Thursday, December 30, 2021

Level 5 Drywall Finishes

Level 5 Drywall Finishes

So I'm walking through one of our level 5 jobs again. QCI is very important to our low cost and affordable Calgary Painters and decorators. And we call it simply quality control inspection. Just checking the work out that our interior spray guys did today. Seeing how good the guys did, or how bad they did. Usually it's not too bad, but the taper in this place really isn't the best. 

I'm looking at a few things. Level 5, old school level 5, is where you completely skim the drywall over the entire surface of the board, so that you don't have a super slick area where the seam is, versus the natural textured area of the board. So that you have one continuous smoother area. So when it's painted you don't have that real smooth spot where the seams are versus the natural texture of the paper. 

Very important for high gloss paint applications. What we do nowadays is, we use a compound called tuff hide. There's other products out there that are similar high build primers. And we spray it on with the paint sprayer. And what it does is, it mimics the natural texture, somewhat of the the facial paper of the board. So that you don't have rough looking walls. 

Basically eliminating the the smooth area, versus the natural texture of the board. So I'm going to try to catch some of this with the camera while we spray, so that you can see what it looks like. This is how to pros do it. And you can kind of see some of the areas that I would see that would need to be fixed on the point. Which we come back and we do touch-ups and stuff like that. Here we go. 

So it's basically a primer combination. Great finishes can lead to more great starts. Follow these tips and techniques to start strong, finish strong, get good results, and keep your business building. When it comes to great finishes, level five is the best possible finish you can apply to drywall. So that your paint coat will be absorbed equally and smoothly. 

We'll show you two different methods for achieving a level five finish skim coat, and spray applied primer surfacer. But first you need to prep to a level four finish. Make sure your walls have no imperfections or tool marks, and that you've applied three coats of compound over all fasteners, tape,  and bead. 

To achieve a level five finish with a skim coat, start by mixing your all-purpose conventional weight joint compound with water until it's consistency is similar to a heavy pancake batter. Roll the mixture onto the wall making sure that the roller is well covered, so there are no dry spots. Do that wall over there, only 600 plus walls next. Next, take most of the mud off with your knife. 

The goal is to leave only a thin film that will equalize porosity, and wall texture. Be sure not to cover too much area at any given time, so that it doesn't start to dry before you can run your knife over it. As the mud dries, it'll become more opaque, leaving a nice consistent finish of even looking finishes. Even though the wall will feel dry within a few hours, it's important to let the surface sit overnight and give it a light sanding before priming then painting. 

Skim coat is the more traditional method of achieving a level 5 finish. Because it can be time  consuming, it's generally preferred for smaller jobs, or spot applications. Because it's essentially being completed with ready mix it, tends to leave a softer, less durable surface, and it tends to be the more porous of the two applications. 

For larger jobs, a spray application of a level 5 primer surface is the smarter method, because once the rig and sprayer start going, it's fast, and easy, to cover a lot of areas. Ten thousand or twenty thousand square feet per hour is easy. You won't get that type of footage rolling on a conventional drywall mud level 5 finish. 

This spray level 5 drywall finish process also results in a finish that's hard, making it more durable. And because it self levels, you'll get a smooth finish that gives the appearance of higher quality, without additional primer. To apply a primer surface or with an airless sprayer, start by properly covering all windows and trim that you don't want sprayed. 

Then wearing a mask or respirator, safety goggles, and gloves, hold the gun perpendicular to the surface approximately 18 inches away. Start your stroke off the surface you were targeting, and pull the trigger as the gun is moving. Move the gun parallel to the surface at a steady rate. Just like that. While the gun is still moving, release the trigger as you approach the other edge of the target surface. 

This level 5 drywall finish spray finish avoids excess buildup at the end of each stroke lap. Each stroke approximately 50% over the previous for uniform thickness. For the initial coat, spray from left to right, and then crosshatch spray up and down, as a double up coat, to provide a uniform appearance. You want the application to be between eight to 20 millimeters thick because it'll shrink a bit when it dries. 

