms a bond between the subsurface and the plasterboard. Once the adhesive sets, it is then extremely difficult to remove, and the strong grip creates a sturdy and secure finish.

Drywall adhesive strength and plasterboard strength

is dot and dab strong

What makes dot and dab a widely used method of securing plasterboards to walls is the strength that it offers. The drywall adhesive alone has an impressive level of strength. Whilst plasterboard also offers a certain level of strength, the adhesive is much stronger.

For drywall adhesive to form a strong bond and maintain its strength, it needs a good key, and the surface needs to be dust-free. Furthermore, the adhesive needs to be mixed correctly. This allows it to set, and for the chemical reaction to take place, creating a high level of strength.

When you consider the overall weight of plasterboards and the force of gravity, it is clear to see how strong the adhesive is.

In contrast, plasterboard is not as strong. It is made of gypsum, which is compressed into a board with a paper covering. It’s possible to snap plasterboard by hand, which proves that they are not all that strong on their own. However, once fitted they are quite robust, and do provide reasonably strong surfaces for walls.

How much weight can dot and dab plasterboard hold?

The weight a dot and dab wall can hold, will depend on several things. This is down to the quality of the adhesive mix and the bond. It also relies on the plasterboard and how you fix items to the wall.

If the subsurface is perfect, and the adhesive forms the strongest possible bond, then the dot and dab plasterboard will have a good level of strength and the plasterboards will be secure. However, once you start to add weight, this is when you need to consider your options.

There are heavy duty plasterboard fixings that you might want to consider. Many fixings claim they can hold more than 100kg, when fixed to the plasterboard alone.

Despite this, it is generally recommended that you avoid fitting any heavy items directly to the plasterboard. Large amounts of weight will add significant pressure to the boards, which could eventually lead to it breaking away. Ideally, you should only hang smaller items that are lightweight, such as picture frames and shelving.

For heavy items, you will need to consider other options. Where required, you could decide to drill through the dabs and directly into the brick or block behind. This will provide a much stronger hold, as the wall will take the weight and not the plasterboard or adhesive.

If there is not a dab of adhesive to drill through, you will need to drill directly into the brickwork. You should use this option for things like curtain rails, or a wall mounted television. It will be secure enough to hold the items in place.

Is dot and dab adhesive hard to remove?

So, we have shown that dot and dab adhesive is clearly strong and sturdy, as it is designed to not move with heavy plasterboards attached. If you do find you need to remove it, you will soon find out how hard it sets. The job of removing it is not simple or quick, so you should be prepared to put in some effort.

There are a couple of main options to choose from when removing adhesive from a wall.

If you want to take the manual option, then you can use a hammer and a bolster chisel. One technique you can use is to angle the bolster chisel underneath the adhesive. You might get lucky and find that some dabs come off whole. However, dabs that don’t come off in one, are usually much more stubborn, and you could end up slowly chipping away at them. This can be a very laborious task that amounts to a lot of hard work.

For a faster job, you could choose to use a hammer drill with chisel action and a chisel bit. While this will speed up the process, you will need to take care as this could damage the wall beneath it.


Dot and dab is extremely strong. It is designed to hold plasterboards in place and stop them falling off the wall. When the adhesive is mixed correctly and the wall is prepped well, it can provide a very strong fixing, that should last for An extremely long time

Plasterboard and drywall adhesive work together, but when hanging or fitting items on the wall, you will need to consider the weight and the method you use.

Finally, if you do have the misfortune of removing drywall adhesive, we recommend that you opt for a hammer drill and chisel bit, it will make your life a lot easier. If this is not an option, you will soon realise how strong it is, when you remove it manually.

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