I have gotten my walls prepared by "professional" painters. They have put putty on the drywall and sanded them down. Finally they have painted.

When I stand in front of the wall and look at them straight, they look pretty OK. But if I look at them with an angle, especially right across where the light is coming, I can see different patterns.

Please look at the pictures and tell me if this is as good as it can get. Picture 1 Picture 2


Plainly, not 'as good as it gets', but the question to ask is, "did I get the quality of job I paid for?" If you paid a mega premium with a contractual understanding that you'd get a level 5 job, that's bad. (Something to consider is that painters aren't exactly drywall tapers.)

If you paid a normal price, then perhaps you can think about ignoring it. (Once wall coverings/curtains/furniture come in, everything will be much less noticeable. Especially curtains.) If the sheen of the paint is eggshell or glossier, you could consider going to a flat.


In the first picture, it seems like the patching is obvious because when you patch a wall, you compromise the original texture of the dry wall so then when you've got a sheen reflecting, you're noticing that slight difference in textures. The only way to solve this is to skim coat the entire wall, and that's going to be a personal preference (and much larger expense), this is not something that is traditionally considered the "fault" of the painter. This is the norm for a patched wall and most people don't scrutinize walls so closely that they even notice the difference in the textures.

In the second picture, unless there was some extensive linear type (vertical) damage up and down the top half of the wall, I'd say that looks to be a defect in the manufacturing of the drywall itself. This is pretty common to get those ripples (unfortunately) and the higher the gloss in the paint, the more noticeable this will become from certain angles. If your wall has defects, and more often than not they do, stick to flat paint where you can to hide it better. Again, though, most people are not going to scrutinize your walls.

Perhaps you didn't scrutinize your walls so thoroughly before you had them painted? All in all, once you put your furnishings and decor back where it's supposed to be, I doubt you'll even notice it. If you're still upset about it, visit the Painters and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) website and check out their industry standards. This is a pretty good guide on what is reasonable to expect from a job well done.

  • Can you provide a link to the PDCA standards, as well as summarize them? That'd make this (already good) answer even better! – mmathis Nov 29 '16 at 21:51

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