Recommended Levels of Paint Finish over Gypsum Board

The recommended level of interior paint finish over gypsum board wall and ceiling surfaces varies depending on location in the structure, the type of paint applied, the finish achieved on the gypsum board substrate prior to final decoration and the type of illumination striking the surface. These are the following finishing recommendations from Artec Painting Solutions which describes various levels of interior painting finishes as the final decoration over new interior gypsum board surfaces, mostly known as drywall..

Level 0:

No interior painting required. Note that this level is recommended where final decoration is not required.

Level 1:

a. When final decoration is undetermined, all appropriately prepared drywall surfaces shall have one coat of drywall primer applied. Drywall primer shall be applied to the mil film thickness and application conditions specified by the primer manufacturer.

OR

b. When wall coverings are to be applied, all appropriately prepared drywall surfaces shall have one coat of wall covering primer applied. Wall covering primer shall be applied to the mil film thickness and application conditions specified by the primer manufacturer.

Level 2:

 All appropriately prepared drywall surfaces shall have one coat of topcoat material applied to yield a uniform surface. Paint shall be applied to the mil film thickness and application conditions specified by the paint manufacturer. Note that the painted surface may not achieve uniform appearance, colour or sheen, but shall be absent of defects caused by the painting contractor’s workforce. This level is recommended where economy is of primary concern.

Level 3:

All appropriately prepared drywall surfaces shall have two separate coats of topcoat material applied to yield a properly painted surface. Paint shall be applied to the mil film thickness and application conditions specified by the paint manufacturer. Note that this is typically recommended for areas having textures (spray or hand applied) over a primed gypsum board surface and the area is not subject to critical lighting. When subjected to critical lighting, a Level 5 drywall taping finish is recommended.

Level 4 :

All appropriately prepared drywall surfaces shall have one coat of drywall primer applied to yield a properly painted surface and one separate coat of topcoat material applied to a properly painted surface over the drywall primer. Paint shall be applied to the mil film thickness and application conditions specified by the paint manufacturer. Note that this is typically recommended for smooth surfaces not subject to critical lighting and areas having light to medium texture finishes (spray- or hand-applied over a primed gypsum board surface). When subjected to critical lighting, a Level 5 drywall taping finish is recommended.

Level 5 :

All appropriately prepared drywall surfaces shall have one coat of drywall primer applied to yield a properly painted surface. Two separate coats of topcoat material shall be applied over the drywall primer to yield a properly painted surface. Paint shall be applied to the mil film thickness and application conditions specified by the paint manufacturer. Note that this level is recommended where the best paint finish is required, such as under critical lighting conditions or when paints that have a glossy surface are used. Recommended with a Level 5 drywall taping finish. This system, when combined with the Level 5 drywall taping finish is the most effective method to minimize joint and fastener photographing and provides the most uniform final finish in any residential interior painting project.

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