Drywall Finishing Levels 1-6

Know your drywall. What kind of finish do you need from your drywall finishing contractor?

What's the difference between all drywall finishing levels?

Know your drywall finishing levels. 

Drywall finishing is an essential step in the construction process, giving walls a smooth and polished appearance. There are five levels of drywall finishing, each with its specific requirements and techniques. Understanding the differences between these levels can help you choose the right finish for your project.

Level 1 Drywall Finishing is the most basic level and is typically used in areas that will be covered by another material, such as wallpaper or paneling. At this level, the drywall joints are taped, but no finishing compound is applied. This level is not recommended for areas that will be visible in the final construction.

Level 2 Drywall Finishing is slightly more advanced, with the addition of a thin layer of finishing compound over the taped joints. This level is suitable for areas that will be covered with a heavy texture or where the walls will be painted with flat paint.

Level 3 Drywall Finishing is the most common level used in residential construction. At this level, a second coat of finishing compound is applied over the taped joints, as well as over nail or screw heads. The walls are sanded smooth and ready for painting with a satin or semi-gloss paint.

Level 4 Drywall Finishing is a step up from Level 3, with the addition of a skim coat of finishing compound over the entire surface of the drywall. This level is recommended for areas that will be painted with a gloss or high-gloss paint, as it provides a smooth and uniform surface.

Level 5 Drywall Finishing is the highest level of finish and is typically used in areas that will be exposed to critical lighting conditions, such as in commercial buildings or high-end residential projects. At this level, a second skim coat of finishing compound is applied, followed by a final sanding to achieve a mirror-like finish.

There’s a “level 6” which is a level 0. This is when no one is going to see the work other than the construction crew. No tape, no finishing coats of mud, and no corner bead is necessary. If you request or need a Level 0 standard, your setup is likely temporary or you haven’t decided on the kind of finish you want.

When choosing a drywall finish for your project, it is important to consider the level of finish required based on the lighting conditions and the type of paint that will be used. Consulting with a professional drywall contractor (Contact US!) can help you determine the best finish for your specific needs. In conclusion, drywall finishing plays a crucial role in the overall appearance of a building. Understanding the differences between the five levels of drywall finishing can help you achieve the desired results for your project in 2024.

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picture of level 1-5 drywall finishing

Image compliments of  The Spruce 


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