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Is this wall finish considered Level 3 or Level 4 Drywall? The place was built in 1980s, and has very unsmooth appearance, compared to newer places. Just curious if skimcoat would help, and if has to be Level 5 finish? A drywall contractor said Level 5 is very expensive to conduct. I am trying to do a job with the proper budget.

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  • Would say someone put a textual finish on the wall. Drywall itself should be flat/smooth.
    – crip659
    Feb 14 at 1:02
  • We can't tell what quality finish your wall is from the photo. You could skim it and get it to look acceptable. Level 5 is for picky people, problematic lighting and higher gloss paints. Feb 14 at 1:58
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That is a textured finish called "orange peel". It is typically applied over a level 3 finish (taped, a build up coat or "blocked", then skimmed and sanded), and is usually sprayed on by one means or another.

If you small repairs needing to be touched up , it is available in aerosol cans.

If you want to cover the texture, and have a smooth wall, then skim coating everything, which pretty much a level 5 finish , is your only option. Well, there are other options, but that will be your cheapest route if you want smooth wall.

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  • I just bought a house that's damn close to this in the basement. Drives me bonkers. Why? Why? Good answer. You could edit it a little though... Probably a level 3 but who knows because it is covered up with a thick texture!
    – DMoore
    Feb 14 at 7:41
  • @DMoore Texture finishes are used a LOT out here in the NW. In MD where I am from originally, level 3 was used most of the time with level 5 on occasion. I have observed many a texture applied since I have been out here and it all starts with a level 3 finish. At first when I got here I thought it was a way of "cheating" to hide crappy work or incomplete finishing work, a shortcut in other words. But the finished level 3 walls I have seen this texture sprayed on would have been a great smooth wall finish all by itself
    – Jack
    Feb 14 at 8:04
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no it is not level 5. level 5 looks almost perfectly smooth.

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  • Could you add some sort of reference, maybe, to support your statement? That would go a long way toward helping.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 15 at 11:44

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