So it's always good to have a gauging tool on hand. The primer surfacer should be dry to the touch within 60 to 90 minutes. But let it dry overnight before painting. Remember, as with any power tool, please use caution, and follow the manufacturers instructions. Don't eat the primer or the paint, and don't point and shoot the spray gun at other people. It should be obvious you would think. 

When spraying this level 5 drywall finish in, the spray application does require a little practice itself if you don't have any spray painting experience. Also getting started requires the purchase or rental of professional spray equipment. Contractors usually find this expenses balanced out because the spray method is faster, the primer surfacer is more durable, and it self levels for a smoother finish. 

For jobs with the lowest bid wins, spraying a primer surfacer can help increase productivity while still delivering a great final product. A level 5 finish is usually required in administration or institutional buildings, and we see it more and more in higher end builds we see from time to time. It's also best when dark satin or glossy finish or metallic paint will be used, and it's ideal for cathedral ceilings, two-story rooms, critical light conditions, and angle or track lighting. 

No matter the method you use, level 5 drywall can help you achieve the absolute best level five finish for skim coat applications, sheet rock brand, all-purpose joint compound, provides excellent hiding properties for spray applications. Tuff hide primer surface always provides an easy to apply level five wall board finish with an enhanced formulation that delivers wider and smoother results. 

A great finish means strong beautiful walls that meet or exceed the spec without costing you too much time or money. Follow these techniques and you can be sure that your walls great finish will lead you to another great start. But, lets go back and talk about drywall finishes, so you can be sure you are calling in the painters and decorators at the right time.

What level we're finishing to is what is that level. So when you finish drywall, there are levels. There's zero, all the way through five. Depending on how far you finish. And it's just a broad guideline for those of us that finish, how far to take a job. So a level one looks exactly the same as a level one in a different area. 

It also keeps contractors on the same page as what to expect, and they come in if they're paying you for a level three, you better give them a level three, not a level two. And you don't want to spend an extra two days finishing to the level four if you're not being paid for it. So coming up is just a quick overview of levels one all the way through five. 

It's how we finish. We finished with tools. From time to time we will hand tape in small sections. You know we don't tape by hand a whole lot, so things around here might not look like that. Things might look a little different than yours, this is a pro finish. You might be a pro, you might not. And I'm not saying that ours is perfect, or that we are like the gold standard. 

I'm just walking you through how we finish, and what our different level finishes look like. So I'm going to show you what a level one looks like, considered a fire tape. We have to do to code here, and you probably have to do the same in your area. All joints should be taped, as you can tell angles, or tape butts, or tapes, flats, and everything. There's no excess mud anywhere, its clean, it's tidy, Screw heads are hit. Anything where air can get through needs to be sealed up. 

So if you have you know an outside bead on that, you're not up to code. This is just finished for demonstration purposes. This is an area's obviously the mechanical room, or the furnace room, something like. Looks like a furnace room to me. We won't be doing any painting in there. So that in a nut shell is fire tape. 

So this section over here, this is a level two. So with the level two, your corner bead is coated, your flats are coated once, and then your screws are still just coated. From your fire tapes for a level two tool marks are acceptable, with this coat, it doesn't have to look perfect. If you know it's like a upgrade above a fire tape. 

So this other section over here is our level three finish. As far as you go if your texting. So if you're doing a swirl texture, skip trowl texture, popcorn ceiling texture. This won't work for a knock down ceiling it needs more mud. Any sort of hand texture. This is as far as we go. Everything now has been hit twice. Blasted, and hit twice. Screw twice. Corner beads, and then the angles. So this is our level three finish right here. 

And a level three should have two coats now on every section. We made it to level four. That is considered a smooth wall. This is what we take our smooth walls to. At this point, everything has been touched three times. So last we've been done three times over, and we are ready for level five. This big wall we jumped to an finished. It was catching a lot of light, and we just wanted to give it some more tlc being a big giant wall. 

