How to Create a Level 5 Drywall Finish

A Level 5 drywall finish is the smoothest possible finish that you can get on your drywall ceilings and walls. It is the “Cadillac” of wall finishes, so to speak. And while it is a finish that tradespeople will generally use for higher-end building jobs, you absolutely can use the same technique at home to get similarly beautiful results.

So, what is a Level 5? Think about the process of hanging and taping drywall. The next step would be to prime and paint it, right? Well, here’s the thing: Because a large portion of the wall is comprised of the drywall paper without any joint compound, and the other parts of the wall are taped/mudded and sanded, there is going to be an ever-so-slight difference in the way that the paint adheres and dries to the two different surfaces.

A Level 5 finish (also known as a drywall skim coat, not to be confused with the heavier plaster-type skim coat) will correct this slight imperfection, providing a smooth, perfect finish on which you can continue on with painting and priming.

This finish is used for areas where you may want to paint with glossy paint, such as in a bathroom or kitchen, because glossy paint highlights all the imperfections in a wall surface.  You might also consider applying a level 5 finish in an area where there is going to be a lot of focused or task lighting, which can also expose areas where the paint absorbed into the surface slightly differently, creating minor imperfections.

Follow Leah’s easy step-by-step instructions, and you can easily achieve this fine, high-end finish at home on your own!

You Can Do This!

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