Syllabus / Design 101

Level-5 finish


Why choose a level-5 finish

When renovating any apartment in New York City, walls play more than just a "supporting" role in bringing the finished renovation together. In fact, depending upon the lighting design, blemishes and irregular lines can be painfully noticeable and detract from an otherwise high-quality renovation.

And so, to make the walls level and smooth, the contractor will offer what is commonly known as a "level-5 finish".


How to obtain a level-5 finish

Here are the steps taken to achieve a level-5 finish: 

  1. Firstly the drywall itself has its gaps taped over to create the first layer.
  2. Then a first coat of spackling paste is applied to create the second layer.
  3. Then a second coat of spackling paste is applied to create the third layer.
  4. The wall is then sanded lightly to remove any blemishes and tool marks before a thin skim coat of spackle is applied to the entire surface to create the fourth layer.
  5. At this juncture, the wall is then sanded lightly and checked with a halogen light to look for any imperfections.
  6. Finally, the surface is coated with a drywall primer to produce the fifth and final layer. 
  7. This activity invariably brings up some imperfections that need to be treated before the wall can be painted.

This 7-step process produces a beautiful and clean finish with no visible imperfections from as close as 6 feet.



This post is intended for informational purposes only and is general in nature as it does not take into account your personal renovation situation. You should really consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a licensed architect, general contractor or financial / legal adviser.