Depending on the job requirements and specifications, different finishes and techniques may need to be applied when texturing drywall. To help contractors in the industry better understand the requirements of architects and building owners in order to enhance the satisfaction of the client, the consensus document ‘Recommended Levels of Gypsum Board Finish’ was created by five major trade associations: The Association of Wall and Ceiling Industries International (AWCI),the Drywall Finishing Council (DWFC), the Ceilings and Interior Systems Construction Association (CISCA), the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA), and Gypsum Association (GA). The purpose of the document was to accurately describe the desired finish of walls and ceilings prior to final decoration. This also helped promote competitive job bidding that allows the bidder to consider the correct labor and materials to finish the wall suitably for its final decoration.

To refresh your memory, in this blog, we are going to briefly summarize the different levels of drywall finishing.

Level 0

No taping, finishing, or accessories are required for the job. This level of finish may be useful in temporary construction or whenever the final decoration has been yet to be determined.

Level 1

This level of finishing only requires a single coat with taping set in joint compound on all joints and interior angles. This level is typically specified for jobs in smoke barrier applications, plenum areas above ceilings, in attics, in building service corridors and other areas where the assembly would generally be concealed or in, and other areas not normally open to public view. Although it is not much, there is some degree of sound and smoke control is provided.

Level 2

This level involves a double coating of joint compound over all joints, interior angles, fastener heads, and accessories. This finishing level is commonly used for non-finished areas and areas where gypsum panel products are used as a substrate for tile. Examples of application locations include warehouse storage, garages, and other similar areas where surface appearance is not a concern.

Level 3

This finish requires that all joints and interior angles have tape embedded in joint compound with one thin coat applied over them, plus two coats of joint compound on fastener heads and accessories. This results in a smooth, ridge- and mark-free surface that is ideal for residential interiors and similar areas which are to receive medium to heavy texture (spray or hand applied) finishes before the application of paint, or where heavy-grade wall coverings are to be applied as the final decoration. Keep in mind, this finish is not recommended where smooth painted surfaces or light to medium wall coverings are listed as job specifications.

Level 4

Drywall contractors applying this level will have tape embedded in joint compound with two separate coats of joint compound covering all flat joints and one separate coat of joint compound applied over the interior angles. Three coats of joint compound should be applied to fastener heads and other accessories. This level is most common in applications where flat paints, light textures, or wall coverings are to be applied. There are some paints that are not recommended for this finish, including gloss, semi-gloss, and enamel paints.

Level 5

This level requires that all joints and interior angles have tape embedded in joint compound, with and two separate coats of joint compound over all of the flat joints, and one separate coat of joint compound applied over the interior angles. Like level four, all fastener heads and accessories should be covered with three separate coats of joint compound. Also, a thin coat of joint compound needs to be applied to the entire surface. This level is typically recommended where gloss, semi-gloss, enamel, or non-textured flat paints are specified or where severe lighting conditions occur. Out of all the finishes, this is of the highest quality and is the most effective for applying a uniform surface and minimize the possibility of joint photographing and of fasteners showing through the final decoration.

There you have it, the different levels of drywall finishes. These are important to keep in mind, especially for jobs that have certain specifications. While these textures can be applied by hand, it is definitely easier and more efficient to use a texture sprayer.

At American Spray Technologies, our family our texture spray rigs are ideal for drywall contractors that need durability and dependability. All of our texture spray rigs, including the notorious portable texture spray machine, the Kodiak M2, can handle a wide range of tip sizes, longer hose lengths, and heavier coatings with ease. AST drywall texture rigs will reduce your job time and make spraying a breeze with powerful, reliable performance time after time.

If you are interested in figuring out what the best texture spray rig is for your applications, check out our helpful guide. To request a quote for a texture spray rig, contact us!