Level 5 Drywall Finish

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What is Level 5 Drywall Finish?

Level 5 drywall finish is recommended for areas where severe lighting conditions exist and areas that are to receive gloss, semi-gloss, or enamel paints. Level 5 requires all the operations in Level 4. Additionally, a thin skim coat of joint compound, or material manufactured especially for this purpose, is applied to the entire surface. (This definition is referenced in Terminology, Section II, Page 2 of GA-214 to make the description of “skim coat” clear to all.) The surface is smooth and free from tool marks and ridges. Before final decoration, it’s recommended that the prepared surface be coated with a primer prior to the application of final finishes. The Level 5 finish is required to achieve the highest degree of quality by providing a uniform surface and minimizing the possibility of joint photographing and/or fasteners “burning through” the final decoration.

Complete Drywall & Painting has tried all the level five knockoff products on the market. We have determined that those products cause more issues than good. We believe the only true level-five finish is using pure drywall mud. Depending on the job, we apply it either by knife, spray, or by rolling it on. Regardless of how we apply it, the end result is the absolute best finish drywall can provide. You have a uniform surface ready for paint that will absorb paint the same throughout the wall or ceiling.

Level 5 Finish for Residential and Commercial Drywall

Why choose Complete for your drywall repairs in St. Louis?

Complete Drywall & Painting was created to impress clients. After six years as a general contractor, Owner Matt Edwards streamlined his experience in hiring subcontractors to deliver the excellent services his clients expect and deserve. We have assembled an all-star team of drywall finishers who understand the process of delivering the highest quality drywall and painting services in St. Louis. When it comes to drywall and painting, the result is only as good as the quality of the workmanship. That’s why our team is comprised of only the best, and we’re consistently praised by Missouri and Illinois builders with decades of experience as having the best drywall quality they have ever seen. Complete Drywall & Painting consistently produces flawless projects, combined with excellent customer service and competitive pricing.

Level 5 Finish Drywall in Missouri and Illinois

There are 6 levels of drywall finish (from 0 to 5), and level 5 finish is the highest level. Level 5 drywall finish requires the greatest skill to apply. Our expert drywall contractors apply a thin skim coat of joint compound to the entire wall or ceiling. The result is a flawless, uniform finish and a completely smooth surface. We recommend level 5 finish drywall when walls, ceilings, and surfaces are displayed in areas with severe angles or extreme lighting because without level 5 finish critical light reveals the difference between the gypsum board surface and the drywall mud surface.


“Matt Edwards and Complete Drywall & Taping have consistently proven themselves to be company of integrity, superior customer service, and A+ workmanship. We value their attention to detail in every direction and would recommend them to anyone.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Level 5 drywall finish is the gold standard in drywall services. When prominent walls are hit with multiple angles of natural and artificial light, they become ideal candidates for a level 5 finish. Level 5 finishing adds two coats of skim coating that make the surface of your walls and ceilings completely smooth. When hospitable homes, hotel lobbies, businesses, or public buildings need flawless walls and ceilings, level 5 finish craftsmanship is required.

In 2023, level 5 drywall finish will cost between $2.50 and $4.00 per square foot. The higher cost reflects a highly labor-intensive process requiring a specialized craftsman trained in level 5 finishing. Level 5 drywall labor ranges between $65 and $75 per hour, with an average sized room taking 6 to 8 hours to complete.

No. It takes many years to master level 5 drywall finish. In fact, it is extremely hard to find professionals that specialize in level 5 drywall finish with smooth uniform surfaces. Take heart, with nearly two decades of experience Complete Drywall & Painting has assembled an elite team of level 5 finish experts for the very best drywall contractors in Missouri and Illinois.