scrim tape

How To Apply Scrim Tape – A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Scrim tape, also known as panel joint tape, has a very specific job. The tape seals the joints between panels of plasterboard to prevent cracking in the plaster applied over the top of it. Scrim tape is easy to apply, inexpensive, and essential in making sure your plasterwork retains its perfect finish.

If you have used plasterboard panels, there will be joints between the panels. When you plaster over your boards, these joints underneath are weak spots. Scrim tape is the answer to this problem as it seals and strengthens the joints. The technique to apply scrim tape isn’t difficult, but I want to share a few top tips I’ve learned so you can achieve the best finish possible.

Tools & Materials


  • Sharp knife
  • Scissors


  • Scrim tape (also known as panel joint tape)


1. Secure To Start

Starting at the top of a joint between two plasterboards, stick around 2 or 3 inches of tape in place. The tape should have equal amounts on each panel of plasterboard with the joint located directly down the middle of the tape. Once you’ve stuck the scrim tape in place, it should hang freely, allowing you to position it in step 2.

2. Work Down The Joint

You can now secure the scrim tape the whole way down the joint, by simply pressing it into to place with your hands. You can use a sharp knife or scissors to cut as required.

3. For Corners Try This

Corners need a little extra attention as the scrim tape needs to sit right into the corner. If it doesn’t it fit well it can compromise the finish of the plaster.

You can do this by securing at the top of the corner joint as in step 1, then use your scissors and run the blunt edge straight down the corner joint pressing the tape into the corner as you go.

You can then secure the edges of the scrim tape by hand.

Pro Tip: Don’t overlap pieces of tape, it will compromise the finish

4. Don’t Forget Small Joints

Don’t forget the small sections! For example, you may find some small joints around windows that need finishing. You will need smaller sections of scrim tape, but no matter how small, no joints should be left unfinished.

Pro Tip: Only use scrim tape for flat joints and internal corners. For external corners beading should be used.

5. Time To Finish The Job

fitting plasterboard with scrim tape

Once the tape is secured you can plaster directly over it. You won’t be able to adjust or remove the tape once you’ve plastered, so make sure you are happy with the positioning before you begin plastering.

For help finding the right plaster for your job, check out this guide on the most commonly used plaster types and how to use each one.

Final Thoughts 

Scrim tape is an easy and cost-effective way to make sure your plasterwork looks good for longer. Very simple to use and effective at preventing cracks, it’s a step that shouldn’t be missed when plastering over plasterboard.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below if you found this guide useful and managed to put these steps into action. As always, please remember to share if you think your family and friends will find this guide useful.