Everything has been mudded three. It says this ceiling is textured. That comes next. And then the corner bead also has been done three times. At this point there should be no tool marks, everything should be smooth, flat, and ready for a level 5 primer finish. As you read above you can manually roll in and skim out drywall or you can spray it in with a level 5 drywall primer like the one above.

You will see sometimes with this variation between the sheetrock texture and the mud texture being that the mud is so much smoother, there's a little bit of a texture to this. Ao if you're wanting to get rid of that and you're wanting to take your walls to the next level above a level four, then we go to a level 5. 

And this house has requested a mix of both spray on and roll on level 5 drywall. This older drywall that is all beaten up will take more time to get it looking like the rest. This section over here we did a level 5 finish with drywall mud and a roller followed up with wiping the excess drywall mud off the wall with a large flat knife and let it dry a night before sanding down and painting it.

This large section over here we spray painted in with a level 5 drywall surfacer. Both look good compared to this new drywall wall that we did with a brush and roller. One, two, three, and you can see the difference. These level 5 finishes are considered high end, and should ideally be used when your house interior is going to be finished painted in dark colors. Not many painters or drywall guys are all aware of that final finish touch. Hope that helps and thanks for reading our level 5 drywall finishes blog post.

This is the best finish. Like the best. Most people don't want to pay for this because it's very labor intensive, takes a lot of work, but if you're wanting a smooth seamless look, this is it. Especially if you're going with a very high gloss dark paint, you're going to want to go with a level five because it has good finishing properties for dark colors.

As well when you are leaning towards those darker and much more glossy paints, you're going to have some flashing. So, if you dumped all of this time and all of this money into your house interior drywall, it should be obvious that you don't want to call in and hire a newbie to complete your painting for you. On these higher quality level 5 painting finishes with flat finish painted ceilings, you will certainly need an expert to cut you in straight lines on everything.

The nice thing about this product is that it doesn't require any sanding. You simply spray it on, let it dry, and it self levels and flattens out all by itself. Look at that nice soft look. Now that your drywall is all primed, you could probably get on with spray painting and back rolling in the first coat of paint on the ceilings. We think spray painting finishes look the best for ceilings, but spray painted ceilings don't touch up so well with a brush or a roller after they have been painted.

After your ceiling is painted you can spray paint in the first coat of paint on the walls. Only pro painters can usually pull this one off. The best strategy is simply to spray paint on the lower half of the walls, and have a good drywall board roller roll the paint into place up top. From bottom to top, half on, half off. Spray painting the paint onto the wall and rolling it into place can save dozens of hours and days of painting labor off any paint job.

So we jumped ahead and sprayed and back rolled in this first coat of paint. This shack is about 3000 floor feet. It might take one or two guys a full day or ten hours to roll these walls in out of a paint tray with the old roller on the poll. Our two pro painters here managed to spray in and back roll all of these walls by lunch hour. That's over ten thousand board feet coated in half a day. I doubt it that our painters even have a paint tray on site.

And here we are again. You can see all the trim and casings and baseboards and doors have been installed. We took the doors and hardware off, and sprayed in the trim after prep. As you can see, all of this trim in this place was spray painted. See the trim paint spray painted on the new drywall? All of this trim took about a day to spray in with primer and two coats of paint after it was all caulked and filled. These stacked doors here will be hung again by the carpenter.

We came back again a couple of weeks later to finish this house up. As you can see all of the other trades have come and gone and beaten the place up for us. Lucky for us this is all easy and fast repairs around the place. We take care of the repairs, and because we spray primed and spray painted in the primer and first coats on the walls, we are looking at an easy two cuts and one roll to finish this place up. And here we go, the finished product. If you got the time and money, this is the best finish you can buy.

So this right here is level five. And that's it. The best of the best. You could probably do an ok job doing this type of level 5 finishing to your drywall all by yourself. For the best results you should think about calling in professionals. They will likely complete the job ten times faster and provide you better results ten times over compared to what you can do. 1/2 Price Pro Calgary Painting can probably help you save time and money on level 5 drywall finishes.